Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) UK-Japan-Italy

Italian forces need the long range of GCAP. Today, you can only protect Italy by pushing their airspace as far as the Mediterranean sea extends. This is where you have complete communality with Japan (think ADIZ).

Interestingly this should help the Italian navy to restructure their force (and probably make some savings) as their Navy is mainly structured for the Med (any need for an aircraft carrier is completely different from that of the UK or France - nothing new here).
 
this should help the Italian navy to restructure their force (and probably make some savings) as their Navy is mainly structured for the Med (any need for an aircraft carrier is completely different from that of the UK or France - nothing new here).
I think we can safely expect the Italian AF and Navy to have differing views on this!
 
Catching up on last couple of days.

Theres three F-35 final assembly plants (FACO- Final Assembly and Check Out); Fort Worth US which builds all US, British and a handful of other small European orders, Cameri Italy which builds most F-35 destined for Europe and Nagoya Japan which builds the Japanese and some other export customers.

Most F-35 parts have two suppliers due to industrial offsets (e.g. all the fuselage sections with exception of rear/tail, Denmark building the gun/sensor pods, Norway building the pylons) etc.. for some parts US was the second qualified producer rather than the primary producer (e.g. GKN in the UK was the original Canopy producer while PPG in the US was qualified in 2020). The F-35 program also uses the siting of logistics centres for spare parts as an industrial offset.

Australians are putting off ordering F-35 for a decade as they are considering drones over manned aircraft and are waiting to see if its sufficiently mature by the time they order.
 
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RAF Leeming to GIUK Gap, c600nm (Leeming to Bodo, 900nm, to St Petersburg 1100nm, to Kaliningrad 775nm)

Nyutabaru AFB to Ishigaki/Senkakus, c600nm (Nyutabaru to Shanghai, 500nm)
Yep, the idea that short range aircraft are fine is a Cold War anachronism, for Western European countries at least. The air defence of an expanded NATO isn't actually that different to the Western Pacific anymore.
Yup, it's the product of continued expansion of NATO borders into the east. With recent inclusion of Finland and continued Russian activity in the vicinity of Baltic states and Poland, I'm pretty sure that apart from traditional conops over GIUK gap, RAF would probably like to have a fighter that would be able to operate within Finnish, Baltic and Polish airspaces taking off from RAF bases in Great Britain and Germany, with one aerial refueling.

Agreed, the USAF needs extended range in the Pacific, because it's talking about projecting power from Guam, and people assume that naturally applies to everyone there, but Japan is a Pacific Rim country, not deep in Micronesia. Japan's situation is much more like the UK's than the US's, an offshore country facing a continental opponent. It only needs to project power towards the Chinese coast, not deep into the Pacific.
I don't think that the airspace close to Chinese coastlines are JASDF area of operation. They are going standoff for OCA and deep strikes, hence the procurement of various stand off missiles of different category, every single one of them being a kind of weapon Japan never possessed before.

Their missions during the time of war are three fold. First is DCA against Chinese and Russian long range fighters and bombers that infiltrates from the West and the North. Second is to provide air defence over the joint fleet operating in the ECS and Philippine Sea. Third is to provide aerial cover for their MPA and other aerial support assets that would be operating in the ECS, SoJ and Sea of Okhotsk.

The stores used by JASDF reflects this. Traditionally, thry only had GP bombs and JDAM for ground strikes.
 
Their missions during the time of war are three fold. First is DCA against Chinese and Russian long range fighters and bombers that infiltrates from the West and the North. Second is to provide air defence over the joint fleet operating in the ECS and Philippine Sea. Third is to provide aerial cover for their MPA and other aerial support assets that would be operating in the ECS, SoJ and Sea of Okhotsk.
For the air superiority squadrons yes, but the F-1 and F-2 squadrons have always had ASuW and counter-landing taskings, which will still need to be covered.
 
