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Author Topic: T-X - A Future USAF Trainer  (Read 196405 times)

Offline TaiidanTomcat

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Re: T-X - A Future USAF Trainer
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2013, 03:59:50 pm »
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I'm disappointed. Would like to see maybe a joint Boeing/Saab clean sheet design however.

And by not doing that the US is ceding it superpower status? (again, as we use Texans and Hawks that did not originate here),

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We should be building an all new 5th/6th generation trainer to train pilots for 5th and 6th generation aircraft.

What does that entail exactly? What would make a trainer "5th/6th generation" ? On that note, what is 6th generation?

 Honestly a Gripen F, if it lives up to all the hype is probably overkill for this purpose.

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Not happy about warmed over Swedish leftovers.

I did laugh  ;D
« Last Edit: September 12, 2013, 04:04:49 pm by TaiidanTomcat »
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Offline SOC

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Re: T-X - A Future USAF Trainer
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2013, 04:28:39 pm »
And by not doing that the US is ceding it superpower status? (again, as we use Texans and Hawks that did not originate here)

 
We only cede superpower status if Boeing has to compete against the foreigners.  It's totally OK for them to collaborate with Boeing!  :-X

Offline F-14D

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Re: T-X - A Future USAF Trainer
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2013, 06:25:25 pm »
Personally, I think this is a brilliant idea.  The Gripen E/F is one heck of an aircraft, and if they really can sell it for less than a T-50, wow!    This would greatly open up training  possibilities, and other roles as well. 

Regarding a derated F-16, I'd shy away from that.  Reducing thrust below what the a/c was designed  for hurts performance considerably more than the gain realized by adding thrust.  You've still got the same amount of drag and mostly weight to overcome.  The question would. 

Regarding overkill, probably so.  But if you can get it for a good price, why not? 

Offline F-14D

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Re: T-X - A Future USAF Trainer
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2013, 06:35:01 pm »
Its dissapointing that boeing is settling for a warmed over Gripen.  :-\  What happened to their clean sheet design? Yet another sign of a fading superpower. America is choosing between a Swedish and a Korean design? Was really hoping for an new generation, innovative, stealthy, agile F-5/Talon class of aircraft that might have been more affordable than the F-35.

"Warmed over Gripen" is rather pejorative and doesn't reflect the reality.  What Boeing problay realized is that startng with a clean sheet design that was affordable and competitive with the pricing of derviatives of other trainers wouldn't be that significantly better than everyone else, whereas here they can take something of the latest non-stealth technology and for minimal out of pocket R&D deliver a significantly more capable aircraft (I wonder if it'll include the rotating AESA).   Wonder about the operating costs, though.

I also wonder if the deal will really get done...

Offline TaiidanTomcat

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Re: T-X - A Future USAF Trainer
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2013, 07:48:18 pm »
Personally, I think this is a brilliant idea.  The Gripen E/F is one heck of an aircraft, and if they really can sell it for less than a T-50, wow!    This would greatly open up training  possibilities, and other roles as well. 


Good point.
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Offline kcran567

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Re: T-X - A Future USAF Trainer
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2013, 01:45:39 am »
I'm disappointed. Would like to see maybe a joint Boeing/Saab clean sheet design however. We should be building an all new 5th/6th generation trainer to train pilots for 5th and 6th generation aircraft. Not happy about warmed over Swedish leftovers.

You don't understand the point of a training aircraft. It doesn't need stealth or to carry weapons internally or to possess the ability to supercruise; those are all hall marks of the "gens" you're describing. What it needs is to operate like those aircraft, with advanced systems, without costing near as much as the front line systems. Also, they need to make sure the funds to develop it aren't extensive. A clean sheet design may be cheap to operate, but it won't be as cheap to develop and buy as something that already exists in some form.

I agree with what you say re training requirements and an existing aircraft would work just fine. An all new design would be much more cable for 5th/6th training requirements. With stealth proliferation around the world how else to realistically simulate those threats and capabilities. I was hoping for a 5 th/6th generation version of the f-5/ t-38. A capable low cost and light weight stealthy brand new design with some innovative technology that would fill the niche much like the f-5 in its day. Our allies would welcome this, and imagine an aggressor squadron of these for training purposes as well. I suspect that the real reason is the pentagon wants nothing to compete with the f-35 whatsoever so the idea was squashed quickly much like the f-20 was vs the f-16. Our allies would have wanted this if it wasn't a budget buster.

Offline kcran567

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Re: T-X - A Future USAF Trainer
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2013, 01:56:23 am »
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I'm disappointed. Would like to see maybe a joint Boeing/Saab clean sheet design however.

And by not doing that the US is ceding it superpower status? (again, as we use Texans and Hawks that did not originate here),

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We should be building an all new 5th/6th generation trainer to train pilots for 5th and 6th generation aircraft.

