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

NeilChapman

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https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/oct/15/f-22-fighters-jets-tyndall-air-force-base-damaged-/

https://thediplomat.com/2018/10/nearly-10-percent-of-the-us-f-22-inventory-was-damaged-or-destroyed-in-hurricane-michael/

Another good reason for the statement "quantity has a quality of its own." Hopefully PCA & NGAD will not suffer a short-sighted decision to limit quantity below what's required to meet the National Defense Strategy.
 

bring_it_on

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Hopefully PCA & NGAD will not suffer a short-sighted decision to limit quantity below what's required to meet the National Defense Strategy.
I hope you are not a betting man ;)
 

litzj

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jsport said:
sferrin said:
jsport said:
litzj said:
It would seem a simple jink maneuver would allow even a large BWB B-21 to avoid a hypersonic intercept as the at that speed the missile could not adjust to a last second jink out of the missiles intercept vector.

I wouldn't want to have to test that theory. More likely the thing would be on you before you had a chance to think, "I should probably turn".
If your IRST and AESA aren't good enough to see a signature of a HV msle you might deserve to get shot down. DAS looks in every direction for instance. Once read that AH-1zs were to be programed to accomplish automated jinks away from man-portable SAMs.
Advantage of hypersonic interception is reduction of response time. It could probably give no-time for turn
 

sferrin

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jsport said:
sferrin said:
jsport said:
litzj said:
It would seem a simple jink maneuver would allow even a large BWB B-21 to avoid a hypersonic intercept as the at that speed the missile could not adjust to a last second jink out of the missiles intercept vector.

I wouldn't want to have to test that theory. More likely the thing would be on you before you had a chance to think, "I should probably turn".
If your IRST and AESA aren't good enough to see a signature of a HV msle you might deserve to get shot down. DAS looks in every direction for instance. Once read that AH-1zs were to be programed to accomplish automated jinks away from man-portable SAMs.
Consider it could be coming in at a mile or two per second. Now how long does it take a missile coming from a direction you're not expecting (above) to cover the distance your IRST and AESA can see it, assuming they're even looking in the right direction?
 

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litzj said:
Advantage of hypersonic interception is reduction of response time. It could probably give no-time for turn
One shouldn´t be TOO hypersonic either though, or one might overshoot the (subsonic) target in the interval between the command of the brain to shoot and the missile leaving the rail. :p
 

jsport

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Given the current AAMs are packing as much solid fuel as is practical for the pylon and allow the craft to maneuver are we sure a HV AAM would have to be small enough to fit on fighter pylon and then it's range would be so short as to force the HV carrying fighter to have already been detected and destroyed before it could ever get in range for a HV AAM to launch to intercept. The HV spike msle problem. A new generation of energetics sure but not currently.
 

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If the missile is too fast, then that introduces unnecessary challenges in hitting the target. Look at the ABM issues with a bullet hitting a bullet. Same type of issues. Minute course corrections... very difficult. Then you build a hyper complicated and expensive AAM with lower kill probability than something slower and "conventional"
 

sferrin

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Airplane said:
If the missile is too fast, then that introduces unnecessary challenges in hitting the target. Look at the ABM issues with a bullet hitting a bullet. Same type of issues. Minute course corrections... very difficult. Then you build a hyper complicated and expensive AAM with lower kill probability than something slower and "conventional"
PAC-3 doesn't seem to have a problem hitting manuvering RVs.
 

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This expensive AAM is not for conventional/low altitude low class jet fighters.
(That should be shoot down by more 'conventional missiles or DEW in the future' for cost reason)

As shown in the article, that targets high value 6th generation fighter jet with high altitude, high speed cruiser.

In that altitude, hypersonic MIRV with side nozzle can be enough threat while the 6th generation fighter cannot maneuver as in the low altitude.
 

