• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

Fighter Generations

AeroFranz

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 4, 2008
Messages
2,176
Reaction score
46
It all depends on what you define "generation" as.
Chronologically?
As having markedly different characteristics from predecessors?
It doesn't necessarily have to mean "has more gizmos", or for that matter "is better".
It does however imply (at least in my mind) that other designs would follow in the same philosophy, otherwise it's not so much a generation as a single aberration.
So if you started seeing new designs embodying the characteristics that set the -39 apart, then yes, it would be the first of a new generation.
 

Dreamfighter

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
162
Reaction score
2
Which characteristics set the 39E so apart that it is a next generation? The software-enhancements, the somewhat larger range and payload compared with the 39C, the affordability and it's ability to attain 1.2M in supercruise?
Personally I would use the term "6th generation" for completely new designs with technical advancements (software-wise but also aerodynamics, propulsion, signature-reduction, etc) over the present generation. Imo Gripen-E is rather 4.75 generation, not even 5 like F-22, F-35, T-50 and J-20.
And I don't think evolved designs like Gripen 39E are THE future of fighterdesign, if the US wouldn't be able to find the money to develop and produce their F/A-XXs and NGADs, then surely the Chinese will and military aviation-advancement will proceed overthere. For us here in Europe, well that's another matter I guess, Gripen-E (and perhaps a Super Typhoon in a sweet dream?) might indeed be the future of our domestically made manned fighters.
 

GTX

All hail the God of Frustration!!!
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2006
Messages
2,712
Reaction score
77
Website
beyondthesprues.com
The generally accepted view of the Jet Fighter "Generations" is as follows (courtesy of David Cenciotti):

Generation 1: Jet propulsion
Generation 2: Swept wings; range-only radar; infrared missiles
Generation 3: Supersonic speed; pulse radar; able to shoot at targets beyond visual range.
Generation 4: Pulse-doppler radar; high maneuverability; look-down, shoot-down missiles.
Generation 4+: High agility; sensor fusion; reduced signatures.
Generation 4++: Active electronically scanned arrays; continued reduced signatures or some “active” (waveform canceling) stealth; some supercruise.
Generation 5: All-aspect stealth with internal weapons, extreme agility, full-sensor fusion, integrated avionics, some or full supercruise.
Potential Generation 6: extreme stealth; efficient in all flight regimes (subsonic to multi-Mach); possible “morphing” capability; smart skins; highly networked; extremely sensitive sensors; optionally manned; directed energy weapons.

The attached image also gives some examples against each.

Sure there might be some to-ing and fro-ing between some elements but not that much.

Using this sort of information as a guide, the Saab Gripen NG probably best fits as either a Generation 4+ or Generation 4++.
 

Attachments

Avimimus

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
1,938
Reaction score
38
GTX said:
Potential Generation 6: moderate stealth; efficient in subsonic flight regimes; reduced development costs; reduced maintenance costs; higher fuel efficiency; highly networked; extremely sensitive sensors; optionally manned; directed energy weapons.
...or you can go with the Sukhoi interview a while back and say: Spaceplane!!

If it hasn't happened yet we don't really know what the future holds.

P.S. There is the interesting issue about whether to define Generation 5 via the 1990s F-22 ADF... or something more flexible. Arguably, it is better to use the Russian's for a coherent definition (as they tend to develop missiles and radar at the same time as new airframes so definitions based on their development programs tend to be more 'coherent'). Then I'd also ask - should we treat the Euro-Canards as their own generations?
 

