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New Light Fighter Requirement

Sundog

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In the October 2009 issue of Combat Aircraft, there is an excellent editorial on page 29 regarding a phone interview with Pierre Sprey about the current "fighter drought." He is working on a new book with Robert Dilger that calls for an, "austerely-designed and affordable aircraft tailored to missions that actually win wars."

Apparently Pierre was an analyst at the Pentagon in the 60's and worked for McNamara, but he was apparently a big proponent of the LWF, as in the original F-16, not what it became, and the A-10.

His requirements are for a "super maneuverable air to air dogfighter with all passive electronic systems. He wants it armed with a gun and a dual mode seeker missile. He wants to return to fighter weights of those used in WW2! He wants it to weigh around 14000 lbs. But the key is, he wants it to have a fuel fraction of .80!! He also wants it to supercruise. But he sort of takes a dump on HUD and all of the advanced displays, because he says they get in the way of the pilots SA. In that regard, I don't think he quite understands that the whole purpose of some of those systems increase SA, not decrease it.

But I think he creates an interesting case for an affordable fighter. It's only a one page article, but I think it's well worth the read. I'll definitely be looking forward to the book.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Sundog said:
But I think he creates an interesting case for an affordable fighter. It's only a one page article, but I think it's well worth the read. I'll definitely be looking forward to the book.

I think he's arguing for a lot of pilots to go to their deaths in a glorious but futile manner. Also if he thinks a fighter aircraft can be built that weighes about a ton he is smoking more than menthols.
 

Just call me Ray

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Abraham Gubler said:
Also if he thinks a fighter aircraft can be built that weighes about a ton he is smoking more than menthols.

Actually it's a great idea - if we remove the supercruise requirement, the gun, and the pilot.

x-45c-1.jpg
 

Abraham Gubler

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Just call me Ray said:
Abraham Gubler said:
Also if he thinks a fighter aircraft can be built that weighes about a ton he is smoking more than menthols.

Actually it's a great idea - if we remove the supercruise requirement, the gun, and the pilot.

LOL, don't forget add a radar, bomb bay and remove the hyper agility requirement. Even then the X-45A weighed in at 3.5 tons and had a fuel fraction of only 0.3.
 

prolific1

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I detect a little romance in the guy's wish to remove all the gadgets. In motorsport that has merit...return to the good old days when men drove cars by the seat of their pants. In aerial combat I'm not sure if that romantic position has merit. That said I am intrigued by the desire to make a more simple and effective aircraft that has only the essential gadgetry necessary to simplify the workload. I am also concerned that all of the requirements he mentioned might drive the weight right back up.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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A fuel fraction of 0.8 is crazy stuff - it would be essentially a flying fuel tank.

austerely-designed and affordable aircraft tailored to missions that actually win wars"

Which future war and mission does he have in mind for his lightweight austere air-air fighter? Sprey is a one-trick pony rehashing the same old arguments.
 

zen

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Hmmmm.....

In theory it could be possible to design a sort of mini-JSF type, with internal bay(s) for a small number of AAMs or small bombs to keep it LO. The potency of modern explosives and the precision of guided weapons rather does reduce the need to tote large warloads around for a single target.

But otherwise its going to be a no more survivable than current machines and certainly less flexable.
 

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It sounds to me like the reincarnation of the most ideas used on the Piranha: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,1279.0/highlight,piranha.html
 

Sundog

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sferrin said:
OMG Sprey again? Isn't he dead yet?

LOL, apparently not.

What really caught my attention was the fuel fraction. Now, don't get me wrong, by 2050, I think this fighter actually will be possible, but with "gadgets." I say that since by 2050, I would expect jet engines to have a T/W=40 and I would expect advanced electronics to take up much less space and power requirements, due to all the work being performed in that area for UCAVs. But could you actually build a plane today for 14000lbs where the engine itself wasn't 20% the weight of the aircraft and achieve that performance? I don't think so.

What I found kind of funny is that what he was describing, to a certain extent, is the original JSF, in that the original JSF wasn't supposed to have all of the onboard sensors to keep weight and cost down. I think it would be interesting to see what the remaining aerospace companies could come up with for a low cost super-maneuverable light weight fighter on their own, without the Pentagons involvement; i.e. - no one driving up weight and cost. Of course, in that regard, I think we partially have our answer right here, in the Northrop Co-Op Fighter, at 17,700lbs, and the Future Compact Fighter Concept. Other than the fuel fraction, he's actually thirty years too late. Or maybe not, since none of these were built. I think it would make a great program for the ANG.
 

