The next jet: F-X & F/A-XX

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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madrat

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Unread post11 May 2019, 15:55

F-22A has been regularly upgraded over the past decade.
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disconnectedradical

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Unread post12 May 2019, 12:39

zero-one wrote:
disconnectedradical wrote:ATF concepts in early 80s were even faster and more agile than F-22 today because stealth was not as high priority. The RFP was changed in late 1985 to dramatically increase stealth and at that time stealth aircraft didn’t see combat yet.


I'd like to read more about this. Would you happen to have a link?


AGAIN, if you read this book you’ll have answers to your questions that are already published. Look at the designs for 1981 ATF RFI. The stealth requirement was increased in the 1985 RFP and increased more especially in aft sector in November 1985.
https://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Tactica ... 1563472821

FYI, one of the authors, Col Piccirillo, was program director of the ATF.

zero-one wrote:
mixelflick wrote:I'm confused as to how you (or anyone?) can say PCA look like F-111 V.2, when nobody here knows what PCA is going to look like?


They are studying on what future combat aircraft may need.
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ir-423994/
Grynkewich says range and payload are critical, but some studies show that speed, manoeuvrability and some level of low-observable shaping or stealth still have their place.


Okay so what will PCA need to focus on
Range, payload, speed, maneuverability, some stealth, all of the above?

What if they decide to lean towards other traits and marginalize others. There are already talks of the PCA looking more like a large bomber type aircraft instead of a fast and agile fighter. Thats the F-111 mentality I'm talking about.

Now this is just my opinion and I know you won't agree with this. So go easy on me.

But if the Russians can make all kinds of upgraded Flanker variants from the original Su-27. Then why not spend the money for PCA to restart the F-22 production and do the same. F-22C, F-22X etc etc,

You guys seem to have no problem with the F-35 getting continuous upgrades to face future threats then why should the F-22 be any different. It is already better than future threats (Su-57 and J-20) so upgrade it until actual combat comes around or we really get a good idea of what the threat will look like.

Range? The F-22 has short legs. I think you can mitigate that to an extent with ADVENT engines and Stealth Tankers, Both are already in their advanced stages of development. I just think retiring the F-22 in the 2040 - 2050 time line is way too soon


F-22 is getting upgrades with 3.2B and also getting mid life upgrade in 2020s. Who said it’s retiring that soon? Current plan is to operate the F-22 to 2060 and will operate alongside PCA for a while like how F-15s and F-16s are still operating alongside F-22 and F-35.

Waiting until the next war for design inputs is a terrible idea. We train and train for a reason and we set requirements from what we learn from training. Sitting there and be reactive until the next war will just give more casualties. How do you know the F-22 will magically be suitable for the future? And why would the lessons learned from designing F-22 not be applied to PCA?

You want to take money from PCA to find something less capable?
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sferrin

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Unread post12 May 2019, 13:51

Also, artwork can be found for most of them. Here are a couple (before stealth became a factor):

203-efda10088265f9b754bd0fc3b9ddd119.jpg


26-5.jpg


196-487024002a9e1e0f1aac75e9d8c26eae.jpg


0235c02e620958fd7800bc11b99eb287.png


5b87f64bf1f82ba15a1e0341f305bc91.jpg


There is tons of information over on Secret Projects if one looks.
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mixelflick

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Unread post12 May 2019, 14:10

Building more F-22C's, X's or what have you has already been looked at. The fact is if the F-22 were to be re-started today, it would fundamentally be (almost) an entirely new aircraft. They then determined building something new from scratch would more accurately meet requirements. In particular, range and more robust stealth, sensors and weapons.

PCA is going to be a big aircraft, there's no getting around it. Something on the order of 1.5 to 2x's the size of the YF-23A. Has to be, in order to haul around as much gas as it's going to need. So unless a breakthrough has been made in engines/materials/fuel, it's going to be big.

Continuing on that theme, it's going to carry more than 8 AAM's. It's likely the long range weapon they're working on now will be bigger than AMRAAM, so again PCA is going to need much bigger internal weapons bays vs. the F-22 of today. Even a "stretched" F-22 would probably fall short. A new airframe is needed..

End of the day the F-22 was an incredible design. Still far and away better than anything the Russians/Chinese have flying. But PCA will need to be that much better, and will hopefully be here soon. It'll probably be the last "new" fighter I see in my lifetime, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Just my 2 cc's..
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zero-one

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Unread post13 May 2019, 08:35

disconnectedradical wrote:
AGAIN, if you read this book you’ll have answers to your questions that are already published. Look at the designs for 1981 ATF RFI. The stealth requirement was increased in the 1985 RFP and increased more especially in aft sector in November 1985.
https://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Tactica ... 1563472821

Until the F-22 faces real combat,
We have yet to fully acknowledge if that decision was right all along.
The F-15 and F-117 were also expected to perform spectacularly, but only got their validation once they finally saw combat. The same applies to the F-22 and F-35.

