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Hood
Post subject: Re: Thiarian WingsPosted: December 9th, 2013, 2:07 pm
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A series of great profiles there and its nice to compare the camo schemes, especially on the top-views.

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Hood
Post subject: Re: Thiarian WingsPosted: December 9th, 2013, 2:07 pm
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A series of great profiles there and its nice to compare the camo schemes, especially on the top-views.

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Garlicdesign
Post subject: Re: Thiarian WingsPosted: December 22nd, 2013, 1:45 pm
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Hello everyone!

The Mirage 4000, the second main service combat aircraft of the Thiarian air force between 1983 and 2018, is also the last foreign-designed combat airplane to be commissioned (so far). By the late seventies, the Thiarians were busy designing a fixed-wing derivative of the swing-wing Mirage G.8 they were operating as standard strike-fighter since 1973; they planned to have it ready for series-production by 1980 and use it to replace the unpopular 1969-vintage soviet-supplied Su-15 interceptors which were about to reach the end of their service life after merely 15 years in 1984. The Thiarian Mirage G-derivative SCI TT-A (dubbed Ionadh, meaning 'miracle') differed considerably from her French half-cousins Mirage F.1 and F.8, featuring boxy air intakes and Jaguar-like wings; it was also a fine dogfighter for her size, reportedly able to take on a F-15 if necessary. Construction-wise however, it did not stray much from the 1960s-vintage Mirage G.8, and many feared it might be obsolete by the time it was ready. Shortly after the Ionadh's first flight and in the middle of all discussions about her merits, Dassault got the Mirage 4000 airborne in 1979; unlike the Thiarian machine, the 4000 was a thoroughly modern design at her time featuring fly-by-wire gear, composite materials and advanced aerodynamics using canards to attain a better maneuvrability than all previous delta-winged airplanes. Using their excellent connections to the French, the Thiarians managed to have the single Mirage 4000 prototype flown to their Research and Test center within three months after its first flight. During competitive tests, the Ionadh regularly out-maneuvered the Mirage 4000, but that was as far as her advantages went. The 4000 was faster, had almost twice the range, more than half again the payload, a much better radar and electronics suite, far better growth potential due to modular construction, less than half the maintenance requirements per flight hour and - consequently - needed only half as much down-time between missions. And, if the canards were increased in size and the controls slightly modified, the maneuvrability issue could be tackled as well. Based upon this assessment, the Ionadh project was shut down early in 1981 and an initial batch of 32 Mirage 4000s (12 Mirage 4000CT single-seat fighters optimized for air defence missions and 20 4000ET double-seat trainers) were ordered from Dassault in October of that year. The order virtually saved the entire project, because the French Air Force had not issued any firm requirement for the plane by that time. The Thiarians took delivery of their 4000s between mid-1982 and mid-1983; by that time, negotiations about license-production by the freshly-privatized SCI were almost complete. In March 1983, the Thiarians acquired a license to build 128 further 4000CT single-seat interceptors and 20 additional 4000ET trainers to re-equip their entire air defence force. This huge order finally convinced the other potential customers, who had been reluctant to trust the 4000 so far. Iraq ordered no less than 110 Mirage 4000s (26 4000CQ interceptors, 56 4000AQ single-seat strike fighters and 28 4000EQ trainers) in July 1983, and Egypt followed suit with an order for 40 4000AE single-seat strike-fighters and 12 4000EE trainers in 1985. By 1985, Dassault had finished a two-seat nuclear-capable all-weather bomber version (4000N), which was finally the first version to be adopted by the Armée de'l Air. 80 machines replaced the Mirage IV between 1987 and 1990. When Iraq became unable to pay her 4000s due to the oil price drop after 1984, the French also acquired 18 former Iraqi 4000CQs and 6 4000EQs (the remaining 10 interceptors and 8 trainers were all delivered); of the 4000AQ strike-fighter, only 20 were delivered to Iraq, the other 36 (as well as 12 trainers) were cancelled in 1987 and remained in possession of AMD-BA. 32 4000AQ hulls were modified to 4000D two-seat strike-fighters between 1989 and 1991 and delivered to the Armée de'l Air, which also acquired the trainers, bringing the French total to 148; 28 of the 4000Ns were downgraded to conventional 4000D strike-fighters from 1995. By 2013, the French are busy replacing the 4000s with Rafales, although at a slow rate; the 4000Cs have already been decommissioned, the 4000N will follow till 2015, and only 60 4000Ds and 4000Es are to remain in service with three strike squadrons at least till 2020. The Iraqi 4000s were for all practical purposes wiped out in the first gulf war; about 15 were flown to Iran and scrapped in the early 2000s for lack of spares. 35 of the Egyptian machines are still in service and form two strike squadrons. Thiaria remains the largest user of the Mirage 4000; deliveries of 180 machines were complete in 1990. By 2013, two wings (three 14-plane squadrons and one 12-plane OCU each) between them operate 112 machines (88 4000CTs and 24 4000ETs), with a third wing having been disbanded in 2008. 14 additional Mirage 4000ETs are assigned to the joint-service air combat training center (ICOCA), for a grand total of 126 units in service. The first interceptor squadron is already converting to the successor model SCI TT-F Siolpaire, a stealthy delta-winged fighter with canards which has been ordered by both the Air Force and the Navy to replace first the Mirage 4000 (till 2018) and then the Siolpaire (till 2025).

