Penetrating Counter Air / Next Generation Air Dominance

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

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Unread post22 Feb 2020, 03:01

zero-one wrote:
wrightwing wrote:
I suspect the agility requirements will be lower priority to range, payload, speed, signature reduction, and situational awareness.

That's my problem with the whole 1 size fits all design, you need range, speed, stealth and deep magazines and you would like to squeeze in some agility and speed too,

some of these cannot co exist. Range and deep magazines require size and weight which is the enemy of agility and speed. Since Agility and speed may be less required, your PCA will probably be a step backwards in performance over the aircraft it will eventually replace.


If PCA is a 7.5 g aircraft but can supercruise twice as far, accelerate much better, and with 1,000 nmi combat radius, is it really overall step backward in performance from F-22? Nothing sustains 9 g unless you're at low altitude anyways.

zero-one wrote:I don't have enough information on the P-80, but i guess there will be speeds where the P-80 has the upper hand. However I would also guess that the Su-27 has the advantage in most of the flight envelope.

If PCA will be at a disadvantage against the F-22 in most parts of the envelope then it will be an issue. Specially with the proliferation of Stealthy adversaries. The need to kill them before they get within range goes through the roof.

To me a very large aircraft that can go to China and back in one tank of gas from Hawaii with a very deep magazine seems to be an accurate description of the B-1, even the B-1 would need tankers for that, so it'll be bigger than a B-1. How that can be done while maintaining anywhere close to fighter like kinematics. It will most likely be a stealthy subsonic bomber like plane with dozens of missiles.


When people say more range it doesn't mean intercontinental, I don't know why you keep saying that. They're looking for a big leap over what F-22 can do, something like 1,000 nmi combat radius. You can do that and still have good maneuverability with advances in aerodynamics, but it's not something an F-22 derivative can do.
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disconnectedradical

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Unread post22 Feb 2020, 03:08

https://www.defensenews.com/smr/federal ... t-request/

PCA/NGAD funding is getting substantial, $1 billion requested. Wondering if we'll see prototypes before end of decade.

What I really wonder is if they can really make supersonic tailless fighter happen. If it does it can be a massive leap in stealth and also aerodynamic effectiveness.
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zero-one

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Unread post22 Feb 2020, 11:15

disconnectedradical wrote:When people say more range it doesn't mean intercontinental, I don't know why you keep saying that.


Because as it is the Raptor already has nearly 600 nmi radius on subsonic cruise. With Advent's 18% increase thats around the 700 nmi ballpark. your clean sheet proposal is just a 30% increase in radius at the cost of billions upon billions and years of dev/test and will still need support from KC-Z

I'm not going to argue with whats more capable because I'll be the first to say that a clean sheet design will be more capable in almost all aspects if not all. But the cost and schedule is my problem. There is just no way it can be done in the kind of timetables they are implying at.

Ultimately this new cleansheet proposal looks like another single platform that will replace the F-22, something the USAF has hinted that may not be the case. PCA could be a family of aircraft, each filling a niche in the overall combat system.
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wrightwing

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Unread post22 Feb 2020, 19:15

zero-one wrote:
disconnectedradical wrote:When people say more range it doesn't mean intercontinental, I don't know why you keep saying that.


Because as it is the Raptor already has nearly 600 nmi radius on subsonic cruise. With Advent's 18% increase thats around the 700 nmi ballpark. your clean sheet proposal is just a 30% increase in radius at the cost of billions upon billions and years of dev/test and will still need support from KC-Z

I'm not going to argue with whats more capable because I'll be the first to say that a clean sheet design will be more capable in almost all aspects if not all. But the cost and schedule is my problem. There is just no way it can be done in the kind of timetables they are implying at.

Ultimately this new cleansheet proposal looks like another single platform that will replace the F-22, something the USAF has hinted that may not be the case. PCA could be a family of aircraft, each filling a niche in the overall combat system.

The USAF is NOT suggesting an IOC by 2030, nor are they suggesting intercontinental range. They are suggesting something with more range (and likely a larger supercruise radius), a larger magazine, and a lower signature (i.e. ELO vs VLO), than can be achieved by F-22 variants, with an IOC closer to 2040. A 400nm increass in radius over an F-22 isn't insignificant, and it may end up being a 600 to 900nm increase, for all we know.
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disconnectedradical

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Unread post23 Feb 2020, 04:24

zero-one wrote:
disconnectedradical wrote:When people say more range it doesn't mean intercontinental, I don't know why you keep saying that.


