C-34 HäYHä | STOVL STRIKE FIGHTER
The New Hayesalian Navy possess a fleet of Häyhä STOVL aircraft, used only upon the Poseidon and Triton class submarines. The New Hayesalian Navy required a STOVL aircraft for submarine use, the Häyhä providing the Navy an optimal choice.
After the Anarcho-Stalinist war, the potential conflicts the Confederacy of Third Spanish States would face would become increasingly challenging, should they happen, putting the RAF (Revolutionary Air Force) to its limits as the new potential hostiles had a much greater number of aircrafts and technological parity. Thus, the C-34 was developed as a heavy, twin-seater stealth, short take-off and vertical landing, dedicated air superiority fighter with decent ground attack and anti-shipping capabilities, a complement for the fast, reliable and cost-effective CL-32 Buitre, which remains as the primary interceptor and escort fighter of the Confederacy, to take advantage of the latest developments in hydrogen based propulsion and high-grade targeting systems, and to become a fighter able to achieve air superiority against superior numbers and excessive launches of missiles, by offering more options for those competent enough to deploy superior tactics with its increased targeting, electronic defense and navigational capabilities.
The C-34 is arguably one of the most unorthodox designs which ended successful ever done in the Confederacy, even though AEROCON military aviation engineers never have been keen on simply going with the "tried and tested". While most airplanes are developed to pack a limited amount of control surfaces for maneuvering, considering the challenges of controlling too many of them, the C-34 packs elevons, ruddervators, canards and vectored thrust. Likewise, its wing is inclined in an uncommon manner. Its large, swept outer tip is inclined slightly downwards(anhedral), while its diamond wing like inner section is inclined upwards(dihedral), in a configuration somewhat similar to that used by the XP-56 Black Bullet prototype.
Its primary avionics capabilities, among which new and old, mostly unexplored concepts have been used, lie in the ability to automatically deploy countermeasures and launch ADM-141C ITALD missiles, to lock and launch missiles against up to four different air targets, one naval and one ground target, in its extremely effective gun system, which is practical during short range engagements, and in its Tactical Hostile Detection Range Analyzer, able of predicting and displaying to the pilot the approximated 3D cones of detection of enemy radars, and the probability of the C-34 being detected at a given moment.
Like the old Battle of Britain and the recent Battle of Spain have proved, air superiority cannot be won by only sheer number of airplanes, and even a numerically inferior force can succeed given tactical excellence, better pilots and superior technology. However, no matter how the CL-32 have proved its effectiveness as a fast-response air superiority fighter during the conflict, it still have demonstrated to be limited on prolonged engagements or more significantly disputed aerial sectors due to its limited payload, one of the trades-off for its superb speed and agility, and although excelling even in conditions of being outnumbered from at least 2:1 to 10:1 due to the focus of the previously engaged hostile air forces on quantity over quality, it rarely faced a true 5th generation fighter in combat during the entirety of the Anarcho-Stalinist War, and on both cases, it was never outnumbered by its counterparts that could be considered technologically equal. Although its performance was as expectable as that of a technologically similar air superiority fighter against a multi-role would be, the CL-32 have proved during the conflict to be as as effective at interception as it was at air superiority, despite not packing the same speed of fully dedicated interceptors, while being superb at the escort role, and thus was reclassified as an escort fighter / interceptor, after the war.
With the new strategic considerations, the need for a fully dedicated air superiority fighter has become significant, and while the speed and logistical flexibility of the CL-32 allows for it to maintain tactical and operational numerical superiority, one of the primary reasons for its success against air forces which would outnumber Confederacy fighters at up to 50:1 in a strategical standpoint, a fighter able to maintain engagement for longer periods of time, with a better maneuverability and with a larger payload would serve as the perfect complement for the CL-32. And thus the development of a new fighter which would excel at where the CL-32 was limited rather than replace it was suggested by the MilNet personell. However, such air superiority fighter, like the CL-32, would have to be built with one consideration in mind: the high likelihood of the enemy fighter outnumbering it at least strategically, which means such fighter would have to be built with enough combat capabilities to excel, given properly trained pilots and competent tacticians to take full advantage of it, against uneven odds.
The project was fittingly named C-34 Häyhä(3 - Air Superiority; 4 - Heavy), in homage to a man who so far remains as the greatest sniper in history, for like such man did, its role is to defend the freedom of the Confederacy skies against hordes of invaders which would drastically outnumber it, and prevail. No matter how Utopian would be to achieve the same 705:0 kill ratio that the man whose surname was given to the project's fighter is, the C-34 was planned to pack capabilities which in skilled and talented hands could perhaps give a brief return to the tales of legendary fighter pilots succeeding against all odds, like James H Howard, meaning in turn that despite all automated systems and capabilities, it would need to have a much greater capability of absorbing the pilot skill into its operational performance than most existing fighters.