Mirage 4000CT - Thiarian Air Force
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Mirage 4000ET - Thiarian Air Force
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Mirage 4000AQ - Iraqi Air force
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Mirage 4000AE - Egyptian Air Force
[ img ]

Greetings
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Hood
Post subject: Re: Thiarian WingsPosted: December 22nd, 2013, 2:36 pm
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Great work, the Mirage 4000 looks good in any colours!

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Thiel
Post subject: Re: Thiarian WingsPosted: December 22nd, 2013, 3:02 pm
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You seem to have lost the credits in the first two drawings.

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eswube
Post subject: Re: Thiarian WingsPosted: December 22nd, 2013, 4:35 pm
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Excellent work!


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Trojan
Post subject: Re: Thiarian WingsPosted: December 22nd, 2013, 7:43 pm
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As always, amazing job!

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Garlicdesign
Post subject: Re: Thiarian WingsPosted: December 23rd, 2013, 10:03 pm
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Thiel wrote:
You seem to have lost the credits in the first two drawings.
Thanks. Edited.

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Garlicdesign
Post subject: Re: Thiarian WingsPosted: December 25th, 2013, 6:46 am
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Hello again!

The next revamp of an old pencil drawing, a crude attempt of mine at a 5th generation fighter:

SCI TT-F Asarlai (Warlock)

