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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zero-one

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Unread post07 May 2019, 14:16

madrat wrote:If the F-14 had been equipped with AIM-9X with JHMCS, which seat controls it? How does it work in F-18F?


I remember one of the Battlefield games having your character play a WSO with JHMCS. I shoulda just dismissed the whole thing as a game and left it at that. But I went digging instead. Heres what I found

viewtopic.php?t=20561
On Super Hornets, the JHMCS system is decoupled, so the pilot and WSO can both utilize it simultaneously.


and perhaps more importantly:
https://theaviationist.com/2012/08/27/p ... sh-helmet/

The picture show an F-15I’s WSO (Weapon System Officer) as his plane breaks from a formation (whose remaining two elements are visible above the aircraft in foreground).

The photograph provides a close-up view of the DASH (Display And Sight Helmet) helmet and its shape.
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madrat

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Unread post07 May 2019, 14:33

The bus architecture used to control weapons should be able to operate several simultaneously. If both seats can utilize the two then it adds quite a new dimension to a two-seater. HOBS especially.
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Unread post07 May 2019, 15:02

zero-one wrote:
crosshairs wrote:The last thing the navy needs is a 34,000 lb single engine slug to perform every mission. Just a meager 10,000 lbs of fuel and 4 amraam and its already behind the power curve. We've yet to see how well RAM holds up at sea and how well maintainers can maintain RAM on a confined ship. Back to point, there is no single airframe the navy can buy to meet all requirements for all missions.


Remember the F-35C has the highest lift limit of all F-35 variants. Test pilots who flew all 3 models say it is the best turner and climber (perhaps in instances where lift limit is a factor)

In fact, I would go as far as saying that the F-35C has a real shot in being the defacto best ACM platform the US navy ever had. the only real contenders are F/A-18C (with EPE engines), F/A-18E,

F-14 fans, sorry, the cat was a better interceptor than the bugs, but medium to close range is historically where all air combat took place (farthest confirmed air to air kill is just around 25 NM IIRC). So give me the Bug, lower RCS, better avionics and when we get to the phone booth, Aim-9X, JHMCS and perhaps the smallest turn radius of all 4th gens, yes please.

So Slug?? Lets rephrase that.
The last thing the navy needs is a 34,000 lb single engined, extremely agile platform that may just be the best dogfighting machine the Navy ever got their hands on even though dogfighting will be it's last resort because its dang near invisible with all the SA anyone can ask for, to perform every mission


wait what?


I agree with you, albeit he has a point with its thrust to weight ratio. Also, we know acceleration is an issue (at least relative to requirements). Hopefully, these deficiencies will be corrected with ADVENT/next gen engines. But...

IMO that $ would be better put into doing the F/A-XX right. I mean like, really right. Big(ger) than the F-35C - but not TOO big. Two monster engines that provide great range, time on station, speed, acceleration, supercruise etc.. Next gen stealth and SA.

And critically, design it from the ground up as multi-role, meaning a secondary air to ground capability. If we learned anything from the F-18, it's that it's a LOT harder to ask a "lightweight" fighter to morph into an air to everything platform vs. starting from a heavyweight with gobs of power, range and speed. And for the record, I don't buy for a second the "but it really wasn't based on the YF-17" nonsense. It most decidely was, and that original sin has carried through all the way to the ASH aka Super Duper.

In fact if it's done right, F/A-XX will be on carrier decks almost exclusively. You know, kind of like the Hornet/Super Hornet/Growler Hornet/Super Duper Hornet. The only difference being, it'll be immensely more capable and less "re-work" will have to be done as mission sets expand.

It may not be cheap, but quality never is..
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zero-one

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Unread post07 May 2019, 16:25

I'm not really too fond of the PCA and F/A-XX just yet. I honestly think it's too soon.

The F-22 and F-35 were designed with the lessons learned from the Teen series's combat experience
The Teen series was designed with lessons learned from Vietnam's combat experience

Vietnam era fighters on the other hand were designed, not from combat experience, but from what air combat was expected to be. As good as they were, a lot of painful and embarrassing lessons had to be learned from them. I feel that PCA and F/A-XX are going to repeat the same mistakes that created the F-4. Designs heavily influenced by simulations and what combat is expected to now how it actually turned out to be.

