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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zero-one

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Unread post29 Jan 2020, 19:13

disconnectedradical wrote: the 18 year development for F-22 is when they want to make big jumps in airframe, engines, and avionics. It's combining all 3 into a system that makes F-22 and F-35 development so long. If those 3 can be separated then you can make development of each shorter.


Thats what I'm saying.
-Airframe
-Engines
-Avionics

Engines: we know ADVENT is in development and has been for some time so we can start with that. Slap it on existing airframes, ow say the F-22....

Avionics, Current F-22 avionics are formidable but far from cutting edge, You don't need to develop new ones. just the latest ones available or are in mature stages of development. Advanced DAS and EOTS perhaps with a new GaN bassed AESA .

Airframe: there is no new airframe anywhere in the horizon, so this will probably be the last to come up, unless they kept it a secret after all this time.

In my opinion this Super Raptor can fly by 2027 and reach iOC in 2030 or 31. This new plane can hold the floor for another 40 years with proper upgrades.

Apply the same to a modified B-21 that will act as long range stealth interceptor, target iOC could be 2035.
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wrightwing

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Unread post29 Jan 2020, 20:47

zero-one wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:I just don't see them cutting off much time in the development of any new 6th Generation Fighter. Especially, considering we have just scratched the surface of 5th Generation Fighters!


Well in one of the articles I posted, they did say that the Generation concept was outdated and that they were looking into going in a "Century series model" where a new aircraft with the latest technologies may be churned out every decade.
If we think about it, they've been applying that system with the block buy model,

That article represented a minority view point, and certainly not the USAF as a whole. We're not going back to a Century series approach..
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wrightwing

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Unread post29 Jan 2020, 21:00

zero-one wrote:
disconnectedradical wrote: the 18 year development for F-22 is when they want to make big jumps in airframe, engines, and avionics. It's combining all 3 into a system that makes F-22 and F-35 development so long. If those 3 can be separated then you can make development of each shorter.


Thats what I'm saying.
-Airframe
-Engines
-Avionics

Engines: we know ADVENT is in development and has been for some time so we can start with that. Slap it on existing airframes, ow say the F-22....

Avionics, Current F-22 avionics are formidable but far from cutting edge, You don't need to develop new ones. just the latest ones available or are in mature stages of development. Advanced DAS and EOTS perhaps with a new GaN bassed AESA .

Airframe: there is no new airframe anywhere in the horizon, so this will probably be the last to come up, unless they kept it a secret after all this time.

In my opinion this Super Raptor can fly by 2027 and reach iOC in 2030 or 31. This new plane can hold the floor for another 40 years with proper upgrades.

Apply the same to a modified B-21 that will act as long range stealth interceptor, target iOC could be 2035.

Once again, the USAF has unequivocally stated that no new F-22s of any kind are in the cards. Current F-22s will be upgraded and kept in service thru the 2060s, F-35s will be bought in the proper numbers and receive continuous upgrades. The money that would be spent on new F-22s will be spent on PCA development. There's no upgrade to the F-22 that will allow it to meet the (P)CA requirement. If the new planes aren't at least >1000nm combat radius and .00001m^2 (or better) it's probably not worth the trouble.
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madrat

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Unread post30 Jan 2020, 03:23

For all we know they might be able to make PCA into a 737 sized (but stealth) aircraft with lots of standoff capacity supported by a fleet of drones. Kind of like an AWACS of sorts, sifting through the data supplied by the fleet of drones. For targets near a particular drone a localized weapon might be employed. For fast reaction to a threat that drones cannot touch there might be some mule aircraft in figure-8 patterns ready to deploy bigger or more specialized weapons. But for the really serious threats the PCA might direct energy weapons or whatnot.

Instead of thinking about a fleet of a uniform airframe, might want to consider that to be obsolete in the sixth generation.
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disconnectedradical

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Unread post30 Jan 2020, 07:27

zero-one wrote:Engines: we know ADVENT is in development and has been for some time so we can start with that. Slap it on existing airframes, ow say the F-22....


I'll post this picture of ADVENT/AETP again, look at the improvement.

Image

Only 18%. Unless you want to sacrifice supersonic performance by giving the engine smaller core so there is room for 3rd stream.

F-22 airframe is too limited and not enough, do you not understand?

zero-one wrote:Avionics, Current F-22 avionics are formidable but far from cutting edge, You don't need to develop new ones. just the latest ones available or are in mature stages of development. Advanced DAS and EOTS perhaps with a new GaN bassed AESA .


That's what F-22 MLU will hopefully bring. But funding for that doesn't start until 2024, and also F-22 is getting more limited on electrical power now. More reason why the airframe is reaching the limits.

https://www.aviationtoday.com/2018/10/1 ... rnization/

Merchant said the F-22 is “good” on weight still with these changes because the new racks tend to be lighter, though it’s starting to get “a little bit limited on power” as capabilities are added. Certainly, with the goal of keeping the Raptor in service until 2060, more electrical power will be needed at some point.


zero-one wrote:Airframe: there is no new airframe anywhere in the horizon, so this will probably be the last to come up, unless they kept it a secret after all this time.

