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

Sundog

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That isn't their sixth generation fighter. It's a marketing image of a sixth gen fighter. I can assure you that none of us here have any public knowledge of what are their "design study" configurations.

Having said that, it does look good, but most of the tailless fighter designs I've seen from the U.S. lately have been aesthetically interesting.
 

flateric

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The same booth wall art LM have used in 2019.
 

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Sundog

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FYI, no company is going to reveal it's configuration before the competition for the contract, to prevent the other teams from knowing how they plan on winning it.
 

rooster

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FYI, no company is going to reveal it's configuration before the competition for the contract, to prevent the other teams from knowing how they plan on winning it.
Do you remember the ATF artwork from the 1980s. As early as 1986 Lockheed's artwork was almost spot on accurate to what the YF-22 looked like, right down to the single piece canopy. The monikers they allowed us to believe in was a rotary launcher and canards. Even the oversize tails were in some of the paintings.
 

red admiral

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The monikers they allowed us to believe in was a rotary launcher and canards.
But the rotary launcher was in Lockheed's concept at that point. It was only after they teamed with GD and Boeing that it was changed due to presumably a combination of requirements update (AMRAAM C) and technical feasibility.
 

rooster

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The rotary launcher was real?? With that weight and Complexity? Live and learn!
 

TAOG

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UAVs could start replacing manned fighters in mid-2020: USAF

"... “The idea of what is a fighter, the equation and kind of the math that we use to for a fighter still works pretty well in the European environment. The range and payload and distance problem is still a pretty effective solution,” he says. “It’s not as effective as solution in the Pacific because of the great distances.”

The Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter has been criticised for having a limited combat range of 600nm (1110km), insufficient to avoid a surprise hit by China’s long-range ballistic and cruise missiles while parked at an air base in the western Pacific Ocean.

In part to solve that limitation, the Air Force Research Laboratory and Kratos Defense Security Solutions have been developing the XQ-58A Valkyrie, a low-cost UAV with a 1,500nm combat radius. The attritable aircraft could be flown independently or as a loyal wingman alongside manned aircraft.

The range problem is also influencing the USAF’s thinking on its next-generation fighter development programme, called Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD), says Holmes.

“So as you look at NGAD, and you look at the follow-on programmes, I wouldn’t expect it to produce things that necessarily look like a traditional fighter, in that same kind of swap between range and payload and distance that we’ve done in a traditional fighter,” he says. “And, I think that’s what Dr. Roper is talking about. Both: How about the unmanned, low cost of tradable options? And, how might they do those same missions?” ...?



 

sferrin

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UAVs could start replacing manned fighters in mid-2020: USAF

"... “The idea of what is a fighter, the equation and kind of the math that we use to for a fighter still works pretty well in the European environment. The range and payload and distance problem is still a pretty effective solution,” he says. “It’s not as effective as solution in the Pacific because of the great distances.”

The Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter has been criticised for having a limited combat range of 600nm (1110km), insufficient to avoid a surprise hit by China’s long-range ballistic and cruise missiles while parked at an air base in the western Pacific Ocean.

In part to solve that limitation, the Air Force Research Laboratory and Kratos Defense Security Solutions have been developing the XQ-58A Valkyrie, a low-cost UAV with a 1,500nm combat radius. The attritable aircraft could be flown independently or as a loyal wingman alongside manned aircraft.

The range problem is also influencing the USAF’s thinking on its next-generation fighter development programme, called Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD), says Holmes.

“So as you look at NGAD, and you look at the follow-on programmes, I wouldn’t expect it to produce things that necessarily look like a traditional fighter, in that same kind of swap between range and payload and distance that we’ve done in a traditional fighter,” he says. “And, I think that’s what Dr. Roper is talking about. Both: How about the unmanned, low cost of tradable options? And, how might they do those same missions?” ...?



How would they detect anything?
 

TomcatViP

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Asking you to turn-on your transponder?
(don't laugh, some genius have banked gold on that).
 

In_A_Dream

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China won't give us a choice in this regard. It'll force the services to adopt completely unmanned combat platforms for a multitude of roles. Not now of course, but in time. That's kind of why we have to take a sober look at the Ford Class Carriers, or rather, a sober look at everything. Unmanned warfare can be cheap and expendable, putting a lot of things at risk. I know we want to carry on proud traditions and push forward with familiar/recognizable platforms, but everything's going to be different. Driven by the respective superpowers doing everything they can to maintain an edge.
 

icyplanetnhc

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I wouldn't say that the rotary launcher was meant to mislead, since it was indeed a part of Lockheed's ATF submission for the Dem/Val RFP. The rotary launcher was pretty much abandoned soon after down-select when Lockheed up teamed with Boeing and General Dynamics. The arrangement used up a lot of volume and pushed out the inlets, which created excessive wave drag presumably from the large cross section. I can see how a rotary launcher has quite a bit of "wasted volume" in the center.
 

sferrin

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This would seem relevant to this thread.

It's Elon Musk. He's definitely smart but smart doesn't equate to omniscient. In this case, well, he makes good cars and I like his rockets.
 

donnage99

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This would seem relevant to this thread.

It's Elon Musk. He's definitely smart but smart doesn't equate to omniscient. In this case, well, he makes good cars and I like his rockets.
I like his battery farm as well that saved australia from going back to the stone age. Oh and paypal.
 

Colonial-Marine

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Doesn't Musk like to warn about the dangers of AI? Replacing all manned fighters with UCAVs would necessitate a whole lot of reliance on AI.
 

In_A_Dream

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Doesn't Musk like to warn about the dangers of AI? Replacing all manned fighters with UCAVs would necessitate a whole lot of reliance on AI.
Think about it in terms of expendability. Swarms. Something that can overwhelm any air-defense system that's protecting 10s of billions of $$ worth of military assets for 1/100th the price and little risk.
 