Because as it is the Raptor already has nearly 600 nmi radius on subsonic cruise. With Advent's 18% increase thats around the 700 nmi ballpark. your clean sheet proposal is just a 30% increase in radius at the cost of billions upon billions and years of dev/test and will still need support from KC-Z


30% range increase is a major improvement. Also, I don't know how you got 30%, 1,000 nmi is 43% more than 700 nmi. The point is that this kind of range is not possible with F-22 airframe, you need more fuel and more advanced aerodynamics.

zero-one wrote:I'm not going to argue with whats more capable because I'll be the first to say that a clean sheet design will be more capable in almost all aspects if not all. But the cost and schedule is my problem. There is just no way it can be done in the kind of timetables they are implying at.

Ultimately this new cleansheet proposal looks like another single platform that will replace the F-22, something the USAF has hinted that may not be the case. PCA could be a family of aircraft, each filling a niche in the overall combat system.


USAF is not glued to the idea of 2030 IOC, some suggested it but trying to get that date for the sake of it can be counterproductive. Since PCA funding is at 1 billion per year now, there might be prototypes by 2030. Having a platform to replace F-22 doesn't mean it won't be part of a family of aircraft.
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Fox1

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Unread post23 Feb 2020, 05:31

The more I hear the PCA described, the more I envision a revamped YF-23 type design. The F-23A EMD was going to be a big aircraft, about 70 feet in length. It carried considerably more fuel than the F-22. With ADVENT, I could see such an aircraft having the ability to achieve a 1,000 nm combat radius. But in order to retain that capability and have a deeper magazine, the design might need to grow even more. But I'd be willing to bet that whatever they come up with to meet these requirements of exceptional range, speed, super cruise, stealth and fighter like agility will result in something that shares lots of traits with the F-23.
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disconnectedradical

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Unread post23 Feb 2020, 08:11

Fox1 wrote:The more I hear the PCA described, the more I envision a revamped YF-23 type design. The F-23A EMD was going to be a big aircraft, about 70 feet in length. It carried considerably more fuel than the F-22. With ADVENT, I could see such an aircraft having the ability to achieve a 1,000 nm combat radius. But in order to retain that capability and have a deeper magazine, the design might need to grow even more. But I'd be willing to bet that whatever they come up with to meet these requirements of exceptional range, speed, super cruise, stealth and fighter like agility will result in something that shares lots of traits with the F-23.


A v-tail aircraft would be a "low" risk design and some of Lockheed Martin's early PCA concepts look quite a bit like F-23 actually. The latest French/German FCAS model has v-tail and so does the latest model of Japanese F-3. Looking at F-23 EMD drawings, it carries a LOT of fuel, at least as much as YF-23 while with F-22 they lost fuel unfortunately compared to YF-22 when they slimmed down the fuselage especially at the rear.

But if they want to go really aggressive and with "high" risk, they may want to try supersonic tailless, which would be more efficient, lower drag, and stealthier. Apparently it's very difficult because of lateral stability issues, so far there are no aircraft like that.
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zero-one

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Unread post23 Feb 2020, 09:15

disconnectedradical wrote:30% range increase is a major improvement. Also, I don't know how you got 30%, 1,000 nmi is 43% more than 700 nmi.
.
sorry, you're right, 30% less than 1000 nmi seems like a better fit for that statement

disconnectedradical wrote:USAF is not glued to the idea of 2030 IOC, some suggested it but trying to get that date for the sake of it can be counterproductive. Since PCA funding is at 1 billion per year now, there might be prototypes by 2030

Maybe not 2030, but the idea is not to have another protracted development schedule like the ATF and JSF programs.
They're also looking at the idea that PCA will not be one new airplane, rather it could be a family of different airframes for different mission sets.

