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

elmayerle

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nothing major besides talks now going to 3 US companies. Northrop, Boeing and Lockmart.
no idea if its consultation with all 3, or if it will be some kind of competition and one partner will be chosen.

I personally hope it would be Boeing or Northrop just so we can see a more unique design since everyone and their pet dog is making something F-22 looking these days.
I would hope for Northrop-Grumman, myself. They have as much stealth expertise as Lockheed-Martin and they also have a fair bit of radar and avionics experience, supplying a number of systems to the F-35 in addition to the structural portions they produce. Without going into detail, I will note that they have mastered certain stealth manufacturing technologies ahead of others.
 

FighterJock

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nothing major besides talks now going to 3 US companies. Northrop, Boeing and Lockmart.
no idea if its consultation with all 3, or if it will be some kind of competition and one partner will be chosen.

I personally hope it would be Boeing or Northrop just so we can see a more unique design since everyone and their pet dog is making something F-22 looking these days.
I would hope for Northrop-Grumman, myself. They have as much stealth expertise as Lockheed-Martin and they also have a fair bit of radar and avionics experience, supplying a number of systems to the F-35 in addition to the structural portions they produce. Without going into detail, I will note that they have mastered certain stealth manufacturing technologies ahead of others.
Lets hope that they go for Northrop.
 
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trose213

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"Japan plans to begin mass production of a cutting-edge, domestically developed fighter jet in fiscal 2031, aiming to start deployment in 2035 when its fleet of aging F-2 planes is scheduled to be retired, according to plan presented Tuesday by the Defense Ministry.

...

Prototype production is slated to start in fiscal 2024. Basic designs for key parts and more detailed blueprints are to be finalized by fiscal 2027, with test flights commencing the following year."
 

helmutkohl

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Prototype production is slated to start in fiscal 2024. Basic designs for key parts and more detailed blueprints are to be finalized by fiscal 2027, with test flights commencing the following year."
wait... wouldnt it make more sense for blue prints to be finalized first, then prototype production?
it sems strange to me that production begins 3 years before the blueprints
 

stealthflanker

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"Japan plans to begin mass production of a cutting-edge, domestically developed fighter jet in fiscal 2031, aiming to start deployment in 2035 when its fleet of aging F-2 planes is scheduled to be retired, according to plan presented Tuesday by the Defense Ministry.
This is about 100 Airframes. Maybe like F-2, 4 prototypes and 98 serial production. I would love to see more tho to reduce cost
 

helmutkohl

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some other tidbits I found in Japanese news

both the US and UK will be partners of varying extent
the UK will be responsible for the engines..
i wonder if this means we will see an EJ200 variant powering this plane?
or something the Tempest would use?
 

TomcatViP

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IMOHO it can only be a new engine. Japan produced a test engine, the XF9 and claims that it fulfilled all expectations. The partnership with RR can only be over shared production of components to drive down cost. Also Gmbh owns part of the Ej200 making dubious a cross platform integration (but would be nice to see).
 
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FighterJock

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The program is moving far too slowly, especially given current events.
The program needs to be speeded up quite a lot, an announcement on who would be the international partner would help start things off.
 

Deltafan

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some other tidbits I found in Japanese news

both the US and UK will be partners of varying extent
the UK will be responsible for the engines..
i wonder if this means we will see an EJ200 variant powering this plane?
or something the Tempest would use?
Well, this program seems allways unclear for who will be really partner(s)...

Defense News article :


Japan has created a timeline for the development and fielding of its locally made next-generation fighter jet, (...)
The Japanese Ministry of Defense presented the draft development plan for the fighter program to a group of lawmakers from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Tuesday, which showed that full-scale production is due to begin in 2031.
The ministry added that the prime contractor for the program will be selected by early next year, although it could happen as soon as October 2020. This is to allow for the basic design for the airframe and engine to be launched before the end of the current Japanese fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2021.
The next step would be the production of the first fighter prototype, which is planned to begin in 2024, with flight tests earmarked to start in 2028 following finalization of the design and production plans.
The new fighter is slated to replace about 90 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries F-2 fighters, which are due to be phased out in the mid-2030s, as its replacement is to be formally introduced into service in 2035.
(...)
 

helmutkohl

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translation and key tidbits

The new jet will begin production in 2031
Its target is to replace the F-2 (hmm I thought it would replace the F-15.. the F-35 seems more of an F-2 replacement)
They plan to retire the F-2s by 2035

Prototype will be completed in 2024 (if its this early, I assume they've already finalized a configuration)
first flight will be 2028
 

helmutkohl

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so Mitsubishi was chosen? can't say I'm surprised.
it would be like KAI winning a contest in Korea
or Saab in Sweden
 

kaiserd

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Looks somewhat like a mix of NG F-23A and MDC/NG/BAe JSF-proposal
I really loved those MDC/NG designs :( I wish it could have been chosen as one of the two finalists for JSF
Same here helmutkohl. To this day I do not know why they picked the Boeing X-32 over the McDonnell Douglas/Northrop design. :(
My understanding is that the use of separate lift jets seen as a major weakness/ flaw (both from a logistic and making-STOVL-practical perspectives).
Also that Lockheed’s proposal was miles ahead of its competitors and that Boeing really only advanced as the least-worst of Lockheed’s competitors (with interest in Boeing’s production technology/ methodology).
 

djfawcett

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Same here helmutkohl. To this day I do not know why they picked the Boeing X-32 over the McDonnell Douglas/Northrop design.
The McD proposal was marginal at best, which reflected an air of arrogance within management - i.e. - how could they not select us, we are the only company that has built an operational VTOL fighter in the US. Plus, the A-12 debacle did not help the issue.
 

stealthflanker

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Current information so far indicates that the aircraft would have a XF-9 or a production version of it. One important piece is that it has a generator capable of generating 180 KW of power. twin engine would make it 360. This is a considerable amount of power to spare. It could easily accommodate 20KW++ peak power AESA maybe 27 if it can spare 25 KW of cooling for the AESA and its respective avionics.