For the air superiority squadrons yes, but the F-1 and F-2 squadrons have always had ASuW and counter-landing taskings, which will still need to be covered.
Well, if you imply that the operation in airspace over Senkaku also counts JASDF projection "towards the Chinese coast", then I agree.

Also, forgot to mention the support fighter roles so thanks for the add on.
 
RAF Leeming to GIUK Gap, c600nm (Leeming to Bodo, 900nm, to St Petersburg 1100nm, to Kaliningrad 775nm)

Nyutabaru AFB to Ishigaki/Senkakus, c600nm (Nyutabaru to Shanghai, 500nm)
In response to a request for information from Japan in 1018, Lockheed is said to have proposed the F-22B, which has a combat action radius of 2200 nm.
 
in terms of weaponry we can expect the main missiles to be both MBDA designs and also UK made missiles (ALARM,ASRAAM, ecc...) and maybe the gun will be a BK-27 or a GAU 12 for easiness sake and i also assume they will want to implement something similar to the EW pods and equipment that Germany is using in their Typhoons, probably internal and not pods for stealth but the big thought i have is the following, will the engine be another collaboration effort like Typhoon's and Tornado's or will most of the big engine manufactorers (UK and Japan because Avio will likely stick with the UK on engine) do their own thing?
 
in terms of weaponry we can expect the main missiles to be both MBDA designs and also UK made missiles (ALARM,ASRAAM, ecc...) and maybe the gun will be a BK-27 or a GAU 12 for easiness sake and i also assume they will want to implement something similar to the EW pods and equipment that Germany is using in their Typhoons, probably internal and not pods for stealth but the big thought i have is the following, will the engine be another collaboration effort like Typhoon's and Tornado's or will most of the big engine manufactorers (UK and Japan because Avio will likely stick with the UK on engine) do their own thing?

If there is a gun it will be the BK-27 from Typhoon...but I'm not sure a gun is actually going to happen unless Japan and Italy insist. UK has certainly been ambivalent about them in recent years (no gun on Harrier GR.5/7/9, despite early efforts with the ADEN 25, no guns purchased for F-35B and an attempt to cancel the gun on Typhoon that was only resolved by the fact replacing it and substituting a solid mass to replace it cost more than just keeping it).

Missiles wise I expect the UK and Japan to go their own way, both have national industrys to protect. Italy will likely follow the UK with some of the MBDA cross Europe collaborative weapons (Meteor development, FCASW). MBDA showcased a load of concepts for Tempest a while ago including Minituare, increased calibre with dual mode and smaller Asraam shaped missiles for increased magazine depth, but they were just early concepts, no funding behind them.

The interesting thing will be the WVR AAM and other air to ground payloads. UK will undoubtedly choose its own like Asraam (or future developments thereof), Spear, probably Paveway IV. Japan will also choose its own. But Italy has in recent years mainy purchased US air to ground munitions and WVR missiles from the US and Europe (AIM-9X and IRIS-T) neither of which will interest the UK and Japan...and even when a purchase from the UK would make more sense across Italy's combat aircraft (Asraam is compatible with both Typhoon and F-35). Be interesting to see which way Italy in particular decides to go...
 
agreed, thanks for the help in the ideas, it will be interesting to see what ultimately is done with the plane and i hope all of the weapons you listed are compatible with the airframe, what do you belive engine wise on the other hand?
 
Agreed, the USAF needs extended range in the Pacific, because it's talking about projecting power from Guam, and people assume that naturally applies to everyone there, but Japan is a Pacific Rim country, not deep in Micronesia. Japan's situation is much more like the UK's than the US's, an offshore country facing a continental opponent. It only needs to project power towards the Chinese coast, not deep into the Pacific.

I think the Japanese will be interested in range to protect their SLOCS from Chinese aircraft to the east of Japan. It's one of the reasons why they're sticking F-35B on the Izumo's. The PLAF and PLAN have done an increasing number of exercises east of the Japanese home islands in recent years.

