USAF/US NAVY 6th Generation Fighter Programs - F/A-XX, F-X, NGAD, PCA, ASFS

sublight_

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That said I suspect the primary role of wingmen type UAVs is to act as forward sensor and stand in EW platforms, and in a pinch, decoys, to make the parent aircraft more survivable.
No, plasma projection is the going forward technology for decoys.
 

Dreamfighter

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With the info of the last few years in mind, I don´t find it very surprising we´re (already) entering EMD times.
 

Firefinder

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That said I suspect the primary role of wingmen type UAVs is to act as forward sensor and stand in EW platforms, and in a pinch, decoys, to make the parent aircraft more survivable.
No, plasma projection is the going forward technology for decoys.
Why cant you have the UAVs using plasma projections to make even more decoys?
 

Josh_TN

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If nothing else, nothing decoys as well as an actual physical aircraft with a complete signature. If you have the ability to project false targets, great, but worst case a loyal wingman type drone is a real aircraft that would still register as a legitimate target to most any SAM or AAM.
 

sublight_

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If nothing else, nothing decoys as well as an actual physical aircraft with a complete signature. If you have the ability to project false targets, great, but worst case a loyal wingman type drone is a real aircraft that would still register as a legitimate target to most any SAM or AAM.

It may extend beyond just decoys. There has been a lot of research into using plasma as electromagnetic reflectors. Imagine actively projecting a large oblique "radar shield" between you and the targeting radar. The Navy has been projecting large plasma objects over the decks of carriers for 4 hours straight, and playing tic tac with F-18s for nearly 20 years.
 

lantinian

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Those early RFI ATF designs from Lockheed that were like stealthy SR-71 battlecruisers suddenly seam like an NGAD solution ahead of its time. Granted, they were not that stealthy but did they have range and speed.

I am comvinced the NGAD will not have closely spaced engines like the F-22. That configuration make sustained supersonic speed for long periods of time a heat dissipation problem even if the fuel was not an issue.

I also think that the absence of the word “fighter” when discussing even the manned part of the NGAD is no accident.
 

rooster

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Those early RFI ATF designs from Lockheed that were like stealthy SR-71 battlecruisers suddenly seam like an NGAD solution ahead of its time. Granted, they were not that stealthy but did they have range and speed.

I am comvinced the NGAD will not have closely spaced engines like the F-22. That configuration make sustained supersonic speed for long periods of time a heat dissipation problem even if the fuel was not an issue.

I also think that the absence of the word “fighter” when discussing even the manned part of the NGAD is no accident.
Kingfish had closely spaced engines.
 

rooster

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If nothing else, nothing decoys as well as an actual physical aircraft with a complete signature. If you have the ability to project false targets, great, but worst case a loyal wingman type drone is a real aircraft that would still register as a legitimate target to most any SAM or AAM.
Radar is pretty good and aircraft can be discerned from signature returns. Along with ir imaging one can separate the drone from the manned aircraft. F14 was doing target id decades ago coupling radar with ir.
 

Josh_TN

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I think NCTR of 5th gen fighters is probably very difficult - by definition they would lack a lot of the features and signal return of more traditional types. IR will make you eventually but generally at shorter range.

The other issue is that if the wingmen are armed, you can’t just ignore them anymore even if they are being intentionally used as decoys.
 

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dark sidius

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Good to see the NGAD has moved onto the next development phase, I cannot wait to see what the finished design will look like.
The same
 

djfawcett

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Kingfish had closely spaced engines.
Do not be surprise of the "finished design" footprint is very similar in dimensions to the Convair Kingfish design, which has a length of 73.6 ft and a span of 60 ft. As a matter of fact, the most recent LM concept may "sort of" fall into this category.
 

sublight_

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Do not be surprised if the design prioritizes aerospace innovations made in the last 40 years over stealth.
 

FighterJock

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Do not be surprised if the design prioritizes aerospace innovations made in the last 40 years over stealth.

The final shape of the NGAD will quite possibly look a lot more different than the current generation of stealth fighters up to and including the F-35 due to the advancements in computer technology, look at what happened to the F-117 and B-2 for example.
 

sublight_

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Do not be surprised if the design prioritizes aerospace innovations made in the last 40 years over stealth.

The final shape of the NGAD will quite possibly look a lot more different than the current generation of stealth fighters up to and including the F-35 due to the advancements in computer technology, look at what happened to the F-117 and B-2 for example.
There are no computer advancements that magically reduce the absolutely staggering engineering hours that passive stealth requires. How many aerospace advancements made over the years are "incompatible" with low observable engineering? The digital century series concept was not meant to work with a low observable platform, but one mostly devoid of low observable characteristics. Imagine the engineering possibilities when RCS does not constrain the design.
 

sferrin

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Do not be surprised if the design prioritizes aerospace innovations made in the last 40 years over stealth.

The final shape of the NGAD will quite possibly look a lot more different than the current generation of stealth fighters up to and including the F-35 due to the advancements in computer technology, look at what happened to the F-117 and B-2 for example.
There are no computer advancements that magically reduce the absolutely staggering engineering hours that passive stealth requires.
I'll bet they've developed a bunch of in-house tools to automate a lot of that.
 

kaiserd

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Do not be surprised if the design prioritizes aerospace innovations made in the last 40 years over stealth.

The final shape of the NGAD will quite possibly look a lot more different than the current generation of stealth fighters up to and including the F-35 due to the advancements in computer technology, look at what happened to the F-117 and B-2 for example.
There are no computer advancements that magically reduce the absolutely staggering engineering hours that passive stealth requires. How many aerospace advancements made over the years are "incompatible" with low observable engineering? The digital century series concept was not meant to work with a low observable platform, but one mostly devoid of low observable characteristics. Imagine the engineering possibilities when RCS does not constrain the design.
Utter nonsense. There has been no passive stealth versus “active” stealth revolution nor any reliable indication that the “digital century series” concept involved any meaningful abandonment of the need for low observability in next generation fighters.