In 1998, the Thiarian Air Force's Mirage 4000s were in service since 15 years. Their designed service life was 30 years, and when one considered the time necessary to nurture a modern fighter design (the F-22 had its first flight in 1990 and was still way shy of production readiness), it was about time to launch a successor project. The Thiarian Navy also was seeking a replacement for their TT-C Siolpaire, whose service life was calculated at only 25 years due to the strain of carrier operations they performed. Both services wanted a full-fledged 5th generation fighter with complete stealth capability, super-maneuvrability and supercruise, arguing that any compromise in terms of performance to save cost would render the entire project a complete waste of money. The navy also stated tight maximum size and weight figures to enable the new plane to operate from the existing carriers LT Treighdin and LT Oirion, which were designed for a service life of 50 years; the new fighter thus would have to mirror the F-22s performance at considerably less weight and size. To avoid speed up development, the land version without carrier operation capability would be developed first, with the carrier version to follow later. SCI, being the only Thiarian company with the necessary technology, secured a development contract in 1999, but warned the government early on that development cost of such a plane would amount to $30 billion at least, plus production expenses; the envisaged fly-away cost of no more than $ 100 million per unit could only be achieved if at least 600 planes were produced. This considerably exceeded Thiaria's needs; in 2000, the Air Force operated some 300 combat aircraft and the Navy 120, and the Air Force's Siolpaires were still fairly new and would not need replacement anytime soon. Despite these warnings, development was launched in 2000. When a first prototype was rolled out in 2007 - at that time the project had already eaten up $ 5 billion - it roused great international interest. It was not quite an F-22 equivalent, but came close enough to the F-35A at much shorter development time and project cost. It featured a delta-winged shape with canards and thrust-vector control, providing supreme maneuvrability; it was not quite as stealthy as the F-22 due to its more conventional engine exhausts, but more stealthy than anything else including the F-35. Range was less than the F-22's (radius of action 900 km) and speed about the same (Mach 1,8 top and Mach 1,4 supercruise). Air-to-Air capability (AESA radar and internal space for up to six Super Mica BVRAAMs) was state of the art, but there was no significant air-to-ground capability. Three stealthy multipurpose pods can be carried; each can hold up to two Mica or Meteor BVRAAMs (or additional fuel, or photo and radar recce gear). At that time, the Eurofighter Typhoon programme had run into trouble due to delays, cost overruns and reliability issues (all of them direct results of attempts to cut cost which had resulted in the exact opposite); especially Germany wanted to terminate further procurement sooner rather than later. With their Tornadoes nearing the end of their service life, Germany's decision to cut Typhoon procurement to 140 would have reduced their air force to fourth-rate status by 2020, but joining the SCI TT-F programme offered a plausible replacement option for the Tornado and a good excuse to push expenses for new airplanes ten years forward on the time-scale. With the Spaniards facing a similar problem with their F/A-18As, both countries announced they would join the TT-F project in 2007, providing vital funding without which the project might well have died. They based their specification upon the land-based version, however required modifications for their primarily air-to ground and recce mission requirements; full BVR air-to-air capability was dropped, and stealthier exhausts without thrust-vector control were added. With EADS on the boat, the project gained credibility, and other potential customers emerged. Finland showed interest in a dedicated interceptor version, Poland in a specialized strike airplane (like the Germans and Spaniards). Both countries had already purchased the TT-C Siolpaire and trusted SCI to provide a worthy successor (the Finns for the Siolpaire itself, Poland for both the MiG-29 and the Su-22). When the Thiarian Air Force finally decided to replace their Siolpaire strike-fighters as well from 2022 with at least 120 additional planes, series production of 600 planes (300 for Thiaria, 120 for Germany, 80 for Spain, 50 for Finland and 50 for Poland) in a 15-year period between 2012 and 2027 was finally secured. Although the Spaniards are hard pressed by the Euro-crisis and fly-away cost per unit has risen to $ 135 million (remarkably, still less than the badly mismanaged Typhoon), they have not yet opted out of the project; neither have the Poles although they really can't afford such an expensive plane (the Thiarian government will probably aid them, as they have done to secure the Siolpaire deal too). On the other hand, Australia and Canada are reconsidering the F-35 since 2012 due to delays and cost overruns and are seriously considering the TT-F as an alternative; Taiwan also showed interest. In 2013, South Korea announced that the TT-F is best suited to their needs under the KF-X programme and entered negotiations to gain a production license. Meanwhile, flight testing of the Thiarian Air Force version proceeded between 2008 and 2011; in 2010, a pre-series of four single-seaters and eight twin-seaters was ordered, which were delivered from 2012 through 2013 and assigned to an active Interceptor squadron. A flight of four machines reported to have reached IOC late in 2013, although at that time they were neither cleared for aerial refueling nor for the use of BVRAAMs. Full series production for the Air force commenced in 2013, with the first series machines to be delivered in 2014; it is expected the first refitted squadron will achieve FOC somewhere during 2015. These dates will be considerably pushed forward if Canada, Australia or Taiwan purchase the TT-F, because planes for such customers would likely be diverted from production for Thiaria in order to ensure quick delivery (before the customers think twice about the deal). The Thiarian Navy is currently performing carrier trials with their prototypes; as soon as they are complete in 2015, series production will commence, with the first squadron to become operational in 2017 or 2018. The carrier version features strengthened structure, modified stealthy weapons pods (these can hold not only AAMs, but alternatively two 250kg or one 1.000kg guided bomb each) and the possibility to carry two ANL supersonic sea-skimming ASMs externally. The EADS version for Germany and Spain - it will be assembled in Germany, marketed under the name Spectre and provide the basis for the Polish order, with the Finnish machines to be built in Thiaria - had its first flight early in 2013, with the test programme scheduled to start in 2015 and series production in 2020. That machine features new exhausts (reducing noise and IR-signature to the lowest level of any military airplane in existence, but also reducing maneuvrability and cutting supercruise speed from Mach 1,4 to Mach 1,2) and a fully capable air-to-ground weapon system including four instead of two underwing weapons stations for one KEPD-350 Taurus ASM each (the stealthy weapons pods of the Thiarian naval version can also be used). Total cost of the programme has reached $ 20 billion in 2013; the fly away cost of the Thiarian air force interceptors currently stands at $ 135 million, the naval multirole fighters will cost $ 180 million apiece and the bomber version probably $ 150 million - if numbers are not cut.

SCI TT-F Asarlai single seat prototype (2007)
[ img ]

SCI TT-F Asarlai double seat prototype (2008)
[ img ]

SCI TT-F Asarlai naval multirole version, for the Thiarian Navy (2015)
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SCI TT-F Asarlai interceptor version, for the Thiarian Air Force (2012), Finland (2022) and (likely) South Korea (not before 2018); possible Canadian and Australian multirole machines will likely be based upon this version with upgrades to ensure full air-to-ground capabilities
[ img ]

SCI-EADS Spectre strike-fighter version, for the Thiarian Air Force (2022), Germany (not before 2020), Spain (ditto) and Poland (2024)
[ img ]

Greetings
GD


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Rhade
Post subject: Re: Thiarian WingsPosted: December 25th, 2013, 7:18 am
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Those camos are insane, insane!

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