I tried to make a "trendline" relating cooling capacity of a Radar vs its fuel capacity. It's unfortunately very hard to find data of, thus it would have error and there is no way for me to check the accuracy. Plus i only managed to get few data points as follows :

fuel capacity.png

As seen to be able to "spare" 25 KW of cooling, the aircraft would need to have fuel capacity of 10.2 metric tonne. If it could do better, then it can cool more and accommodate more powerful radar.

The fuel here act as a heatsink for the cooling system. current modern fighters appears to rely on liquid cooling for Avionics, and use its fuel as heatsink. Air cooling can be considered however the performance appears to be varies by altitude and may actually prevent use of high power avionics until it's "high up there" e.g 9100 m where air is about -60 Deg Celcius. It is therefore i conclude that there could be a relationship between fuel capacity and cooling capacity. One may have larger cooling pumps and flows but the heat from the cooling fluid has to go somewhere from the heat exchanger. This heat exchanger if exposed may be source of Infra red signature.

The bottom line, the more avionics one get, more heat thus more fuel is required to cool it. In the other hand, knowing the required cooling may allow approximation of required fuel capacity which in turn one can get idea on how big the aircraft would be.


Correction : I made mistake in the chart. The cooling capacity for Chinese AEW was supposed to be 200 KW instead of previously listed 100. My apology.
 
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Ronny

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Current information so far indicates that the aircraft would have a XF-9 or a production version of it. One important piece is that it has a generator capable of generating 180 KW of power. twin engine would make it 360. This is a considerable amount of power to spare. It could easily accommodate 20KW++ peak power AESA maybe 27 if it can spare 25 KW of cooling for the AESA and its respective avionics.

I tried to make a "trendline" relating cooling capacity of a Radar vs its fuel capacity. It's unfortunately very hard to find data of, thus it would have error and there is no way for me to check the accuracy. Plus i only managed to get few data points as follows :

View attachment 638862

As seen to be able to "spare" 25 KW of cooling, the aircraft would need to have fuel capacity of 10.2 metric tonne. If it could do better, then it can cool more and accommodate more powerful radar.

The fuel here act as a heatsink for the cooling system. current modern fighters appears to rely on liquid cooling for Avionics, and use its fuel as heatsink. Air cooling can be considered however the performance appears to be varies by altitude and may actually prevent use of high power avionics until it's "high up there" e.g 9100 m where air is about -60 Deg Celcius. It is therefore i conclude that there could be a relationship between fuel capacity and cooling capacity. One may have larger cooling pumps and flows but the heat from the cooling fluid has to go somewhere from the heat exchanger. This heat exchanger if exposed may be source of Infra red signature.

The bottom line, the more avionics one get, more heat thus more fuel is required to cool it. In the other hand, knowing the required cooling may allow approximation of required fuel capacity which in turn one can get idea on how big the aircraft would be.


Correction : I made mistake in the chart. The cooling capacity for Chinese AEW was supposed to be 200 KW instead of previously listed 100. My apology.
I think the XF-9 can generate more electricity than that, F-3 is a very new aircraft, even F-35 could generate about 400KVA 320 KW
F-35 electricity generation.PNG

Also, I don't think aircraft use all their fuel as cooling though, probably only a fraction of it, otherwise radar power will keep decreasing as aircraft will consume its fuel while it traveling
Secondly, modern aircraft from the F-35 onward seem to put the heat exchanger inside the engine so it won't be a source of infrared signature
f-35-thermal.png
f-135-heat-exchanger.png
1-1.png
 
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stealthflanker

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I think the XF-9 can generate more electricity than that, F-3 is a very new aircraft, even F-35 could generate about 400KVA 320 KW
I see, this would indicate a new generator.

Also, I don't think aircraft use all their fuel as cooling though, probably only a fraction of it, otherwise radar power will keep decreasing as aircraft will consume its fuel while it traveling
Well i'm not suggesting that the fighter will use all of its fuel for cooling. I merely see that there is a relationship between cooling capacity and quantity of fuel and aircraft can carry.

Secondly, modern aircraft from the F-35 onward seem to put the heat exchanger inside the engine so it won't be a source of infrared signature
Still, doesnt that mean at higher altitude cooling capacity would decrease as there is less (although cooler) air above there ?
 

TomcatViP

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Compressed air. I am not sure that an heat exchanger placed downstream of the engine compressor will be much affected by the external pressure loss of one bar max.
 

helmutkohl

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amazing, a non US/EU powerful engine alternative exists!
I wonder if Japan is willing to export it to other countries such as Turkey or India, which are trying to make their own stealthy aircraft
 

FighterJock

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amazing, a non US/EU powerful engine alternative exists!
I wonder if Japan is willing to export it to other countries such as Turkey or India, which are trying to make their own stealthy aircraft
I would like to see the engine exported as it would give more competition to the likes of General Dynamics/Pratt and Whitney and the European engine manufacturer's such as Eurojet and the French SNECMA which powers the Rafale.
 

helmutkohl

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is this new engine powerful enough to even power the F-35, perhaps in a future domestic version that is re-engined (perhaps allowing for supercruise?)
 

Flyaway

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amazing, a non US/EU powerful engine alternative exists!
I wonder if Japan is willing to export it to other countries such as Turkey or India, which are trying to make their own stealthy aircraft
I very much doubt it would be sold to either of them, especially Turkey considering the direction of political travel in that country.
 

stealthflanker

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And India would likely want a custom version which may not necessarily share characteristics with Japanese requirement.
 
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