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

Josh_TN

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Lasers can be easily countered with volume. Just fire 4+ missiles on the damn target. The laser will probably shoot down 2 of them but something will eventually hit you because the laser cannot shoot down targets instantly. Ofc you have other defences too, like jammers, chaff, flares etc. Lasers are gonna be just another countermeasure (but a very effective one).


Depends on engagement time and available range. Eventually, if your missile is in range, so are you (fighter) so you will need to back off and go to radar. For ranges around 100km, a 1 MW HEL shooting out of an 1M aperture will probably take no more than a 2-3 seconds per kill. They are currently pushing development of 1/2 MW SS lasers so figure another 5-10 years. The long term trends suggest short range engagements (under 50KM) will become similar to air-air gun engagements. Rare.

At a guess, the rate of fire for the laser will probably dependent on electrical power generation and heat dissipation more than the dwell time required to destroy the target.
 

Cordy

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The F-35 is a fat little tub that tops out at 70,000 pounds. NGAD will have a pair of 50k-60k engines and be XF-108 sized. If they want it to do what they say it will have to be. Has nothing to do with what, "I want". :rolleyes:

It will be interesting to see what the actual requirements will be. I do wonder if supercruise will be stressed in this generation. Trimble's and other's reporting seem to indicate that the AF is looking at FCS for the sky type concept. So it's not clear to me anyway if there will be a centerpiece "main" fighter type platform. If there is a main platform I'm guessing it'll be the primary BVR shooter lobbing AIM-260s while the "loyal wingman" / LCAAT will be forward with SACMs and limited -260s. Just my WAG.

Given that I'm guessing that a maybe a bit larger than the F-22 in payload but as you say it will need tons of gas. The F-108 had a metric crap ton, 7100 gallons for a fuel fraction of almost 0.47. I'm not sure it needs to be F-108 big but I can see F-111 size easily. A delta can carry a lot of gas but it will greatly depend on how much emphasis on supersonic persistence will play into the requirements. If its alot, then yeah it could easily end up F-108/Battlestar Galactica size.

The new gen adaptive cycle jets under competitive development, GE XA100 and P&W XA101, said to give ~50,000 lbs thrust, which a 40% increase on P&W F119's used in the F-22 plus better fuel economy, F-22 gross weight of 65,000 lbs clean.

Purely based on power would it be reasonable to expect similar F-22 flight characteristics if not better with 50%+ increase in range and gross weight of 90,000 to 100,000 lbs clean?
 

bobbymike

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TomcatViP

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Interesting attempt.

IMOHO one big absent of this list is human enhancement. System integration 'have been constantly improved from one generation to another to what we call today human/machine teaming introduced on 5th Gen fighter. The next phase of progress will see pilot burdening the next step in this evolution since human interface and pilot integration have been perfected to a point where we as human are the limiting factors.

That it calls from human being deported from high G platforms (à la Loyal Wingman) or pilots fully offloaded from the platforms (drone) or pilots being physically and cognitively bettered to integrate deeper with their platform's capabilities remains a thing to see (it might well be a combination of all the above and more!).
 
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Foo Fighter

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I can see development systems being flown and possibly some older airframes being adapted for control surface tests etc but doubt an actual sixth gen aircraft per se is flying anywhere yet.
 

TomcatViP

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@Foo Fighter & @dark sidius : I don't see how you can be so delusional. A 6th Gen prototype or demonstrator is not anecdotical. It's in essence a revolutionary airframe with breakthrough systems. Otherwise we would have an upgraded airframe or a block evolution of an existing airframe.
This is not the fashion industry, rebranding old things to look new.
 

Foo Fighter

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I'm not saying it is anything else but to say a sixth gen fighter is flying now is the delusion. Some sensors but at early development and also some aerodynamic test parts perhaps but that does not make it a sixth gen fighter. How many times will whatever they are testing be changed/refined?

