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F-16 Replacement ("4.5 Generation Fighter")

Jimmo952

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Is this a real concept, because it looks like a fan-art, and it's too early in the program to have come up with a fully fledged design, imo.

There is no program. The images and specs are based on speculation.

Right now, there is a study underway to determine the best force mix for the USAF moving forward.

The results of that study may or may not result in the USAF pursuing a new aircraft type.

There does seem to be enthusiasm in the Airforce for the new digital engineering paradigm. It seems to be breeding confidence that new designs could be brought into existence much faster than in the last fifty years or so.
 

Foo Fighter

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A bunch of people get together and draw up a fictional airframe and requirement we have no proof exists and talk like a hot air balloon. What can we take from this? Not a single thing. I can draw an aircraft that comes out of speculation but I'm not going to go out and say it's a 5th gen minus or sixth gen aircraft. Frankly this sort of conjecture does nothing for anyone and while the pictures are pretty, it is laughable that they made any kind of potential from it. Example, there is talk the RN are looking into catapults for the QE class ships for drones, this means they are rethinking everything and are about to fit EMALS and fly F-35C and this is why they are reducing the number of B models.
 

helmutkohl

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i'm not really sure what all the confusion is about

the guy said he intentionally chose the F-16XL for his fan art
and is openly stating that this is just to promote his new book.

and with the media going nuts over it and not actually reading what was written, this image has spread way too far.
In the end he got what he wanted, attention for his new book.
 

LowObservable

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It's a what-if exercise, and not a bad one. (Less contrary-to-the-laws-of-physics than things that are out there seeking investments.) Unfortunately, people who are turning it into an extended whinge about the media. And by people, I mean "the usual suspects who would hyperventilate themselves into a coma if they ever had to meet the average journo's deadlines."

What-if's can be useful, and should be encouraged, because we make most of our defense mistakes at the requirements stage. Like adding literally tons to the empty weight of an aircraft so a few of them can carry a certain radar. Or designing a stealth ship and arming it for shore bombardment. Or demanding super-low RCS from a helicopter that will operate nap-of-the-earth. Early and lively discussions at the unclassified level might have helped avoid some of these.
 

Jimmo952

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It's a what-if exercise, and not a bad one. (Less contrary-to-the-laws-of-physics than things that are out there seeking investments.) Unfortunately, people who are turning it into an extended whinge about the media. And by people, I mean "the usual suspects who would hyperventilate themselves into a coma if they ever had to meet the average journo's deadlines."

What-if's can be useful, and should be encouraged, because we make most of our defense mistakes at the requirements stage. Like adding literally tons to the empty weight of an aircraft so a few of them can carry a certain radar. Or designing a stealth ship and arming it for shore bombardment. Or demanding super-low RCS from a helicopter that will operate nap-of-the-earth. Early and lively discussions at the unclassified level might have helped avoid some of these.

You raise a good point about our mistakes largely coming at the requirements stage.

We've been shockingly bad at that.
 

autoeac

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Fan art - but very thoughtful fan art. Lockheed should propose a new version of the 16 with that cranked arrow wing, a new inlet and updated equipment. Boeing did it with the F18 and basically did a complete redesign and put into production in relatively short order.
 

Michel Van

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Looking on current development at F-35, F-22 and coming of F-15EX and new F-16V block71/72

The F-35 had to replace the F-16 years ago and it's production is slow and expensive (total program cost insane...)
For F-22 they even stop the production in 2011 after 195 units.
Now the F-15EX jump in as replacement? supplementary? for F-22
and has to operate with F-35 in combat

now with new F-16V for Bahrain
why do I have this sneaking suspicion
that Successor for USAF F-16 is the F-16V block71/72 ?

it would make sense, cheaper to build because production line is still there
upgrade electronics system with parts from F-35 program and you got low cost fighter comparison to F-35
but if that is better choice only the future can tell
 

Archibald

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Buy KF-X :p - or pour a shitload of dollars into it to accelerate the program.
- South Korea already paid a good chunk of the development cost...
- It looks like a miniature F-22 (so reasonably stealth)
- it has Superbug American & proven engines (F414s).
- And unlike a F-16, it's a whole new aircraft so tons of growth potential plus some serious VLO DNA right from the beginning.

