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

Desertfox

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A UCAV and an F-35 will have the same data links, hence they will have the same vulnerabilities to hacking. If you go completely autonomous with no outside input both an AI UCAV and an F-35 will be just as resistant to hacking.
 

Dragon029

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Except that the F-35 can't be piloted remotely and any fake data link contacts have to get past a human sanity-check. A pilot isn't going to turn around and shoot down his tankers and AWACS just because they turned red on his TSD.
 

Desertfox

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The hacking doesn't have to go that far, it could be as simple as dialing back the pilot's oxygen supply. All I'm saying is that the vulnerabilities already exists, any input into an aircraft has the potential to be exploited. You can make both piloted aircraft and UCAVs hacker proof by getting rid of inputs but it comes at a cost of greatly limited situational awareness.
 

kaiserd

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The hacking doesn't have to go that far, it could be as simple as dialing back the pilot's oxygen supply. All I'm saying is that the vulnerabilities already exists, any input into an aircraft has the potential to be exploited. You can make both piloted aircraft and UCAVs hacker proof by getting rid of inputs but it comes at a cost of greatly limited situational awareness.
I agree; if your view is the UCAVs are inherently too vulnerable to cyber attack then that view should carry over to contemporary manned combat aircraft.
If you think the the manned aircraft can be adequately protected then that should also carry over to their unmanned equivalents; they share the same points of vulnerability.

And as other contributors have pointed out you don’t have to fully “take-over” a (manned or unmanned) aircraft to render it operationally ineffective. And given manned fighter aircraft have sophisticated autopilots and and everything is done via computer are manned fighters really that much less vulnerable to cyber-hijacking?
 

marauder2048

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And you could extend the argument to munitions:

Modern and future long range A2A missiles rely on two-way datalinks meaning both the host
aircraft and the missile are potentially vulnerable to cyber intrusion especially as the duration
of an engagement goes up.
 

DrRansom

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Manned aircraft have the advantage that - to make them minimally capable - you can work with fewer and simpler systems. If you're reconstituting a fleet after a cyber attack, a manned aircraft requires flight control, environmental control, and basic combat systems. An unmanned aircraft requires flight control and advanced / integrated combat systems. That's a much harder programming lift.
 

marauder2048

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I can't imagine human pilots are going to be eager to hop back into mounts that have been cyber attacked.
 

sferrin

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And you could extend the argument to munitions:

Modern and future long range A2A missiles rely on two-way datalinks meaning both the host
aircraft and the missile are potentially vulnerable to cyber intrusion especially as the duration
of an engagement goes up.
Yep.

"ARLINGTON, Va. --- The Army successfully tested its ability to redirect munitions in flight Aug. 28 in an experiment over the Mohave Desert involving an unmanned aircraft, smart sensors and artificial intelligence.

It was the "signature experiment for FY19" said Brig. Gen. Walter T. Rugen, director of the Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team, speaking Thursday at the Association of the U.S. Army's "Hot Topic" forum on aviation.

The experiment at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, tested a capability developed by his CFT called A3I, standing for Architecture, Automation, Autonomy and Interfaces.

WELDING AIR-GROUND 'PUNCH'

In the A3I experiment, an operator in the back of an MH-47 Chinook helicopter used an iPad to control a Grey Eagle unmanned aircraft system over China Lake. He fired a GBU-69 small glide munition from the Grey Eagle and it was the first time that type of UAS fired that kind of missile.

Then as the munition approached its target, a system of ground sensors picked up a higher-priority target nearby. Another operator in the Tactical Operations Center was able to quickly take over control of the glide munition and redirect it to the new target, which it ultimately destroyed."