One of its chosen basis was a scaled down prototype for a future fighter done by the United States a long time ago, known as the X-36, a future highly maneuverable tailless fighter never conceived by the original creators of the idea. Unlike the X-36 however, it was decided that the increased benefits of maneuverability given by a tail would be more relevant than the reduced radar cross section of a tailless airplane for its purpose, and thus a V-tail, which offers the lowest possible RCS of all existing tail configurations was employed, while a completely different wing configuration was taken to allow it to have superb maneuverability. The other two main focus of the project were the development of a viable hydrogen-fueled turbofan, even if arguably crude and less-than-optimal, due to technological limitations that are predicted to take decades to be overcome, while still having comparable performance to a conventionally fueled one, and of new avionics systems which would increase its operational capability of dealing with numerically superior forces. A secondary and quite ambitious goal was to have its gun system as more than a mere afterthought and a viable weapon system to finish off what would remain from beyond visual range engagements and even allowing its short range missiles to be saved in some situations, coupled with a fighter that could effectively dogfight in the rare occasions it may become necessary.
However, the most important priority of the project was to ensue it would be worth every penny its construction would require once finished, by proving itself able to overcome and overwhelm every possible cheap "quantity over quality" alternative through the same avionics improvements that sought to reduce the disadvantage posed by mere numerical superiority, coupled with all tactics and operational procedures learned from nearly an year of conflicts at such conditions.
Should AEROCON ever resort to a widely used, conventional and ubiquitous airframe which would save much aerodynamics testing for one of their airplanes, then it such fact would be a true omen of the end of the world, for as a very justification for its obsession on having every single airplane of the Confederacy natively built, coupled with the bureaucracy-free ingeniousity of its engineers, it has explored concepts which are either barely explored in the past, completely new or common, except for the type of airplane where the AEROCON has chosen to employ them, while managing to fit them nearly perfectly on the operational requirements of the projects they develop, even when more conventional approaches were considered.
Regardless, the demanding needs of the C-34 project wouldn't be achieved by resorting to tried and tested choices instead of seeking to exploit new potential possibilities which were canceled in other civilizations or simply unexplored further due to inertia. A natural complement to the speed and high-altitude performance of the CL-32 would have to have superb maneuverability, increased payload capability while retaining the full stealth capabilities of the CL-32 when armed with internal payload only. The results of the unmanned and scaled-down prototype used by the X-36 fighter research agility aircraft have shown promise, although they never have been turned into a viable fighter aircraft by their original researchers, ending mostly as a test for new, more efficient airplane manufacturing techniques than as the start of a new generation of stealth fighters it was hoped to lead to. Much of its results were already used for the development of the CL-32 tailless airframe, which also depended on the same vectored thrust and split ailerons instead of conventional control surfaces. However, the goal of maximum maneuverability without sacrificing full stealth capability meant that between a thrust vectored tailless airframe and one with a low RCS tail configuration, the latter would offer superior maneuverability and thus be more adequate for the C-34 needs, specially as combining both mentioned pitch controls would offset much of the disadvantage of supercritical airfoils regarding pitching.
The final result would be a blended wing body fighter with a significant lifting body due to its wide fuselage, built to allow for an increased internal payload, featured by large diamond canards which function effectively as inner wings during its flight, giving a relevant contribution to its lift while helping to drastically reduce its take off run in non-VTOL loadouts, and by 35 degrees swept wings which configuration could be said to be a scaled up version of the highly maneuverable wings of the F-5 Freedom Fighter blended with its body, and featuring a supercritical airfoil to further reduce the aerodynamic stresses from transonic speed(MACH 0.8 to MACH 1.2) and crossing the barrier of sound, specially important due to the fact it was designed to have a cruise speed very close to MACH 1, and to be able to achieve sustainable transonic supercruise speed at high altitude flight, and both which would be benefited by such choice of airfoil. Unlike the X-36, it was built with a cross-sectionally inclined V-tail next to its nozzles blended inside the fuselage rather than extruding from it, in a configuration reminiscent of the F-117 tail, except for being far more compact due to its different needs as an air superiority fighter rather than as a strike fighter like the F-117.
The C-32 airframe combines conventional ruddervators, split ailerons and vectored thrust for its directional control, while also benefiting from the Coanda effect as its nozzles are located halfway from its rear wing edge, which ensue not superb maneuverability while also contributing to its excellent performance in short take-off capability.
