Zhuhai: Unusual Models on Display

November 16, 2010

The Airshow China typically has its collection of interesting models. Here’s a few of the concepts that are perhaps a bit further from representing a real military threat to anyone, but are fun to look at nonetheless.

The first is from Avicopter. It has no name and details are scant, but it’s a fun concept to look at:

Second is the wing folding unmanned aircraft, the ASN-213 from the Xi’an ASN Technology Group:

And the ASN-211 flapping wing air vehicle, of a mere 220 grams, with a span of 600 mm.


ASQ-236 Unveiled

November 9, 2010

The U.S. Air Force recently unveiled the ASQ-236, a previously classified radar pod for the F-15E:

(Photo: USAF)

What is not quite clear is what special capabilities the system offers beyond the all-weather capability. One theory is it may have counter-IED uses, although that would not have been a primary mission given development began before that threat was front-and-center on the minds of military planners. So perhaps the real value is simply the high-resolution synthetic aperture radar capabilities.

Here’s the USAF write up for the system:

U.S. Air Force Fact Sheet


An/ASQ-236 Radar Pod

The AN/ASQ-236 Radar Pod contains synthetic aperture radar that provides detailed maps for surveillance, coordinate generation and bomb impact assessment purposes. This technology provides Combat Air Forces with the ability to precisely geo-locate points of interest and conduct surveillance activities day or night, in adverse weather conditions.

Operational on the F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft, the AN/ASQ-236 pod system is externally mounted and fully integrated with the aircraft. The radar pod is a self-contained system consisting of an antenna, inertial navigation system, and environmental cooling system. The antenna is attached to a positioner plate that allows it to move about the roll axis.

The pod design also incorporates a fully automated built-in-test, or BIT, that indicates the health of the system to the operator and maintenance crews. The BIT allows fault isolation to the line-replaceable module level enabling high system availability.

Recognizing the need for an all-weather precision geo-location and reconnaissance system with the reliability and performance inherent in Active Electronically Scanned Array radars, the U.S. Air Force with Northrop Grumman embarked on a program in the late 1990s to design, fabricate, test and field a unique radar system known as the AN/ASQ-236.

Information concerning the design, development, and production of the ASQ-236 is classified to protect critical technologies and improved operational capabilities. By leveraging the technology development associated with the F-22 Raptor, the release of this new sensor will enhance all-weather precision geo-location and provide greater surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities supporting current and future operations.

General Characteristics
Primary function:
Precision geo-location and non-traditional intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance
Prime Contractor: Northrop Grumman Corporation
Length: 130 inches (3.302 meters)
Diameter: 20 inches (0.508 meters)
Weight: 1, 000 pounds (454 kilograms)
Aircraft: F-15E
Date Deployed: June 2009
Inventory: Classified

Point of Contact
96th Air Base Wing, Public Affairs Office, 101 West D Avenue, Suite 109; Eglin AFB, FL 32542; 850-882-3931.

Unusual Aircraft: C-12J

November 9, 2010

Check out this specially modified Beech 1900C, with two pylons and bomb rack:

(Photo: USAF)

The C-12J belongs to the USAF’s 586th Flight Test Sq. and is used for weapons testing.

The system was first used to support development of the Laser Maverick.