The threat is also not there. The ATF program was created because intelligence reports suggest that the Flanker and Fulcrum fighter series will be near parity to the teen series. And for the most part they were right, the Su-27 is almost as good as the F-15 and in some ways, better.

However today, we all agree that the F-22 and F-35 are still far superior to the Su-57, J-20 and S-400 threats that they will face. So we can afford to delay the creation of PCA and F/A-XX until there is substantial combat data to influence the designs.

Just my own personal opinion. You don't need to agree with me
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crosshairs

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Unread post08 May 2019, 01:12

zero-one wrote:I'm not really too fond of the PCA and F/A-XX just yet. I honestly think it's too soon.

The F-22 and F-35 were designed with the lessons learned from the Teen series's combat experience
The Teen series was designed with lessons learned from Vietnam's combat experience

Vietnam era fighters on the other hand were designed, not from combat experience, but from what air combat was expected to be. As good as they were, a lot of painful and embarrassing lessons had to be learned from them. I feel that PCA and F/A-XX are going to repeat the same mistakes that created the F-4. Designs heavily influenced by simulations and what combat is expected to now how it actually turned out to be.

The threat is also not there. The ATF program was created because intelligence reports suggest that the Flanker and Fulcrum fighter series will be near parity to the teen series. And for the most part they were right, the Su-27 is almost as good as the F-15 and in some ways, better.

However today, we all agree that the F-22 and F-35 are still far superior to the Su-57, J-20 and S-400 threats that they will face. So we can afford to delay the creation of PCA and F/A-XX until there is substantial combat data to influence the designs.

Just my own personal opinion. You don't need to agree with me


Yes, that is a good idea. Let's have a conflict with a near peer and see how all 120 combat coded F-22s perform to see what we need to build into the next platform. That's why we train and train and train and why the USAF (as one example) has the Office of Foreign Technology - so we know what is needed now and in the near future. We don't need to fight a war to know what is needed in the next possible war.

You make it sound as if Vietnam never happened that the USAF and USN would have been flying new build Phantoms into the 80s and 90s, and heck for that matter even today because that was the only war the US didn't go into with overhwleming firepower.

F-15 would have happened regardless of Vietnam. What the final form would have been, is debatable. Same for the Tomcat, although Tomcat's form would likely still have been the same after the TFX failure and the requirements it was built to satisfy. We would have also had a smaller cheaper aircraft - an F-16 - to supplement the larger more expensive F-15. Then the same goes for the F-18.

Also you make the J-20 sound as if it's static - forever in its current state - and that the Chinese won't build upgraded versions with sensor fusion on par with stubby. What do you do then when its engines and avionics are on par with the US. because the Chinese are not far behind and only lack experience as they have the raw technical knowledge as anyone who has worked in China will tell you. Decades of stealing and spying has paid off for them.
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marsavian

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Unread post08 May 2019, 02:32

I'm not really too fond of the PCA and F/A-XX just yet. I honestly think it's too soon.


RANGE is needed to eventually make a stealthy replacement for F-15E not unless you want the F-15EX to live forever as the longest range US strike fighter. The US needs it in the Pacific and Israel needs it in the ME. As long as it's open competition the best designs should come to the fore, so some requirement like a 1200nm stealthy combat radius which would be even more with drop tanks.
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Unread post08 May 2019, 03:37

[quote="zero-one"]I'm not really too fond of the PCA and F/A-XX just yet. I honestly think it's too soon.

Honestly, 5th Generation Fighters will need to mature much more. Before we really know what the "Next Generation" would need to look like...........
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Unread post08 May 2019, 03:42

crosshairs wrote:
Yes, that is a good idea. Let's have a conflict with a near peer and see how all 120 combat coded F-22s perform to see what we need to build into the next platform. That's why we train and train and train and why the USAF (as one example) has the Office of Foreign Technology - so we know what is needed now and in the near future. We don't need to fight a war to know what is needed in the next possible war.

You make it sound as if Vietnam never happened that the USAF and USN would have been flying new build Phantoms into the 80s and 90s, and heck for that matter even today because that was the only war the US didn't go into with overhwleming firepower.

F-15 would have happened regardless of Vietnam. What the final form would have been, is debatable. Same for the Tomcat, although Tomcat's form would likely still have been the same after the TFX failure and the requirements it was built to satisfy. We would have also had a smaller cheaper aircraft - an F-16 - to supplement the larger more expensive F-15. Then the same goes for the F-18.