Airplane

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A fighter will have greater maneuverability options than an RV. This hypothetical AAM is going to end up costing $10M a copy, need to be carried externally, and the launching platform won't be stealthy such that the 6th gen AC can kill it first or at least get off the first shot of put the launching AC on the defensive.
 

sferrin

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Airplane said:
A fighter will have greater maneuverability options than an RV. This hypothetical AAM is going to end up costing $10M a copy, need to be carried externally, and the launching platform won't be stealthy such that the 6th gen AC can kill it first or at least get off the first shot of put the launching AC on the defensive.
A fighter can only use the advantage of maneuverability if the pilot knows he's under attack in time to actually do anything about it. As for stealth, there's no reason it need be carried externally. Now if you have a large missile, with multiple KKVs, it's likely going to be launched at long range anyway. Against true stealth aircraft this may be academic anyway as you need to be able to see the other guy to shoot him. Not all aircraft fit that description however.
 

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”A new study highlights China’s growing air power, and warns that China is looking to build out its Air Force to the point that the U.S. would not be willing to take it on in direct conflict.

The Project Air Force team at Rand Corp. describes an emerging Chinese air force that aims to rival the United States' own, both technologically and strategically, often by mirroring U.S. military capabilities and doctrine.

“It is important to recognize that many of the PLA [People’s Liberation Army] efforts in the military aerospace sector focus on fielding of specific capabilities in sufficient quantities to deter the United States from entering a conflict; the PLA would vastly prefer deterrence over actual combat operations,” the report reads. “In this sense, the capabilities competition can be regarded as aimed at defeating the United States without actually fighting.”


https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2018/11/29/china-aims-to-defeat-the-us-air-force-without-firing-a-shot-heres-how/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DFN+DNR+11.29.18&utm_term=Editorial+-+Daily+News+Roundup#.XACGiiAD1k4.email
 

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jsport said:
”A new study highlights China’s growing air power, and warns that China is looking to build out its Air Force to the point that the U.S. would not be willing to take it on in direct conflict.
A the risk air force approach...
 

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jsport said:
”A new study highlights China’s growing air power, and warns that China is looking to build out its Air Force to the point that the U.S. would not be willing to take it on in direct conflict.
The rand paper itself is not terrible, but it makes a bunch of "no duh" statements like that.

The point of every military is to build a capability that is optimally suited to deter a potential adversary from seeking conflict with you such that political aims can be achieved without the use of lethal force. If a conflict occurs then it is a less than desirable outcome for everyone.
 

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Blitzo said:
The point of every military is to build a capability that is optimally suited to deter a potential adversary from seeking conflict with you such that political aims can be achieved without the use of lethal force. If a conflict occurs then it is a less than desirable outcome for everyone.
This may be true in our western democracies. Probably much less so in non-democratic countries.
Think Muammar Ghaddafool, Saddam Hussein, Vlad Putin...
 

kaiserd

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dan_inbox said:
Blitzo said:
The point of every military is to build a capability that is optimally suited to deter a potential adversary from seeking conflict with you such that political aims can be achieved without the use of lethal force. If a conflict occurs then it is a less than desirable outcome for everyone.
This may be true in our western democracies. Probably much less so in non-democratic countries.
Think Muammar Ghaddafool, Saddam Hussein, Vlad Putin...
While not looking to downplay the crimes of these tyrannical dictators I could point out that the West democracies and their allies have used plenty of lethal force in the last approx. 30 years.
It's probably our prejudice to think democracies are innately more peaceful or less likely to be involved in state versus state wars than more authoritarian regimes, though dictators hips are clearly more likely to use lethal force against their own people as coercive control.
 