Like the YF-23 and CL-32, its nozzles are buried inside the frame rather than extruding from it, and are likewise lined with heat ablating tiles, which further difficult their detection by ground-based radars. Structurally, it shares much in common with the CL-32, although its fully blended wing body is internally more complex. Thus, it's also internally built with re-entrant triangles, and has a partially non-metallic frame built from fiberglass combined with the work-intensive but resilient alumina-silica aluminum metal matrix composite used in its metallic components, and coated by a light refraction layer to defeat bleeding-edge but currently limited technologies like LADAR. Equally, both pyramidal and carbon-sheet based anechoic chambers are used as one of its most efficient radar absorbing materials, slots covered by glass and indium-tin oxide were built for the placement of its infrared-optical targeting cameras, and as much as possible of its shaping has taken planform alignment in consideration, as long as it does not bring serious penalties to its maneuverability, ending with another relatively economical and maintenance-easy full stealth airframe, for the true aggregate of its final price lies in its complex avionics system, also responsible for ensuring the proper flight capability of its highly unstable but maneuverable design.
The C-34 shares much in common with the CL-32 in regards to its cockpit, with the exception it is internally wider and taller, but shorter than the CL-32 one, despite its capability of housing two pilots. Using the same aluminum oxynitride bullet-proof and impact-resistance armor on its canopy, and covered by the ever-present, standard-issue film of indium tin oxide nearly all existing stealth airplanes use to avoid radar waves to bounce inside it, which would nullify most of its stealth characteristics.
Equally, it was built to provide maximum possible awareness before the critical point of overloading the pilot with information, and thus packs an improved version of the FSoft Intelliview system, built to allow for the additional targeting capabilities of the C-34 to give adequate feedback to the pilot, as the expanded, twin-screen heads-left and right displays are suggested to be the primary demonstrators of currently targeted hostile airplanes, either by direct pilot's control or in filters like "nearest hostile fighters counter-clockwise", displaying simultaneously their distance, speed and an estimate of the minimum safe distance to avoid a likelihood of detection by the same beyond safety margins, which is also displayed graphically by its improved heads-up display. Perhaps its primary difference from the CL-32A, although a new upgrade on the CL-32 will also equip it with such technology, it is one of the justifications for its arguably excessive computing capability. Not only it allows for the same informational capabilities offered by the CL-32, but also for z-axis detection range of hostile planes, ground and sea targets to be visually displayed in the form of lines in the altimeter ranging from green to red according to the estimated probability of detection at such given altitude and xy distance and as an estimated percentage representing the chances of being detected, as a complement to the xy indication of detection cones on the radar display, and serves as an interface for the Intelligent Ballistic Tracking System.
The IBTS interface functions by demonstrating the position where the autocannons must be aimed for maximum probability of hitting the hostile airplane, a mere visual aid to a complex targeting and fire control system in the form of a diagonal crosshair which overlaps with the standard crosshair of its HUD allowing both to be aligned. The standard crosshair is electronically displayed to reflect the semi-rigid mount of its main gun, and to indicate varying probabilities of hit, it'll spread in an become more opaque or out and become more translucent, depending on factors like whether the target is moving in a perpendicular or angular direction in x, y and z axis from the C-34 plane of reference, its speed and environmental conditions like rain, snowfall and air density taken from external sensors seamlessly built into its fuselage, giving to the skilled pilot a precise estimation of the limited screen of time to hit a supersonic fighter. Finally, all tracked hostile fighters who aren't in direct line of sight to the cockpit will have their direction indicated by red arrows around the HUD, just as missiles will to give a better situational awareness in moments where verifying other displays would be foolish. The essential full IFF output interfaces also makes its radar differentiate between identified friendly and hostiles and neutral/unidentified aircrafts through the every-standard green, red and grey color codes.
On the other hand, the heads-down display traditionally serves as a primary area for updated intelligence data to be received, from recons to on-the-fly updates on the tactical theatre of operations, in situations where a Confederacy fighter wouldn't have the need of keeping EMCON 0, or to display additional information that can be taken from identified threats beyond those currently actively targeted by its systems, and as front for much of its missile warning displays besides its HUD, together with the complementary sound alarm, and as a control display for launched guided decoy missiles.
Even though it can be throughly configured by the pilot, both in flight through mostly voice commands and clever joystick "shortcuts", and before-flight with an exclusive, signature-activated Crypto-USB I/O port that allows for its properties to be easily configured by the pilot himself rather than by a dedicated technician, and no matter how most screens can be disabled to reduce information workload over the pilot, something which may be particularly useful during dogfights, the manner its informational awareness principle applies requires a specially trained pilot to take full advantage of its flexibility and varying in-flight uses.
