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Obsolete AJS upgrade


Essah
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I was looking up some dates for the various DCS aircraft to enter service (in real life) to better compare which ones belong in the same era with the specific versions we have and specifically in relation to the Viggen and something strikes me as odd.

 

The first AJS upgrade aircraft entered service in 1996 according to wikipedia. In comparison installation of the MLU (Mid-life upgrade) for the F-16A/B started in 1997, just one year later, however the difference between the avionics of the AJS-37 and the F-16MLU is quite large. If anyone has flown BMS you'll know how modern the MLU's are with things like Datalink, colour MFD, GPS, Multimode radar with filtered A/A and ground mapping radar, and true multi-role capability with everything from dumb bombs to mavericks to Aim-120 AMRAAM.

 

The Viggen seems quite outdated in comparison and this strikes me as odd considering how technologically ground breaking an aircraft SAAB produced when the AJ-37 was first produced in the 70's. If these technologies were available why weren't they included in the upgrade? Did they simply not see it as necessary to include all these innovations for the strike aircraft. I know the JA-37 was theoretically capable of carrying AMRAAMS and had an MFD but I don't know if it included Datalink, GPS, or HSD (sort of like the TAD on the A-10C)

the computer Interface in the viggen is also night and day from the DED (Data entry display) in the F-16

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AFAIK the Swedes had working datalink long before it got common in the US and the UK.

JA-37 did get datalink, but I don't think that was the case for the attack Viggens.

 

As for the radar, they knew it could need an upgrade, but there was not enough money for it, neither for upgrading the flight computer significantly.

(I think they made some "hack" by letting the computer use some of the data cartridge's capacity to calculate some stuff also.)

 

There is some details about the different upgrades to be found here:

http://www.airvectors.net/avvig.html#m6

System specs:

 

Gigabyte Aorus Master, i7 9700K@std, GTX 1080TI OC, 32 GB 3000 MHz RAM, NVMe M.2 SSD, Oculus Quest VR (2x1600x1440)

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I was looking up some dates for the various DCS aircraft to enter service (in real life) to better compare which ones belong in the same era with the specific versions we have and specifically in relation to the Viggen and something strikes me as odd.

 

The first AJS upgrade aircraft entered service in 1996 according to wikipedia. In comparison installation of the MLU (Mid-life upgrade) for the F-16A/B started in 1997, just one year later, however the difference between the avionics of the AJS-37 and the F-16MLU is quite large. If anyone has flown BMS you'll know how modern the MLU's are with things like Datalink, colour MFD, GPS, Multimode radar with filtered A/A and ground mapping radar, and true multi-role capability with everything from dumb bombs to mavericks to Aim-120 AMRAAM.

 

The Viggen seems quite outdated in comparison and this strikes me as odd considering how technologically ground breaking an aircraft SAAB produced when the AJ-37 was first produced in the 70's. If these technologies were available why weren't they included in the upgrade? Did they simply not see it as necessary to include all these innovations for the strike aircraft. I know the JA-37 was theoretically capable of carrying AMRAAMS and had an MFD but I don't know if it included Datalink, GPS, or HSD (sort of like the TAD on the A-10C)

the computer Interface in the viggen is also night and day from the DED (Data entry display) in the F-16

 

The AJS 37 mod was never a long time upgrade.

 

The Swedish Airforce had already selected a replacement for the AJ 37 Viggen (JAS 39 Gripen) but due to some delays in development the AJ 37 had to soldier on for a few more Years.

 

But the Airforce had also had weapons developed for the JAS 39 (The BK-90 and RBS 15)

and those weapons where already ready and available but there was no aircraft to carry them.

 

So the AJS 37 Upgrade was seen as a minimal cost/effort upgrade to allow the AJ 37 to employ those weapons

(by giving it more computing power etc)

and give it a little extra capabilities for those last 3-6 years of service before the JAS 39 Was ready for Service.

 

The AJS 37 was never supposed to serve for much longer then that which is why the Upgrade program did not even include any type of service life extension program or more major upgrades.

 

So one cant really compare it with the F-16 Upgrade program as that was a Major Capabilities Upgrade / Life Extension.

 

So the AJS 37 is still very much a 1960s design / 1970s aircraft it just got the ability to use some 1990s era weapons.

 

Aircraft usually get minor upgrades like this over their lifetimes without the need for changing the Designation,

But the Reason For the Designation change was that it got Given the ability to also somewhat undertake the Radar Recce role

as the radar was Modified to similar Specs as the SH 37 Recce aircraft giving the AJ 37 (A for Attack J For Jakt = Fighter)

a limited recce ability thus adding the S (S for Spaning =Reconnaissance).