Delusional is thinking a sixth gen fighter is flying now.
 

dark sidius

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@Foo Fighter & @dark sidius : I don't see how you can be so delusional. A 6th Gen prototype or demonstrator is not anecdotical. It's in essence a revolutionary airframe with breakthrough systems. Otherwise we would have an upgraded airframe or a block evolution of an existing airframe.
This is not the fashion industry, rebranding old things to look new.
No delusional, I think Lockheed may built a NGAD demonstrator .
 

sferrin

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@Foo Fighter & @dark sidius : I don't see how you can be so delusional. A 6th Gen prototype or demonstrator is not anecdotical. It's in essence a revolutionary airframe with breakthrough systems. Otherwise we would have an upgraded airframe or a block evolution of an existing airframe.
This is not the fashion industry, rebranding old things to look new.
No delusional, I think Lockheed may built a NGAD demonstrator .

IMO probably more like the XF-88/F-101 or XF-92/F-102 rather than a X-35/F-35.
 

Josh_TN

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The impression I get is that the current demonstrator was more a demonstration of rapid prototyping of one or more specific technologies, including the digital design/production process itself. I doubt the platform is as close to being a finished fighter even as much as say the YF-17. But none of us known enough to definitely say, one way or the other. The NGAD is a surprisingly secretive program compared to say, the F-35.
 

sferrin

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The impression I get is that the current demonstrator was more a demonstration of rapid prototyping of one or more specific technologies, including the digital design/production process itself. I doubt the platform is as close to being a finished fighter even as much as say the YF-17. But none of us known enough to definitely say, one way or the other. The NGAD is a surprisingly secretive program compared to say, the F-35.

That was my initial take as well (that they weren't talking about an actual flying airframe at all) but I'm not entirely sure what to think at this point. My post above is what I think best case might be.
 

TomcatViP

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Obviously digital design must have been an important aspect of this new fighter to be pushed forefront by Roper. But claiming that this is all about that only is like claiming the B-1 epitomizes the next fighter generation given it too will eventually go full digital...

Also, on the human/machine enhancement process (as discussed earlier):
 
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dark sidius

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Its possible but when we look the budget its going more in the NGAD direction, but it could be possible for a SR-72 but more with black budget , because the SR-72 budget since years is flat.
 

quellish

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Its possible but when we look the budget its going more in the NGAD direction, but it could be possible for a SR-72 but more with black budget , because the SR-72 budget since years is flat.

There is no SR-72 budget.
 

Flyaway

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Its possible but when we look the budget its going more in the NGAD direction, but it could be possible for a SR-72 but more with black budget , because the SR-72 budget since years is flat.

There is no SR-72 budget.
Well no because as I highly doubt it is actually called that. That was more a PR move to cash in on the SR-71 name.
 
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Fluff

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I love the fact people believe the budget.

And it cant be an SR72

Have you heard of subterfuge, misdirection? Hiding in plain site?

The F-35 was logical follow on to F22, replacement for Harrier, and F16.

The next aircraft, I would suggest will be none of those things.
 

Woody

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Any body got any real NGAD information or pictures yet? Here's Aviationweek's podcast on the flying prototype revelations (Sorry not very interested in humble opinions - ha ha)


But just to be a twat, mite I suggest that all the F-35 signatories must be pissed off
 

doggedman

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I don't think any F-35 signatories are remotely angry or pissed off. The Air Force operates two fighter types, a light weight and heavy fighter. The F-35 is the light weight fighter and eventual F-16 replacement. NGAD is a heavy fighter and more likely to replace the F-15 and potentially the F-22.
 

Woody

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Israel and Japan only bought the F-35 because they couldn't get the F-22 (one too slow, the other too smaller range/payload and limited in missions?) but my opinion doesn't matter, i just want to see a game-changing new plane. Cheers.
 

doggedman

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First off, could not agree more....love the idea of a game changing fighter with a new missile (AIM-260). The primary reason customers could not get the F-22 was US export restrictions. My point isn't that a preference wouldn't be for the F-22, it's that a new airplane isn't a threat to the F-35. So, I'm guessing we're in agreement.
 

jsport

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I love the fact people believe the budget.

And it cant be an SR72

Have you heard of subterfuge, misdirection? Hiding in plain site?

The F-35 was logical follow on to F22, replacement for Harrier, and F16.

The next aircraft, I would suggest will be none of those things.
Problem is stealth isnt "all that" much anymore given IADs developments.

Add the 35s avionics sensors on to the latest 16 (add all the AFTI work that was done in the ninties to make the 16 a tank plinker and super maneuver craft) and guess which is a better plane.
 