 

jsport

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Automated air combat is decades away. They have yet to coordinate manned and unmanned aircraft even for more benign missions. It has taken 40 years from the first robots to the highly automated and robotic auto assembly plants we have today and air combat is much more complex. I remember when the robotic installation of windshields generated large piles of broken glass. It doesn't happen overnight and the longest pole in the tend isn't the robots but the knowledge base in the individuals doing the designing, programing and maintenance of the systems. They can't even keep the manning levels up in the UCAV community to generate the required expertise o be applied for new missions. I've spent 40+ years in the auto industry automation field. It may look easy but it's not.
someone is not up to date w/ the Wright Pat. Not doing ur homework for you.
 

sferrin

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Automated air combat is decades away. They have yet to coordinate manned and unmanned aircraft even for more benign missions. It has taken 40 years from the first robots to the highly automated and robotic auto assembly plants we have today and air combat is much more complex. I remember when the robotic installation of windshields generated large piles of broken glass. It doesn't happen overnight and the longest pole in the tend isn't the robots but the knowledge base in the individuals doing the designing, programing and maintenance of the systems. They can't even keep the manning levels up in the UCAV community to generate the required expertise o be applied for new missions. I've spent 40+ years in the auto industry automation field. It may look easy but it's not.
someone is not up to date w/ the Wright Pat. Not doing ur homework for you.
I doubt anybody would want you to.
 

jsport

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Automated air combat is decades away. They have yet to coordinate manned and unmanned aircraft even for more benign missions. It has taken 40 years from the first robots to the highly automated and robotic auto assembly plants we have today and air combat is much more complex. I remember when the robotic installation of windshields generated large piles of broken glass. It doesn't happen overnight and the longest pole in the tend isn't the robots but the knowledge base in the individuals doing the designing, programing and maintenance of the systems. They can't even keep the manning levels up in the UCAV community to generate the required expertise o be applied for new missions. I've spent 40+ years in the auto industry automation field. It may look easy but it's not.
someone is not up to date w/ the Wright Pat. Not doing ur homework for you.
I doubt anybody would want you to.
Then stop bringing it up
 

sferrin

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Automated air combat is decades away. They have yet to coordinate manned and unmanned aircraft even for more benign missions. It has taken 40 years from the first robots to the highly automated and robotic auto assembly plants we have today and air combat is much more complex. I remember when the robotic installation of windshields generated large piles of broken glass. It doesn't happen overnight and the longest pole in the tend isn't the robots but the knowledge base in the individuals doing the designing, programing and maintenance of the systems. They can't even keep the manning levels up in the UCAV community to generate the required expertise o be applied for new missions. I've spent 40+ years in the auto industry automation field. It may look easy but it's not.
someone is not up to date w/ the Wright Pat. Not doing ur homework for you.
I doubt anybody would want you to.
Then stop bringing it up
Where did I ask you to do my homework? Oh right, I didn't.
 

rooster

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Automated air combat is decades away. They have yet to coordinate manned and unmanned aircraft even for more benign missions. It has taken 40 years from the first robots to the highly automated and robotic auto assembly plants we have today and air combat is much more complex. I remember when the robotic installation of windshields generated large piles of broken glass. It doesn't happen overnight and the longest pole in the tend isn't the robots but the knowledge base in the individuals doing the designing, programing and maintenance of the systems. They can't even keep the manning levels up in the UCAV community to generate the required expertise o be applied for new missions. I've spent 40+ years in the auto industry automation field. It may look easy but it's not.
I work in automotive too, and I work with engineers who work on self-driving vehicles. The state of the art has progressed a lot since robots were introduced into plants 40 years ago. But that being said, there are a lot of limitations to self-driving cars and there are ways dangerous people can spoof them and cause havoc if they wanted to. That's why I am in no hurry to buy such a vehicle yet. I am also aware of techniques people can use to hack into vehicles and do horrible things like apply the brakes.

In fact, and I reported this to people in my company, my vehicles radio and the display was hacked about 5 or 6 years ago while driving into work. My company now employs a security module to prevent things like that from occurring. Its pretty distracting to a driver when someone remotely gains control of your radio and display unit. That itself can cause an accident.

Things could be worse in a combat drone if someone is able to hack into the network and even only mildly spoof the humans that are in the loop.

If what I see in the industry is the state of the art for the nation, then we are a long way away from "robot" aircraft that can fight other aircraft in the modern chaotic battle-space. All we need is for a drone to shoot down some friendlies because IFF wasn't working correctly and the friendlies fit the algorithm of the bad guys. Or just as bad, a drone doesn't fire on the bad guys because IFF wasn't working and they slip through to fire on the good guys or drop bombs on our troops or hit a ship.