F-14D

I really did change my personal text
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
1,741
Reaction score
43
Maybe he isn't defining generation by being defined by performance and or capability alone, but by philosophy (I didn't want to use the cliche "new paradigm"). In other words, the next "generation" is a different direction. For example, if we could build reliable A2A missiles that were hypersonic, extremely accurate multi-mode guided, capable of 100 g turns, ranges from 500 yards to 120 nm yet were small and light enough that you could hang bunch on an aircraft the next "generation" of fighters wold be more concerned with powerful sensors, long endurance and sustained speed to get on station than what we are presently expecting the F-22 replacement to be. Ditto if a practical long range airborne rapid-fire multi-shot directed energy weapon could be fielded. Then the next "fighter" might be a 747 sized a/c with an enormous radar and mutli-spectral sensors.

Maybe he's saying that the "6th generation" will be a/c with the general performance of what they expect to encounter, sensors and avionics up to the task but not necessarily a major leap ahead in every area. OTOH, it would be not a bank-breaker, would be robust and among its advanced concepts would be ease of maintenance and much lower cost of ownership. This would be a change in direction. After all, the F-22 and -35 aren't promising they'll require less maintenance or cost less to operate than their predecessors, so this would be a change in direction.

he could have just said "next" generation, but "6th" is so much more provocative
 

LowObservable

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2006
Messages
2,170
Reaction score
34
About right, F-14D.

The Cenciotti chart is not very valuable, let alone generally accepted. The Russians invented the 5th-gen label (as any fule kno) and it made some sense for them because of their centralized planning and development. They also tried to forget about their crappy straight-wing fighters, quite understandably.

1 - MiG-15/17
2 - MiG-21/Su-7/Su-9
3 - MiG-23/Su-15
4 - MiG-29/Su-27
5 - T-50

Simples! However, this ignores a lot of aircraft (Yak-28P, Tu-128, MiG-25/31) that are outliers.

The point is that if there is really a generational structure, it involves evolution to match the environment: conflicts, missions, threats, technical and economic, to name but a few. As the most-new post-2000 program in the West, JAS 39E was born into a different world from the one in which the "Gen5" philosophy originated.
 

harrier

BAe P.1216 book: harrier.org.uk/P1216.htm
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
1,017
Reaction score
60
Was the MiG 19 deliberately excluded by the Russians? Surely supersonic ability counts as a 'generational' advance?


Cenciotti puts it with the Phantom. Not sure I would.


Of course, it's all PR tripe, but SAAB could also have a bash at their own generations: 21/21R/Tunnan/Lansen/Draken/Viggen/Gripen (6 or 7 there already).
 

sferrin

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
12,512
Reaction score
579
IMO:

1st Gen: Earliest jets. Meteor, Me262, XP-59, F-80

2nd Gen: Swept wing, range-only radar (maybe), earliest gudied missiles. Mig-15, F-86, F-89, CF-100, Mig-19, Javelin

3rd Gen: Supersonic speed, PD radar, 2nd gen guided missiles. Mig-23, F-4, Mirage III

4th Gen: LD/SD radars, renewed emphasis on manueverability and visibility, afterburning turbofans. Mirage 2000, Tornado ADV, F-Teen, Su-27

5th Gen: All aspect stealth, the role of avionics, sensors, and networking taking a MUCH larger role in aircraft effectiveness, HMCS/HOBS. F-22, F-35, J-20.

Thing is, in the 1980s (yes the generation thing was talked about back then - it isn't a Lockheed Martin marketing invention) "next generation" (which, one would presume, meant the next aircraft being developed) would be: F-22, Typhoon, Rafale, Mig-2000. To lump them together though is misleading (to say the least) so. . .who knows? It's not an exact science (obviously). And there are a lot of aircraft that don't really fit neatly in there.
 

LowObservable

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2006
Messages
2,170
Reaction score
34
If anyone can find a citation (we've been through this before) to numbered fighter generations before 2000, and not in reference to Russia, please produce it.

Books in the shed somewhere don't count.

(Not sure where the MiG-19 fell. I suspect with the -15/-17... in any event, it was a retrospective issue with the Russians as well.)
 

