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

xyxmt

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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.
hmmm lets see, maybe because when It was designed JF was not in pictures
 

ziaulislam

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Great thread, topics like these reflect the spirit of what this forum should be known for. Kudos, @JamD !

As I said previously, since I don't have much knowledge of both Ra'ad's dimensions and JF-17's hard-point limitations, I cannot comment on it with certainty. But what I am certain of is that both the strategic planners of these weapons systems and their end-users are aware that Mirages will be phased out, sooner or later. Therefore, Ra'ad will be made compatible with JF-17s as it is going to be the main workhorse of PAF.

Right now, IMO either of the following can be true:

1. The analysis regarding the dimensions of Ra'ad is a bit flawed, the author might have overlooked some critical parameter. Ra'ad in its present form poses no problems for JF-17 integration as far as physical parameters are concerned.
2. The analysis is correct, however an easier fix in the form of fold-able fins will solve the problem.

P.S. those who believe JF-17 will not assume strategic roles are gravely mistaken.
point is jf-17 doesnt has the strategic role for now given we have 70+ mirages

they will get it by 2025

my hunch is raad can be carried but if not, fix will be very easy
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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point is jf-17 doesnt has the strategic role for now given we have 70+ mirages

they will get it by 2025

my hunch is raad can be carried but if not, fix will be very easy
According to the PAF Book for 1998-2008, the J-10A/FC-20 was sought to fulfill the strike role (it's stated plainly, with 'strike' explicitly mentioned).

Ultimately, if the day comes that the PAF's Mirages just cannot fly and a gap is in place between that day and when Project Azm comes online, I think the PAF will just acquire the J-10 (ideally, the J-10C if AVIC gets approval to export it).
 

ziaulislam

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According to the PAF Book for 1998-2008, the J-10A/FC-20 was sought to fulfill the strike role (it's stated plainly, with 'strike' explicitly mentioned).

Ultimately, if the day comes that the PAF's Mirages just cannot fly and a gap is in place between that day and when Project Azm comes online, I think the PAF will just acquire the J-10 (ideally, the J-10C if AVIC gets approval to export it).
this is true, the only reason why it may not happen is if block 3 evovles on the same line as gripen, i.e new engine and CFTs/increase range makes it a decent alternative..if JF-17b3 attains 70% of j-10 range/payload it should be fine given the ever shrinking funding... though its not an optimal delta wing aircraft

whether mirage2000 used will ever be sought is an interesting question..probably not given its lack of spares in the future will create a problem
 

Umair Nawaz

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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.

View attachment 313925

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.
View attachment 313923

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
what we should do is we need to develop an export version of Raad, and market it and sell it.......It will help financially with further development of Raad
 

YeBeWarned

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Ultimately, if the day comes that the PAF's Mirages just cannot fly and a gap is in place between that day and when Project Azm comes online, I think the PAF will just acquire the J-10 (ideally, the J-10C if AVIC gets approval to export it).
You think PAF is still trying to get J-10's ? I thought that supposed deal is dead
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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You think PAF is still trying to get J-10's ? I thought that supposed deal is dead
The PAF would never tolerate a gap in an already gained strategic element. Either the JF-17 is configured to carry the Ra'ad ALCM (or some other nuclear-capable LACM) OR an interim platform is acquired to bridge the loss of the Mirages and Project Azm. IMO that bridge can be the Su-35, J-10 OR FC-31. In 2016, IHS Jane's said the PAF had sought an interim platform (ahead of Project Azm/FGF), 30-40 aircraft. The Su-35 and J-10 were candidates.
 

Armchair-General

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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.

View attachment 313914

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:

View attachment 313915

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.
View attachment 313924
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).

View attachment 313917

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.

View attachment 313918

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.

View attachment 313919

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).



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.

View attachment 313921

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.
Wow
 

Goku-kun

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i don't know why but it's not counted in top 10 cruise missile list anywhere even Turkey's SOM is counted which is a good cruise missile but i don't think that it matches with RAAD because RAAD is nuclear too and by characteristics it appears to be better than other cruise missiles like storm shadow etc..
 

MastanKhan

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Mastan Khan, again this is your opinion. The policy and doctrine of PAF may not be determined by the public, and the government, but only by the professionals who understand the implications of the policy and doctrine. Are fisherman making financial policy? Is state bank being run by the people or economists? Is national bank being run by milkmen? In your hate for the armed forces, and your particular acerbity for the airforce, you allow your head to go back in the crevice without any sunshine.

However, you can have your right of an opinion, no matter how ridiculous it maybe.

Hi,

Fishermen don't make financial polices---but war is something different---. A war and war strategy is part of the psyche of a human being---it is a part of our genetic make up---.

The greatest warrior and general of all time Subotai Bahadur was just an ordinary man---son of a blacksmith---but had an extraordinary talent of stretgy and tactics in combat---. His tactics and strategy made the mongols conquer the largest empire the world has ever seen.
 
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Hi,

Fishermen don't make financial polices---but war is something different---. A war and war strategy is part of the psyche of a human being---it is a part of our genetic make up---.

The greatest warrior and general of all time Subotai Bahadur was just an ordinary man---son of a blacksmith---but had an extraordinary talent of stretgy and tactics in combat---. His tactics and strategy made the mongols conquer the largest empire the world has ever seen.
But you are an ordinary man with often ill-sighted opinions about strategy.
 
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To judge someone you first need to establish your own credentials... or what you say about others then also holds true about your opinion of others
But we are all ordinary people, judging other ordinary people. In this case, my judgment is based on his caustic, acerbic, biased remarks about serving uniformed officers, whom he considers less patriotic and less intelligent than himself. I can guarantee you, anyone who adopts this kind of abhorrible attitude in front of me will find me on his case. With vengeance.
 

Salza

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Raad was and still is Pakistani strategic weapon. I just can't believe JF17 engineers didn't bring Raad into consideration while designing the plane. Soon we won't be having a plane to deliver that weapon as Mirages are already running out of their age and getting retired.
 

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