It's c 800 miles from Kagoya AB to Iwo Jima, then a further 800 miles from Iwo to Guam so there is a lot of airspace to patrol..
 
I think the Japanese will be interested in range to protect their SLOCS from Chinese aircraft to the east of Japan. It's one of the reasons why they're sticking F-35B on the Izumo's. The PLAF and PLAN have done an increasing number of exercises east of the Japanese home islands in recent years.

It's c 800 miles from Kagoya AB to Iwo Jima, then a further 800 miles from Iwo to Guam so there is a lot of airspace to patrol..
Everyone's got their eyes on the Arctic these days. I expect the RAF will be wanting long range patrols of the North Sea and Arctic.
 
I would like see British use GCAP with these.

I hope all these list can fit in Internal can take these:
* CAMM-Air replacement ASRAAM with AESA seeker (would be good for common Air force and Navy, Army)
* Mini CAMM-Air (drone kill / multi light armoured target)
* Upgrade Meteor includes AESA seeker (might increase range and seeker)
* SPEAR 5 (FCASW) & SPEAR 1 (paveway IV), SPEAR 2 (Brimstone 3), SPEAR 3, SPEAR 3 EW. (Multiple option attack ground)
* Spawn Drone (ie ALTIUS-600M or 700M) / Other type
* with 1 optional gun pod on nose.

Wing Weapon:
As available above

150-300KW Laser Weapon for Anti Drone and Anti-Missile Defence

Rumour say AESA radar can take down Missiles :-O

I hope we see 1000-1500 Miles Combat Radius as London to Shetland is 600 miles and other 400-600 miles to artic circles i think it is best start point range minimum. (London to St Petersburg is 1310 miles)
 
Australia will replace the Super Hornets/Growlers around 2035-2040 at this stage. Likely replacements will be more F-35s and/or uninhabited platforms.
I think that the RAAF have more sense than to even give passing consideration to going for F-35As in the post-2035 time frame.

By then the F-35 will be where Typhoon is today. Still relevant, but not the 'apex predator'. Still useful, but as an adjunct to the next generation. The LO configuration makes it hard to upgrade in any meaningful way, as does the avionics infrastructure. TR3 and Block 4 are already proving difficult, while it's hard to see the kind of agile iteration of mission data ever becoming a reality on the F-35.

And the F-35A lacks the range and the combat persistence for tomorrow's peer-, or near-peer, conflicts. Nor can new weapons be easily or quickly integrated, and they can't be integrated on a sovereign or national basis at all.

It's no coincidence that the US, Britain, Italy, Japan and Korea are all already looking beyond F-35A - developing new sixth gen platforms and systems of systems is not easy, or cheap, and were F-35 adequate, no-one would be spending money doing so.

It's terribly bad form to blow one's own trumpet, but you really should read what 'Smithy' says - he is Britain's fifth gen expert, having been an F-22 and F-35 pilot and an F-35 tactics and development desk officer.
 

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I think that the RAAF have more sense than to even give passing consideration to going for F-35As in the post-2035 time frame.

By then the F-35 will be where Typhoon is today. Still relevant, but not the 'apex predator'. Still useful, but as an adjunct to the next generation. The LO configuration makes it hard to upgrade in any meaningful way, as does the avionics infrastructure. TR3 and Block 4 are already proving difficult, while it's hard to see the kind of agile iteration of mission data ever becoming a reality on the F-35.

And the F-35A lacks the range and the combat persistence for tomorrow's peer-, or near-peer, conflicts. Nor can new weapons be easily or quickly integrated, and they can't be integrated on a sovereign or national basis at all.

It's no coincidence that the US, Britain, Italy, Japan and Korea are all already looking beyond F-35A - developing new sixth gen platforms and systems of systems is not easy, or cheap, and were F-35 adequate, no-one would be spending money doing so.