Reaper

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
204
Reaction score
5
GTX said:
The generally accepted view of the Jet Fighter "Generations" is as follows
published by John A. Tirpak in Air Force Magazine
 

sferrin

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
12,512
Reaction score
579
LowObservable said:
If anyone can find a citation (we've been through this before) to numbered fighter generations before 2000, and not in reference to Russia, please produce it.

Books in the shed somewhere don't count.
Too bad.

Here's one from 1990 (albeit they split it a bit differently):
http://www.airpower.au.af.mil/airchronicles/apj/apj90/win90/1win90.htm

Following is a list of the generations, typical aircraft in each generation, and some of the definingcharacteristics of these aircraft.

1. High subsonic (1943-50): Me 262, Meteor, P-80, Vampire, Yak-15, MiG-9, Saab J-21, F-84 straightwing, F9F straightwing, Ouragan, Venom. Little aerodynamic difference from the last generation of propeller-driven fighters. First- and second-generation turbojets; wood, fabric, and all-metal construction; optical gunsights; straight wing and straight tail. Mechanical control systems. Primitive ejection seats. Mach 0.75-0.85.

2. Transonic (1947-55): F-86, F-84 sweptwing, F9F sweptwing, MiG-15/17, Hunter, Mystère TV. Second-generation turbojets; radar gunsights; swept wings; generally have adjustable horizontal stabilizers. Early hydromechanical flight control systems. Mach 0.90-1.05.

3. Early supersonic (1953-60): MiG-19, F-100, F-8. Swept wings, all-moving tails, radar gunsights, introduction of air-to-air missile armament. Third-generation turbojet engines. Early stability augmentation technology. Generally adaptable for both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. Mach 1.3.

4. Supersonic (limited purpose) (1955-70): F-104, early model MiG-21, EE (BAC) Lightning, early model Mirage III. Supersonic aerodynamics, especially area ruling; fourth-generation turbojets; radar for search and fire control. Overreliance on -air-to-air missiles based on unrealistic expectations. Mach 2.0.

5. Supersonic (multirole) (1958-80): F-105, F-4, late-model MiG-21, late-model Mirage III, F-5, F-111, Mirage V, Su-24, MiG-23/27, Jaguar, Mirage Fl, Kfir. Refined supersonic aerodynamic design, including canards and variable geometry wings; fourth- and fifth-generation engines; stability augmentation; mixed-gun air-to-air missile (AAM) armament; terrain-following radar for low-level high-speed flight; radar search and fire control; infrared sensors; heads up displays (HUD); laser ranging and targeting; wide range of air-to-surface missiles, bombs, and rockets, including precision-guided munitions. Mach 1.4-2.5.

6. Supersonic multirole, high efficiency (1974-present): F-14, F-15, F-16, F-18, Mirage 2000, Tornado, MiG-29, Su-27. Combined the characteristics of the fifth-generation fighters with advances in propulsion, radar (multiple target track-while-scan, look-down/shoot-down), sensor, and electronic flight control technology to generate highly maneuverable, highly agile aircraft that can be swing-roled for air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. Fifth- or sixth-generation gas-turbine engines; engine thrust-to-weight ratios in excess of one; ability to attain supersonic speeds without afterburning; sustained high-G flight, and controllability below 70 knots at angles of attack exceeding 70 degrees. High degree of energy efficiency. Mix of cannonand missile armament, coupled with diverse air-to-ground weaponry. Mach 1.8-2.5.
 

overscan

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
11,729
Reaction score
1,471
By that list the F-22 is at least "Gen 7"


The Chinese refer to J-20 as 3rd Generation, which it is, in their context.


The whole thing is pretty meaningless.
 

sferrin

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
12,512
Reaction score
579
PaulMM (Overscan) said:
By that list the F-22 is at least "Gen 7"


The Chinese refer to J-20 as 3rd Generation, which it is, in their context.