Really hope the USAF isn't serious about no more manned fighters at this point in time. Spend the extra 10% on life support and leave a human in the chair for now.

Maybe they should finally field something like an X-47 for A2G and incrementally work towards flying terminators. Right now all we have a couple of hellfire missile trucks remotely controlled in Nevada that are nothing more than giant expensive toys I can see in the park, and a few recon platforms.
 

Desertfox

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All you said is true, but it also applies just as much to manned fighters. IFF was a problem even back in WWII when the Mark I eyeball was the primary instrument.
 

rooster

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All you said is true, but it also applies just as much to manned fighters. IFF was a problem even back in WWII when the Mark I eyeball was the primary instrument.
Humans have intuition and knowledge of the battlespace and aircraft within. Drones see nothing but 10011100011 = release aim120. A raptor flight leader may know that a flight of f35 will at 35k on a course back to wherever at roughly such and such a time and therefore not engage an unknown bogey but hand it off. A drone could see the 1s and 0s required to launch a aam.

I never studied AI programming but what I know tells me the usaf shouldn't handoff this dangerous mission to autonomous systems yet.

I have heard from people that the Chinese and Russians are able to electronically replicate us aircraft to as to appear friendly.

I really really hope greatly to see another manned air superiority aircraft within 7 years being flight tested. Hell, lets go in on it with Japan and Australia and England if they don't want the Europeans are brewing. And I still don't know why we can't a have a Phantom III and share with navy.
 

jsport

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opps a commentor said the naughty ' it is going to be hard to determine what the machine will do vs what the man will do' we know where this logically goes.o_O
 

sublight is back

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I had posted a link (which was removed) to an article on the Air Force allowing hacks on their satellite, which also contained information, about pen testing of Air Force aircraft and data links. This was germane to the conversation on the vulnerability of drone networks. Is there a strong moderational bias against this conversation?
 
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sferrin

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I had posted a link to an article on the Air Force allowing hacks on the satellite, which also contained information, about pen testing of Air Force aircraft and data links. This was germane to the conversation the vulnerability of drone networks. Is there a strong moderational bias against this conversation?
Might want to just start it's own thread since it touches on several areas.
 

jsport

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IMHO a great idea, but this is about politics not the technology so is unlikely even though it would be best for the most number of manufactures and the US industrail base writ large.
Many examples of possible optionally manned craft

1. LF/RF DEW fighter/gunship w/ Air Superiority capability
2. EW/Cyber W fighter w/ Air Superiority capability
3. Offensive/Defensive (Ground/Air) Cannon fighter w/ Air Superiority capability
4. ultra low altitude maneuver fighter/cruise missile def/penetrator w/ Air Superiority capability
5. ultra high altitude fighter/BMD/interceptor/penetrator w/ Air Superiority capability
6. UAS mothership (armed UASs don't return to the nest leading the adversary like that dumb Gremlins program) w/ Air Superiority capability
7. CAS medium altitude fighter/gunship
8. CAS low altitude missile & gunship fighter
9. FA-XX multi-purpose medium missile carrier w/ Air Superiority capabilityw/ Air Superiority capability
10. FB-XX bomber/cruise missile/hypersonic multi-purpose missile carrier
11. Penetrating Surveillance fighter w/a large top mounted AESA "canoe" and a bottom mounted AESA "canoe" wide area hyperspectral/IR/EO (even small IR event geolocation) w/ Air Superiority capability
12. Maneuverable VTOL w/ 4-6 person cabin for in extremis infil or exfil w/ limited CAS, BAI w/ Air Superiority capability
 
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TAOG

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... :rolleyes:


"... But Roper is calling for far deeper structural changes to support his vision for NGAD. “We think if we do that we’ll see a lot of the same benefits that the automotive industry has seen,” he says. “We think we’ll get design shops that focus on making new aircraft [and] have no desire to manufacture them en masse. We think we’ll be able to do small batches without paying a premium for design and [have a] learning curve to get to a production aircraft that has all the kinks worked out of it and finally be able to do modernization rapidly on a hot production line. ..."