It's terribly bad form to blow one's own trumpet, but you really should read what 'Smithy' says - he is Britain's fifth gen expert, having been an F-22 and F-35 pilot and an F-35 tactics and development desk officer.
+ with today's dollar value, the actual cost of an F-35 is somewhere in the 170M range, not in the below 100M categpry as often misquoted -even the engine costs as much as an aircraft by itself-. I think this too is one of the driving factors for the decision to go indigenous.

If even a proliferated fighter such as the F-35 can cost this much these days, then why even compromise on your requirements and industrial participation since you're not even saving money anyway?

If you must allocate such a ludicrous amount of money for a fighter aircraft, you could at least get "some kind of an ROI" if you buy from your own suppliers.
 
And the F-35A lacks the range and the combat persistence for tomorrow's peer-, or near-peer, conflicts. Nor can new weapons be easily or quickly integrated, and they can't be integrated on a sovereign or national basis at all.

The F-35A/C has the highest fuel fraction of any fighter other than the Flanker.
 
I think that the RAAF have more sense than to even give passing consideration to going for F-35As in the post-2035 time frame.
The F-35 of that time will not be the same as that today and it is quite common to consider such upgrades. It will be one of the options considered along side others. Personally, I think an uninhabited solution would be best.

It's terribly bad form to blow one's own trumpet, but you really should read what 'Smithy' says - he is Britain's fifth gen expert, having been an F-22 and F-35 pilot and an F-35 tactics and development desk officer.
I am basing on 20+ years of working within/with the RAAF/ADF/Australian Govt and knowing how they operate.
 
The F-35 of that time will not be the same as that today and it is quite common to consider such upgrades. It will be one of the options considered along side others. Personally, I think an uninhabited solution would be best.



I am basing on 20+ years of working within/with the RAAF/ADF/Australian Govt and knowing how they operate.

The F-35 is not significantly upgradeable. First and foremost, you can't add apertures or antennas. Then you have a systems architecture that isn't open and isn't easy to upgrade not least because it isn't federated, and thus any change needs extensive testing and recertification. The F-35A might be the best thing out there right now, but that situation is changing rapidly, and by 2035, the F-35A will be as relevant as a Typhoon or a Super Bug is today.

As to uninhabited platforms, we haven't even got an autonomous UAV capable of flying in unsegregated airspace (Protector/Certifiable Predator B are man-in-the-loop RPVs), so I'd personally be a bit cautious about 'over-egging' the uninhabited pudding. To me (and this is just a personal opinion) it's all a bit 'Emperor's New Clothes', and too redolent of the Duncan Sandys White Paper, with CCA's standing in for missiles. There is no doubt that unmanned adjuncts and effectors will usefully augment manned platforms, but they won't yet replace them.

I note your 20 years of experience, but with the greatest respect, you haven't flown the F-22 and the F-35A, nor have you spent years working on F-35 tactics and fifth gen requirements, nor are you presently working on a sixth gen fighter platform and its sensors, and so I don't give your opinions the same weight that I give Jonathan Smith's.
 
Well no-one else does. Not least the USAF, which is why the B-21 and NGAD are of such pivotal importance. NB: The latest Mitchell Aerospace report:

"Moreover, U.S. E-7s and other HVAA (eg tankers) that must operate 600–800 nm from the Taiwan Strait to avoid Chinese threats will be dependent on data transmitted over datalinks by penetrating aircraft and overhead sensors."

600 nm... eg: beyond the radius of an F-35, even if you don't want to penetrate beyond the coast.
 
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The F-35 is not significantly upgradeable.
Err...the F-35 has been designed for ongoing upgrades right from the start.
I note your 20 years of experience, but with the greatest respect, you haven't flown the F-22 and the F-35A, nor have you spent years working on F-35 tactics and fifth gen requirements, nor are you presently working on a sixth gen fighter platform and its sensors, and so I don't give your opinions the same weight that I give Jonathan Smith's.
20+ years of working within/with the RAAF/ADF/Australian Govt and knowing how they operate. The point is not about the platform theoretical capabilities. It was about how the organisation thinks.
 
