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by The United Kingdom of Goram. . 6 reads.

The Osprey Family of Aircraft

|Royal Navy| Royal Army | Royal Air Force | Royal Space Command | Other Information|

Osprey Family




Types:

  • F.1 - Air Superiority Fighter

  • FGR.1 - Multi-Role

  • ER.1 - Electronic Warfare

Designer: Halcyon Arms

Manufacturer: Optima Defence and Aerospace Ltd

Number built: +1600

First Flight: 18th May 1996

Entry to Service: 30th November 2016

Users: Royal Air Force and Royal Navy

Unit cost:$74-135 million

The Osprey Family, more commonly known in the world as the -60 line, are a group of twin engine, all weather, fifth generation aircraft that fill a number of roles in the United Kingdom's armed services. Designed and sold by Halcyon Arms, it has been built under licence in the United Kingdom by Optima Defence and Aerospace Ltd. Production began in late 2015, with the first examples of the aircraft - FGR.1s - entered service with the Royal Navy in November 2016. The first examples were handed over to the Air Force some months later, in January 2017. In Naval service, the Osprey is pre-eminent and has replaced all other comparable types. In the RAF, whilst other types filling some of the same roles do still exist in service, the Osprey is the most numerous type in front line service.


Contents

    1. Procurement

    2. Design

      General Characteristics
      Cockpit
      Avionics
      Armament
      Powerplant
      Survival

    3. Variants

      F.1
      FGR.1
      ER.1

    4. Service History

    5. General Specifications


Procurement


As early as 1985, the Royal Air Force began to identify a need to eventually replace its stocks of fighter aircraft - then a domestic built version of the McDonnell Douglas Phantom and the Goramite designed D.F. Coe Starlight IV. The move was influenced strongly by worldwide advances in aviation and by Ianderian advances in air defence - notably the acquisition of MiG-29s and the SA-11 surface to air missile. With tensions with the Communist giant at a high point and the unstable nature of the world in general, the Air Force felt it had to ensure its ability to carry out its core missions well into the future. As such, the new aircraft must take advantage of new technologies - some of which were yet to be developed. The aircraft specification called for new, modern engines with the ability to supercruise. It also demanded lightweight but durable building materials, multirole capability, cutting edge avionics and most importantly stealth capability.

In 1988, the specification was formally given to Goramite aerospace firms with the hope of finding an effective winner. Given the scope of the specification and the downturn in Goramite aviation, notable since the purchase of the Phantom, fulfilling Air Force demands was a considerably harder challenge than was envisaged. With numerous failures, the brief was issued to companies around the world.

Several aircraft were being developed at the time, which caught the eye of the Air Force procurement board. Notable amongst these were the machines that would become the URDSAA F-29, the Consortian F-38 and the Lyrian LY910 Shadowhawk. These were all judged to be excellent aircraft and, indeed, the F-29 was bought in small numbers before being passed on to the Commonwealth Air Force. However, none were judged to be quite a fit for what the United Kingdom was looking for. However, the Phathan F-60 series - designed by Halcyon Arms - seemed to tick all the boxes. In 1997, six months after the aircraft's first flight, a deal was struck for an undisclosed sum to allow the United Kingdom a licence to build the F-60B, F-60H and E/A-60D.

The basic design underwent some changes. Domestically produced engines were installed, along with some Goramite avionics packages. The aircraft were also slightly adapted to carry Goramite weapon - newly acquired from URDSAA. However, the Halcyon design largely remains. In 2014 the design was finalised and a contract awarded to Optima Defence and Aerospace, who christened the aeroplane "Osprey" To date, more than 1,400 Osprey family aircraft have been built for the RAF and Royal Navy.