Sundog

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Matej said:
It sounds to me like the reincarnation of the most ideas used on the Piranha: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,1279.0/highlight,piranha.html

Or, as I quoted above, many of the 70's and 80's LWF programs then under study by Northrop. I suppose you could also include some of the small supercruise designs by Rockwell NA and the Boeing small parasite fighter that was supposed to be launched from the 747 as well.

The main difference today being the fuel fraction requirement. I just have no idea how you build a fighter designed to take high maneuvering and dynamic pressure loads and keep the weight of the pilot, cockpit, structure, avionics, landing gear, engine and armament to twenty percent of the total weight. The only way to do this that I can think of is to build something like the B-58 where it has some kind of giant pod to carry a lot of fuel.

To the best of my knowledge, the F-20 had a high fuel fraction, but I can't help thinking the numbers I've read are for the F-20 with drop tanks. I think it was around .50 for fuel fraction based on what I looked up and I don't get how that could be the way the airframe was packaged. The only way I could think of to even come close, without external fuel carriage, would be to use a flying wing type design. Or something where the wing was most of the airframe, sort of like an X-32 without the internal weapons carriage.
 

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I think that such a big fuel fraction is the theoretical idea, how to keep the agility/power and the range/loitering time of the current fighters with the so small MTOW. I agree that it is completely unrealistic with the current technologies. The best, what we can get is below 0,5. Probably better idea to achieve this is to play with the typical mission profile - I mean superefficient cruising combined with the short time of the powerfull attack. Morphing wing can help a lot. Of course, there is no chance to match the mentioned specifications, but at least to go a bit closer.
 

Just call me Ray

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zen said:
Hmmmm.....

In theory it could be possible to design a sort of mini-JSF type, with internal bay(s) for a small number of AAMs or small bombs to keep it LO. The potency of modern explosives and the precision of guided weapons rather does reduce the need to tote large warloads around for a single target.

But otherwise its going to be a no more survivable than current machines and certainly less flexable.

See, this is what I mean when I say it might be a good idea for a semi-expendable UAV strike bomber, but you'd be mad to think it could work for an air-to-air role. You could probably even remove the radar requirement if you're going to be tossing GPS bombs only.

Actually, we could probably use something like this. In a way we already do by way of Predator/Reaper/MQ-X.
 

Sundog

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Just call me Ray said:
zen said:
Hmmmm.....

In theory it could be possible to design a sort of mini-JSF type, with internal bay(s) for a small number of AAMs or small bombs to keep it LO. The potency of modern explosives and the precision of guided weapons rather does reduce the need to tote large warloads around for a single target.

But otherwise its going to be a no more survivable than current machines and certainly less flexable.

See, this is what I mean when I say it might be a good idea for a semi-expendable UAV strike bomber, but you'd be mad to think it could work for an air-to-air role. You could probably even remove the radar requirement if you're going to be tossing GPS bombs only.

Actually, we could probably use something like this. In a way we already do by way of Predator/Reaper/MQ-X.

I honestly think the only reason there won't be an A2A UCAV, at least for true dogfighting in a war, is since you can't gurantee the remote "pilot" could maintain contact with the vehicle during combat. However, I could see a UCAV interceptor for flying patrol along countries borders and less demanding missions, at least in terms of the electronic environment. However, the pilot would have to be "relatively" close in proximity (Within 250 miles?) to minimize lag time. If lag is in hundreths of a second, I think a pilot could fly it from the ground and if it has sensors like the JSF, where it can see all around it, you could have maximum SA without the pilot being distracted by the flight loads/rough weather/etc.

As for the strike bomber, isn't that what our current UCAVs are/will be? Or are you talking similar to the current UCAVs being developed (X-45 & X-47 and I'm sure classified programs) but larger? like an F-111 or B-1 sized UCAV?
 

Abraham Gubler

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Sundog said:
I honestly think the only reason there won't be an A2A UCAV, at least for true dogfighting in a war, is since you can't gurantee the remote "pilot" could maintain contact with the vehicle during combat.