Err... if the F-35 was designed for "ongoing upgrades right from the start," someone's not been doing their job very well.

As evidenced by the painfully slow and difficult progress with TR3, which is not a very ambitious upgrade, and which still hasn't been achieved.

Without an open systems architecture, and without sensible partitioning of flight safety-critical software from missionware, an aircraft becomes MUCH less easy to upgrade (or even to integrate new weapons, sensors and systems), and every time that you try to upgrade it, you will face a significant test and recertification burden.

If you have a rigid and inflexible vendor and NOFORN lock you won't even be able to upgrade Mission Data Files with any degree of agility. Compare and contrast the ability to upgrade the Typhoon's MD between sorties (and they're working on inflight MD load iteration and upload) with the infrequent MD iteration possible using ACURL.

If you have an LO airframe you can't add new antennas or apertures.

All of this should tell you that the F-35A's upgradeability is VERY limited.

As to how the organisation thinks, if it thinks the F-35 is going to be viable as your primary air power tool post 2035 then it's at odds with the USAF, the RAF, the AMI, the JASF, the RSAF, the Lufwaffe, the AdlA, and the Spanish Air Force.

It's wrong.

As to you, 20+ years doing what, exactly?

Have you:

Flown F-22? Flown F-35B? Led the F-35B EU? Been the senior responsible owner of F-35 tactics? Been an F-35 capability manager? Worked on a 6th Gen fighter programme? Reached Wing Commander rank or above?

Unless you have done all of these things, then your experience, and the value of your blunt, unsupported, one sentence assessments is of no value beside the opinion of Jonathan Smith.

And unless you give a detailed summary of your qualifications and expertise, then frankly, most people will assume that you have no relevant experience, and are an empty vessel.

I am genuinely sorry if that sounds harsh and mean no offence.
 
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From a UK context, the FCAS requirement COULD still be met using an expanded buy of F-35A.

More widely, the growing inadequacy of the F-35A in a contested environment is a fundamental reason for the development of, and need for, sixth gen platforms and the systems of systems that they sit within.

It is no coincidence that all but one of the nations engaged in FCAS/GCAP, SCAF and NGAD are F-35 operators, customers, or likely customers.

The F-35 was germane to this discussion even before you chipped in with: "Australia will replace the Super Hornets/Growlers around 2035-2040 at this stage. Likely replacements will be more F-35s and/or uninhabited platforms."

As to boring...

1) There's no need for rudeness or dismissiveness
2) There's little more boring than someone interjecting one-liners without justifying, rationalising or explaining them...
 
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Err... if the F-35 was designed for "ongoing upgrades right from the start," someone's not been doing their job very well.

As evidenced by the painfully slow and difficult progress with TR3, which is not a very ambitious upgrade, and which still hasn't been achieved.

Without an open systems architecture, and without sensible partitioning of flight safety-critical software from missionware, an aircraft becomes MUCH less easy to upgrade (or even to integrate new weapons, sensors and systems), and every time that you try to upgrade it, you will face a significant test and recertification burden.

If you have a rigid and inflexible vendor and NOFORN lock you won't even be able to upgrade Mission Data Files with any degree of agility. Compare and contrast the ability to upgrade the Typhoon's MD between sorties (and they're working on inflight MD load iteration and upload) with the infrequent MD iteration possible using ACURL.

If you have an LO airframe you can't add new antennas or apertures.
The antennas are skin-integrated. Which means it's expensive and takes more work to add new antennas and apertures, not impossible.
 
I'm just repeating what the experts tell me, Scott. I suspect that minor changes are possible (though costly and difficult), but that new apertures of any size would be effectively impossible as a retrofit.
 