The whole thing is pretty meaningless.
It's useful from a historical perspective as it shows how techology and emphasis has changed over time.
 

sublight is back

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Messages
745
Reaction score
13
F-14D said:
Ditto if a practical long range airborne rapid-fire multi-shot directed energy weapon could be fielded. Then the next "fighter" might be a 747 sized a/c with an enormous radar and mutli-spectral sensors.
That is what I was thinking. If we get to the point where a platform can vaporize all incoming threats, will it look like an F15 or more like Next Gen Bomber?
 

Dreamfighter

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
162
Reaction score
2
LowObservable said:
If anyone can find a citation (we've been through this before) to numbered fighter generations before 2000, and not in reference to Russia, please produce it. Books in the shed somewhere don't count.



Both terms "4th generation fighter" and "5th generation fighter" were used long before the turn of the century, and are not invented with regard to the Russian Suchoi T-50 or such.


As you say quotes from "books" don't count as proof, maybe quotes from "magazines" are allowed? ::)
(the internet was not yet very common in the first half of the 90s, and certainly not in the 80s right ;) )


I just pulled 2 magazines, dating from the 2nd half of the 1990s out of the piles here:



French Magazine "Air Fan N. 223 Bourget Special", JUIN (June) 1997, article "dossier Raptor" by author René J. Francillon, pages 45 - 53;

On page 46 the terms "quatrième génération" (translation: "fourth generation") and "cinquième génération" (translation: "fifth generation") are used in bold as paragraph-titles.

Quote from the text on pages 46-47:


"Cinquième génération

Alors que l'aviation militaire russe et l'US Navy on choisi la voie plus conservatrice de l'évolution (Su-27, Su-30, Su-35, Su-37 pour l'une et Hornet, Super Hornet pour l'autre), et que la France, quatre de ses voisins membres de l'Otan et la Suède se sont engagés sur celle plus risquée de la quatrième génération (Rafale, Eurofighter 2000 et Gripen). l'US Air Force a franchement mis le paquet en se lançant directement dans le développement d'un chasseur de la cinquième génération destiné à succéder à son F-15."

I'll translate;

Fifth generation

Whereas the Russian airforce and the US Navy have chosen a more conservative path of evolution (Su-27, Su-30, Su-35, Su-37 and Hornet, Super Hornet respectively), and whereas France and four of it's neighbouring members of NATO and Sweden have engaged themselves for the more risky fourth generation (Rafale, Eurofighter 2000 and Gripen), the US Air Force has given itself completely into directly launching the development of a fifth generation fighter, destined to succeed it's F-15.





There was sometimes a somewhat different interpretation of "4th generation" back then (it is meanwhile about 15 to 20 years ago), especially with European authors who sometimes considered the Eurocanards as a completely new generation, whereas we now tend to call them rather 4.5th generation.
The (French) author of this artcile describes Rafale, Typhoon and Gripen as 4th generation and apparantly regards the US teenseries and Russian Su-27 and MiG-29 as 3.5th generation fighters.



French Magazine "Science & Vie Nr. 207 Hors Série Aviation 99", JUIN (June) 1999, article "Chasseurs futurs polyvalents et invendables" by author Jean-Louis Prome, pages 141-147;

Quote from page 142:

"...les Rafale, Typhoon, Gripen ou F/A-18E/F tentent de répondre à l'étappe suivante. Ces appareils, dits de quatrième génération, sont entièrement polyvalents."

translation:
"... the Rafale,Typhoon, Gripen or F/A-18E/F try to answer the next step. These aircraft, to say the fourth generation, are completely multirole."
 

LowObservable

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2006
Messages
2,170
Reaction score
34
Thanks, DF - I wonder where Francillon picked that up from?
 

LowObservable

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2006
Messages
2,170
Reaction score
34
I asked for non-Russian citations before 2000. I did not know of any (although there are Rand accounts that use the Russian terminology in the later 1990s) and none was produced in previous discussions. Yours was, as they say, nonresponsive because it listed seven generations, not including the F-22.