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kaiserd said:
dan_inbox said:
Blitzo said:
The point of every military is to build a capability that is optimally suited to deter a potential adversary from seeking conflict with you such that political aims can be achieved without the use of lethal force. If a conflict occurs then it is a less than desirable outcome for everyone.
This may be true in our western democracies. Probably much less so in non-democratic countries.
Think Muammar Ghaddafool, Saddam Hussein, Vlad Putin...
While not looking to downplay the crimes of these tyrannical dictators I could point out that the West democracies and their allies have used plenty of lethal force in the last approx. 30 years.
It's probably our prejudice to think democracies are innately more peaceful or less likely to be involved in state versus state wars than more authoritarian regimes, though dictators hips are clearly more likely to use lethal force against their own people as coercive control.
Generally speaking I think few nations will seek to wage a war against an enemy for the sake of it -- if an objective can be achieved through peacetime signalling (i.e.: deterrence) that would always be preferable to war, regardless of the nation's politics.
 

dan_inbox

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Blitzo said:
Generally speaking I think few nations will seek to wage a war against an enemy for the sake of it -- if an objective can be achieved through peacetime signalling (i.e.: deterrence) that would always be preferable to war, regardless of the nation's politics.
Generally speaking, maybe, but not always.
Some states want peace and status quo. Others want annexations, or the destruction of other states, or even the destruction of a population.

A few examples:
Do you think that Putin wanted peace and status quo with the Ukraine?
Does Pakistan want peace and status quo with India? (Rather than a general penis contest + Kashmir?)
Do all muslim states want peace and status quo with Israel? Iran, maybe?
How many Sunni muslim states want peace and status quo with the Chi'ite? or vice versa?

The world would be nicer and safer if it was as you describe, but it simply is not. Greed, hatred, religious bigotry, megalomania, etc, all those do exist.
 

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dan_inbox said:
Blitzo said:
Generally speaking I think few nations will seek to wage a war against an enemy for the sake of it -- if an objective can be achieved through peacetime signalling (i.e.: deterrence) that would always be preferable to war, regardless of the nation's politics.
Generally speaking, maybe, but not always.
Some states want peace and status quo. Others want annexations, or the destruction of other states, or even the destruction of a population.

A few examples:
Do you think that Putin wanted peace and status quo with the Ukraine?
Does Pakistan want peace and status quo with India? (Rather than a general penis contest + Kashmir?)
Do all muslim states want peace and status quo with Israel? Iran, maybe?
How many Sunni muslim states want peace and status quo with the Chi'ite? or vice versa?

The world would be nicer and safer if it was as you describe, but it simply is not. Greed, hatred, religious bigotry, megalomania, etc, all those do exist.
I think everyone wants peace on terms that are favourable to them. The purposes of military force are to coerce aka deter (if you're on the good side) opposing forces to act in ways that beneficial for your interests. Military force is often first used by a party in instances when the circumstances of peace are no longer acceptable to said party.

There is a different between wanting to achieve political objectives through military force without actively fighting a war (which is what I'm talking about) -- and it is something else entirely to be "satisfied" with a given "status quo".

What I believe, is that nations prefer to change the "status quo" in a way that is more beneficial to their own interests, by using military force in a way that coerces/deters other players to change their behaviours, without resorting to active conflict. That is almost always the first and most preferable way of going about it. If it fails, then the use of actual lethal military force to start an actual conflict may occur, depending on how important said interests are.

This is getting a bit off topic, though feel free to continue the discussion via other means if you wish.
 

Foo Fighter

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Actually, I agree with what you have said. Conflict is just too expensive and with the reduced numbers in terms of ships, aircraft and tanks, any losses are a higher proportion of the military budget/resource stock. We are effectively building/buying our way our way to a position where conflict is LESS likely. Consider that any government will have to justify starting a conflict which will hopefully be harder to do.
 

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Foo Fighter said:
Actually, I agree with what you have said. Conflict is just too expensive and with the reduced numbers in terms of ships, aircraft and tanks, any losses are a higher proportion of the military budget/resource stock. We are effectively building/buying our way our way to a position where conflict is LESS likely. Consider that any government will have to justify starting a conflict which will hopefully be harder to do.
"Conflict is just too expensive." That's the quandary, isn't it. To rephrase...

What's it worth to you? What idea, or, for whom are you willing to commit fully your life and all the lives of your friends, neighbors and countrymen? Who will fight and die at your side? Why is it important that we remember the value of what we are paying to defend? It's because who ends up the victor matters.