Any UCAV is going to be fully autonomous in its flight control. So the human “pilot” is only called upon to make management decisions. They are very much like a ground based fighter controller in legacy systems. In the case of an air to air combat the human involvement would be approving the engagement and then providing will to fire once they are convinced that the bogey is a bad guy. None of these decisions require too much bandwidth and there are plenty of communications systems in service that don’t require a steady flight attitude to work.
 

Sundog

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Abraham Gubler said:
Sundog said:
I honestly think the only reason there won't be an A2A UCAV, at least for true dogfighting in a war, is since you can't gurantee the remote "pilot" could maintain contact with the vehicle during combat.

Any UCAV is going to be fully autonomous in its flight control. So the human “pilot” is only called upon to make management decisions. They are very much like a ground based fighter controller in legacy systems. In the case of an air to air combat the human involvement would be approving the engagement and then providing will to fire once they are convinced that the bogey is a bad guy. None of these decisions require too much bandwidth and there are plenty of communications systems in service that don’t require a steady flight attitude to work.

My point about maintaining contact in combat was with regard to being engaged in an environment of heavy jamming. Can they actually guarantee the communications would be maintained in such an environment?
 

Just call me Ray

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Sundog said:
As for the strike bomber, isn't that what our current UCAVs are/will be? Or are you talking similar to the current UCAVs being developed (X-45 & X-47 and I'm sure classified programs) but larger? like an F-111 or B-1 sized UCAV?

If anything I think they should be smaller. Maybe powered by some of the engines that are entering into the VLJ market and a max speed of maybe 300 knots or so, if that. Instead of relying on speed for quick reaction time we could throw up a whole bunch of them to orbit hot spots, or just simply have a whole bunch of them in the air at one time. They might even be able to directly accompany ground units into combat. With small, efficient engines like that they could probably stay in the air for a while.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Sundog said:
My point about maintaining contact in combat was with regard to being engaged in an environment of heavy jamming. Can they actually guarantee the communications would be maintained in such an environment?

Dog fights are not the place where you are most likely to find heavy jamming. And such a threat is no different to UCAVs than to manned aircraft. The UCAV can still fight while jammed just like a manned aircraft. There is no need for off board intervention except for roles of engagement and value adding. The later being exactly the same for a manned aircraft.

If the UCAV losses communications then it will have a programmed response. It’s unlikely that it will be able to drop bombs into cities to hit terrorists without human approval but very likely that it will be able to fight other airborne targets to preserve its own and allied forces from destruction. Certainly it would be programmed to defeat the jamming source.
 

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Abraham Gubler said:
Dog fights are not the place where you are most likely to find heavy jamming.

It can be argued that Dogfights will be more likely to occur in such heavy jamming environments, even without the restrictive ROEs that are common at the present time.

And such a threat is no different to UCAVs than to manned aircraft. The UCAV can still fight while jammed just like a manned aircraft. There is no need for off board intervention except for roles of engagement and value adding. The later being exactly the same for a manned aircraft.

I think you may be wrong here. A.I is still pretty limited especially when compared to (onboard) flesh and blood pilots. For example, while target discrimination and friendly fire are still problems for human aircrew, they are far worse problems for A.Is. Situational Awareness and indeed plain old fashioned common sense are still considered major stumbling blocks for A.I systems designers, whether working on hardware or software orientated approaches. No such things as hunches and 'gut feelings' for A.Is remember.

In fact, current projected US DOD/Armed Forces ROEs for UCAVs are apparently very insistent on a 'man in the loop' for all combat situations, leaving a UCAVs A.I on it's own only for things like transit and routine patrols. In other words it would be little more than a fancy teleoperated drone in a real fight, with all the disadvantages that that implies. A very expensive drone at that. Even cut off from home base comms wise, a manned aircraft with a well briefed and experienced crew is likely to be at least able to give a damn good try at completing it's mission, unlike a UCAV.

If the UCAV losses communications then it will have a programmed response. It’s unlikely that it will be able to drop bombs into cities to hit terrorists without human approval but very likely that it will be able to fight other airborne targets to preserve its own and allied forces from destruction. Certainly it would be programmed to defeat the jamming source.

The programmed response, at least with current proposed ROEs, will be most likely "return to base", unless it was programmed for a strictly defined SEAD mission in the first place. On the other hand, it could be argued that a true UCAV wouldn't be solely dependent on pre-programmed responses. A UCAVs A.I should be able to understand the situation it finds itself and be able to generate a valid course of action (with back-up planning) based on that understanding and other data available to it. An A.I that can do that and reasonably fit into a fighter/ fighter-bomber sized UCAV airframe without costing the Earth, moon and stars is still some way off.
 