Both pilot seats, unlike the CL-32s, actually packs a much degree of adaptability from a comfortable 15 degree recline, useful during the longest part of most mission flights: the cruise, to an extreme and uncomfortable 75 degrees inclination to allow for maximum resilience against the high G-forces of extreme maneuvers. It is an interesting power seat for the fact its inclination can be set to follow automatically input from the C-34 avionics on regards to G-force estimations, changing its inclination according to them and keeping them pilot focused on more relevant matters than adjusting it, and although the shift is smooth, some pilots prefer to have it disable as it takes some time to get used to its automatic adjustments. However, a primary and very important ergonomic feature lies in the fact all display systems are built over a powered and movable primary frame on the cockpit, which accompanies the inclination of the pilot's seat, and thus the reason why its cockpit is taller, to give space for the display to achieve such ergonomic convenience.In many ways, the history behind the development EH-070 turbofan can be compared with the very history of the development of the first jet engines. The Heinkel HeS-1, the second turbojet protoype built in history, five months after the first turbojet prototype, the Whittle Unit, was built from simple sheets of metal, and initially tested with hydrogen gas, which led to significant damages over its metal, but proved such engine worked. Due to the technological limitations of such time, the hydrogen served only to prove the idea was workable, and eventually the prototype was test with kerosene to confirm its potential, serving as the basis for the Messerschmitt Me-262, the first operational jet fighter in history, changing forever the nature of air combat and prompting the eventual development of air-to-air missiles as aircraft speeds increased dramatically.
There was a good reason why hydrogen was not even considered as a potential fuel, for the reasons why it was completely unpractical were many. First, the reactions from hydrogen fuel will lead to a greater degree oxidization than kerosene, demanding better resistance from the turbine blades. Second, like hinted with the primary consequence of the first tests of the HeS-1, hydrogen not only generates higher internal temperatures, but would bring the same bane that lighter-than-air aircrafts powered by hydrogen had: its tendency to burn when not intended, something which would endanger any turbojet running over them. Third, besides high temperatures, such engine would have to stand higher pressures than conventionally fueled turbofans to achieve optimal efficiency, much beyond the current capabilities of current material technologies, and which requirements would only become achievable by materials which would require industrial-scale applications of nanotechnology rather than what still remains an almost completely experimental field.
However, the potential remains as large as the challenges needed to be overcome, for hydrogen turbines can be smaller at their optimal configuration, and will allow significant efficiency increases over kerosene. The MilNet thus has determined that only a 7th generation fighter would be able to fully use the potential of hydrogen, which according to their concept stands as a short to medium term future fighter, fully independent from fossil fuels and built with industrial-grade nanomaterials, powered by either hydrogen or fusion power and armed with either a practical directed energy weapon or coilgun. The technological advances of the late 2030s, although still not taking a maximum-efficiency hydrogen propulsion any closer from reality in this decade, have given leeway to the possibility of a practical hydrogen turbofan, able to at least stand up with conventional turbofans in performance, and at best to have 30% of improvement in efficiency compared to them.
The environmental crisis the not-so-clean biofuels have provoked, and the ample supply of nuclear power in the Confederacy, the daunting task of developing a practical and flyable hydrogen turbofan was very tempting, specially as it could provide much valuable information and experience for phasing out biofuels from Third Spanish States energy and transportation infrastructure, no matter how it would arguably become as crude compared to future hydrogen turbofans as the Me-262 propulsion was compared to what would be developed a few decades after it.
The AEROCON Aerospace Industries Confederation has taken a mercurial effort to develop a practical hydrogen turbofan, leading to the development of the EH-070 after six previous failed attempts. Although all of such six models have succeeded into the challenges of supporting the cryogenic storage of hydrogen through a combination of density-resilient metal matrix composites, and standing the heat and pressure demands, as much of their internals were built by a ceramic matrix composite, which lack of conductivity was resolved by an increase on the rate of bypass compared to other turbofans, at the expense of efficiency, they have suffered from a major problem. The spontaneous ignition of hydrogen by heat led them to suffer severe damages, as they served as platforms for the development of a new form of combustor that would be based on more than simply raising the combustion ratio. An extremely complex segment of the Full Authority Digital Engine Control used by the C-34 was matured through these turbofan prototypes, for the hydrogen would have to be injected at the right place and right time during the engine functioning to avoid it from either exploding or becoming severely damaged in-flight.
The final result was a new combustion system which injected preheated hydrogen with greater pressure than that of the chamber, the exact opposite of the traditional combustion reactions where the fuel would be instead be heated by the combustion and either have equal or inferior pressure to the chamber, which in turn would increase even further the structural needs for the materials used in such turbofan, while making it an propulsion system which is virtually impossible to function without computer-assisted control, and is less-than-optimal due to the limitations of existing materials. The EH-060 arguably became the first functional hydrogen turbofan, were it not for its severe sacrifices in performance due to its much higher bypass ratio than that of most turbofans designed for fighters, which led it to significantly inferior performance to that of conventional turbofans. The seventh and final version solved such issue by pure daringness. By combining ceramic and Silicon-nitride Tungsten composites to facilitate heat dissipation, it operates at a lower bypass ratio than the EH-060, although its capabilities might indicate that hydrogen would still not be optimal for high-speed interceptors, although its overall performance in regards to acceleration is of note.