The League of Nations was the birth of an idea that failed to prevent the aggression of the Axis powers. The US fully committed to ending that aggression and laid the groundwork for over 70 years of the constant improvement of peoples lives around the world. World wide improvement in nutrition, decreases in infant mortality, increases in life expectancy, increases in world wealth and trade. Literally billions of human beings live safe and prosper under the umbrella of U.S. military might and American-influenced global markets.

Would the same have happened if Germany would have won WWII? Would there have been a German version of the Marshall Plan? Would there be a United Nations if the Axis powers had succeeded? And without the UN, what would Korea look like had N. Korea and PRC succeeded in their invasion of S. Korea? Would there have been an Axis version of NATO willing to intervene in Kosovo? The vote, on which, the PRC abstained in the UN. Would the PRC have assembled a coalition to remove Iraq from Kuwait? A coalition which included Syria by the way. What about the cold war with the USSR? US power projection enabled the world to continue to advance throughout that time period.

The statement was made in an earlier post that "everyone wants peace on terms that are favorable to them." That brings us back to the question.

Peace at what price? Are the terms worth it to you, your grandchildren? Is existence enough? Is religious freedom that important? These are questions many are being asked. It's certainly the question the PRC is pushing to it's neighbors today. The tactic in use is crippling economic terms, violence and force to the level just under what will engage the worlds attention and force action by the United States. Russia, Iran and the PRC, as examples, are making the case to whom ever will listen that the US, UN, NATO and their allies will not be willing or able to intervene on their behalf. Consider Russia and Ukraine. Consider the recent actions of the Philippines. Consider the example of Germany in reinforcing their point.

Germany and Japan have similar sized economies at ~45k per person. Yet in 2018, Germany had available about 1/3 of its military; 0 of 6 submarines, 3 of 15 transports, 9 of 15 frigates, 65 of 231 fighters, 95 of 244 tanks etc. The German government tells itself and the world that they are meeting their NATO requirements because there is no requirement made of them at the moment by NATO. Yet what would they bring to the fight tomorrow should it be necessary? It seems, not much. Evidently the German people, as exercised through their government are not willing to pay the price today. Perhaps in three to six months, should the conflict last that long, they will have the forces they committed to engaging. This behavior reinforces the case the PRC is making to its neighbors in SE Asia and others around the world. "We will force you to accept our behavior and the US and her allies are can not and will not assist you."

Some have characterized the US as a hegemon. Perhaps it is. But a benevolent hegemon surely. And it's been the best deal going for the last 70 years. So much so that it's been the place that most immigrants want to end up. The US had about 1/4 the population of the PRC in 2000 and is expected to have half the population of the PRC by 2100. This will be a result of the US constantly increasing in population to 500M and the PRC shrinking to ~1B. But why is that? What does the US offer that so many immigrants want?

With ~4% of the worlds population the US is the dominant exporter of cultural phenomena and technology even today. For example, SpaceX didn't exist in 2000 and now has over 65% of the space launch market. Tesla didn't exist in 2000 and is transforming the worlds understanding of transportation through electric automobiles and the coming Class 8 heavy trucks. Through technological development the US is now the worlds top oil producer. The US continues feed the world and, overall, lead by positive example, speaking plainly to ally, competitor and adversary alike. In spite of all these examples, there are those that hint at a moral equivalency with the use of force by Western democracies. They suggest prejudice as potentially the foundation of our understanding of what necessitates defense of our political differences with our competitors and adversaries and even our value of peace. But that is a foolish notion as is clear by the resulting world advancement this last century under the leadership of western democracies.

Through ingenuity and high production, the US has led the development of the F-35. A 5th gen platform for under US90M where the Eurofighter is over US100M. Many US allies have decided to move forward in flying the F-35 and more will consider the value and choose to also participate. Perhaps that is what gets us back on topic.

What will Penetrating Counter Air actually do, what will it cost, and when will it be available?
Will the US share that capability with her allies? These are things I like to read about going forward.