In my opinion this Super Raptor can fly by 2027 and reach iOC in 2030 or 31. This new plane can hold the floor for another 40 years with proper upgrades.

Apply the same to a modified B-21 that will act as long range stealth interceptor, target iOC could be 2035.


:doh: It takes 6.5 years just to restart F-22A production, since the production line is gone. You want to keep using this old airframe for another 40 years? The airframe is already reaching the limits.

So what is cheaper then, a super F-22 that needs a bunch of stealth tankers because of range, a bunch of missile carrying escorts for magazine depth, and have to operate further from contested airspace because it's less stealthy, or a clean sheet that might take a few more years but will be vastly more capable and does not need nearly as much supporting assets. Do you really save money with some super F-22 then? What sense is there to delay a new airframe so you can spend a TON of money to make a bunch of older and more limited ones that gets obsolete much sooner? Again as dubious as the F-15X is, at least it has an active production line, while there is NONE for F-22 right now.

F-22 started development 10 years after F-15 entered service and entered service 30 years after F-15. It's 15 years after F-22 entered service and you want it to "hold the floor" for another 40 years? Europe is already developing 5.5 gen FCAS and Tempest which will probably be more capable than F-22, so you rather keep upgrading that airframe?

You're too passionate and biased towards the F-22 (I don't know why you are so into this airframe), and even though it's a good aircraft, it has limitations that won't make it suitable for what USAF wants in 2030+ timeframe.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post30 Jan 2020, 07:45

Honestly, I doubt the ACE technology would be adapted to existing engines. Like the F100, F110, or even F119. My guess it would only be used for the new 6th Generation Fighters (PCA/NGAD) and/or as a replacement for the F135 in the F-35.


"IMHO"
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zero-one

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Unread post01 Feb 2020, 09:03

disconnectedradical wrote: You want to keep using this old airframe for another 40 years? The airframe is already reaching the limits.


I'll repeat this over and over and over until it sinks in.
Its not about what I want, its about what the USAF requires. They have repeatedly said, they don't want another 15 year development cycle. And that PCA could be several different platforms specializing in different mission sets

You're view that a new clean sheet design will take just a "little more time" than the F-22's 6.5 year restart is hyper optimistic in my opinion, You're asking for a new airframe that combines the wide broadband stealth of the B-21 and the Kinematics of the F-22 (maybe a little less in some areas) the magazine depth of the F-15X, maybe more and double or triple the range of the Raptor

2 questions there,
1. Would this design actually need to be a family of systems, coz to me it looks like this can stand on its own as the new Silver bullet super air dominance fighter. Something the USAF said they're moving away from.

2. How can this be done in the kind of time line the USAF is gunning for, 5 years.
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marsavian

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Unread post01 Feb 2020, 13:51

How can this be done in the kind of time line the USAF is gunning for, 5 years.


It can't, 15+ is more realistic, when the bulk of F-35 production is over.
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disconnectedradical

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Unread post01 Feb 2020, 16:37

zero-one wrote:I'll repeat this over and over and over until it sinks in.
Its not about what I want, its about what the USAF requires. They have repeatedly said, they don't want another 15 year development cycle. And that PCA could be several different platforms specializing in different mission sets


It all depends on how much risk they want with a new airframe, if they want lower risk they can get a new airframe that’s better in some ways than F-22 without being extremely risky or expensive. Problem is clean sheet may be expensive but F-22 restart is not much cheaper because again ]F-22 production line is gone. A low risk clean sheet like a v-tail aircraft that Lockheed Martin showed in some concept art can be done for not much more than restarting F-22 production. There are airframe concepts existing right now that could offer better performance than F-22, even something like F-23.

zero-one wrote: 2 questions there,
1. Would this design actually need to be a family of systems, coz to me it looks like this can stand on its own as the new Silver bullet super air dominance fighter. Something the USAF said they're moving away from.

2. How can this be done in the kind of time line the USAF is gunning for, 5 years.

Nothing will be here in 5 years, not even F-22A restart. So I don’t know why you’re so caught up with this time to try to justify more F-22. Do you really want to bet on this airframe against the FCAS, or upgraded Su-57, or J-20 in 2040s?
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wrightwing

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Unread post01 Feb 2020, 20:02

disconnectedradical wrote:

You're too passionate and biased towards the F-22 (I don't know why you are so into this airframe), and even though it's a good aircraft, it has limitations that won't make it suitable for what USAF wants in 2030+ timeframe.

