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Japanese next generation fighter study (aka i3, F-3)

TomS

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TomcatViP said:
Single bay door?! And wingroot canoe... ;)
I think that's one side only, with the design having two side-by-side bays for a total of 6 missiles.
 

TomcatViP

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rgr. My bad perhaps. But it doesn't look like 6 missiles fits side by sude (see pdf posted on page 3)
 

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sferrin said:
I think, with those guys, there's probably a lot of "hey, it worked for Lockheed", and playing it safe. (Which is sortof what you're saying.) Note how the Japanese F-2, the JF-17, the SK T-50, and the F-CK-1 all have a very similar layout to the F-16. (Yeah, the F-2 basically IS an F-16 Agile, but you see what I mean.)
Maybe the YF-23 was too unfamiliar. (Then again, that didn't seem to bother Russia and China.) I just think the notion of there only being one way to do a thing isn't really born out by history.
I don't think anyone is saying that there is only one way of doing something...

But rather, that often times, depending on where a nation's industrial capability is at, and depending on how much money they're willing to throw at a project, and depending on what the key performance parameters are like -- if those things are all broadly similar for different nations, then they will end up adopting a similar configuration.


The only thing "magical" about F-22/35's configuration is that it likely happens to likely fulfill all of the above requirements in the right balance at the moment in which these projects are currently being developed.
 

sferrin

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Blitzo said:
But rather, that often times, depending on where a nation's industrial capability is at, and depending on how much money they're willing to throw at a project, and depending on what the key performance parameters are like -- if those things are all broadly similar for different nations, then they will end up adopting a similar configuration.
I'll grant that somebody, who has something to refer to, and can't afford to go their own way (or don't have the know how) might go the route of imitating what's already there. But when multiple groups are trying to fill the same set of requirements, without somebody to crib from, they rarely come up with similar designs.
 

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https://twitter.com/X61nightmare/status/930281863465205760
https://twitter.com/sdkfz1224/status/930813340816850944
 

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red admiral

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sferrin said:
But when multiple groups are trying to fill the same set of requirements, without somebody to crib from, they rarely come up with similar designs.
But RF stealth is a massive additional constraint on configuration and shape. For a common set of requirements, there just aren't many different configurations that work anymore.
 

TomcatViP

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thank you Flateric

It's impressive to see the double twist that follow the inlet: one horizontally that turn the flow inward and one vertically to bypass the volume of the weapon bay. Very aggressive.

On the other hand, it leaves a vast volume empty aside of the WB, at the wing root junction. The model shows clearly that even with that they had to add a side fairing bulge (or a canoe) to fit something there ;)

The engine cutout tends to display a plenum around the nozzle and high pressure bypass air expended to cool the hot part of the engines. Seems also that this is in conjunction to some sort of liquid cooling around each engines (circulating Fuel?) as shown on another slide.
 

Trident

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Engine pr0n!

Looks reasonably conventional though - I'm more impressed with the integral composite fuselage frame/skin.
 

sferrin

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Trident said:
Engine pr0n!

Looks reasonably conventional though - I'm more impressed with the integral composite fuselage frame/skin.
Make sure you don't ever have to scrap a part. Cha-ching. (Not that they're cheap anyway.)
 

Trident

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For a stealth aircraft the cost/benefit ratio might just work out though - finally there really ARE no fasteners joining skin panels to the frames/longerons (contrary to the myths about the F-22 and F-35)!
 

Blitzo

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sferrin said:
Blitzo said:
But rather, that often times, depending on where a nation's industrial capability is at, and depending on how much money they're willing to throw at a project, and depending on what the key performance parameters are like -- if those things are all broadly similar for different nations, then they will end up adopting a similar configuration.
I'll grant that somebody, who has something to refer to, and can't afford to go their own way (or don't have the know how) might go the route of imitating what's already there. But when multiple groups are trying to fill the same set of requirements, without somebody to crib from, they rarely come up with similar designs.
The problem is that the US has already shown that the F-22/35 configuration is one that's proven, and for that reason alone it offers lower risk.

From there, when combining things like more limited resources, with less industrial capability, it makes complete sense to use a configuration that is already proven.
When all of those nations have similar relative levels of the amount of resources they are willing to commit, similar relative levels of industrial capability/experience or assistance, it would frankly be surprising to see them not go for a more proven configuration.



So you're kind of right -- the fact that the F-22/35 merely exists and their configurations have been an open secret for years, means that their configurations can be easily "cribbed".
But otoh, when a cheaper, more proven configuration already exists and which you assess can fulfill your requirements, is there a need to be uniquely original for the sake of originality?
Those aircraft, if built, will likely look as different to each other if not more, than half the fighter types of WWII on opposing nations did.
 