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Grey Havoc said:
It can be argued that Dogfights will be more likely to occur in such heavy jamming environments, even without the restrictive ROEs that are common at the present time.

Anything can be argued but that doesn’t make it plausible. Especially when arguments from one domain are crossed over into another and expected to then have validity.

To create a ‘heavy jamming’ environment that would promote more visual ATA engagements (ie dogfighting) would mean enough jamming to blank out radars of fighters, AEW&C, etc. This is an awful amount of jamming especially considering the huge improvements in radar capability brought about by electronic scanning.

While easy to imagine this may be as implausible as travelling to a point outside our universe – something all too easy to imagine but very hard to explain how it would happen.

Grey Havoc said:
I think you may be wrong here. A.I is still pretty limited especially when compared to (onboard) flesh and blood pilots. For example, while target discrimination and friendly fire are still problems for human aircrew, they are far worse problems for A.Is. Situational Awareness and indeed plain old fashioned common sense are still considered major stumbling blocks for A.I systems designers, whether working on hardware or software orientated approaches. No such things as hunches and 'gut feelings' for A.Is remember.

Part of this problem is applying a AI target recognition through one medium in a complex ground environments compared to a human without any other workload as to meaning all computer controlled target recognition is limited.

However when you link several AI mediums together into a syndicate and in a relatively simple environment (ATA) you find that they can work very effectively, ie AI visual, AI radar, AI IR, etc. An AI system analysing a target across multiple spectrums with reference to a library when the target is as simple as an aircraft in the air compared to a human who is also busy trying to fly a plane and fight a battle and one can be thankful you don’t have to rely on gut feelings.

Grey Havoc said:
In fact, current projected US DOD/Armed Forces ROEs for UCAVs are apparently very insistent on a 'man in the loop' for all combat situations, leaving a UCAVs A.I on it's own only for things like transit and routine patrols. In other words it would be little more than a fancy teleoperated drone in a real fight, with all the disadvantages that that implies. A very expensive drone at that. Even cut off from home base comms wise, a manned aircraft with a well briefed and experienced crew is likely to be at least able to give a damn good try at completing it's mission, unlike a UCAV.

Which is of course a lot more to do with current ROEs and legal restrictions placed on combat forces more than actual capability. In actual US forces thinking about real UCAVs in non permissive environments they are thinking autonomous warfare. And have even trailed and demonstrated this capability – which was what the X-45 was all about. Just because the practice of fighting terrorists with Predators – most of which aren’t even flown autonomously – means a human in the loop at all times does not mean the same with the next generation.

Grey Havoc said:
The programmed response, at least with current proposed ROEs, will be most likely "return to base", unless it was programmed for a strictly defined SEAD mission in the first place.

Ahh the magic of SEAD. Of course a UCAV is able to fight SEAD by itself but not any other mission? Because that preserves the jobs of fighter pilots in all those other areas apart from that one really hard and inglorious mission.

Grey Havoc said:
On the other hand, it could be argued that a true UCAV wouldn't be solely dependent on pre-programmed responses. A UCAVs A.I should be able to understand the situation it finds itself and be able to generate a valid course of action (with back-up planning) based on that understanding and other data available to it. An A.I that can do that and reasonably fit into a fighter/ fighter-bomber sized UCAV airframe without costing the Earth, moon and stars is still some way off.

We don’t expect this kind of capability from our fighter pilots while inside the cockpit so why should we expect it of out UCAVs? We don’t send them into the air to write friggin poetry they are there to complete a mission. They also won’t be alone because unless someone starts throwing nuclear warheads around the battlefield we are going to maintain more than enough bandwidth to talk to fighters and give them advise – be they manned or unmanned.
 

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Abraham Gubler said:
To create a ‘heavy jamming’ environment that would promote more visual ATA engagements (ie dogfighting) would mean enough jamming to blank out radars of fighters, AEW&C, etc. This is an awful amount of jamming especially considering the huge improvements in radar capability brought about by electronic scanning.

Actually, it can be argued that such radars are even more vulnerable to heavy jamming environments, whether created by pure 'brute force' jammers or a mixture of such jammers and deception jammers, not to mention they aren't by no means the only way to create heavy EMI environments that can clobber a radar system (among other things), electronically scanned or otherwise. It's easy enough to jam an enemy's sensors and comms, especially if you're willing to accept tradeoffs with your own long range tracking, targeting and communications capabilities. Even systems with plenty of raw power in reserve like Ageis can be blinded, although deception jammers and the like might be a better choice in their case.