Perhaps she will, perhaps not share PCA tech. Regardless, the record shows the US shows up for the fight, bleeds and dies with her friends and helps allies and adversaries to pick up the pieces afterwards.

Let's hope that we don't lose sight of the inestimable value of the differences between western democratic ideals and those of our competitors and adversaries. Nor forget the cost others have paid for the prosperity and peace we currently enjoy. That price is never paid in full so the question will constantly be asked.
 

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NeilChapman said:
The statement was made in an earlier post that "everyone wants peace on terms that are favorable to them." That brings us back to the question.

Peace at what price? Are the terms worth it to you, your grandchildren? Is existence enough? Is religious freedom that important? These are questions many are being asked. It's certainly the question the PRC is pushing to it's neighbors today. The tactic in use is crippling economic terms, violence and force to the level just under what will engage the worlds attention and force action by the United States. Russia, Iran and the PRC, as examples, are making the case to whom ever will listen that the US, UN, NATO and their allies will not be willing or able to intervene on their behalf. Consider Russia and Ukraine. Consider the recent actions of the Philippines. Consider the example of Germany in reinforcing their point.
You understand the point, kind of.

My statement which started all this was the notion that no one builds a military wanting to fight a war as a primary objective in and of itself, but rather everyone builds a military with the primary goal of using it to deter opponents and shape their behaviours.
War typically occurs if the peacetime use of military force to coerce/deter is insufficient and if that results in unacceptable threats to one's national interests.


This goes for China, Russia, NK, Iran, but also the US, UK, France, Germany, Japan, SK, India, and so on, in relation to their national objectives.
 

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What is with the long winded geo political talk in a jet fighter thread?
 

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To get things back on track, there's been a question that's been nagging at the back of my mind for a while now. Is there any consensus in the community as to when PCA/NGAD etc is meant to be introduced?

Many of the new "new gen" fighter programmes like Tempest, FCAS, F-3 seem like they are meant to enter service in the mid 2030s and will offer something that may either be considered "5th gen+," "near 6th gen" or "5.5 gen". The generation of what those fighters will be called, will be dependent on how existing 5th gen aircraft are further developed to introduce capabilities that FCAS, Tempest and F-3 may have when they enter service -- and also what the big mil aviation trailblazers like the US, and potentially Russia, China (by that time) will introduce in terms of "real" 6th gen capability.

And that's the problem, nobody yet knows what kind of capability or CONOPs a "6th gen" fighter will look like. But in terms of timeline, simplistically speaking I can't help but wonder if we may see a further "staggering" approach to 5th and 6th gen in the same way that 4th and 5th gen was done:

"First wave" of 4th gens, introduced in 1970s-1980s: F-15, F-16, F-18, Su-27, Mig-29, Mirage, among others
"Second wave" of 4th gens/4.5 gens, introduced in late 1990s and early 2000s: Typhoon, Rafale, Gripen, F-2, Super hornet, J-10 (to an extent), and various upgraded iterations of existing "first wave" 4th gens

Notably, the "second wave" of 4th gens were introduced at the starting period of where the "first wave" of subsequent 5th gens would begin to enter service or reach advanced development.

"First wave" of 5th gens, introduced in 2000s-2010s: F-22 (which remained the only 5th gen for quite a few years), F-35, J-20, Su-57 (maybe a PLA medium weight fighter will also enter service by the mid 2020s which will be a bit of an outlier between the first and second waves;
"Second wave" of 5th gens/5.5th gens, which look like many of which will start to be introduced in the 2030s: FCAS, Tempest, F-3, but also potentially TFX, KFX, AMCA (the latter three of which seem like they are a little less ambitious than the first three). And of course I expect many "first wave" 5th gens to receive new variants or MLUs to introduce "5.5th gen" capability to them in the same way that many "first wave" 4th gens received upgrades to keep them up to date with second wave "4.5th gen" capability.