MihoshiK

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Doesn't Musk like to warn about the dangers of AI? Replacing all manned fighters with UCAVs would necessitate a whole lot of reliance on AI.
I think he's worried about a generalized AI but not AI in general (if that makes sense).
I think his main beef is with seed AI, and not specialized AI. To be fair, seed AI is something that has the potential to go VERY pear shaped if you're not careful. It's not that we have to fear "smart" AI per se. Even a really dumb AI will be really dumb really fast.
 

sferrin

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Doesn't Musk like to warn about the dangers of AI? Replacing all manned fighters with UCAVs would necessitate a whole lot of reliance on AI.
I think he's worried about a generalized AI but not AI in general (if that makes sense).
I think his main beef is with seed AI, and not specialized AI. To be fair, seed AI is something that has the potential to go VERY pear shaped if you're not careful. It's not that we have to fear "smart" AI per se. Even a really dumb AI will be really dumb really fast.
WTF is "seed" AI?
 

sferrin

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Doesn't Musk like to warn about the dangers of AI? Replacing all manned fighters with UCAVs would necessitate a whole lot of reliance on AI.
Think about it in terms of expendability. Swarms. Something that can overwhelm any air-defense system that's protecting 10s of billions of $$ worth of military assets for 1/100th the price and little risk.
How is that going to happen, specifically? There ain't no swarm that can traverse 1000 miles, which means you need a carrier vehicle, which can be killed. Battlefield is a different situation. I wouldn't want to be in a tank 20 years from now. (Then again, tanks will likely have DEW CIWS by then so the concern may be over inflated.)
 

MihoshiK

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Doesn't Musk like to warn about the dangers of AI? Replacing all manned fighters with UCAVs would necessitate a whole lot of reliance on AI.
I think he's worried about a generalized AI but not AI in general (if that makes sense).
I think his main beef is with seed AI, and not specialized AI. To be fair, seed AI is something that has the potential to go VERY pear shaped if you're not careful. It's not that we have to fear "smart" AI per se. Even a really dumb AI will be really dumb really fast.
WTF is "seed" AI?
As Arjen said, AI capable of pulling itself up by it's bootstraps.
 

sferrin

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donnage99

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Doesn't Musk like to warn about the dangers of AI? Replacing all manned fighters with UCAVs would necessitate a whole lot of reliance on AI.
He thinks AI is inevitable and the only hope is to advance technology that would merge human consciousness with that of AI, the whole if you can't beat them join them. In fact, he has a company that researches on this technology
 

FighterJock

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Doesn't Musk like to warn about the dangers of AI? Replacing all manned fighters with UCAVs would necessitate a whole lot of reliance on AI.
He thinks AI is inevitable and the only hope is to advance technology that would merge human consciousness with that of AI, the whole if you can't beat them join them. In fact, he has a company that researches on this technology
AI only works when you programme in Issac Asimov's Three Law's of Robotics into the CPU and make sure that the Fighter/Bomber cannot overrule the law's.
 

Arjen

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It would be difficult to reconcile the tasks one would expect robotic fighter bombers to perform with Asimov's First Law - a robot may not injure a human being, or through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
 

In_A_Dream

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How is that going to happen, specifically? There ain't no swarm that can traverse 1000 miles, which means you need a carrier vehicle, which can be killed. Battlefield is a different situation. I wouldn't want to be in a tank 20 years from now. (Then again, tanks will likely have DEW CIWS by then so the concern may be over inflated.)
As the famous Dr. Ian Malcolm once said: "Artificial Life will find a way"
 

sferrin

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Doesn't Musk like to warn about the dangers of AI? Replacing all manned fighters with UCAVs would necessitate a whole lot of reliance on AI.
He thinks AI is inevitable and the only hope is to advance technology that would merge human consciousness with that of AI, the whole if you can't beat them join them. In fact, he has a company that researches on this technology
AI only works when you programme in Issac Asimov's Three Law's of Robotics into the CPU and make sure that the Fighter/Bomber cannot overrule the law's.
Impossible. There will always be somebody who'd build an AI without them.
 

donnage99

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AI only works when you programme in Issac Asimov's Three Law's of Robotics into the CPU and make sure that the Fighter/Bomber cannot overrule the law's.
I suggest you look up the discussion that includes Elon, Sam Harris, and couple of leading experts and engineers on how AI.
 

fredymac

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DARPA ACE update. Eventually I expect an AI algorithm will be developed which can dogfight at least as good as a human. Couple that to an airframe rated to 100 G's and it's hard to see manned dogfighting being viable. A really good DIRCM which can hard kill a missile body in 1-2 seconds is probably the only thing which will keep you safe.

 

TomcatViP

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It's better to buy new planes from an open production line for daily operations than maintain upgraded decade old costly airframe if that model remains in service.

Whereever F-35 nbr you can field, you'll still have to keep the old Eagle on the line the time you'll get all squadrons fielded. The USAF think that they can't offset that capability today with F-16 only.

Even if they buy only 50 of them, they will fly like 100 Raptor or ~85 C/D Eagles, filling gaps that would otherwise strain the fighter force.

Now with a lightened airframe, FBW and far upgraded avionics, you have a plane better than most 4+th Gen aicraft around, turning it de facto into a credible force.

Obviously that was not the plan as the old Eagle was supposed to vanish humbly in front of hordes of Mig44, Super Flanker, JH(ot)10 or Rafale's and Typhoons meanly sold to rogue states in the ME (DiD)... But history has its twists and it would be foolish not to bank on it.
 
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