However, if hydrogen offered only major engineering and infrastructural challenges, a chance to dismiss biofuels and a potential efficiency increase for the medium term future, it might have been dismissed at the moment. One of the inherently good aspects of hydrogen combustion is that it requires a smaller quantity of air due to the very superior oxidation that posed as a challenge on its turbofan design, leading to a smaller, slated air intake which was serves as a small but significant contribution at RCS reduction, just as the overall area of its turbofan is also smaller due to superior blade efficiency. Likewise, the mass savings from having smaller turbofans would allow for a slight increase in payload.
Both EH-070 fluidic nozzle turbofans of the C-34 are connected to a ceramics composite fluid-coupled lift turbine, a more efficient solution for hydrogen turbofans than the lift fans of conventional engines. Although not that large in comparison to the lift fan of the CL-32, thanks to better blade efficiency, it allows it to have full vertical take-off and landing capability in lighter payloads and function in standard loadouts as short take-off and vertical landing fighter, dismissing the necessity of a specific variant for carrier air groups, while handling to it the same flexibility of the CL-32 in friendly territory, should the ambitious infrastructure upgrades for the "hydrogen age" be implemented at their optimal project level by the EconNet. In regards to overall performance, the EH-070's independent, fluidic nozzle vectored thrust capabilities are slightly superior to similar fighters, as the fluid mechanics for the exhaust gases from hydrogen have a greater influence of the Coandă Effect due to their high pressure and temperature leading to a greater pressure gradient. For all matters, such vectored thrust capability serves as one of its primary directional controls, complemented by the control surfaces of the plane.
The EH-070 also presents a quite decent fuel efficiency, which coupled the large cryogenic hydrogen storage areas of the C-34, which were also one of the main reasons for the choice of a blended-wing-body, allows it to have a sizable maximum combat radius despite the individual engine power being quite above the average for modern twin-engined fighters. Likewise, it can operate at greater altitudes, at the expense of performance as it climbs past its service ceiling, mostly thanks to its reduced need of air intake, compared to most air superiority fighter engines, surpassing even the CL-32 capabilities. Finally, it also generates a lot of power, which in turn means systems which would otherwise become impractical may have uses for this fighter.
If the C-34 didn't share many common software elements with the CL-32A computing systems, its costs would definitively get past the 200 million range, leading it to become arguably too expensive for the strategic considerations of achieving air supremacy. However, even with such common elements, the C-34 avionics is the primary reason why its final price is nearly twice the price of a CL-32A, for it was built with three main goals: to offer a new degree of situational awareness to the pilot, to expand targeting and tracking capabilities in consideration of asymmetric air-to-air engagements and to support the delicate needs of hydrogen propulsion.
For all these roles, and considering the critical function of managing the hydrogen combustion process, the same economical approach of the CL-32 regarding hardware was unpractical, and although the industrial grade, Quantix Integrated Processors used by the former have proved to be quite reliable, they weren't tasked with an above extreme precision task that might burn or explode an engine if done wrong. Instead, it relies on three Trilobyte Integrated Processors packing fifteen processing units each, where a failsafe voting logic system is applied both between processing units and the three TIP to ensure maximum reliability. The TIP was developed by the internal MilNet avionics division rather than by a third-party organization, as a military-grade set built under i386 architecture, with each microprocessor having an underclocked capability of 400 MHz achieved through the combination of a 8x multiplier over each 50 MHz clock speed. Each TIP packs a three virtual disks of 1 terabyte and 8 gigabytes of physical memory to allow for the massive amount of intelligence and technical data on foreign technologies stored on them and for the massive caching procedures of its avionics to be stored with a significant leeway, with each of the three serving as mutual backup to the others based on an internal data signature system. The massive amount of information that is processed during flight also led to the adoption of the same fiber-optic data bus used by the CL-32. Every avionics systems is housed on the permanent sections physical memory units, on the virtual disks and as firmware read-only modules into the avionics to add another defense against common mode failure.