Does the Francillon article define the first, second and third generations?
 

Dreamfighter

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
162
Reaction score
2
LowObservable said:
I asked for non-Russian citations before 2000. I did not know of any (although there are Rand accounts that use the Russian terminology in the later 1990s) and none was produced in previous discussions. Yours was, as they say, nonresponsive because it listed seven generations, not including the F-22.
[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]I believe the post you are answering to, has disappeared ...
[/font]

LowObservable said:
Does the Francillon article define the first, second and third generations?

No, just the fourth and fifth generations are mentioned. The topic of this article was purely about the (then) newest jets and the YF-22/F-22 in particular, not about older aircraft.
 

sferrin

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
12,512
Reaction score
579
Dreamfighter said:
LowObservable said:
I asked for non-Russian citations before 2000. I did not know of any (although there are Rand accounts that use the Russian terminology in the later 1990s) and none was produced in previous discussions. Yours was, as they say, nonresponsive because it listed seven generations, not including the F-22.
[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]I believe the post you are answering to, has disappeared ...
[/font]

LowObservable said:
Does the Francillon article define the first, second and third generations?

No, just the fourth and fifth generations are mentioned. The topic of this article was purely about the (then) newest jets and the YF-22/F-22 in particular, not about older aircraft.
So what we have then is verifiable proof that the concept of aircraft generations existed outside of Russia well before 2000, and is not simply a Lockheed Martin marketing gimmick. Let's hope that puts an end to the matter.
 

Dreamfighter

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
162
Reaction score
2
Done a bit more digging today, before the pile of 1990s-magazines must go back in the (magazines-)closet.
(collecting stuff is fun, until you've to find back things while still having space to walk around in the room ::) )

The following is from the German magazine "Flug Revue", august 1996. It is about the fourth generation and the Gripen, and it describes the Gripen as the first European fighter of the fourth generation; "erstes europäisches Kamfflugzeug der vierten Generation". The Gripen-photo with yellow title "Die Vierte Generation" ("the fourth generation") is from pages 42 & 43.
 

Attachments

J.A.W.

"Keep on Truckin'.."
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
662
Reaction score
3
'The Illustrated History of Aircraft' (1977) edited by Brendan Gallagher.

Page 102 has the heading,

' The Soviet second generation',

& goes on,

'What had the Russians been up to since the mid 1950's?'
 

overscan

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
11,729
Reaction score
1,471
sferrin said:
Dreamfighter said:
LowObservable said:
I asked for non-Russian citations before 2000. I did not know of any (although there are Rand accounts that use the Russian terminology in the later 1990s) and none was produced in previous discussions. Yours was, as they say, nonresponsive because it listed seven generations, not including the F-22.
I believe the post you are answering to, has disappeared ...


LowObservable said:
Does the Francillon article define the first, second and third generations?

No, just the fourth and fifth generations are mentioned. The topic of this article was purely about the (then) newest jets and the YF-22/F-22 in particular, not about older aircraft.
So what we have then is verifiable proof that the concept of aircraft generations existed outside of Russia well before 2000, and is not simply a Lockheed Martin marketing gimmick. Let's hope that puts an end to the matter.

Noone was arguing that the concept of aircraft generations was new. The question is whether the concept of the F-22 being the "fifth generation" existed prior to 2000. It did.


I believe the first mention of "fifth generation fighter" was late 1994 in reference to the MiG 1.42. A non-scientific search of flightglobal.com archive confirms this (e.g. Uncle Roger's question here - http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1994/1994%20-%203078.html?search=fifth-generation%20fighter) Roughly, the generations are MiG-15, MiG-21, MiG-23/25, MiG-29/31, 1.42. MiG-19 seems to be ignored as well as the MiG-9 but neither were truly mainstream.