 

For example a F-15C flying today will most certainly be quite different from a F-15C when it first entered service 1979

but it just did not have a designation change despite a plethera of Upgrades over its service life to give it new capabilities etc.


Edited by mattebubben
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nly be quite different from a F-15C when it first entered service 1979

but it just did not have a designation change despite a plethera of Upgrades over its service life to give it new capabilities etc.

 

Thank you. So basically more akin to the Block upgrades on US aircraft. Ie F-16C Block 30 vs block 40.

 

In that case it will not be unreasonable to pretend that it's an AJ-37 we fly, in order to fit into a 70's scenario mission just by not allowing BK-90 and RBS-15 to be used.

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In that case it will not be unreasonable to pretend that it's an AJ-37 we fly, in order to fit into a 70's scenario mission just by not allowing BK-90 and RBS-15 to be used.

 

Yes, that is what I will do most of the time. To fly an AJ 37 you will also have to follow some additional rules regarding loadouts: No Rb 74 (AIM-9L), no use of the outer wing stations, Mavericks and Sidewinders only on the fuselage pylons.

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I still think the way that Viggens (especially the late models of the JA-37) were integrated into STRIL-60 is almost scarily efficient. Being able to launch AMRAAMS at a target just by receiving targeting datalink from ground radar...or if another Viggen possibly kilometers away uses TWS to track two targets for targeting information. It's pretty scary to see what not only the final Viggens turned into. JA-37D at the time of retirement had the F-14's flight computer, an INS system, American-made countermeasure systems that were imbedded into the pylons (eliminating the need for KB pod), and even a small attachment to it's pylons allowing to detect missile launches or laser locks onto the aircraft. I'd think the majority of the Viggen upgrade went into the fighter variant, which is kind of understandable.

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If you don't take RB74, RB,15F and BK90 onboard, you are pretty much an AJ 37 from what I understand.

 

JA 37, the fighter Viggen, got more significant upgrades, but apparently attack Viggen's capabilities were seen as sufficient for Sweden's needs, and as at that point exports were pretty much impossible too, I can see why they didn't spend resources on further upgrading the strike variant.

 

What did eventually push Sweden into AJS upgrade seems to be, delays in it's intented successor, the Gripen. It seems the new and advanced weapon systems like Mjölnir and RB15 were ready, but the aircraft that was supposed to carry them wasn't. So they went ahead with a limited scope upgrade to integrate these weapons for the few more years until the Gripen could be ready.

 

I wouldn't say no to jakt viggen either, if LN decide to do it a few years later, as it too seem to be a very interesting bird in its own right. But I want them to do Draken first :P perhaps a MiG-23 too, who knows!

Wishlist: F-4E Block 53 +, MiG-27K, Su-17M3 or M4, AH-1F or W circa 80s or early 90s, J35 Draken, Kfir C7, Mirage III/V

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WinterH

 

Razbam announced a MiG-19 and MiG-23 Project:

 

I agree I'd rather that LN did it but still cool.

 

That story does have a bit of continuation and plot twist though :)

 

Razbam had that announcement a bit too quick, after contacting with ED they have found out that "MiG-23 was not available" and announced they would not be releasing that one.

 

A few days later, Wags posted on mudspike, what was along the lines of "MiG-19 isn't under contract yet, but we are looking forward to it become a module provided required quality is displayed, but it doesn't conflict with other future projects unlike the MiG-23".

 

My quote may not be %100 verbatim but, it was along these lines, so who knows, a Flogger may or may not be under development by someone who is not Razbam.

Wishlist: F-4E Block 53 +, MiG-27K, Su-17M3 or M4, AH-1F or W circa 80s or early 90s, J35 Draken, Kfir C7, Mirage III/V

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American-made countermeasure systems that were imbedded into the pylons (eliminating the need for KB pod).

 

Just a Minor Correction there ^^.

 

That American Made Countermeasure system you mentioned.

 

Its not American Its a Swedish Design (Made by Celsius AB)

that was later Exported to other Nations Across the World (Including the US)

Swedish Designation (Designers Designation) was BOL 451

With the US Designation after it was adopted being LAU-138 (if its Implemented into the LAU-7 launcher)

or AN/ALE-58 if its in a LAU-128 launcher.

 

But its a Swedish Design not a US one ^^.