Design


General Characteristics

The Osprey is a fifth generation fighter aircraft, that incorporates stealth characteristics. It is the first aircraft operated by the United Kingdom to do so. The aircraft also incorporates the ability to supercruise, along with supermaneuverability and sensor blending to enhance pilot situational awareness. Flight controls include an all flying tail plane, with canted horizontal stabilisers to reduce radar cross section. Pitch control is provided by small elevators, but augmented by nose mounted canards. Both the tailplane and the canards can turn into the air flow to act as an air brake. The wings of the aircraft are outfitted with leading edge vortex controllers, along with inboard flaperons and outboard ailerons on the trailing edge.

The aeroplane is powered by two Asimov FTF-209, each putting out power in excess of 30,000lbs of thrust. Both engines are equipped with thrust vectoring nozzles that operate in the pitch axis. The ability to vector thrust, along with control surfaces designed to alter the surface area of the wing, allows the Osprey family to operate at very high angles of attack. More over, the aircraft is able to trim itself to hold extreme angles of attack, and very low airspeeds. Full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and an fly by light flight control design philosophy makes the aircraft exceptionally easy to handle, allowing the pilot to focus on fighting rather than the basics of flying.


Cockpit

The Osprey's tandem cockpit was designed from the ground up to give the pilot the maximum possible situational awareness and does so by presenting information in an as easily accessible manner as possible. The pilot is provided with a primary flight display, on a central 10x8 inch liquid crystal screen. The PFD combines some traditional flight instruments, allowing for very easy interpretation of relevant information. Notably, the PFD shows a large artificial horizon with pitch gradients. When making an approach, the PFD will also show vertical and lateral guidance. The primary LCD screen is flanked by two multi-function displays. Controlled by touchscreen with softkey back up, the right MFD is dedicated to weapon control and status. Through the weapon MFD the pilot is able to select and arm any of the onboard armaments. The left mounted MFD is dedicated to the monitoring of aircraft systems. The user is then able to scroll through the various pages and easily monitor the status of the vital systems of the aeroplane.

The aircraft does not have a traditional heads up display. Instead, information from the flight computers is fully integrated and displayed on the visor of the pilot's helmet. The information is seamlessly blended to show altitude, speed and pitch in the usual fashion of a traditional heads up display. Night vision is also selectable. Drawing information from onboard radar, radar warning receivers, IFF systems and data uplink from other aircraft, the helmet is able to accurately display the location of friendly, unfriendly and unknown aircraft. Ground targets may also be illuminated in this fashion. Using this capability, the pilot is able to utilise the onboard weapons and target them simply by looking at it.

The aeroplane is flown from the front cockpit. The primary flight controls are a right hand mounted sidestick, a left hand thrust lever and traditional rudder bars. With proper seat positioning, the flight controls should be extremely easy to use. The sidestick mounts a push to talk button and weapon controls, including a guarded trigger. For long range flights, two auto pilot channels are available along with autothrust and an autoland system for use in poor weather. The automatics draw their information from the flight computers, FADEC, terrain following radar and several others.

The aircraft can be flown from the rear cockpit, however it is highly unusual for this to happen. Rather, the rear cockpit is equipped for a Navigation and Weapons Officer (NWO). The rear cockpit is built around four multi-functional displays. The centre pair are larger, dealing with navigation and radar. Primarily, the navigation display will show a moving map. The outer soft keys on the ND MFD allow the operator to cycle through the map in rose, arc and dedicated terrain following view, along with an ILS page which allows additional situational awareness for the crew whilst making instrument approaches. The second large MFD shows data from the aircraft's nose-mounted radar. The two smaller, outer, MFDs show thermal imaging, FLIR and data from any other air-ground or air-air equipment carried. The NWO wears the same advanced helmet as the pilot.

Other rear cockpit equipment includes a communications panel and electronic warfare equipment. primary flight controls, to be used in an emergency. In order to operate these, the NWO must press a take over button mounted on the side stick. Doing this locks out the front pilot until released. If the button is held for 60 minutes, control reverts to the rear cockpit until the front take over button is pressed. To aid with flying the aircraft, the NWO gets standby instruments.


Avionics

The information avionics carried onboard the Osprey family differs slightly from type to type.

The United Kingdom of Goram

Edited:

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