The AirLinux 3.5ch, a military-grade development combining concepts from the GNU HURD and from the SELinux, was developed to serve as an unified operating system for all avionics modules under normal circumstances, although like with the CL-32, neither of the modules depend upon it to work, as they have their own embedded procedures, and all modules have backups embedded into the AirLinux. Each of the three TIPs have a redundant copy of both AirLinux and of the modules. It was compiled at maximum optimization level for the TIP technologies and features, and thus it is essentially an integrated part of the TIP, unable to function properly under other integrated processors. Its primary advancement over the AirLinux 3.0 is its drastically improved support for instant threading of extreme-precision algorithms and datalinked multiprocessing, allowing it to literally merge some elements of the avionics of nearby C-34s, which give origin to one of their most powerful capabilities: an unified radar system compatible with maximum EMCON levels, which coordinates and processes radar feed from multiple airplanes in real-time rather than taking pre-processed radar feed from other sources, and allows for coverage to be perfectly distributed with hostile detection capabilities considered. While the CL-32 was able to conduct fancy simultaneous take-off and landing procedures, the same was less-than-optimal due to the way it did not unify the avionics of the same, but simply was based on data exchange. This capability also is essential for the focus on defeating numerically superior forces, as it makes the multi-targeting system of the C-34 consider threats already targeted by other allied fighters.
The first step always is detection. Thus the ASA-L5 Active/Passive Radar enters in action. Its principle is essentially the same of the CL-32 passive and active phased radar systems, although due to the much larger fuselage of the C-34, it is much more capable as well. In short, it connects with the software part as a system, using the same process of the OJO-3A5 for detecting potential threats. Under passive mode, the C-34 is considerably more difficult to be detected, however passive detection, although sufficient for detecting, and even able to detect sources of datalink, audio and TV signals, is less than optimal for tracking and locking on targets, operations usually more relevant when combat is about to happen. Its active radar has many features to reduce how much it increases the chances of the C-34 being detected by enemy forces, by operating at multiple randomly chosen wideband frequencies from a frequency-hopping spread spectrum, while also resorting to pulse compression and a continuous wave signal, and logically, transmitting as little as possible into short bursts for detecting targets as a naturally active EMCON system. Its most relevant improvement over the previous systems is its capability of searching and tracking, without direct pilot intervention, a much greater number of threats simultaneously, and to share such tracking with other allied radars, which is logical for a fighter intended to face large numbers of hostiles.
The second step, ideally should be to identify the threats, and thus be able to gauge their possible strengths and weaknesses. The BUHO-4L operates by comparing one matrix of radar cross signatures to detected and filtered signals for each of the modes, as the signatures taken by an active radar will differ from those taken by a passive one. Not unlike previous systems, unknown signatures can be tagged by the pilot to the airplanes they belong to, which is why such system is commonly used during international airshows. When tagged and identified, the target's intel file in the database will be read by the BUHO-4L to then show through its interface with the Intelliview all relevant data for the pilot in one of the cockpit displays. When not registered, the BUHO-4L will use heuristic algorithms to identify a target by its class(fighter, bomber, AWACS etc) giving at worst a good shot of possible weak spots to bypass fully or most of fighter screens and damage heavily other types of aircrafts, for example. A well-founded military intelligence network will drastically improve the usefulness of this system, specially as it also can identify incoming hostile missiles.
The third step, is to have a more precise idea on how to avoid being detected, something which is significantly dependent upon intelligence gathering. One of the most processor and memory-intensive modules, the Tactical Hostile Detection Range Analyzer will use the intelligence information taken about the detection capabilities of hostile aircrafts, ships and ground radars to, using three-dimension probabilistic calculations involving the radar cross section of the C-34, or if in squadrons, their combined RCS, determine with as much precision as possible how much such targets can be approached while maintaining a safety margin in detection avoidance. This system will also consider environmental variables, and the negative effect of cold-launching a beyond visual range missile, which might still not be enough to allow the enemies to detect the exact location of the C-34 at a given moment, although it would immediately break the element of surprise, obviously. When dealing with unknown aircrafts or ground targets with potential detection capability as detected per an heuristic algorithm, it will consider the largest detection capability stored in its database for either ground, air or naval threats, and although it may restrict some potential opportunities, "better safe than sorry" is a good design choice for such systems and better to lose an extreme risk opportunity than to ruin an entire sortie. Finally, it will also consider preprocessed intel data received through the datalink, and can store the positions of fixed ground radars as well for convenience.
The fourth step, is to lock and load. The Winter9 Multi-target Lock and Engagement system nearly challenges the limits of the C-34 avionics, by essentially packing four integrated and simultaneous target tracking and locking modules for what in most aircrafts would be a single module in regards to air-to-air targeting, which on the other hands makes it four times more demanding than a conventional system. Targets, rather than selected individually, are selected through multiple filters which take all existing data from the previously mentioned modules. The most basic and probably the filter which will be the most commonly used is the "nearest hostiles", which can be activated by either voice command or a joystick button to which it is set as standard, to which exists a complementary "fire against all locked targets". It'll select the four nearest hostile aircrafts detected, and begin tracking them, and once they or some of them reach the range of any missile, they will begin to be locked on with full directional capability, which means locks can be acquired without the need of moving the nose of the C-34 to their directions, something which would not make sense for a multi-targeting able fighter to not be able to do. Likewise, there are two integrated modules for targeting ground and naval targets which are usually under the control of the co-pilot and which filters consider tracking both a ground and naval target, meaning that in theory four air, one ground and one naval target could be simultaneously engaged by one C-34, as the co-pilot has, logically, a "fire against locked ground and naval targets" button. There is another module as well, which will be mentioned later. These systems use the combined sensor feed from both radar, datalink(when allowed by EMCON) and from the Intelliview electro-optical/IR targeting cameras.