"... At first glance, such an approach is not totally outside the capabilities of the traditional aerospace industry. Lockheed’s Skunk Works department famously produced advanced aircraft such as the SR-71 and the F-117 in small batches for the Air Force from the 1960s to the 1980s. More recently, the Skunk Works produced the still-secretive RQ-170 aircraft during the last decade, and Northrop Grumman’s Scaled Composites unit developed the Model 401 light attack fighter and Model 355 Firebird reconnaissance aircraft.

Asked if the F-117 might serve as a more appropriate model for the new vision for NGAD than the Century Series, Roper agreed, but with a major caveat. “The F-117 is a great example of an airplane that was built in a rapid way to meet an immediate need,” he says. “We could easily call what we’re trying to achieve within NGAD a ‘Digital F-117.’ The only downside is that it is a single airplane made by a single vendor.”

To comply with Roper’s vision of NGAD, the F-117 would be designed by a boutique design shop, perhaps such as the Skunk Works. But the Skunk Works would have no role in the aircraft after delivering the design to the Air Force. If accepted, the design would be transferred to one or more companies focused solely on manufacturing. The aircraft would be free from proprietary software, interfaces and technical data, allowing the Air Force total flexibility to select vendors to modernize and sustain the aircraft. ..."
 
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sferrin

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So rather than the Century Series, more like WWII where multiple companies participated in the production of various designs.
 

Forest Green

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Ridiculous is right. AI Air superiority is ridicolusly more effective. The only flaw w/ AI AS is that it has more patience than humans and spends too much time waiting for an adversary human mistake to exploit. One must do their Internet home work.
Since someone questioned my creds guess ..will to do the same. Folks seem to forget there are such things as Intranets which never touch the internet. The tight code on french bullet trains has been hacked?? someone would have show me sure proof, Never has been never will be.

If your code libraries are tight there is no software or even literally phyisical space left for any other code on the processors. This can also be networked LinK 16 for example ie no Internet protocol at all. Alot of cyber hype out there.
Not sure that's true about Intranets. If the company has several sites with intranet, they will be linked via the internet, with only the security protocol to keep it separate from the internet.
 

Hood

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Sounds fine in theory but who else but the big three (Boeing, LM, NG) have the productive capabilities to mass produce aircraft or even manufacture advanced military aircraft? Perhaps General Atomics, but would they want to get into the manned aircraft field?
Consolidation still seems to be the name of the game and big players have cornered the market for decades.

Also, wouldn't there be a temptation for the manufacturer to tinker with the design? Even in WW2 that happened (I'm thinking General Motors Wildcats, Goodyear F2G, NA choosing the NA73 over the P-40 programme).
Is it even efficient? Sounds much like the Soviet system, the OKBs do all the R&D and prototyping and the factories do the building. The OKB's arguably lost touch with the productive influences and ended up churning out a lot of one-offs and variants to keep themselves busy not really caring who had to build them. Also I presume there would be IP and legal issues too.
 

jsport

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There would be an issue of design change but the USG should purchase/own the IP and require penalty if the the final design does not meet specs, Can recall when an MRAP was designed across many companies and it would not fit correctly on final assembly.
 

jsport

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Ridiculous is right. AI Air superiority is ridicolusly more effective. The only flaw w/ AI AS is that it has more patience than humans and spends too much time waiting for an adversary human mistake to exploit. One must do their Internet home work.
Since someone questioned my creds guess ..will to do the same. Folks seem to forget there are such things as Intranets which never touch the internet. The tight code on french bullet trains has been hacked?? someone would have show me sure proof, Never has been never will be.

If your code libraries are tight there is no software or even literally phyisical space left for any other code on the processors. This can also be networked LinK 16 for example ie no Internet protocol at all. Alot of cyber hype out there.
Not sure that's true about Intranets. If the company has several sites with intranet, they will be linked via the internet, with only the security protocol to keep it separate from the internet.
pretty sure Link 16 has no Internet Protols for instance.
 

sferrin

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There would be an issue of design change but the USG should purchase/own the IP and require penalty if the the final design does not meet specs, Can recall when an MRAP was designed across many companies and it would not fit correctly on final assembly.
Also, it's not unheard of for the DoD to yank production of widget X from a company who can't deliver and give it to another.
 