Mikoyan thought the 5th generation was characterised by the "3 S's" of stealth, supercruise, supermanouverability. Mikoyan should have applied for the trademark on "fifth generation fighter" because they seem to have popularised the term in relation to the 1.42.


Russian, as LowObservable says.


Ironically, the 1.42 wouldn't meet sferrin's definition of a fifth generation fighter due to insufficient stealth and inadequate sensors, which neatly makes the point that the 5th generation as defined by Lockheed Martin is "whatever features are possessed by our products".


Which makes my point - its a meaningless bullshit marketing term.
 

sferrin

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
12,512
Reaction score
579
This is what LowObservable asked for,

"If anyone can find a citation (we've been through this before) to numbered fighter generations before 2000, and not in reference to Russia, please produce it.

Books in the shed somewhere don't count. "

I responded with a cite from 1990 giving him exactly what he asked for. Nothing more, nothing less. Pretty straight forward.
 

GTX

All hail the God of Frustration!!!
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2006
Messages
2,712
Reaction score
77
Website
beyondthesprues.com
PaulMM (Overscan) said:
Which makes my point - its a meaningless bullshit marketing term.
If you want to call it a "marketing term" it has been extremely successful since it is in common usage in industry and in the word's air forces and not simply in relation to Russian aircraft or the F-35. Moreover, the term has been extended into the world of gas turbines. For example, engines such as the Jumo 004 are referred to as Gen 1; RR Avon commonly thought of as Gen 2; TF30 Gen 3; F404 Gen 4; F414 Gen 4.5 and F135 Gen 5. Of course just as with the fighters themselves, there is a bit of dispute over what classifies which and as I am sure you can imagine, a bit of crossover between Generations in some cases. Never-the-less, the use of the generations term is there.

Therefore, I would not call it "a meaningless bullshit marketing term".
 

AeroFranz

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 4, 2008
Messages
2,176
Reaction score
46
Neither is it an effective engineering term. As you correctly mentioned, there is a lot of cross-over between generations, and aircraft do not fall neatly in categories.
I would regard the use of these terms as over simplifications which leave too much room to subjective interpretation. Who gets to decide what generation their design belongs to? I tell you who: marketeers and people who make shiny brochures with meaningless numbers and blow smoke up your skirt. Anyone tried to do competitive analysis using publicly available material? Good luck. I take whatever those people say with a grain of salt.
 

sferrin

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
12,512
Reaction score
579
AeroFranz said:
Neither is it an effective engineering term. As you correctly mentioned, there is a lot of cross-over between generations, and aircraft do not fall neatly in categories.
This is true, but it will get you in the ballpark. And as GTX pointed out we've heard it cross over into other areas. AAMs for example. Bottom line though they're just general groups with common attributes. And of course marketers are going to latch onto anything they think gives them an advantage. That's not really news. The fact that LM seems to have realized this and used it to their advantage should surprise absolutely nobody. I believe it was World Air Power Journal wherein one writer compared Western fighter salesmen as "could make a hardened drug dealer look like Mother Theresa" when it came to scheming. This was in explanation for the lack of FSU fighter sales on the international market at the time.
 

Stargazer2006

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,242
Reaction score
199
Although I tend to agree with you guys that it's a fairly recent invention mainly used as a political tool/marketing ploy by the Russians and Lockheed alike, I think there is no denying that there have existed "generations" of fighters (and bombers, and transports, etc.).

Instead of relying on some obviously biased definitions, why not try and list objectively all the features that appeared in the course of fighter development, date them, then decide which ones represented a true breakthrough? Those fighters which combined a sufficient number of new features when they appeared would mark the appearance of a new "generation". I think that's pretty much what Cenciotti tried to do, albeit imperfectly as there will always be people to argue over this or that — especially if patriotic notions of "we did it first" come into the logic...
 

GTX

All hail the God of Frustration!!!
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2006
Messages
2,712
Reaction score
77
Website
beyondthesprues.com
Stargazer said:
I think that's pretty much what Cenciotti tried to do, albeit imperfectly as there will always be people to argue over this or that — especially if patriotic notions of "we did it first" come into the logic...