This may be going a little too far, though your other sentiments are correct. I think that it'd be more accurate to say that a variant of the F-22 isn't what the USAF wants, to replace the F-22. Whether the PCA is a platform or family of platforms, range and further signature reduction are going to be very high priorities. Sure, there are band aid approaches to get more than 18% range improvements (i.e. CFT/EFT,) but then you start getting into issues with maintaining the current level of signature reduction. It's going to take a clean sheet design to get more range, and a smaller signature.
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wrightwing

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Unread post01 Feb 2020, 20:07

zero-one wrote:
disconnectedradical wrote: You want to keep using this old airframe for another 40 years? The airframe is already reaching the limits.


I'll repeat this over and over and over until it sinks in.
Its not about what I want, its about what the USAF requires. They have repeatedly said, they don't want another 15 year development cycle. And that PCA could be several different platforms specializing in different mission sets

You're view that a new clean sheet design will take just a "little more time" than the F-22's 6.5 year restart is hyper optimistic in my opinion, You're asking for a new airframe that combines the wide broadband stealth of the B-21 and the Kinematics of the F-22 (maybe a little less in some areas) the magazine depth of the F-15X, maybe more and double or triple the range of the Raptor

2 questions there,
1. Would this design actually need to be a family of systems, coz to me it looks like this can stand on its own as the new Silver bullet super air dominance fighter. Something the USAF said they're moving away from.

2. How can this be done in the kind of time line the USAF is gunning for, 5 years.


The USAF has never stated a timeline of 2030 (or earlier) for IOC of a new aircraft. There have been a few USAF officers that have opined on the matter, but that's not the official USAF position. The official USAF position is still a 2035-2040 time frame, for whatever comes after F-22. The primary budget priorities right now are F-35, B-21, and KC-46.
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zero-one

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Unread post02 Feb 2020, 10:56

disconnectedradical wrote: A low risk clean sheet like a v-tail aircraft that Lockheed Martin showed in some concept art can be done for not much more than restarting F-22 production. There are airframe concepts existing right now that could offer better performance than F-22, even something like F-23.


But That just a concept art, historically speaking most concept arts require major redesigns, decades of development time and billions of dollars in testing. Nobody is even sure if it will actually fly or have RCS returns better than the F-22.

Yes having less control surfaces and protruding surfaces will improve RCS? But exactly by how much? We don't know. The saying goes, "if it was so good, everyone would be doing it". So far, no pelican tail design has made it passed the prototype stage.

In the X-32, engineers agreed that 2 tails will offer better RCS returns than 4, but it will also be heavier
https://www.airspacemag.com/military-av ... c=y&page=2
The bigger hydraulic pumps and cylinders needed to operate the larger surfaces would end up adding at least 200 pounds to the design.


Wait, you're saying they went back to traditional 4 tail designs just because of a minuscule 200 pound weight gain?
That tells me that the perceived RCS advantages of the pelican tail is so small that its not even worth the 200 pounds in weight. (maybe this is just for the X-32's case or maybe its for all Pelican tail designs, we don't know)

Using older aircraft designs to fulfill future roles is nothing new.
The F/A-18E fulfills the role that the A-12 and NATF should have filled
It was done due to budget restrictions for the Navy at the time, exactly what the USAF is facing now.
but it's worked pretty well so far.
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Unread post02 Feb 2020, 21:12

zero-one wrote:Wait, you're saying they went back to traditional 4 tail designs just because of a minuscule 200 pound weight gain?
That tells me that the perceived RCS advantages of the pelican tail is so small that its not even worth the 200 pounds in weight. (maybe this is just for the X-32's case or maybe its for all Pelican tail designs, we don't know) .

That 200 pounds can have a big impact on STOVL ability, especially if it make X-32 tail heavy. If STOVL was one of the criteria then I can see why they think 200 lbs weight gain is important issue
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marauder2048

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Unread post03 Feb 2020, 07:29

So much of the lead time in reconstituting the F-22 line is in rebuilding the titanium processing and
forging capacity for an aircraft that required 50 metric tons of titanium per airframe (~ 10 lbs for every 1 pound
that ended up on the aircraft).

I would think that a major goal of PCA would be to design an aircraft that doesn't
depend on materials where:

a. the US is heavily reliant on imports from the PRC and Russia
b. DOD is susceptible to pricing/scheduling competition from commercial aerospace
c. there are long material lead times for processing/finishing

Not to say you couldn't use additive titanium where the buy-to-fly ratio is better on the F-22 restart
but that's probably tantamount to doing redoing the entire structures/loads campaign.
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zero-one

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Unread post03 Feb 2020, 08:34

marauder2048 wrote:a. the US is heavily reliant on imports from the PRC and Russia
b. DOD is susceptible to pricing/scheduling competition from commercial aerospace
c. there are long material lead times for processing/finishing


A. Well Canada is a good source, but you know what, the US is actually the World's top Titanium exporter despite not being the top Titanium producer.
Read here: https://oec.world/en/profile/hs92/8108/

B. Pretty sure the US can produce it's own Titanium for sensitive defense projects.
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