TomcatViP

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Thank you Triton. Much better said with images than in Frenglish ;)
 

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Any reason the main wing is not more of a diamond planform? If they are improving on a basic "F-22 type" design why the swept trailing edge?
 

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kcran567 said:
Any reason the main wing is not more of a diamond planform? If they are improving on a basic "F-22 type" design why the swept trailing edge?
Because the requirements for the F-3 aren't the exact same as the F-22. The JASDF has found that for their mission, loiter time is more important than top end speed. As a result, they went with a wing designed with a higher aspect ratio at their design point than the F-22s.
 

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Trident said:
Engine pr0n!

Looks reasonably conventional though - I'm more impressed with the integral composite fuselage frame/skin.
Which image showed that?

And would that mean a truly one piece of machined airframe with skin or would it simply mean that instead of fasteners some other method was used to (semi)permanently "glue" skin to the frames?
 

Trident

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Last 3 photos in this post:

https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,20794.msg318806.html#msg318806

As we are talking about fibre-reinforced plastic, the parts would be "built up" with no machining beyond trimming. Regarding the specifics of how they are fastened, I'm far from being an expert on composite materials, but it appears the "individual parts" (as in, no fibre continuity between them) are cured together? That's something they already started to do with the F-2 wing structure (note actual reference to that in bottom-most image, left column with the three stacked blue left-right arrows), so an attempt to evolve and extend that technology is logical. Sort of a glue approach, I guess.

Maybe a Japanese speaking member can provide translations?
 

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Japan Refines Design For Indigenous Future Fighter

The latest concept design of Japan’s proposed indigenous fighter may have moved a little away from the bias toward long-range and endurance over flight performance that marked the previous preliminary design. The latest design exhibited is evidently 26DMU, the one prepared in the Japanese fiscal year beginning March 2014 as the last of a series of preliminary concepts. Japan has planned to decide in mid-2018 whether to proceed with an indigenous or possibly internationally developed, ...
http://m.aviationweek.com/defense/japan-refines-design-indigenous-future-fighter
 

TomcatViP

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The maximum angle of attack achieved by the X-2 is not disclosed, but the official says it was almost as high as the 70 deg.
!!
wonder how they accounted for that. With roll or not? Anyhow, nice perf in such a short time
 

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Tokyo to conclude X-2 programme in March 2018

Japan's Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) is approaching the end of testing with the Mitsubishi X-2 technology demonstrator aircraft.
 

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mrmalaya said:
Wasn't sure where this story should go, but Japan has sent a new RFI to both London and Washington related to the F3 project:

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/release/3/191426/japan-seeks-new-jet-fighter-proposals-based-on-existing-western-designs.html

Existing designs?
Sure, their air force has extensively used domestically -produced variants of American designs. Their F-35 buy is unusual for them in that it's basically stock and only assembled by MHI. I assume they'd love to talk their way into access to detailed F-22 data, my question is what they're looking at which isn't a raptor.
 

mrmalaya

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That is my point, because whether it's the lack of Raptors available in the US or the lack of a flying British fighter, what existing design is there other than the F35?

Perhaps we are being too literal.
 

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There were rumours last week that the X-2 Shinshin programme had been cancelled but that was denied.
I wonder if that is connected with this?
 

marauder2048

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Moose said:
Sure, their air force has extensively used domestically -produced variants of American designs. Their F-35 buy is unusual for them in that it's basically stock and only assembled by MHI.
Japan wasn't a JSF SDD partner member so tech transfer/co-development was complicated.

But if IIRC, the JSF partnering arrangement only extends to the three variants envisioned at SDD.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Maybe they are after an upgraded Typhoon or Rafale? Typhoon already had superior high speed high altitude capabilities than F-35 - with upgraded electronics and further reduced RCS might be a good counter to the J-20?
 

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The other possibility, since I know they aren't going to have access to Raptors, I was thinking they would like the U.S. to develop a new airframe, using F-35 level tech, that is more inline with JASDF requirements. That would save them a lot of development costs, but the it also isn't something the U.S. will buy and I don't see the U.S. letting them in on the F-22 replacement.

As for updating existing tech, the only aircraft I can see from the U.S. meeting their requirement, that they would be allowed to purchase, would be an updated F-15. So I'm thinking they may be looking for a modified Silent Eagle from the U.S. and the stealthier development of the Eurofighter that was on the drawing board, as I don't see them giving up on their stealth requirements. Or perhaps they want to work on a Eurofighter replacement with BAe?
 

