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Featured Anatomy of the Hatf-VIII Ra’ad Air Launched Cruise Missile

Discussion in 'Pakistan Strategic Forces' started by JamD, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. JamD

    JamD FULL MEMBER

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    Introduction
    The Ra’ad Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) is a peculiar system. It has long been rumored that it is too big to be carried by anything but the Mirage aircraft of the PAF. The purpose of this article is twofold: understand the design decisions made while designing the Ra’ad and what can be done to evolve the design. Hopefully, by the end we will appreciate why the Ra’ad is the way it is and try to think of ways to evolve it.

    Basics
    Weight
    At 1,100 kg the Ra’ad is a rather heavy air launched weapon. However heavier ALCMs exist (Storm Shadow, Taurus) and are carried by aircraft with less clearances than the Mirage. Weight is not the key issue here.

    Size
    The Ra’ad is a significantly large missile. The following drawing has been made after many pixel-counting exercises and is a good ballpark estimate of its size.

    raad3viw.png

    DISCLAIMER: Pixel counting by its nature is inaccurate and these numbers could be off by up to 10%. Nonetheless these numbers give us valuable insight which we previously lacked.

    Role
    The Ra’ad is designed with a payload of 450 kg. This suggests that it is primarily designed to carry a nuclear payload or a large conventional payload against hardened targets. This differentiates the Ra’ad from other smaller stand-off weapons like the SOM, H-2/H-3, JSOW. Perhaps the most similar system to the Ra’ad is the AGM-158 JASSM picture below:

    Agm-158_JASSM.jpg

    The JASSM is a 1000 kg system with a payload of 450 kg as well.

    Design of the Ra’ad
    A casual glance at the Ra’ad shows the “simple is better” approach being employed to the fullest. It is perhaps the most basic design one would come up with for a 1,100 kg ALCM. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Being the first ALCM designed by AWC it makes sense to start off with the basics.

    The fuselage has a square cross section allowing easier manufacturing and at the same time reducing the height for the same volume (only slightly).

    Another upside to using a rectangular cross section is that it reduces the tail area needed for stability (more on this later).

    Issues
    Probably the biggest issue people have with the Ra’ad is that it is too tall and wide to fit under most aircraft operated by the PAF. I will now attempt to break down why this is so.

    As pointed out earlier the Ra’ad is a very large and heavy system even though it needs to fly like an aircraft. The reason aircraft have a vertical tail now comes into effect. Ideally speaking we want any small disturbances in the desired trajectory of flight to be taken care of “naturally” by the design of the aircraft. I will try to explain how this is achieved by the vertical tail as simply as I can to make it accessible to most of our readers. This is called positive stability.
    stabilty.png
    An effect similar to the tail is provided by the fuselage with respect to yaw stability. A square fuselage provides more of this effect.

    Roll Damping
    As one would imagine the heavier the aircraft the more tail and wing area is required for “enough” positive stability. The Ra’ad is a heavy aircraft with very small wings so roll damping is small. This would mean for enough roll damping the designers have to compensate with more tail area in the form of ventral fins. The farther away they are from the center of mass of the missile the better they will perform as they produce more moment for the same area. It is for this reason they extend below the fuselage (in contrast to the vertical tail that are in line with the fuselage).

    rolldamp.png

    As the above image illustrates the vertical tail adds little or no roll damping and it is for this reason two ventral fins are there (among other reasons).

    Yaw Stability
    Yaw stability is provided by the vertical tails. It is evident that because of the mass of the missile a large vertical tail area is needed which is provided by two vertical tails.

    yaw.png

    The JASSM on the other hand employs one rather large vertical tail.

    Pitch Stability and Authority
    For very similar reasons an aircraft also needs a horizontal tail for stability. On top of that it needs it to have authority over pitch of the aircraft. Again the heavy weight of the Ra’ad means rather large horizontal tails are needed which make the missile 1.25 meters wide.

    Reasons for Large Mass
    The above argument begs the question why is the Ra’ad such a heavy system for the capability it provides.

    Ra’ad
    1100 kg
    350 km range
    4.88 m length
    450 kg payload

    JASSM
    1021 kg
    1000 km range (ER version)
    4.27 m length
    450 kg payload

    The reasons for this can be only speculated but I suspect that:

    1. The Powerplant being used is heavy and inefficient compared to JASSM (definitely true).

    2. The subsystems are not evolved enough to be compact and light. These include INS systems, hydraulics/pneumatics/electric actuators.