Edited by mattebubben
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Just a Minor Correction there ^^.

 

That American Made Countermeasure system you mentioned.

 

Its not American Its a Swedish Design (Made by Celsius AB)

that was later Exported to other Nations Across the World (Including the US)

Swedish Designation (Designers Designation) was BOL 451

With the US Designation after it was adopted being LAU-138 (if its Implemented into the LAU-7 launcher)

or AN/ALE-58 if its in a LAU-128 launcher.

 

But its a Swedish Design not a US one ^^.

 

Woah I forgot. I simply thought it was an American-made system because it was on the tomkitty in the first place. (We tend to always make our parts when it comes to fighters except for radars and some A2G + A2A munitions.

 

Thanks. I should've checked my sources. :thumbup:

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The modifications started in 1991 on the AJ version after that was finished around 1994 the project started modifying the recon variants.

 

Keep in mind that although the F16 got it's MLU update in 1997 that was the same year the JAS 39 Gripen entered service which was much more capable.

Also the AJS is an attack aircraft while the F16 is a multi role aircraft that's 10 years younger.

If anything the JA37D and Di modification of the Viggen Fighter variant Matches up better with the MLU.

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If there had been more money in the 80's and less focus on the Gripen, we could've gotten this truly multi-role Viggen instead, at least ten years earlier:

 

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Among other things, it would have included the same kind of data link as the JA 37 had, but for ground targets too.

 

Full document here, IMG 3865 and on, if you want to dive deeper in the alt-hist swamp. There was a JA37B2 proposal too which was less comprehensive and just added the rb 15.

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Upgrading superfluous Draken aircraft was also studied.

 

An AJ 35 Draken version was studied and it would have been able to carry the RBS15 anti ship missile as well as U22 & KB pods and sidewinders.

The aircraft would have been modified to a load carrying capability similar to the Danish F35's and would also have gotten canards and new outer wings.

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Upgrading superfluous Draken aircraft was also studied.

 

An AJ 35 Draken version was studied and it would have been able to carry the RBS15 anti ship missile as well as U22 & KB pods and sidewinders.

The aircraft would have been modified to a load carrying capability similar to the Danish F35's and would also have gotten canards and new outer wings.

 

F35 not the F-35JSF... the confusion for a minute

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it doesn't seem to be hard to fit modern anti-ship missiles onto aircraft, judging from how the harpoon works in TacPack, which i hope is realistic, all it needs is launch platform with electronics capable of sending data of the missiles flight to the missile, most of the target tracking is done by the missile's radar.

 

In real life situations i expect the distance and coordinates would be given in the briefing so you are able to launch the missile in the general direction.

 

I am almost very sure that the RB-15F will be similar to the Harpoon except you won't be able to tell the missile to fly high, low or skeem the ocean and probably won't be a choice of the range until self destruct and range of missile's radar search.

You do what you can for as long as you can, and when you finally can't, you do the next best thing. You back up but you don't give up. — Chuck Yeager

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it doesn't seem to be hard to fit modern anti-ship missiles onto aircraft, judging from how the harpoon works in TacPack, which i hope is realistic, all it needs is launch platform with electronics capable of sending data of the missiles flight to the missile, most of the target tracking is done by the missile's radar.

 

In real life situations i expect the distance and coordinates would be given in the briefing so you are able to launch the missile in the general direction.

 

I am almost very sure that the RB-15F will be similar to the Harpoon except you won't be able to tell the missile to fly high, low or skeem the ocean and probably won't be a choice of the range until self destruct and range of missile's radar search.

 

Well the Older Rb04E didn't even need a radar to be launched. You just launched on heading, so in essence any aircraft could have carried it.

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it doesn't seem to be hard to fit modern anti-ship missiles onto aircraft, judging from how the harpoon works in TacPack, which i hope is realistic, all it needs is launch platform with electronics capable of sending data of the missiles flight to the missile, most of the target tracking is done by the missile's radar.

 

In real life situations i expect the distance and coordinates would be given in the briefing so you are able to launch the missile in the general direction.

 

I am almost very sure that the RB-15F will be similar to the Harpoon except you won't be able to tell the missile to fly high, low or skeem the ocean and probably won't be a choice of the range until self destruct and range of missile's radar search.

 

harpoon's active radar terminal, so almost anything can carry it as long as it can talk to the missile, has space and can give it an aimpoint.

 

most that would be required probably is distance-to-target, azimuth and attack profile instruction. it's not a complicated missile. obviously though you need a way to detect whatever you're shooting it at.

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