Part of this problem is applying a AI target recognition through one medium in a complex ground environments compared to a human without any other workload as to meaning all computer controlled target recognition is limited.

However when you link several AI mediums together into a syndicate and in a relatively simple environment (ATA) you find that they can work very effectively, ie AI visual, AI radar, AI IR, etc.

In theory. Agent based systems like you describe have not yet lived up to their initial promise, although there have been promising experiments in using them in automated logistics and communications chains. Co-ordination and fusion of data have being among the problems encountered. Another major problem with Agents is that they can have rather heavy system requirements, although to be fair, most of the recent experiments I've heard/read about were using Java (or similar) language based Agents. By the way, ATA as a simple environment? What do you consider as a complex one?


An AI system analysing a target across multiple spectrums with reference to a library when the target is as simple as an aircraft in the air compared to a human who is also busy trying to fly a plane and fight a battle and one can be thankful you don’t have to rely on gut feelings.

Simple in theory, not nearly so in practice. Pure library based systems i.e. Expert Systems still have a number of major drawbacks even with recent advances. Even very advanced A.I systems using such elements as neural nets and fuzzy logic routines still have problems properly analysing and dealing with complex situations in less than ideal conditions. The best approach would still seem be agumenting human aircrew with advanced AI systems. The basic approach that you avocate would only likely properly work in an environment where all data on the enemy and battlefield conditions was available (sound familar?) and the proper course of action was in memory or could be computed based on available data. That sort of clarity rarely happens in combat conditions. Often instinct and gut feelings are all you have in a uncertain situation, e.g. whether to get in to a fight or not in the first place.


Which is of course a lot more to do with current ROEs and legal restrictions placed on combat forces more than actual capability. In actual US forces thinking about real UCAVs in non permissive environments they are thinking autonomous warfare. And have even trailed and demonstrated this capability – which was what the X-45 was all about. Just because the practice of fighting terrorists with Predators – most of which aren’t even flown autonomously – means a human in the loop at all times does not mean the same with the next generation.

I'd disagree with you there. I don't think that the (pretty limited) tests done using the X-45 would prove your point at all. In fact, those tests were mostly simulated SEAD missions, weren't they? The technology for successful autonomous SEAD drones (or DEAD as the Air Force has being trying to rename it) has being around since at least the late 80's.

Ahh the magic of SEAD. Of course a UCAV is able to fight SEAD by itself but not any other mission? Because that preserves the jobs of fighter pilots in all those other areas apart from that one really hard and inglorious mission.

SEAD tends to be heavy on one's aircraft and UCAVs are supposed to be expendable. And most SEAD missions are simple enough, at least until the enemy gets wise!

We don’t expect this kind of capability from our fighter pilots while inside the cockpit so why should we expect it of out UCAVs? We don’t send them into the air to write friggin poetry they are there to complete a mission. They also won’t be alone because unless someone starts throwing nuclear warheads around the battlefield we are going to maintain more than enough bandwidth to talk to fighters and give them advise – be they manned or unmanned.

In order to complete said mission, aircrew are expected to able adapt and improvise as with regards to changing conditions on the fly, and that's just the weather! And if even the US can't currently guarantee sufficient communications bandwidth for it's forces (ironically due in part to demands of /interference from, UAVs/UGVs) in relatively low level conflicts like Iraq and increasingly Afganistan, what makes you think they'd be able to do in a major conventional war? Not to mention communications jamming in the digital age is much easier than you seem to think. Hint: think protocols.
 

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Gray Havoc,

Having entire airwings of UCAVs with full-autonomy and no human in the loop would be a recipe for disaster
 

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Kind of an old topic, but I was intrigued by it.