What does that entail exactly? What would make a trainer "5th/6th generation" ? On that note, what is 6th generation?

 Honestly a Gripen F, if it lives up to all the hype is probably overkill for this purpose.

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Not happy about warmed over Swedish leftovers.

I did laugh  ;D
i know to you it seems unlikely, but there are hints that our superpower status is in decline morally ^Miley Cyrus^and economically ( take a look at Detroit for example, it looks worse than Hiroshima did after the Atom bomb was dropped) but I'll spare everyone that discussion. I appreciate the Texan, hawk, and even the gripen but seriously
[size=78%] if we are talking about using foreign designs I for one would pass on last weeks reheated Swedish meatballs [/size] :P  would a thriving superpower need to resort to using old foreign competitors? For the reasons I think it's the wrong choice, and it could be a larger market for all new design.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2013, 02:12:13 am by kcran567 »

Offline sferrin

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Re: T-X - A Future USAF Trainer
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2013, 04:44:59 am »
Personally, I think this is a brilliant idea.  The Gripen E/F is one heck of an aircraft, and if they really can sell it for less than a T-50, wow!    This would greatly open up training  possibilities, and other roles as well. 

Regarding a derated F-16, I'd shy away from that.  Reducing thrust below what the a/c was designed  for hurts performance considerably more than the gain realized by adding thrust.  You've still got the same amount of drag and mostly weight to overcome.  The question would. 

Regarding overkill, probably so.  But if you can get it for a good price, why not?

There's a reason nobody wanted the F-16/79   ;)
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Offline AeroFranz

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Re: T-X - A Future USAF Trainer
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2013, 08:37:44 am »
The Gripen is a LOT of airplane for the trainer mission. There is already some doubt about the T-50 being disadvantaged versus the M346/T100 because of the larger size and operating costs.
I think the Gripen's a great aircraft, but when you start with a heavier, more sophisticated, higher-performance airframe than either competitors, you have to work very hard to justify the price tag in relationship to the requirements.


That is not to say that it won't work, i'm just skeptical about the practicality of it and Boeing selling it.


With regards to the amenities currently found on the JAS-39, and specifically the radar, i would get rid of the thing and pocket the savings, at least if training is all you're doing. That's probably $1M+ right there. Modern trainers have built-in simulations that allow you to replicate inflight engagement scenarios without actually having to lug the thing around (and buy it and maintain it). THat's on top of the ground simulators.


Of course, nothing says SAAB/Boeing couldn't sell a radar-equipped version for missions other than training. In that case, Raytheon and NG would push for a competition to put their SABR and RACR radars in there. The case for the -39 gets better when you can sell more of them for other customers/missions, but few things are more cost/effective than an aircraft designed from the start to requirements very close to those of the T-X RFP.
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Offline Sundog

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Re: T-X - A Future USAF Trainer
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2013, 10:23:50 am »
There's a reason nobody wanted the F-16/79   ;)

The F-16/79 wasn't being marketed as a trainer, it was being marketed as a frontline fighter. That's a huge difference in the mission requirements and it had nothing to do with the large existing infrastructure we have with the program now. ;)
 
As for lowering the thrust, it wouldn't be a problem, because most advanced trainers don't have a T/W of 1.0 anyway.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2013, 10:25:53 am by Sundog »

Offline Triton

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Re: T-X - A Future USAF Trainer
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2013, 10:54:03 am »
Too bad that Aviation Technology Group went bankrupt or we might have had the Javelin in the T-X competition.

ATG Javelin
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Offline TaiidanTomcat

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Re: T-X - A Future USAF Trainer
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2013, 12:49:44 pm »
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i know to you it seems unlikely, but there are hints that our superpower status is in decline morally ^Miley Cyrus^and economically ( take a look at Detroit for example, it looks worse than Hiroshima did after the Atom bomb was dropped) but I'll spare everyone that discussion. I appreciate the Texan, hawk,

The Texan and Hawk are rehashed foriegn designs though, and Miley aside Training aircraft aren't really needed to be awesome Hi tech performers. They are meant to train, in that way they are all very similiar in which case there is no need to reinvent the wheel. All of this stuff costs, and as others have pointed out the expense needed for the aircraft you want, that is going to be a trainer anyway is unfeasible. If you want to try and play the superpower in decline card, buying foreign training aircraft like we did decades ago is a bad argument. Hell the US has operated combat aircraft of foreign manufacture many times throughout its history. It doesn't suddenly relinquish our super power status because they aren't building a niche aircraft you think we need. The US is about to dominate the combat fighter market for the next 40 years. If thats a "decline" I'll take it. Europe OTOH is selling less than ever. Ill let you do the math on who is declining. (sorry my measure is airplanes not pop stars)

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if we are talking about using foreign designs I for one would pass on last weeks reheated Swedish meatballs [/size] :P  would a thriving superpower need to resort to using old foreign competitors? For the reasons I think it's the wrong choice, and it could be a larger market for all new design.