The fifth step is to launch countermeasures when necessary, and to nullify tactics which range from stupid but workable to utterly idiotic, involving launching swarms of missiles, giving the Confederacy an edge on any conflict against air or naval forces run by stupid and/or tactically uncreative commanders which will always resort to such cheap procedure plagued by common mode failure and limitations of targeting and tracking systems as a "solve-all" for any strategic or tactical situation involving air or naval combat. Here enters not only the standard issue of chaffs, flares and of the very external composition of the C-34 making laser painting it difficult, but the last module of the Winter9, and one which requires minimum human intervention under normal circumstances. The Electronic Warfare Decoy Control module will take on an internal database of hostile missiles to consider the best approach through which a single ITALD or more conventional ECM will have high chances severely cutting off many missiles at once by analyzing strengths and weaknesses of a given missile. As a large part of those who resort to swarm tactics rely into the "tag" systems to ensure truly ridiculous and unnecessary numbers of missiles fired at once, where only one missile tracks while the others follow the tracker, this module can be extremely effective, specially if combined with comprehensive electronic warfare and Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses sorties. This system may be turned to either automatic response, firing countermeasures automatically according to the detection of incoming threats by either infrared, optical, datalink or radar means, or to a semi-automatic mode, where it requires the pilot command, but where the details on where to fire a ITALD or on how much countermeasures to launch will be set by the system itself,even if the latter can be overridden.
And perhaps the last step is to finish them off at short range engagement, and arguably the most tricky one to be achieved with maximum efficiency. Although the YCC missile by itself is extremely effective to deal with anything that wasn't downed while they remained beyond visual range, the C-34 should be able to stand prolonged engagements, and having a practical gun system would certainly help into such achievement by making the choice of conserving short range missiles for tougher situations through use of its autocannons not suicidal. Although part of it can be owed to the very technical aspects of its revolver autocannon, most of such capability derives from the avionics module responsible for giving a better chance to score a hit in the extremely limited screen of time given in dogfights involving modern fighters. The Intelligent Ballistic Tracking System was given a much great dedication to than most similar systems of other modern fighters, which were in most cases afterthoughts rather than built in since the beginning of the project. Considering multiple variables in real time, it will automatically control the traverse of the semi-rigid mount where the autocannon is set as an aiming aid, allowing for the pilot to veer somewhat off aim from the estimated point the system defines to be shot at, while also calculating the effective chances to hit the target, from high chances against a target being tailed, to low against a target moving sideway or diagonally sideways. Equally, when the aim is too off from the estimated firing point, the system will by default cut off the fire command to conserve ammunition, although such feature can be disabled both in-flight or before it. And in addition, this system will also consider the same variables to suggest evasive maneuvers against multiple threats on the tail of a C-34, significantly improving its dogfighting capability.
The most essential aspect of the avionics in the C-34 lies with its Full Authority Digital Engine Control, for it not only ensures an as optimal as possible performance with given structural limitations, but also the EH-070s, like mentioned before, depend completely on them to work. And at last, being directly integrated with its fly-by-wire system, which could also be considered a fly-by-light system due to its reliance of fiber-optic wire transmissions, to make of the EH-070 vectored thrust capability an effective directional control, due to the aerodynamically unstable nature of this fighter, the FADEC is essentially what keeps it flying and in one piece, being as much of an essential part of it as its wings are, and there is no other reason as good as that to invest so heavily in the development such system and in how it is integrated with all redundancies of the C-34 avionics. If a Me-262 had one, its turbojets wouldn't blow as oftenly as they did in history. Without it, the C-34 would have never become anything more than a second prototype for hydrogen propulsion in the Confederacy, and dangerous enough that nobody would ever dare having it as a manned aircraft, much less to pilot it.