Also you make the J-20 sound as if it's static - forever in its current state - and that the Chinese won't build upgraded versions with sensor fusion on par with stubby. What do you do then when its engines and avionics are on par with the US. because the Chinese are not far behind and only lack experience as they have the raw technical knowledge as anyone who has worked in China will tell you. Decades of stealing and spying has paid off for them.


There is nothing on the horizon that likely could match let alone surpass the F-35. Especially, if the latter continues to receive the planned upgrades.

This should give the US plenty of time to develop and field the PCA and NGAD.
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Unread post08 May 2019, 03:45

marsavian wrote:
I'm not really too fond of the PCA and F/A-XX just yet. I honestly think it's too soon.


RANGE is needed to eventually make a stealthy replacement for F-15E not unless you want the F-15EX to live forever as the longest range US strike fighter. The US needs it in the Pacific and Israel needs it in the ME. As long as it's open competition the best designs should come to the fore, so some requirement like a 1200nm stealthy combat radius which would be even more with drop tanks.



The F-15E/EX Range is not that great when combined with a respectable payload..... :?
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Unread post08 May 2019, 07:25

crosshairs wrote:
You make it sound as if Vietnam never happened that the USAF and USN would have been flying new build Phantoms into the 80s and 90s, and heck for that matter even today because that was the only war the US didn't go into with overhwleming firepower. F-15 would have happened regardless of Vietnam.


Wasn't the F-111 supposed to be what would replace the F-4? Vietnam made them realize what a mistake it would be.
The teen series was a direct response to what was learned from Vietnam. Aircraft with a focus on medium to short range combat.

crosshairs wrote:Also you make the J-20 sound as if it's static - forever in its current state - and that the Chinese won't build upgraded versions with sensor fusion on par with stubby. What do you do then when its engines and avionics are on par with the US.


If they make upgraded J-20s. then make up upgraded F-22s and F-35s. The F-4, F-111 and PCA have one thing in common. They are all designed from training simulations and expectations not actual combat

I think, unless 5th gens participate in a major conflict, preferably with an opponent that has peer technology or China and Russia churns out platforms that can clearly match the F-22 and F-35 then (like how the Flanker was a match for the Eagle) then PCA and F/A-XX can take its time.
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Unread post08 May 2019, 13:48

Taking our time is a horrible idea IMO...

In fact, it's the reason why the Russians/Chinese have closed the gap so quickly. We took our time slow walking the F-22, because the powers that be thought the F-15 was good enough. Well, it isn't. Or at least isn't in the sense it conveys a clear cut, overwhelming advantage that we've been used to. Now castrate the F-22 buy, and you get where we are today.

Neutralize the F-22, and the F-15 is our best air to air platform (F-35 is coming along, but not quite there yet insofar as numbers). The J-10B/C, J-11, J-16, SU-30SM and SU-35 are plenty competitive, and in some cases superior to the F-15. Staying 1 step ahead isn't the American way - it's staying 3 steps ahead.

The F-35 will get us there, but just in the nick of time. Giving the Chinese time, allowing for more espionage etc. has allowed them to pump out competitive airframes, and what appears to be a very robust stealth fighter of their own. Had Russia or China instead opted to produce a light(er) stealth fighter in numbers, we'd be up the creek right now without a paddle.

We need to field PCA and F/A-XX ASAP, because the Russians and Chinese are working hard on 6th gen designs of their own. Dilly dallying around on either program only strengthens their hand, and weakens ours..
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Unread post08 May 2019, 14:15

mixelflick wrote:Staying 1 step ahead isn't the American way - it's staying 3 steps ahead.

Taking 3 steps ahead in the right direction.
I'm not an American but I'm worried, you guys nearly ended up with the F-111 as your next air superiority fighter and not the F-15.

mixelflick wrote:We need to field PCA and F/A-XX ASAP, because the Russians and Chinese are working hard on 6th gen designs of their own. Dilly dallying around on either program only strengthens their hand, and weakens ours..


Once their 6th gens take shape then build something to counter that. Right now they don't even know how to put their 5th gens in the air yet. and we're worrying about their 6th gens.