    3. The subsystems are not designed or modified for the Ra’ad to save costs and therefore pack poorly inside the missile.

    Geometry
    All this brings us to the issue of integration on PAF platforms.

    mirage3view.png

    The Mirage 3 can easily carry the Ra’ad ALCM and most importantly the addition of the cruise missile does not decrease the maximum permissible rotation angle (highlighted in red).

    [​IMG]

    The situation is very bad with regards to the JF-17. The maximum permissible rotation angle is halfed and there is very little clearane with the ground. This makes it all but impossible for the JF-17 to carry the Ra’ad on its centerline hardpoint.

    Perhaps it is also important to consider whether the wing hard point can carry the Ra’ad.

    LAOYN.jpg

    Even though vertical clearances are taken care of but the Ra’ad is so wide that it will interfere with the landing gear/ventral fin of the JF-17 and possibly any weapon system mounted on the hardpoint next to it.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
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  2. JamD

    JamD FULL MEMBER

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    The Future
    Having discussed what the Ra’ad is, let’s move to what Ra’ad could or should become.

    1. Depending on whether the PAF prefers to carry a single Ra’ad on the centerline hardpoint or two on the wing hardpoints I propose the following easy modifications to reduce the height/width of the missile when mounted.

    raadDesigns.png

    2. Develop Ra’ad Lite (as suggested by @Quwa). Reduce the payload to 300 kg and everything else should reduce accordingly. This should be a more manageable size for an ALCM with JF-17.

    3. If it is absolutely vital for the strategic planners that an ALCM with a 450 kg payload be carried by a JF-17 then add artificial stability using drag devices and an advanced control system. This is what is done for ‘tail-less’ aircraft like the B-2 Spirit and numerous UCAVs. This is an expensive and long-term option that will also give AWC some additional expertise in differential braking that should prove useful in future UAV/UCAV development. Unfortunately, this will be expensive and require a complex control system with a drag penalty incurred by differential braking.
    design3.png

    Conclusion
    In its current form the Ra’ad ALCM cannot be carried by the JF-17 according to my analysis. Fortunately some modifications may allow the JF-17 to carry the Ra’ad which I have described. Some of the modifications I have suggested are simple to implement and it is upto the PAF higher command on how far they want to let the Ra’ad evolve before going for a new ALCM altogether.

    @MastanKhan @Tempest II
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
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  3. Salza

    Salza SENIOR MEMBER

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    In short, waste of a missile with current design. This is what the article is implying. Probably Raad will be retired as well with their only delivery systems in PAF that is Mirage 3s. We would had tested raad version 2 by now if we were considering it for future. Jf17 block 1 and 2 doesn't have the capability to carry Raad and most probably block 3 wouldn't have either.
     
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  4. war&peace

    war&peace ELITE MEMBER

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    This missile has been made like a tank. MDO can result reduce a lot of weight penalty. Engine is still under development so it will take some time before we can see a significant boost in the range. Yes it mainly developed with nukes in mind though it has conventional warhead for anti-ship role. Initially it used to have dorsal fins for lateral stability but it was dropped in later iterations. Its navigation and guidance systems are as modern and sophisticated as it gets so that's a strong area. However a lot of refinement will be seen in later iterations/blocks.

    Not exactly JF-17 can carry it under wings. However basically it is not the Ra'ad's fault but the issue of shorts legs on the carrying platform, however this will be addressed by Ra'ad-II. This is one of few system which we can produly claim as totally indigenous from conceptual design to the final development.
     
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  5. Salza

    Salza SENIOR MEMBER

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    How can you claim it as indigenous when it cannot be launched from more than one type of fighter plane in PaF inventory. Had it been our complete design, we would had kept atleast JF17s in mind as JF17 project was started in early 2000s. Either JF17 team was complete oblivion to this missile or the Pakistani engineers of Raad.
     
  6. war&peace

    war&peace ELITE MEMBER

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    JF-17 has shorter legs but that's not what PAF declared prior to the development of Ra'ad however it is not big deal as it can be fixed later on.
     
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  7. Salza

    Salza SENIOR MEMBER

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    We have around 65 JF17s at the moment. Few planes could had been modified accordingly if it wasn't such a big deal. Anyways I hope PAF gets over it and becomes capable enough to use Raad in any situation.
     