All USAF and US Navy 6th generation manned fighters are going to be designed for low observability characteristics to maximise their survivability while maximising their freedom of movement/ action; highly likely to be “stealthier” than their F-22 and F-35 predecessors but with the mix of other performance goals (say range/ endurance versus high G manoeuvring) likely to be different.

There is likely to be less trade-off for low observability characteristics (like the F-22 and then the F-35 had to sacrifice less than a F-117 for them) and they may well look different than current 5th generation designs.

Their loyal (unmanned) wingmen are also likely to look to minimise their observability characteristics but the cost/ benefit of the precise balance of such characteristics versus cost and other factors will be different than for the manned platforms.
 

sublight_

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Utter nonsense. There has been no passive stealth versus “active” stealth revolution

If the Navy has been brazen enough to let their plasma technologies spill into the public eye, then I think a wider scope of its use is upon us. The digital century series is wildly unfeasible. When you take the RCS dependencies out of the picture it suddenly becomes quite doable. Is there another good reason for the heightened security around the NGAD program?
 

kaiserd

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Please remember the forum guidance against UFOs, Bigfoots/ Bigfeet etc.
And on the off chance the US actually has anything like this technology on what rational basis/ evidence are you saying their is any indication that it’s going to be incorporated into the general 6th generation US combat aircraft fleet?
 
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sublight_

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Please remember the forum guidance against UFOs, Bigfoots/ Bigfeet etc.
And on the off chance the US actually has anything like this technology on what rational basis/ evidence are you saying their is any indication that it’s going to be incorporated into the general 6th generation US combat aircraft fleet?
I can see that you are clearly triggered. But I will just leave this right here.
 

Foo Fighter

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FighterJock

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Could just as easily be the infamous SR-72.

I hope it is the SR-72, there has been no news reports lately about the progress of the SR-72 I have always assumed that it had either been cancelled or been buried deep into the "Black World" to protect it from prying eyes.
 

bobbymike

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rooster

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This reliance on drones for air superiority scares me. Its never been proven. So rushing into it seems frought with risk that could be mitigated with a manned platform meanwhile progressing progressively towards drones.

I hope they don't throw away the baby with the bathwater on the manned component of ngad and it's something that can't double as a fighter when called on.

Why not develop a smallish or medium size single without the a2g whizbang electronics that can eventually be unmanned? Why not something like the 35 but dedicated for air combat without the space for 4000lbs of bombs?

The dollars I've seen floated certainly seem like they could do it this way.

I think drones are the future but I fear we're not there yet. For some reason it seems drones for ground strike are within reach, but air combat is so fluid and i don't the tech is perfected yet. It seems for air combat they are just moving the human element off board which opens up defeating a drone force just by jamming communications and in not ready to believe we're quite there with flying terminators.
 
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F-2

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They have all those F-35s and are committed to the Raptor for a while know. If it’s proceeded this far the technology is likely far beyond what we think. Bae Taranis can apparently pick out targets in its own and apparently it works very well. It might just be the future showed up without anyone noticing and it’s ready for its shift.
 

FighterJock

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I think drones are the future but I fear we're not there yet. For some reason it seems drones for ground strike are within reach, but air combat is so fluid and i don't the tech is perfected yet. It seems for air combat they are just moving the human element off board which opens up defeating a drone force just by jamming communications and in not ready to believe we're quite there with flying terminators.

I agree with you on that point rooster, I personally don't see fully autonomous drones just yet either, the manned fighter will be with us for a while yet.
 

icyplanetnhc (Steve)

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A “centuries series” fighter style acquisition plan is apparently being dispensed of for the manned fighter component of the NGAD, given the sophistication and complexity of the system.

Interestingly, the manned fighter component of NGAD is still in competition even as it’s in EMD. It’s been mentioned that in some recent programs, competitors have advanced as far as CDR.
 
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Conspirator

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I have an idea for one of the offset variants. It would be Unmanned/Manned. But from the ground or the carrier. I can’t exactly remember what aircraft they did it in but they had developed a helmet that replaced the cockpit and floor with outside imaging. Like a VR headset. For better visibility and Aircraft tracking. What if they could do a dedicated Air combat variant that could be controlled from the ground without the pilot experiencing near fatal G’s?and with a 360 degree view outside the aircraft with all of the flight data implemented in? Just an idea. It would probably be the most precise and deadly aircraft in the world if they could dial it in.

Tell me your thoughts.

I can practically hear you guys slapping out one to two paragraphs on why this would be impossible/impractical/too expensive but it’s just an idea lmao
 
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FighterJock

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I can’t exactly remember what aircraft they did it in but they had developed a helmet that replaced the cockpit and floor with outside imaging. Like a VR headset.

That's the F-35A/B/C you are thinking of Conspirator, it is not quite Virtual Reality yet, but does it through the aircrafts sensors where the pilot can look through the floor and see the ground below.
 

Conspirator

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I can’t exactly remember what aircraft they did it in but they had developed a helmet that replaced the cockpit and floor with outside imaging. Like a VR headset.

That's the F-35A/B/C you are thinking of Conspirator, it is not quite Virtual Reality yet, but does it through the aircrafts sensors where the pilot can look through the floor and see the ground below.
Ok thank you I knew I had heard of this tech but wasn’t sure where. But you know what I mean. Just implement the same technology in an unmanned, camera operated, dedicated fighter. It’s perfect. As escorts of course. You could also make a long distance strike package aircraft such as the predator drone. But with multi role capabilities. Kind of like the SU-75 Checkmate.
 
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