Agreed.
 

Thorvic

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
605
Reaction score
30
A quick search on Flight brought up this Jan 96 Rafale advert where they call it 4th Generation.

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1996/1996%20-%200069.html

As Paul says its a marketing term B)

The trouble is now were seeing it take a human generation and half another to bring a project from definition to front line operational service which shows the process is a little bit FUBAR :eek:
 

GTX

All hail the God of Frustration!!!
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2006
Messages
2,712
Reaction score
77
Website
beyondthesprues.com
Geoff_B said:
As Paul says its a marketing term B)

Sorry, but it is more now. As already explained, it is used within the industry for more than simply marketing...despite what some may claim.
 

Dreamfighter

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
162
Reaction score
2
A quote from magazine Flight International, date March 1, 1986, article "ATF set for 1991 first flight", pages 8 and 9;

"The goal is to build an aicraft that will meet the Soviet threat from the year 2000 onwards. The problem is predicting the type of technology being produced by the Soviet Union in two generations' time. US intelligence has successfully pinned down the technology in the current MiG-29/Su-27 generation and predicts that what the Soviet Industry will be producing at the beginning of the 21st century will be what we're doing with ATF now"


There is no specific mention of "fifth generation" in this article, but they are talking about ATF being so advanced it is not only meant to beat the "Su-27/MiG-29 generation", but also match or exceed the Russian's fighter-generation to be produced in the early 21st century.
When Su-27 and MiG-29 are regarded as belonging to the fourth generation, then ATF (now F-22A) surely must be a fifth generation fighter, that is pure logic I'd say?
 

overscan

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
11,729
Reaction score
1,471
I don't think anyone is disputing that the F-22 (prototype first flight 1990, first production deliveries 2003) is a newer generation than the MiG-29 (first flight 1977, first production deliveries 1983) or that the ATF was intended to outperform the next generation of Soviet aircraft, not just the contemporary one.
 

Dreamfighter

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
162
Reaction score
2
PaulMM (Overscan) said:
I don't think anyone is disputing that the F-22 (prototype first flight 1990, first production deliveries 2003) is a newer generation than the MiG-29 (first flight 1977, first production deliveries 1983) or that the ATF was intended to outperform the next generation of Soviet aircraft, not just the contemporary one.

Yes, I know.
I just want to point out it doesn't matter weither or not Mikoyan was the first to actually pronounce the words "fifth generation fighter" with regard to their 1.42, before that everyone else was already calling the previous generation of fighters "fourth generation" and the (Y)F-22 a new generational leap.

Also;
When MiG 1.42 = 5, then MiG-29 = 4.
And as (Y)F-22 = MiG-29 + 1 (or more), then (Y)F-22 = 5 (or more)
 

overscan

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
11,729
Reaction score
1,471
Pushing it back again - Pravda in 1988 called the MiG-29 a fourth generation fighter.
 

overscan

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
11,729
Reaction score
1,471
Dreamfighter said:
Geoff_B said:
A quick search on Flight brought up this Jan 96 Rafale advert where they call it 4th Generation.

An article about Rafale and 4th generation-fighters, from 1989;


http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1989/1989%20-%201760.html?search=%22fourth%20generation%22

Yes. Note however the article is about the next generation Rafale versus EFA, Gripen etc. Therefore in "modern terms" this is about 4+ fighters. The French saw Mirage 2000 (and F-16) as 3rd generation and Rafale/EFA etc as 4th generation.


Today China also views F-15, F-16 as 3rd Generation fighters (like its J-10).


Like I said, its not some internationally agreed ISO standard.
 

LowObservable

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2006
Messages
2,170
Reaction score
34
Mystere 1st, Mirage III 2nd, M2000 3rd, Rafale 4th...
 
Top