What's not to like ? :cool:
 

TomcatViP

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More or less 70 aircraft per year is slow?!!
To my knowledge this is the most mass produced fighter aircraft today. By far.
 

haavarla

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More or less 70 aircraft per year is slow?!!
To my knowledge this is the most mass produced fighter aircraft today. By far.
I agree. Its not slow by any means of metric. Yes you have to divide them between different countries, but i don't see USA, USN and USM being in such bad stage right now. Perhaps the USN with its F-35C is the one suffers the most. But they can order more SH if they want.
 

tequilashooter

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4chan opinion..png

Were there any political or military related figures that have bashed the F-16, F-18 or F-22s as much as this aircraft like image above that anyone is aware of in my curiosity or countries like China and Russia, officials from their countries just don't have freedom of speech to bash their own 5th gens to as much as the same we are doing? Screaming arrows for F-18s, agm-183s for new F-15s of course new the f-16 replacement make it sound like it the F-35 will barely be used. Did this shift occur because of.

1. costs of flight hours/maintenance?
2. Are there still too many issues to fix based on DOD report that they have to make this transition to other programs( F-15EX/f-16 replacement production) until those issues are resolved?
3. Many new hypersonic air to ground missile programs to be carried by other aircrafts suggest better options to weapons currently used on F-35 for cost effectiveness and probability of success?
4. 5th generation program trying to constantly deal with new technology progression from adversary nations that higher gen aircraft or more special purpose role aircrafts are needed? Like using F-16 replacements and F-15EXs until we begin to transition to NGAD to fulfil requirements of those new emerging threats?
 

shin_getter

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Sometimes I wonder about the cost effectiveness of "counter-procurement" strategy to military success. Why bother shooting when newspapers costs nothing and can delivery decisive effects. How much money does it take to buy like every op-ed spot on a given topic anyhow?

In the grim darkness of future war, there is only clickbait~
 
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Archibald

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Hmmm Rafale annual production numbers is... better not to think about it (SIGH)
 

Josh_TN

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@DWG : be aware that F-35 avionics performances, particularly in the fusion domain are a direct results of the VLO performances.

Parting one from another wouldn't be rational.

I'll have to disagree with you there. Sensor fusion is purely dependent on computing power - taking every bit of data, tagging it with time and position to cross-correlate over multiple sensors into a single picture. Stealth may permit you to get a bit closer to acquire data, but processing that data is purely a computational issue. A non-stealth design doesn't have to compromise antennae design, and moderate output power, for low-observability, so can potentially gather greater amounts of data at longer ranges.
Well, in execution computational, in setup, it involves a vast amount of software which is I think a key component of F-35 cost overruns. But I would agree the low RCS doesn't have a direct impact on sensor fusion other than allowing the aircraft to get closer to potential targets.
 

Josh_TN

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F-35 production is slow... SLOW...
I think it would be more fair to say production is slow for the huge customer base it is equipping - three different orgs in the US alone. I wouldn't particularly call a dozen airframes a month slow. It does seem that the USAF and USN can't get them fast enough to maintain their numbers and is falling back on F-15/F-18 purchases.
 

DWG

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F-35 production is slow... SLOW...
I think it would be more fair to say production is slow for the huge customer base it is equipping - three different orgs in the US alone. I wouldn't particularly call a dozen airframes a month slow. It does seem that the USAF and USN can't get them fast enough to maintain their numbers and is falling back on F-15/F-18 purchases.
144 and headed for 160 is comparable with a lot of other combat aircraft.
 

DWG

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144 and headed for 160 is comparable with a lot of other combat aircraft.
Not to any modern aircraft. By a HUGE margin.
Name a combat aircraft that has exceeded a 144/annum build rate in the past 20 years. That's three times the Eurofighter peak build rate, six times the Gripen build rate and a dozen times the Rafale build rate. J-11, J-15 and J-20 have build rates around the Gripen or Rafale levels. The Russian build rates are so low you practically have to express them on a per decade basis.

144 or 160/annum is back to what we were seeing in the '80s. It's not the 240+/annum of the F-16's production peak, but it is comparable with many of the other combat aircraft in production at that time.
 
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GARGEAN

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144 and headed for 160 is comparable with a lot of other combat aircraft.
Not to any modern aircraft. By a HUGE margin.
Name a combat aircraft that has exceeded a 144/annum build rate in the past 20 years. That's three times the Eurofighter peak build rate, six times the Gripen build rate and a dozen times the Rafale build rate. J-11, J-15 and J-20 have build rates around the Gripen or Rafale levels. The Russian build rates are so low you practically have to express them on a per decade basis.

144 or 160/annum is back to what we were seeing in the '80s. It's not the 240+/annum of the F-16's production peak, but it is comparable with many of the other combat aircraft in production at that time.
That's... Literally what I was saying...

BTW would argue a bit about Russia. Building rates themselves are not infuriatingly low, they are just spread across numerous airframes. If all T-10 will be combined, it won't be anywhere near F-35 but will overblow european birds with ease.
 
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