I know a lot of people won't agree with my unpopular opinion. My only point is this. Aircraft designed from combat experience are always spectacular all the time. Aircraft designed from simulations/expectations are hit and miss.
PCA is included in the latter group. Who knows it might be awesome, but it could also be the next F-111

disconnectedradical wrote:You want to take money from PCA to find something less capable?


We don't know what PCA will be yet, just because its newer doen't make it better. The F-111 was to replace the F-4, based on simulations and expectations of what air combat was supposed to be. but give me an upgraded F-4 instead of an F-111 to perform CAP any day.
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marsavian

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Unread post13 May 2019, 12:01

The F-111B was cancelled and replaced by the F-14 without a war needing to tell anyone that it didn't fit requirements. The most fundamental thing about F-22 is that it contains exactly the same internal fuel as the F-35 so their stealth range is always going to be in the same ballpark so buying new F-22 instead of F-35 is not really going to change the tactical stealth reach of your air force. If you are currently buying F-35 the F-22 doesn't really add much more to your force except for supercruise and a Mach 2 topspeed which all help for fast interceptions but are not really tactically relevant elsewhere at least for an aircraft primarily using stealth as its competitive advantage.

PCA and F/A-XX is a chance to design brand new aircraft with all the design experiences of F-22/YF-23/F-35/X-32 and build ultra modern stealth aircraft with all the advances of the following decades from these designs. Stealth/EW/IR/ range will all be taken to new levels to build modern aircraft that lead the current F-22/F-35 rather than just bolster them. There will be open competitions so the best design should win through. F-22 was a great spearhead, F-35 will be a great cheap stealth placeholder superior to the competition but PCA, F/A-XX will advance the stealth art to new levels.
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Unread post13 May 2019, 14:36

marsavian wrote:The F-111B was cancelled and replaced by the F-14 without a war needing to tell anyone that it didn't fit requirements.


The new requirements that the F-111B did not meet were a direct result of combat in Vietnam

https://web.archive.org/web/20120204215 ... m/vf15.htm
The F-111B had been designed for the long-range Fleet Air Defense (FAD) interceptor role, but not for new requirements for air combat based on the experience of American aircraft against agile MiG fighters over Vietnam. The Navy studied the need for VFAX, an additional fighter that was more agile than the F-4 Phantom for air-combat and ground-attack roles


Like I said, if it wasn't for combat, the Teen series would have been fiction and the USAF/USN would be stuck with the F-111.
It was bassed on what air combat was expected to be, just like the F-4 was then and just like what the PCA is now.

I'm not saying PCA will be a disaster. But it seems that everytime we jump the gun and design something based purely on expectations we end up with the F-4 or F-111. By any standard the F-4 eventually became a success story but after some very painful and embarrassing lessons.

But whenever we design something based on actual combat, we come up with the Teen series, P-51 and the F-22/35.
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marsavian

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Unread post13 May 2019, 14:43

What combat spawned the F-22/F-35 ?
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zero-one

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Unread post13 May 2019, 14:46

marsavian wrote:What combat spawned the F-22/F-35 ?


Experiences from the 70s - 80s Arab-Israeli wars, Desert storm, even Vietnam was still fresh. All of them contributed to the ATF and JSF programs.

Watch Paul Metz's lecture. He elaborates on the wealth of combat data analyzed that influenced the design of the YF-22/23
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marsavian

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Unread post13 May 2019, 14:58

All very tangential, the only relevant stealth combat was that due to the F-117 which primarily highlighted the ability of VHF to spot current stealth technology which the PCA is directly trying to address with its current tail-less concept. If you are intimating that the PCA will be a big unmaneuverable beast (back to dogfighting yet again !) that is not a given and the USAF can specify minimum standards like they did with the ATF. With two 50 klb engines, large delta wing area and TVC nozzles the PCA may actually surprise everyone how maneuverable it can be in the last resort as how Stubby F-35 has. The most important things in air combat have not changed for a century now, SA and surprising your opponents and PCA should break new ground there as it's meant to.
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zero-one

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Unread post13 May 2019, 15:17

marsavian wrote:If you are intimating that the PCA will be a big unmaneuverable beast (back to dogfighting yet again !) that is not a given and the USAF can specify minimum standards like they did with the ATF.


They are studying on what future combat aircraft may need.
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ir-423994/

Grynkewich says range and payload are critical, but some studies show that speed, manoeuvrability and some level of low-observable shaping or stealth still have their place.


As you can see, Only "Some" (not all or most) studies have shown that Speed, maneuverability and LO shaping have their place.