There is market and its currently filled by the same aircraft that are competing for the T-X Your idea is take that market and create a bastard that is more expensive than the others in order to field capabilities no one needs for a trainer. So its too light for a combat aircraft, and too heavy and expensive for a trainer.

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I agree with what you say re training requirements and an existing aircraft would work just fine. An all new design would be much more cable for 5th/6th training requirements. With stealth proliferation around the world how else to realistically simulate those threats and capabilities.

how? What makes a "5th/6th generation" trainer?


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I was hoping for a 5 th/6th generation version of the f-5/ t-38. A capable low cost and light weight stealthy brand new design with some innovative technology that would fill the niche much like the f-5 in its day.

Substitute "F-16" for "F-5" in there and you have the basis of the F-35. Saying these things doesn't instantly make them so. We also have no idea what a sixth generation fighter is. And no one want to spend billions of dollars to develop a stealthy trainer.

Take a look at the hellacious time SAAB has had just trying to sell the Gripen NG. Look at its unit cost is so far. Look what its cost to develop. Look at how many orders its secured, Now imagine going clean sheet with even more advanced avionics and stealth features, and tell me where the market is for a fighter of that size at that price.

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I suspect that the real reason is the pentagon wants nothing to compete with the f-35 whatsoever so the idea was squashed quickly much like the f-20 was vs the f-16. Our allies would have wanted this if it wasn't a budget buster.

That's extremely simplistic.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2013, 01:01:08 pm by TaiidanTomcat »
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Offline F-14D

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Re: T-X - A Future USAF Trainer
« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2013, 02:21:05 pm »
Some thoughts:

JAS-39 E/F is a lot more than a "warmed over Gripen".  Even some basic research will show that.   As to why it hasn't been selling, aside from pure politics, it's competing against Rafale and Typhoon, which are admittedly higher performance in some areas and a lot more prestigious.  Don't discount that as a factor. Plus, not that many countries are familiar with Swedish arms sales and capabilities, which cuases uncertainty.  If the AF bought it, its prestige would immediately rise, and potential customers would feel more confident as well.    It's worthy of note that the Super Hornet has not won a single competition.   

Regarding a competition on putting SABR or RACR in there, I find that doubtful and ultimately pointless.  Those are designed for aircraft that weren't already designed with an AESA-based system.  Gripen E/F is already designed around  a system that's as least as capable and has a much wider field of view, so trying to put one of those in there will do nothing except raise costs considerably, introduce delays and extend the EMD and require significant changes.   Plus USAF is clearly looking for a training package.  Why would they want to go out and sped the time and money to arrange a competition which at best will give them what they'd already have anyway?    Of course, they could drop the radar and passive senors altogether (you'd have to put in ballast).  That would reduce costs and as far a Sweden goes, all those airframes sold to the US would reduce costs finance them going back to offering a weaponized two seater.   But you know, with as many as USAF is talking about buying, I'd leave all the stuff in if it's cost-competitive, because they'd be a valuable asset for combat use. 

Regarding the lowered thrust, I'm not talking about just fighter type maneuvers, lowering thrust below what the a/c was designed for affects the entire envelope.   Besides, what other engine would you put in there?  F414 is already in US (N) inventory.  Putting in another one will raise costs. 

As far as a clean sheet design, if Gripen didn't exist then Boeing might still try and go that route.  But, since the cost of development of an F for USAF is a small fraction of what it would cost to start from scratch and said design wouldn't be all that much better, why bother?    In this case, assuming it can be delivered for a competitive price to the other trainers, the numbers have to favor  the Swedish plane.   

As far as stealthy goes, who needs that in a trainer?    If you're going to use it as an aggressor aircraft (not a bad idea with the Gripen, for Navy as well) and want to train against a stealth aircraft, you can hang a specific transponder on it and program the fire control systems in the other aircraft not to "see" it.  Voila! Instant simulated stealth!   



« Last Edit: September 13, 2013, 06:52:23 pm by F-14D »

Offline Steve Pace

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Re: T-X - A Future USAF Trainer
« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2013, 06:24:40 pm »
Why not build a whole bunch of NEW T-38s - to me the T-38 is the best ever transonic pilot trainer. -SP
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Offline F-14D

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Re: T-X - A Future USAF Trainer
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2013, 06:57:45 pm »
Why not build a whole bunch of NEW T-38s - to me the T-38 is the best ever transonic pilot trainer. -SP

Well, for one thing the US gov't doesn't own the design.  For another, good as it is, it isn't as capable as later technology aircraft (plus its systems are getting harder to support because of their age).   And finally, given what it would cots to recreate the production line tooling, reset up the line for it and the J85 (we can maintain the J85 through 2040, but not sure if we could build them anymore), you'd probably cost as much as one of the aircraft being proposed.