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PaulMM (Overscan) said:
Maybe they are after an upgraded Typhoon or Rafale?
As An Eagle replacement?
Are they that much of an upgrade over upgraded F-15J to begin with?
To put it bluntly, both of them are worse in some important specs.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Ainen said:
PaulMM (Overscan) said:
Maybe they are after an upgraded Typhoon or Rafale?
As An Eagle replacement?
Are they that much of an upgrade over upgraded F-15J to begin with?
To put it bluntly, both of them are worse in some important specs.
Typhoon enjoys a major advantage in terms of supersonic maneuverability and agility over the F-15. Whether that's important is another story.
 

marauder2048

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Sundog said:
As for updating existing tech, the only aircraft I can see from the U.S. meeting their requirement, that they would be allowed to purchase, would be an updated F-15. So I'm thinking they may be looking for a modified Silent Eagle from the U.S. and the stealthier development of the Eurofighter that was on the drawing board, as I don't see them giving up on their stealth requirements. Or perhaps they want to work on a Eurofighter replacement with BAe?
If Boeing could shoehorn the XASM-3 into an enclosed weapons pod or conformal weapons bay...
 

mrmalaya

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Thanks for moving my post.

We know the UK and Japan are looking at whether they can develop a fighter together. The bit that threw me was the reference to existing designs. That said, it could just be that BAE have plenty of designs for the requirement (which is why they got the Turkey gig), and it's just that they haven't built any yet.

For both countries the idea of partnering with the US is less desirable from an industrial perspective but...
 

red admiral

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Hood said:
There were rumours last week that the X-2 Shinshin programme had been cancelled but that was denied.
I wonder if that is connected with this?
How is it cancelled? Its already been built and wrapped up the flight test programme. Was it talking about an extension?
 

Hood

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red admiral said:
How is it cancelled? Its already been built and wrapped up the flight test programme. Was it talking about an extension?
Apologies, I was at fault there, I misread F-3 for X-2 when I saw the item posted on a Facebook group. The Japanese MOD were denying they had abandoned plans to indigenously develop the F-3, saying that they hadn't yet decided which way to go, home-grown or collaboration.
https://thediplomat.com/2018/03/japan-denies-scrapping-5th-generation-stealth-fighter-program/

Its seems that the saga of the F-2 will be repeated again.
I can't see what BAE are offering that will fill the need. Typhoon probably isn't a big enough leap for Japan, not when regional threats are only going to get more advanced. Leaving aside the J-20, China is bound to develop its own F-35-esque clone in time and Russia is bound to get some exports for the Su-57 in the Far East. By the time any developed F-3 got into service (say 2026), the Typhoon is going to be aging and its European operators looking for a successor (would the Brit gov't see a modernised F-3 as an ideal cheaper Typhoon replacement/extender for the 2030s?). BAE is working with TAI of course on a stealthy design, but we don't know how much input BAE has into that and how advanced its stealth qualities are likely to be. Also, its unlikely Turkey is going to give away any intellectual property rights so BAE can reuse the design for Japan.
The writer of the article linked above speculates on Lockheed Martin developing a larger F-22 based fighter. Does Japan really have deep pocketfuls of cash to fund such a programme and does LM have the design resources for that and might distract them from PCA? Could Japan wait for PCA and jump onto that bandwagon (assuming they don't get burnt with an export ban again?). A stretched F-35 might be feasible, both technically and industrially given Japan's involvement in the F-35 programme, but again its going to cost a packet.
Could Japan maybe jump onto the Korean/Malaysian KFX? Though that platform might be a tad small, not advanced enough and a probable political hot potato as well.
 

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Is it not the case that BAE are giving the Turks the benefit of their LO/fighter design experience for TF-X rather than the other way around?

I don't think Typhoon is what the Japanese are asking about. If both London and Tokyo have been talking about what they could do together in terms of a new fighter (to replace the Typhoon), then is this existing design something that exists on paper rather than something you could fly today?
 

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Japan has decided what the West is offering is too expensive and doesn't meet their requirements. I think they're in for a very rude awakening. As China and Russia have found out, stealth ain't cheap, at least not in the capabilities they're looking for in their new fighter. Also, the only way they end up partnering with any of the other nations mentions is if they supply money and some basic components. They definitely won't be design leads or in charge of the propulsion part of the program. I wonder how much money they will invest in research before they figure all of this out?
 
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