What if they throw one of those 3 away in favor of Range and payload. which are considered Critical
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Unread post13 May 2019, 15:29

I'm rather confused as to why/what you're referring to when mentioning "real" combat. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you maintain that the teen series was so successful because of the real combat in Southeast Asia?

OTOH, you seem concerned that since there hasn't been a lot of "real" air to air combat in the last 20 years, we'll wind up with "another F-111". I don't think that argument holds water, and I'll tell you why...

The US has for the first time in a LONG time has been confronted by adversary aircraft that are the equal (some would say superior) to our 4th gen jets. That USAF officer who de-briefed the red flag exercise where India brought its SU-30MKI's said as much. But that was years ago, before the F-35 began to proliferate. With its large scale introduction, the qualitative edge we've historically enjoyed is being restored - and in no small way. Prior Red Flags resulted in (at best), blue air winning 3-1 in air to air engagements. The F-35 has scored anywhere from 15-1 to 28-1, depending upon the exercise.

Having said that, the world 20 years from now is going to look different. I would expect large numbers of J-20's and J-31's to be in the mix. Possibly quite a few J-31's exported. Russia "might" build the SU-57, albeit in more limited numbers. And of course, other countries will be building their own 6th generation jets to counter us. Which brings us to PCA/F/A-XX...

If you ask me, we're going to build that with a lot of hard lessons learned. Like not building enough F-22's. Like the F-22 and F-35 not having long enough legs for the SCS. Like not carrying enough missiles, or not being stealthy enough in all areas. They know this, they understand and won't ever again take air superiority for granted.

PCA/F/A-XX isn't going to be a day fighter built solely to dogfight. It won't be an overweight albatross, flying fast in a straight line. It will be an F-22 on steroids, in the same way the USAF wanted the F-22 to be an F-15 on steroids. It won't be another F-111...
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marsavian

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Unread post13 May 2019, 15:32

zero-one wrote:As you can see, Only "Some" (not all or most) studies have shown that Speed, maneuverability and LO shaping have their place.

What if they throw one of those 3 away in favor of Range and payload. which are considered Critical


Then they throw them away which is something all dogfight fans will just have to deal with. There is a reason the ancient B-52 is still being kept alive, range, payload and increasingly longer standoff weapons which is why the Russians are building new Tu-160 too rather than than their proposed stealth bomber. If they get the analysis wrong well the DoD will have about 2500 F-35 to back them up. This fretting over the PCA ability in certain areas is pointless, frankly you could just as easily give AMRAAMs to B-21 and call it a day but the USAF did not want to dilute its function and modern technology gives a chance to create something special with PCA.

p.s. your link needs fixing.
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sferrin

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Unread post13 May 2019, 15:45

marsavian wrote: The most fundamental thing about F-22 is that it contains exactly the same internal fuel as the F-35 so their stealth range is always going to be in the same ballpark.


Uhm...wut? You do realize the F-22 has TWO engines while the F-35 has ONE right?
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disconnectedradical

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Unread post13 May 2019, 16:22

zero-one wrote:Until the F-22 faces real combat,
We have yet to fully acknowledge if that decision was right all along.
The F-15 and F-117 were also expected to perform spectacularly, but only got their validation once they finally saw combat. The same applies to the F-22 and F-35.


You want an ATF before the stealth requirements was increased? Then you'll love Su-57. Purely as an airframe and with definitive engines, it's got more potential than F-22. It's got more range, more maneuverability, bigger weapon bay, etc. That would fit original ATF RFP better than F-22 currently.

zero-one wrote:Like I said, if it wasn't for combat, the Teen series would have been fiction and the USAF/USN would be stuck with the F-111.
It was bassed on what air combat was expected to be, just like the F-4 was then and just like what the PCA is now.


This is just wrong. F-111 was politically imposed by McNamara but F-X which became F-15 started before combat in Vietnam even began. Combat lessons from Vietnam did change the requirements, like making the airplane lighter and reducing maximum speed requirement. TFAX which became F-14 would also happen regardless of Vietnam because it didn't take combat for USAF and USN to see F-111 as failure.

zero-one wrote:As you can see, Only "Some" (not all or most) studies have shown that Speed, maneuverability and LO shaping have their place.

What if they throw one of those 3 away in favor of Range and payload. which are considered Critical


You're basing your fears on speculations. And even if they did, so what? If results from training show that, then what's the issue? And what experience do you have that your judgment should be trusted over USAF's? Guess USAAF and USN should rely on biplanes at start of WW2 because those single wing monoplanes are so unproven. :roll:

You seem to really want F-22 to be the "right" answer and you're trying to fit future doctrine and aerial warfare around it. Which is backwards and should be other way around.
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