I'm just repeating what the experts tell me, Scott. I suspect that minor changes are possible (though costly and difficult), but that new apertures of any size would be effectively impossible as a retrofit.
As an aircraft mechanic, reskinning is nothing more than expensive to do (lots of labor involved), and at least the places that already have antennas are designed in such a way that replacing the section of skin with an antenna built in is trivial as it will already have screws/bolts holding that section of skin in place and then puttied over with RAM.
 
As an aircraft mechanic, reskinning is nothing more than expensive to do (lots of labor involved), and at least the places that already have antennas are designed in such a way that replacing the section of skin with an antenna built in is trivial as it will already have screws/bolts holding that section of skin in place and then puttied over with RAM.

That's true to a degree. But not if you want to add new apertures, or new antennas in new locations. And ensuring that RCS is not adversely affected is certainly not straightforward or simple.
 
That's true to a degree. But not if you want to add new apertures, or new antennas in new locations.
That's the simple-but-expensive-due-to-labor part.

And ensuring that RCS is not adversely affected is certainly not straightforward or simple.
Which I'm sure LockMart has several test dummies available to work with. Like those planes built for Turkey before they got kicked out.
 
returning to GCAP, there is the real possibility the radar featured will be a collaboration effort between the people that made the CAPTOR series and the Japanese manufacturers, that will likely lead to a massive advancement of it in AA capability and miniarturization of electronics, realistically this will lead to another likely advancement in missile development for MBDA if the company collaborates with Mitsubishi HI, but i am still going to ask one thing, what kind of engine do you guys belive will be developed for the plane?
 
Fluidic thrust vectoring, high bypass turbo fan with EGD.
So, the high temp core might comes from RR but the rest of the tech more from Japan.

Fluidic since Japan specifically flight tested directional actuation of thrust via petals
EGD (ElectroGazDynamics Generator) since I have not seen much moving forward in that domain from UK in the last decade.1

Notice that I wish the bypass tubes were turbo ramjets a-la Blackbird but the tube section are more in-line with a high pressure jets diverter.

For the radar, I remember Japan working on a 3D nose mounted radar. Is that sidelined?
 
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Engine is it bit similar as AVERT ? IE it can switch between (Cycles) turbofan for subsonic to turbojet for supersonic,
Or add modifited to ramjet use outside of engine nozzle to operate ramjet at Adove 2 Mach +

IE super cruise 2 Mach switch to ramjet to increase speed and save fuel, and long range, no need reheat (afterburner) ? Or reheat to reach speed to switch?

ADVENT Similar engines or just plains simple plain engine plus great electrical generators with possible upgrade engine future?
 
Sensor I hope see GCAP

we have 360 radar coverage mini area radar maybe up to (I don't idea how many range mini radar on wing so one I see some where small helicopter radar aesa has around 60 miles+ ish) on wing edge to can fried electronics with short range also increase SARS so intelligence map and location, better picture area plus radar aware and scan and fire control around aircraft or drone or ground
target or missiles, ship evens submarine etc

so it can become mini AWCAS like pin and attack use wingman or other aircraft in area to share information other. Which I keep seeing up site mentioned it repeat. Would be good for parafic sea. Also Atlantic sea, arctic sea.

while Nose has 120 degree + aesa radar mount mechanic scan (can side looking like typhoon current) so two GCAP scan 200-240 degree long range scan (hopefully see) 200-250 miles or more.

possible we will not know as it is will guard secret.

ECM and jammer, other electronic warfare. Similar to Captor-Aesa ecr.mk2

I wonder what Pirate (typhoon) I try think what f35 has one nose bottom called? What GCAP will has.

Is It will similar to wing pod as typhoon?

Sorry too many questions to ask as I'm curious ;-)
 
Interesting that all GCAP renderings still have vertical stabilisers. For a platform that will be serving to 2060+ that seems like a bit of an LO-liability.
 
No doubt they will remove the vertical stabilisers way before the GCAP/Tempest enters service and go full three dimensional thrust vectoring.
 
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