So, I wonder how likely that when the "second wave" 5th gen/5.5th gen fighters begin to enter service in the mid 2030s, if we can expect the first 6th gens to begin to enter service as well, likely with the US first. But that means we'll have to see some kind of demonstrator fly within the next few years, or at least for a prototype to fly some time around 2027-2028 -- assuming a similar timescale of development to F-22 (7-8 years).

Given that, I think it is a bit strange that the US has yet to lay out a clear programme name and a set of requirements for a new fighter project, if it is intended to enter service by the mid 2030s, considering how early we're hearing about European and Japanese and other nation's efforts to build new fighter aircraft/concepts. There are a few explanations in my mind:
1. It is definitely possible that 6th gen ends up being something different such that development may be more dispersed among different, less ambitious/shorter timescale projects, but it seems to me that a central manned aircraft will still be part of the equation, even if it is only as a key battle manager/data node for future unmanned elements.
2. The US simply does not expect to field a wholly "new" 6th gen capability by the mid 2030s, maybe delaying it till the late 2030s/2040
3. Many elements of the programme (or perhaps even the whole programme) is being clandestinely developed in great secrecy and only to be unveiled much later when it is closer to its first flight.
 

Foo Fighter

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Deferring expense and introducing a 5.5 gen aircraft has the benefit of keeping research and production going while allowing a longer lead time for development of new tech and is probably the only way to go. Leaving long spells between generations harms everyone as expertise cannot be left on the shelf like navy crews in the 18th century between wars.
 

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Blitzo said:
3. Many elements of the programme (or perhaps even the whole programme) is being clandestinely developed in great secrecy and only to be unveiled much later when it is closer to its first flight.
This seems quite unlikely to me. In this day and age it is VERY hard to keep such complex and expensive programs secret. Stuff like smaller programes, like spy drones (RQ-180 or whatever it's really called) may somehow slip through, but even a strategic asset like the B-21 is not secret. Sure, technical details about it are, but US couldn't have managed the whole program to be developed in secrecy, in the way that B-2 was decades ago.

That being said, various parties within US MIC and DoD have been talking it up how protracted development cycles must be broken and how they hope to achieve that with the new fighter. So it MAY not be impossible that we suddenly get a very speedy development going on. Like 2020 program definition, 2021 competition start, 2025 winner chosen (among flying demonstrators) and 5-6 years to get the actual plane to some sort of IOC, even if it's rushed into service, despite many initial shortcomings to be solved later on. All the milestones are purely illustrative. I've no info that the program requirements will indeed get defined in 2020.
 

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To get things back on track, there's been a question that's been nagging at the back of my mind for a while now. Is there any consensus in the community as to when PCA/NGAD etc is meant to be introduced?

Ha. Anyone who knows the answer to that one is not going to give it away for free.

I'm not sure that there is an answer. There are aspirations, plans and some programs but not a lot of indications that the people who matter agree on what should happen to them.
 

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LowObservable said:
To get things back on track, there's been a question that's been nagging at the back of my mind for a while now. Is there any consensus in the community as to when PCA/NGAD etc is meant to be introduced?

Ha. Anyone who knows the answer to that one is not going to give it away for free.

I'm not sure that there is an answer. There are aspirations, plans and some programs but not a lot of indications that the people who matter agree on what should happen to them.
Oh yeah, I wasn't necessarily fishing for any kind of "official" date, but rather if the community so far had an "agreed upon" period from what we know publicly.
 

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ynm said:
I remember reading a paper of RAND about low observable aircraft designs, but can only google this
www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA314256

The paper I referred to is similar, but contains more designs. And it is not only about fighter but bomber (IIRC). It also compares trade off between low observable and agility. But I can not google it. Does anyone have a clue about it?
From the same source.
 

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Isn't that last one one of Raymer's designs for a JSF study?
 