  8. thrilainmanila

    thrilainmanila BANNED

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    Its.a joke when PAF officials go abroad and play the choore salesman in these airdhows advertising weapons like raad which it cant possibly carry the JF17 needs to be redesigned it has design limitations, there is a reason why only 1 nation outside pakistan has purchased this machine

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Tipu7

    Tipu7 SENIOR MEMBER

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    I believe over size due to presence of Vertical stabilizer and tail can be addressed by using retractable Fins and tails.
    Just like we see in case of ATGM fired through pod or launcher, the moment they are fired, wings and fin tail opens to glide the missile towards its target under the control of guidance system.

    Same can be done in case of Raad. At least it will make it possible to be carried under the wings if not fuselage with out changing remaining dimensions of missile......

    @Oscar @Quwa @Blue Marlin

    RAAD will be integrated to Jf17, ultimately.
    And Raad is NOT for export.
    And there are TWO nation with confirmed order and THREE more which can purchase this aircraft......
     
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  10. Quwa

    Quwa Research Partner

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    I don't have much to add, but we need to remember, the Ra'ad is principally for strategic - i.e. nuclear - strike. While a great conventional munition, the PAF is not factoring the Ra'ad in as a conventional stand-off weapon (SOW). This is important. If the Ra'ad is not a conventional SOW, then the need for the JF-17 to be armed with it (for the time being) is not that urgent. Yes, the JF-17 needs conventional SOWs, but it can make due with H-2/H-4 and glide-bomb variants of the Mk-83 and Mk-84. The Mirages have to go eventually, and in light of that, a Ra'ad II and/or new fighter platform could rise, but that is many years away.
     
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  11. Tipu7

    Tipu7 SENIOR MEMBER

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    How about splitting the idea of Raad into two different routes.

    One for developing a heavy, long range and super sonic cruise missile for tactical strikes. Meant to be used from heavy aircraft (Su35 suppose)

    And one for developing a light, medium range sub sonic conventional stand of missile which can be armed with HE war head or even with anti radiation seeker for SEAD missions. Meant to be used from entire Fleet of F16 & Jf17......

     
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  12. DESERT FIGHTER

    DESERT FIGHTER ELITE MEMBER

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    I'm more interested to see a Babur or Raad based ASM ...

    Is there any work being done on that ? Can we expect a homegrown ASM ?


    Also any info on the "Zarb" ASM coastal battery?

    Raad or any missile with a range of over 300 km can't be marketed or sold... So now PAF officials aren't joking or even offering RAAD to potential customers.


    Your posts are pathetic and usually claims full of shyt debunked a billion times .. From JF not being able to carry ASMs like C series or CM-400 to other undiluted crap.


    As for JF.. If the reports are true .. That's 2 customers for JF... That's 3 nations operating our machine !

    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
     
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  13. JamD

    JamD FULL MEMBER

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    Just to tease the fanboys, there are at least two air launched weapons program being worked upon right now. The Ra'ad isn't the end of the line rather the beginning.

    Also as Quwa pointed out quite rightly the Ra'ad is not made for the standoff role but primarily deployed as a strategic weapon. There are standoff weapons being developed and you will just have to trust me on that.
     
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  14. Tipu7

    Tipu7 SENIOR MEMBER

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    It was mentioned by @Bilal Khan 777 also ....
    I am happy that Pakistan took both routes,
    To develop tactical nuclear ALCM & Conventional stand off ALCM.....
     
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  15. Quwa

    Quwa Research Partner

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    I think it's an issue of gains versus costs. I don't think a smaller - conventionally-focused - Ra'ad is an unreasonable project, but it would still be an expensive missile. At best, you could tip it off with a high explosive warhead, but it'd be good for taking out hardened structures and high-value targets (e.g. radars). However, how much of a boost would that be compared to H-4 (120km) or perhaps even its evolution the Denel Raptor III (290km)? Such a Ra'ad would fetch you longer range and terrain hugging, but how many of our critical targets will be that deep in Indian territory?

    In my opinion, the impetus for a Ra'ad II and/or Ra'ad Lite (i.e. smaller and lighter) will be determined by the availability - or lack thereof - of another platform. If the JF-17 has to take on a strategic deterrent role, then it needs an ALCM. If that ALCM can be built in anticipation of the next-gen fighter too, then all the better. From where I am standing, further Ra'ad development is very, very likely (no *verifiable* new platform on the horizon).
     
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