Fluff

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I love the fact people believe the budget.

And it cant be an SR72

Have you heard of subterfuge, misdirection? Hiding in plain site?

The F-35 was logical follow on to F22, replacement for Harrier, and F16.

The next aircraft, I would suggest will be none of those things.
Problem is stealth isnt "all that" much anymore given IADs developments.

Add the 35s avionics sensors on to the latest 16 (add all the AFTI work that was done in the ninties to make the 16 a tank plinker and super maneuver craft) and guess which is a better plane.
Possibly, but where would the unit price be? Very close to an F35 I would guess.

F35 is bought as the current 'topline' in terms of capability, interoperability, etc. it will hopefully spend its hours dropping small bombs and missiles on rebels, ISIS etc.

No point in buying F35 and a cheaper aircraft for the low skilled job.
 

Josh_TN

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I love the fact people believe the budget.

And it cant be an SR72

Have you heard of subterfuge, misdirection? Hiding in plain site?

The F-35 was logical follow on to F22, replacement for Harrier, and F16.

The next aircraft, I would suggest will be none of those things.
Problem is stealth isnt "all that" much anymore given IADs developments.

Add the 35s avionics sensors on to the latest 16 (add all the AFTI work that was done in the ninties to make the 16 a tank plinker and super maneuver craft) and guess which is a better plane.

How exactly would you magically add all the F-35's avionics to an F-16? The F-35 is a antenna farm, on top of the EO/IR systems.
 

red admiral

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I just want to see a game-changing new plane.

The point doesn't really seem to be to get a "game changing" new plane, but rather to deliver quicker and cheaper it in a "game changing" way.

Then you can build a mixed force of "different" fighters that all have different niches
 

TomcatViP

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A plane that can bring peace just by billing it is not a game changer?!!!!

Try that with a Typhoon.
 

sferrin

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I love the fact people believe the budget.

And it cant be an SR72

Have you heard of subterfuge, misdirection? Hiding in plain site?

The F-35 was logical follow on to F22, replacement for Harrier, and F16.

The next aircraft, I would suggest will be none of those things.
Problem is stealth isnt "all that" much anymore given IADs developments.

Add the 35s avionics sensors on to the latest 16 (add all the AFTI work that was done in the ninties to make the 16 a tank plinker and super maneuver craft) and guess which is a better plane.

How exactly would you magically add all the F-35's avionics to an F-16? The F-35 is a antenna farm, on top of the EO/IR systems.
And it would still have a giant RCS.
 

jsport

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Avionics, data links, sensors of the latest 16 and the 35.. imagine are not that far apart in capability by now and are small enough to integrate into the 16. There is no need for large AESA on one engine fighter and as for RCS.. not perceiving giant and the real emphasis needs to be on tankers so well fueled low altitude infiltration (appears to have been abandoned) and families of attritable and not so attritable armed drones for SEAD/TCT .
 

Fluff

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The sensors and systems have been designed into the F35. Sure with enough speedtape and glue you could get most of them onto an F16, but you would be hit with all the design costs that entails.

In any top tier 'game', RCS is going to keep you hidden for longer, sure not enough to allow you to cruise over a capital city, but enough to allow you to launch stand-off weapons and get home again.

Tankers are coming, along with loyal wingmen.

I'd also suggest there is an element of 'keeping up with the Jones' China keeps fielding shiny new toys, so US needs a shiny new toy, hopefully with some new toys built in.
 

aim9xray

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Avionics, data links, sensors of the latest 16 and the 35.. imagine are not that far apart in capability by now and are small enough to integrate into the 16. There is no need for large AESA on one engine fighter and as for RCS.. not perceiving giant and the real emphasis needs to be on tankers so well fueled low altitude infiltration (appears to have been abandoned) and families of attritable and not so attritable armed drones for SEAD/TCT .
So what you are saying is that an upgraded F-16 is sufficiently capable to substitute for the F-35.

Out of curiosity, could you direct me to the short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) and catapult assist, but arrested landing (CATOBAR) versions of the F-16 that could be upgraded in lieu of the maritime F-35B and F-35C versions? Thank you.
 