jsport

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There would be an issue of design change but the USG should purchase/own the IP and require penalty if the the final design does not meet specs, Can recall when an MRAP was designed across many companies and it would not fit correctly on final assembly.
Also, it's not unheard of for the DoD to yank production of widget X from a company who can't deliver and give it to another.
fthe willys jeep what quite an example.. appeared the USG took some liberties.
 

rooster

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There would be an issue of design change but the USG should purchase/own the IP and require penalty if the the final design does not meet specs, Can recall when an MRAP was designed across many companies and it would not fit correctly on final assembly.
Also, it's not unheard of for the DoD to yank production of widget X from a company who can't deliver and give it to another.
We do that in automotive. Even simple components are frought with disaster! There is always a touch of in house black magic that goes into even simple items that isn't captured in 2d drawings or 3d models. I can only imagine the nightmare of the defense acquisition process on top of that
 

jsport

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.black magic is well antiscipated but the design before and after would belong to DoD. Payment and or penalty(if parts dont fit) going to final builder.
 

sferrin

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.black magic is well antiscipated but the design before and after would belong to DoD. Payment and or penalty(if parts dont fit) going to final builder.
This kind of thing happens all over the place already (sort of). You have the top-tier integrator parting off whole sections of an aircraft to subs, and those subs contracting out parts and so on several levels down. Everything has to fit together all the way back up the tree at the integrator or shyte will hit the fan.
 

rooster

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.black magic is well antiscipated but the design before and after would belong to DoD. Payment and or penalty(if parts dont fit) going to final builder.
This kind of thing happens all over the place already (sort of). You have the top-tier integrator parting off whole sections of an aircraft to subs, and those subs contracting out parts and so on several levels down. Everything has to fit together all the way back up the tree at the integrator or shyte will hit the fan.
Oh it hits the fan often enough in my industry. Even with tooled parts and tool transfers from company x to company y a lot of know-how gets lost. Tools have to be tuned to get parts to hold tolerances and that is the undocumented black magic. Then if another company builds another tool, placement of cooling lines in tools can greatly affect the product.

That's why even if all the tooling for the raptor still existed it would be a monumental effort to restart after all the lost first hand experience with the original parts makers. Its always best to keep a line warm and at least building a handful of parts or products to avoid lost know-how and to be able to rapidly turn up the capacity. We could save so much money if the congress allowed the DoD to use common sense in weapons procurement.
 

jsport

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AF is looking a terminating whole systems 15 &16 most likely so keeping hot lines is in the opposite direction.

Somebody needs to end undocumented black magic and start enforcing genuine tolerances across the industry or else ie big money penalties. There really is little excuse when other industries can consistanly reach tolerance.

Common sense would be charging if your off schedule and off mark. As an integrator you demand big money then perform not play around.
 

sferrin

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AF is looking a terminating whole systems 15 &16 most likely so keeping hot lines is in the opposite direction.
"15 & 16" What is that? It can't be F-15 & F-16 as the USAF is buying more F-15s and the F-16 will probable be around for at least another decade.
 

jsport

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AF is looking a terminating whole systems 15 &16 most likely so keeping hot lines is in the opposite direction.
"15 & 16" What is that? It can't be F-15 & F-16 as the USAF is buying more F-15s and the F-16 will probable be around for at least another decade.
 
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sferrin

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AF is looking a terminating whole systems 15 &16 most likely so keeping hot lines is in the opposite direction.
"15 & 16" What is that? It can't be F-15 & F-16 as the USAF is buying more F-15s and the F-16 will probable be around for at least another decade.

Okay. Were go going to show me something that supports your claim? Nowhere in the 5 minute video (time I can't get back) did they say, "we're retiring the F-15 & F-16 fleets".
 

jsport

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AF is looking a terminating whole systems 15 &16 most likely so keeping hot lines is in the opposite direction.
"15 & 16" What is that? It can't be F-15 & F-16 as the USAF is buying more F-15s and the F-16 will probable be around for at least another decade.

Okay. Were go going to show me something that supports your claim? Nowhere in the 5 minute video (time I can't get back) did they say, "we're retiring the F-15 & F-16 fleets".
at 49 sec mark acting AF Sec Matt Donovan said Sec Esper is open to in quote "divesting in legacy capabilities that simply arent suited for future battlefields". What else could being refering to F-100s.
 
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