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Sundog said:
Isn't that last one one of Raymer's designs for a JSF study?
This is Raymer's design for notional Next Generation Attack Fighter (NGAF) study of Rand Corp. (1993-1996)
 

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flateric said:
Sundog said:
Isn't that last one one of Raymer's designs for a JSF study?
This is Raymer's design for notional Next Generation Attack Fighter (NGAF) study of Rand Corp. (1993-1996)
Ahh, yes, NGAF, I forgot about that program. There were so many leading up to the JSF. ;)
 

flateric

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NGAF wasn't a 'program'. This was an internal RAND study.
That's clearly explained in document posted above.
 

bobbymike

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https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/12/14/budget-watchdogs-warn-of-expensive-price-tag-for-next-air-force-fighter/?utm_campaign=Socialflow+DFN&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&fbclid=IwAR1eWH7AkjDosCbJXhhj_1LSKY_0n_faTZ7D192Evv-WFd22grMhFyex4x4

WASHINGTON — A next-generation air superiority jet for the U.S. Air Force, known by the service as Penetrating Counter Air, could cost about $300 million in 2018 dollars per plane, the Congressional Budget Office states in a new study.

At that price, PCA would be more than three times that of the average F-35A jet, which is set at about $94 million to capture both the expense of early production lots and the decline in cost as the production rate increases, according the report, which predicts the cost of replacing the Air Force’s aircraft inventory from now until 2050.

This sum, while not an official cost estimate from the Pentagon, represents the first time a government entity has weighed in on the potential price tag for PCA.
 

bring_it_on

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LowObservable said:
To get things back on track, there's been a question that's been nagging at the back of my mind for a while now. Is there any consensus in the community as to when PCA/NGAD etc is meant to be introduced?
They Navy is sticking to its "2030/31" time frame though based on the FY19 budget, the funding does not really line up with that although they could be getting ready to ramp up spending plans starting FY20. The CNO again reiterated 2030 as the in service entry point..

It is also interesting that the Navy is now calling the FA-XX NGAD as well.

By the end of 2019, identify requirements across the family of systems to replace the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G by 2030.
https://news.usni.org/2018/12/17/cno-richardson-calls-aggressive-timelines-new-weapons-operational-concepts-updated-navy-design
 

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flateric

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USAF Acquisition Head Urges Radical Shift For Next-Gen Fighter Program
Mar 5, 2019 Steve Trimble | Aviation Week & Space Technology

As presented by the aerospace industry’s concept artists, the so-called sixth-generation fighter for the U.S. Air Force is often shown as a step beyond the Lockheed Martin F-22: a futuristic, tailless, super-dogfighter.

But that vision of NGAD may never come into existence.

A new concept for the project emerged from the Air Force’s top acquisition official at the Air Warfare Symposium on Feb. 28, and it calls for a radical break from conventional aircraft development programs.

Rather than spend the next decade developing a singular new air combat platform, the NGAD program may be shaped to establish a pipeline for acquiring, developing and fielding a host of new aircraft types, with a new design entering service perhaps as quickly as every two years. Instead of pinning all hopes on a single model, the alternative, if it works, would allow Air Force leaders to hedge against the risk of technology breakthroughs and to surprise enemies with unexpected new capabilities.
 

Foo Fighter

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Halle-bleeping-lujah. Does this mean it will happen?????
 

Sundog

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Foo Fighter said:
Halle-bleeping-lujah. Does this mean it will happen?????
No.

But, with rapid manufacturing getting so much better and 3D printed parts becoming more robust and our understanding of how to make them getting better, I could see it happening maybe every five years. The exception being powerplants and certain systems would be on a much greater time line. So I could see them saying, "Here's this family of powerplants and systems. Now plug them into different airframes for the following mission sets."
 

sferrin

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Sundog said:
Foo Fighter said:
Halle-bleeping-lujah. Does this mean it will happen?????
No.

But, with rapid manufacturing getting so much better and 3D printed parts becoming more robust and our understanding of how to make them getting better, I could see it happening maybe every five years. The exception being powerplants and certain systems would be on a much greater time line. So I could see them saying, "Here's this family of powerplants and systems. Now plug them into different airframes for the following mission sets."
"Here's a J79 and J75. Go to town."
 

GTX

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One issue with this would potentially be the logistics support costs of having a multitude of new platforms in service.
 
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