Fluff

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Avionics, data links, sensors of the latest 16 and the 35.. imagine are not that far apart in capability by now and are small enough to integrate into the 16. There is no need for large AESA on one engine fighter and as for RCS.. not perceiving giant and the real emphasis needs to be on tankers so well fueled low altitude infiltration (appears to have been abandoned) and families of attritable and not so attritable armed drones for SEAD/TCT .
So what you are saying is that an upgraded F-16 is sufficiently capable to substitute for the F-35.

Out of curiosity, could you direct me to the short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) and catapult assist, but arrested landing (CATOBAR) versions of the F-16 that could be upgraded in lieu of the maritime F-35B and F-35C versions? Thank you.
Bring back f100 I say, give it a quick avionics update, job done....
 

Josh_TN

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Avionics, data links, sensors of the latest 16 and the 35.. imagine are not that far apart in capability by now and are small enough to integrate into the 16. There is no need for large AESA on one engine fighter and as for RCS.. not perceiving giant and the real emphasis needs to be on tankers so well fueled low altitude infiltration (appears to have been abandoned) and families of attritable and not so attritable armed drones for SEAD/TCT .
So what you are saying is that an upgraded F-16 is sufficiently capable to substitute for the F-35.

Out of curiosity, could you direct me to the short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) and catapult assist, but arrested landing (CATOBAR) versions of the F-16 that could be upgraded in lieu of the maritime F-35B and F-35C versions? Thank you.
Bring back f100 I say, give it a quick avionics update, job done....
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CPss95p3Ck&t=22
 

mkellytx

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Avionics, data links, sensors of the latest 16 and the 35.. imagine are not that far apart in capability by now and are small enough to integrate into the 16.
Hardly, while a few individual systems may be close, i.e. SABR being a derivative of the AN/APG-81 and AAQ-40 being a derivative of Sniper, the systems on a Viper are federated while they are integrated on the Lighting. Also, Link 16 can't hold a candle to the data link on Lighting and the RWR is no where close to the EW suite. Some of the above systems I've played with in the past, so won't go into specifics...
 

sferrin

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Avionics, data links, sensors of the latest 16 and the 35.. imagine are not that far apart in capability by now and are small enough to integrate into the 16. There is no need for large AESA on one engine fighter and as for RCS.. not perceiving giant and the real emphasis needs to be on tankers so well fueled low altitude infiltration (appears to have been abandoned) and families of attritable and not so attritable armed drones for SEAD/TCT .
So what you are saying is that an upgraded F-16 is sufficiently capable to substitute for the F-35.

Out of curiosity, could you direct me to the short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) and catapult assist, but arrested landing (CATOBAR) versions of the F-16 that could be upgraded in lieu of the maritime F-35B and F-35C versions? Thank you.
My god, I can't believe there are still people who think an F-16 could equal an F-35.

F-35Reality2_zps0672c074.jpg
 

TomcatViP

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From the horse's mouth*, as of today:
The U.S. Air Force Academy alumnus piloted the F-15C and F/A-18 before starting his tenure with the Joint Strike Fighter at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., a time when Santos admitted the fifth-generation fighter still had a number of limitations.

“Back then we had block 1B software,” he recalled in the release. “We were constrained to .9 mach, 18 degree angle of attack, 5 Gs. We had no data link, either multi-function or Link 16.”

Witnessing the F-35 program’s evolution to its current state has “been exciting,” Santos added, noting that its stealth and sensors lend it “an edge.”

“The analogy I use is: I’m not a great boxer, but if you blindfolded my opponent and gave me a gun, I’d win every time,” he said in the release. “The stealth is the blindfold, the sensors and weapons are the gun, and combined they make the F-35 an outstanding weapons system.”
*Lt. Col. Jared "Vic" Santos, first Air Force pilot to reach 1,000 flying hours in the F-35A Lightning II
 

sferrin

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No doubt some will interpret, "I'm not a great boxer" to, "the F-35 can't dogfight" when he was merely making an analogy. He doesn't need to be a great boxer because he's got a gun and the other guy is blindfolded. Personally, I like the analogy of, "I'm in a dark stadium. I've got night-vision and a sniper rifle and the other guy has a flashlight and a knife."
 
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