I'm just saying PCA looks like F-111 V.2 to me already.
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Unread post09 May 2019, 09:55

zero-one wrote:
mixelflick wrote:Staying 1 step ahead isn't the American way - it's staying 3 steps ahead.

Taking 3 steps ahead in the right direction.
I'm not an American but I'm worried, you guys nearly ended up with the F-111 as your next air superiority fighter and not the F-15.

mixelflick wrote:We need to field PCA and F/A-XX ASAP, because the Russians and Chinese are working hard on 6th gen designs of their own. Dilly dallying around on either program only strengthens their hand, and weakens ours..


Once their 6th gens take shape then build something to counter that. Right now they don't even know how to put their 5th gens in the air yet. and we're worrying about their 6th gens.

I'm just saying PCA looks like F-111 V.2 to me already.


How is this different from F-22 and F-35 are also driven by what combat is expected to be. If the next war doesn’t happen, do we just sit on those two and wait and be reactive? Also, initial 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. F-117 was first used in Panama in 1989 after ATF stealth requirements were increased in RFP.

Resting on the F-22 and F-35 or delaying PCA for making upgraded F-22 sounds foolish.

Also, even without Vietnam War, F-14 would have happened with how much trouble the F-111B had with carrier suitability. F-111 was politically pushed by McNamara to be common for both USAF and USN and that’s not the case for PCA and F/A-XX.

What does being American or not have any relevance?
Last edited by disconnectedradical on 09 May 2019, 23:31, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post09 May 2019, 15:16

zero-one wrote:
mixelflick wrote:Staying 1 step ahead isn't the American way - it's staying 3 steps ahead.

Taking 3 steps ahead in the right direction.
I'm not an American but I'm worried, you guys nearly ended up with the F-111 as your next air superiority fighter and not the F-15.

This isn't true, as the requirements for both aircraft were entirely different and in response to different threats. The F-111 design was based on what the threat was in the late 50's/early 60's. It was never going to be a dedicated air superiority machine. The closest it got to that was a naval interceptor. The F-15 was a direct response to the Mig-25, when it emerged in the mid/late 1960's. It was designed as a pure air superiority fighter, and to date is the world's most successful.

mixelflick wrote:We need to field PCA and F/A-XX ASAP, because the Russians and Chinese are working hard on 6th gen designs of their own. Dilly dallying around on either program only strengthens their hand, and weakens ours..


Once their 6th gens take shape then build something to counter that. Right now they don't even know how to put their 5th gens in the air yet. and we're worrying about their 6th gens.

I'm just saying PCA looks like F-111 V.2 to me already.


A couple of thoughts.. 1.) It's always better cheaper to be pro-active, not reactive - especially when you already have the lead. If we "wait to see" what Russian/Chinese 6th gens look like then by the time we design, test and build our own we'll be behind the curve. We also build a degree of over-match into our airframes, as the success of the F-14, 15 and 16 have displayed. Each of those handily dispatched not just of aircraft like the Mig-21, 23 and 25, but also aircraft designed to counter them - i.e. the Mig-29. They've all fallen to our 4th gen teen series.

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? There are artist conceptions, but even at this point I doubt USAF knows. I would bet they're narrowing designs now, but first flight of anything is a good ways off still. Also, PCA isn't being pitched as a be all, do all multirole airframe like the F-35. It's primary mission will be air superiority over GREAT ranges, with perhaps a secondary SEAD mission.

In any case, I think we're in better and better shape the more F-35's roll off the production line. Although it doesn't have the overwhelming advantage in every area the F-22 does, it restores a margin of superiority we've been accustomed to. In fact, it's considerably greater than that IMO. In prior red flags, it was explained the best blue air could do was have a 3:1 advantage over red air. With the F-35, we're seeing 15:1, 20:1 etc. That's incredible, and an amazing accomplishment IMO. It will only get better with better engines, sensors and weapons.

Russia is developing the Hunter UCAV, and plans to operate it in conjunction with the SU-57. China is undoubtedly not far behind, and may well obtain SU-57's of her own. Either one of them makes a breakthrough and the F-35 could lose its edge, which is why funding/building PCA is so important. It will not be the next F-111, far from it. I expect it to be as dominant as the F-22/35 are today, perhaps even moreso...

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Unread post11 May 2019, 15:47

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?

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
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