So the idea of PCA being a new airplane with:
-1000 nmi combat radius
-deep weapons magazine
-Wide broadband Stealth
-better or equal supersonic and super cruise performance to the Raptor
-At least F-35C like agility (7.5Gs with high AoA and probably better acceleration and EM)

Would probably cost much much more than the $50 billion estimate for a modernized F-22 restart. What will be left for the other airplanes that will make up the PCA family?
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Unread post24 Feb 2020, 14:13

I'm not so sure you could get away with more than 100 airframes if the aircraft gets to the 75-80 feet length. It would need to justify its life by having ridiculous combat radius, like 2,000nm. It should be considerably shorter airframe if 1,000nm is the target. The bigger it gets the less of an offensive counter-air role it will play. It would approach sizes that you won't overcome with even the most modern of engineering.
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wolfpak

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Unread post24 Feb 2020, 15:46

Think the PCA would be in service before the European 6th Gen jets Don't think even Congress would want to see us behind a generation in jets.

As for size not sure of the length but the wingspan would be around 57'-6" max. That's the wingspan of an A-10 and would allow the PCA to fit in most existing hardened aircraft shelters.

Wonder if DARPA has developed a flying wing super-cruising fighter size demonstrator to confirm the needed aerodynamics and controls?
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mixelflick

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Unread post24 Feb 2020, 16:27

I don't see any type of "family of systems" due to.... $. Whatever they decide on for range, magazine depth, stealth... it's going to be supremely capable, which equals expensive. It's a pipe dream it'll be multiple airframes, at least as we know them today.

Now, could a "family of systems" be the aircraft itself, a loyal wingman and the AIM-260/Perigrine? Sure, if you define things that way. But multiple airframes as in one for the parent aircraft carrying the radar, another to serve as a flying magazine and still another as a longer ranged, buddy tanker? No way, IMO.

We'll be lucky to produce 200 airframes, and they'll need more like 350 to do it justice. They'll have to push this thing as hard as they did the F-35, to build what they really need...
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wrightwing

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Unread post24 Feb 2020, 17:12

zero-one wrote:



Maybe not 2030, but the idea is not to have another protracted development schedule like the ATF and JSF programs.
They're also looking at the idea that PCA will not be one new airplane, rather it could be a family of different airframes for different mission sets.

So the idea of PCA being a new airplane with:
-1000 nmi combat radius
-deep weapons magazine
-Wide broadband Stealth
-better or equal supersonic and super cruise performance to the Raptor
-At least F-35C like agility (7.5Gs with high AoA and probably better acceleration and EM)

Would probably cost much much more than the $50 billion estimate for a modernized F-22 restart. What will be left for the other airplanes that will make up the PCA family?


It would be much more capable than a super F-22, and the PCA isn't going to necessarily be a family of planes. Think unmanned
(i.e. Loyal Wingman) assets being part of the PCA program, rather than multiple types of manned platforms.
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wrightwing

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Unread post24 Feb 2020, 17:15

mixelflick wrote:I don't see any type of "family of systems" due to.... $. Whatever they decide on for range, magazine depth, stealth... it's going to be supremely capable, which equals expensive. It's a pipe dream it'll be multiple airframes, at least as we know them today.

Now, could a "family of systems" be the aircraft itself, a loyal wingman and the AIM-260/Perigrine? Sure, if you define things that way. But multiple airframes as in one for the parent aircraft carrying the radar, another to serve as a flying magazine and still another as a longer ranged, buddy tanker? No way, IMO.

We'll be lucky to produce 200 airframes, and they'll need more like 350 to do it justice. They'll have to push this thing as hard as they did the F-35, to build what they really need...

Hence the timeline they're looking at. Most of the F-35, B-21, and KC-46 buys will have been finished by the time PCA needs those funds.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post25 Feb 2020, 05:30

Yeah, I love it when the France says that Germany and Spain shouldn't acquire the F-35. As it would lead to the death of the FCAS...


Yet, that is absurd as the FCAS won't arrive for 20 years. Even then it would first replace the Rafales and Typhoons. Which, will take years in itself....


In short the F-35 is no threat to the FCAS. Yet, Germany needs the F-35A to replace it's Tornados. While, Spain needs the F-35A/B to replace their Hornets and Harriers.

Sometimes it hard to tell who side France is on............. :?
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madrat

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Unread post25 Feb 2020, 06:49

FCAS is actually in the same weight class as F-35, so it most certainly is a threat to the program.
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