The ordnance used and its storage systems were developed considering its need of standing prolonged engagements against larger numbers of aircrafts, and thus it logically packs a larger capacity in both internal bay and external hardpoints in comparison with the CL-32. On the other hand, it also shares many things in common with the CL-32 internal bay concept. Like it, the C-34 resorts to a Limited Drop Cold Launch System, except for its improved and longer depth nature, coupled with a random algorithm based launch activator for any "dropped" missile, where a missile dropped will start its engine past a range between 100 meters and five kilometers below the C-34 altitude, which is also chosen depending on the current height of the C-34, meaning a larger time to evade the location after firing and a large difference between the position of the missile and of the aircraft once the former is detected, which in turn will demand more from enemy forces to properly detect the C-34, making it perfect, specially considering its high cruise speed, for the application of hit-and-run strikes in aerial engagements.
Also, similarly to the CL-32, it also packs a Vertical Launch Bay in standard configuration instead of a conventional internal bay, which packs eight instead of only four slanted trapezoidal-shaped cells, covered by foldable fiberglass flaps with internal radar-absorbing graffiti anechoic chambers, which fit seamlessly into the C-34 airframe to avoid detection. Inside the airframe, eight more missiles can be loaded, which are located in rotary carriages above the cells, hidden by an additional flap which only opens when the external flap is closed, to allow for the additional missiles to be launched into the emptied cells with minimum chances of detection. Unlike the CL-32, they also were designed with multi-role capability in mind, being able to carry a myriad of different types of missiles and even bombs. Of the eight cells, two have enough size to carry most beyond visual range air-to-air missiles in existence or miniature decoy missiles, with 150% of the volume needed by a AIM-120, four are designed to carry short range air-to-air missiles and two large cells are designed to carry decoy, medium range anti-shipping missiles like the AGM-84H Harpoon, long-range air-to-air missiles like the Vympel R-37 or even a pair of GBU-39 small diameter bombs. What is stored in the cells will thus represent half of the maximum capability of the C-34, with the rest being stored inside the carriages.
When maximum loadout is more important than stealth, the C-34 can be equipped with either 8 or 6 modular underwing hardpoints, which take advantage of the already heavier and more resilient nature of a supercritical airfoil out of necessity. Both are designed to, although cutting off the C-34 from a stealth to a reduced RCS fighter, minimize as much as possible the increase in radar cross section provoked by their installment, as they are built with lateral radar-absorbing sheaths on each side of the missiles they load and lined with a set of additional, foldable RAM sheath below, making them resemble polygonal launch tubes. Such materials are built tailored to specific missiles to ensure maximum efficiency in RCS reduction, although they contribute to make the external hardpoints more costly than more conventional ones would be. However, using cold-drop launch on them would only ensure significant chances of avoiding immediate detection against the cheapest air detection grids. The sets are built to allow for carrying either two ITALD missiles or HARM missiles, coupled with two Vympel R-37 and two MBDA Meteor or similars, or for carrying two EW missiles, two beyond visual range air-to-air missiles and four short range air-to-air missiles. Besides obvious reducing stealth capability, they will logically limit the maneuverability of a C-34 to an extent, while in most circumstances, the Häyhä is fielded without external mounts by the MilNet.
While the autocannon used by the CL-32 was not an afterthought but an effective alternative to resorting to short range air-to-air missiles compatible with advanced aiming algorithms like the ITBS, it was limited by the smaller and less resilient airframe used by the Buitre coupled with its smaller powerplant. As the C-34 has a large spare source of power, a radical choice was taken to optimize its to-hit chance. Instead of taking the same AirMaster 20mm twin-barreled revolver autocannon, which chemical propelled action allowed for an extremely high muzzle velocity to maximize hit chances, it was decided to take one step further, for higher muzzles would increase the accuracy of the Intelligent Ballistic Tracking System and the chances of scoring a hit, specially when not being achieved at the expense of muzzle velocity. The Cotarm AMC-2 is similar to the AirMaster in many aspects. It uses the same 20x150mm caliber, the same twin-barreled revolver action, and has exactly the same rate of fire, which coupled with its larger ammunition stowage makes it capable of prolonged engagements, like the larger quantity of missiles does. What differs from its predecessor is its muzzle velocity of 2,500 meters per second and the way through which it became achievable. The AMC-2 is an electrothermal-chemical autocannon, powered by supercapacitor plates that take part of the excess power generated by its turbofans, and using a solid RDX-GAP propellant. Although a conventional autocannon would have saved volume and mass, the need to develop a truly effective weapon for the likely situation of dogfights against what will probably survive beyond visual range combat from the swarms of airplanes the C-34 was developed to be optimal against, has served as a stronger argument for its development. Like mentioned, it is set on a highly accurate, semi-rigid mount where its traverse is by default controlled automatically by the IBTS to assist the pilot in aiming against close-by targets. With the support of the IBTS, such weapon have a maximum effective range from four to eight kilometers, depending on the pilot reflexes and on the position of enemy target, and of ten kilometers against slower and less maneuverable targets like transport airplanes.