A fighter jet with a loaded weight of 14,000 pounds wouldn't be too difficult in and of itself. The loaded weight of the Gripen is 18,700 pounds and the tiny Goblin had a loaded weight of 4,550 pounds. That fuel fraction of 0.80 is the real doozy (as everyone else has pointed out). That's even more than the Rutan Voyager! That makes for the following weights:

Loaded Weight: 14,000 pounds
Empty Weight: 2,800 pounds
Fuel Weight: 11,200 pounds

Those are some pretty extreme weights. The empty weight is less than that of an empty Goblin, but carries over a ton more internal fuel than an F-16C! I wonder what kind of thrust he was wanting? If he wants a thrust-to-weight ratio greater than 1-to-1 with full loaded weight, then he wants a 11,200+ pounds of thrust engine. On the other hand, maybe he wants a competitive thrust-to-weight ratio at half-fuel loads. Maybe 1.25-to-1 half-loaded. That would make for a lighter engine requirment (with thrust of 10,500 pounds). A pair of J85s (as used in the F-5E) could generate similar thrust with a total engine weight of 600-1,000 pounds. That leaves 1,800-2,200 pounds left over for the structure, gun, sensors, and everything else. Of course, a 5th-generation engine could probably be made lighter for the same thrust as the J85.

Now, the gun (if it's an M61 Vulcan) weighs 248 pounds. Leftover weight is now 1,552-1,952 pounds (or a bit more if we use a 5th-gen engine).

We would need as many weight-saving measures as possible. Perhaps TVC should be eliminated because of weight penalties (although this would make his requirement for supermaneuverability more difficult to achieve). Since he wants all-passive sensors, maybe we could remove the radar in the nose and move the canopy forward for better forward visibility). Of course, a fighter without a radar would be a questionable thing indeed. Maybe a pair of small AESAs could be mounted in the leading edges of the wings. Perhaps delta wings would be in order because of their relatively high strength-to-weight ratio and high fuel storage ability. Making it a tailless delta might reduce the weight further, although maneuverability would probably suffer. Supercruise, on the other hand, might be easier to achieve with a tailless delta.

If this is a stealth fighter (if it's going to be competitive, then it sure needs to be), then internal weapon bays will be needed. That could make for a huge weight penalty. Compare the empty weights of the F-15 to the F-22 as an example (I'm assuming that a lot of that extra weight is from the weapon bays, but I could be wrong.)

His requirements sure seem steep, but it would be cool if someone could draw out plans to see if it was theoretically possible.
 

zen

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Sorry just remind me, why does a light fighter/attack type need 11,200lb (1,400imp gal) of internal fuel?

Now considering modern turbofans are pretty good on s.f.c figures compared to the old turbojets, one has to ask why the need for turbojet levels of fuel?
 

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zen said:
Sorry just remind me, why does a light fighter/attack type need 11,200lb (1,400imp gal) of internal fuel?

Now considering modern turbofans are pretty good on s.f.c figures compared to the old turbojets, one has to ask why the need for turbojet levels of fuel?

Because somebody wants a light fighter to have an ungodly amount of range.

Modern turbofans are indeed more efficient than their turbojet predecessors, but modern fighters are getting saddled with missions at ever increasing ranges. For example, look at the F-16. Originally intended as a dogfighter jet, it has since morphed into a bomb truck, with users putting on conformal fuel tanks and what not.
 
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Well there is definitely something to be said about old "crazy Pierre's" ideas. The idea of making it light and cheap insinuates that you will have large numbers of them. Nothing is a better force multiplier than a multiple of forces. I don't care what magic the F22 has, if you put it against four conventional fighters its not going to beat them all without being mortally wounded itself. The F22 has this theoretically spectacular kill ratio, but its based upon a flawed scenario of beyond visual range kills. In reality there are less than 10 beyond visual range kills in the history of US air warfare across all services.

Now take the light and cheap and plentiful concept and apply it to UCAV's. Put a cannon in the the nose and the tail, and then you have a whole new era of fighting with autonomous "swarms" to learn. The learning curve wont be steep on this one because you'll be able to have real "to the death" fights without killing people, giving you real combat results and not theoretical ones. :)

There will be no going back to "man in seat".
 

Just call me Ray

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sublight said:
There will be no going back to "man in seat".

Thank You.


I really like the idea of unmanned swarms, as I've said before in this very thread and just about every time this subject is brought up (which seems like a lot). I don't think the American leadership and public will be too keen on the idea of putting their sons and daughters in a bunch of cheap aircraft which, regardless of the merits in numbers, are questionable on their own and would virtually guarantee KIAs even if in exchange for massive numbers of enemies. And frankly, it's a backwards step anyway.

It's also the tactic our current projected OPFOR, the Chinese, have openly adopted. If we try to beat them at their own game we will only prove we're idiots.
 
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