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

Josh_TN

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I already said that PCA/NGAD is not supposed to replace only the F22. It has to replace the F15E too. So the whole "not a pound for air to ground" is probably BS. Something has to do interdiction. Or maybe the AF merged strategic bombing and interdiction with the B21. What do think?

In theory, what the Digital Century Series (which is now the "e" series) promises is to, within a fairly rapid time (like 4-5 years), iterate and field mature variants of an aircraft design and being able to adapt it for other missions and needs. We'll see if this becomes true or not but I think the way they are thinking is probably on these lines of fielding not one but a couple of designs and then using these new tools to quickly iterate and modify these designs to meet different needs.

IMHO, one of the differences between the ATF/JSF approach and the NGAD approach may be that they are not going to be winner takes all efforts. They are likely to continue to employ multiple design teams for longer, and look to produce designs and solutions as they mature. I think what Will Roper and others have said about this approach is that it will be more expensive upfront (having to sustain multiple design teams) but more effective and potentially cost saving down the road though as I said earlier, a lot of this needs to prove itself out so the current "e" series programs will likely give them the confidence to see if they want to continue down this path.

The bigger change is that the digital century series is intended to have a short life cycle. The idea is build more aircraft more often and continually refresh the technology of the force and spend money on new airframes rather than maintenance. It isn't clear to me that is an achievable goal unless the development costs really plummet.
 

Bhurki

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It isn't clear to me that is an achievable goal unless the development costs really plummet.
Or if they are ready to spend more on R&D.
This year's AF budget has the largest R&D spending ever.
 

Josh_TN

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I think NGAD/digital century is an ambitious effort to try to change the cost dynamics of major aircraft programs. I doubt it will realize it’s goals, but I still think it is a step in the right direction. The US simply can’t afford to have more programs like LCS, Zumwalt, and F-35. The latter at least did produce a world class electronic reconnaissance/SEAD platform that was badged as a ‘fighter’ at a good fly away cost, but the development was protracted and devastatingly expensive.
 

rooster

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Other than a 1 off technology demonstrator that we don't even know if its "weaponizable" where is all the work that would go into something entering service in 8 years? I work in automotive and it takes 3 years and thousands of engineers to build a new car with off the shelf tech.
 

bring_it_on

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I fear they are going down a dead end there.

IMHO they are headed towards at least 60 additional Super Hornets. Just last year they told Congress that they want to stop buying the Super Hornet because they are ready to move ahead with NGAD..have an office set up etc etc (which was the right thing to ask for IMO). Now they are publicly saying that they don't even know what the SH replacement actually looks like. It could be manned, or it could be unmanned. I suppose they may have ruled out optionally manned or perhaps just forgot to mention it as an option still on the table. Congress is likely to turn down their request, keep adding SH's until they figure out what they actually want.
 

dark sidius

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I fear they are going down a dead end there.

IMHO they are headed towards at least 60 additional Super Hornets. Just last year they told Congress that they want to stop buying the Super Hornet because they are ready to move ahead with NGAD..have an office set up etc etc (which was the right thing to ask for IMO). Now they are publicly saying that they don't even know what the SH replacement actually looks like. It could be manned, or it could be unmanned. I suppose they may have ruled out optionally manned or perhaps just forgot to mention it as an option still on the table. Congress is likely to turn down their request, keep adding SH's until they figure out what they actually want.
At a moment its time to stop buying ineffective plane just for making number, SH is at the end of is life and un-able to make superiority for conflict in a near futur.
 

rooster

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I fear they are going down a dead end there.

IMHO they are headed towards at least 60 additional Super Hornets. Just last year they told Congress that they want to stop buying the Super Hornet because they are ready to move ahead with NGAD..have an office set up etc etc (which was the right thing to ask for IMO). Now they are publicly saying that they don't even know what the SH replacement actually looks like. It could be manned, or it could be unmanned. I suppose they may have ruled out optionally manned or perhaps just forgot to mention it as an option still on the table. Congress is likely to turn down their request, keep adding SH's until they figure out what they actually want.
At a moment its time to stop buying ineffective plane just for making number, SH is at the end of is life and un-able to make superiority for conflict in a neuar futur.
If superhornet were about air superiority then wouldn't they have opted for the more powerful engine? I always was under the impression that the superhornet was a jack of all trades part fighter part A7 that could generate more sorties than the f14. Is the navy even concerned about air superiority against near peer adversaries? Ngad is a long way away from introduction even assuming congress buys what they develop so new superhornets are needed to drive down the age of the fleet. I think its prudent to keep the SH going until they can develop a viable new alternative.
 

aonestudio

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Edi213009

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I fear they are going down a dead end there.

IMHO they are headed towards at least 60 additional Super Hornets. Just last year they told Congress that they want to stop buying the Super Hornet because they are ready to move ahead with NGAD..have an office set up etc etc (which was the right thing to ask for IMO). Now they are publicly saying that they don't even know what the SH replacement actually looks like. It could be manned, or it could be unmanned. I suppose they may have ruled out optionally manned or perhaps just forgot to mention it as an option still on the table. Congress is likely to turn down their request, keep adding SH's until they figure out what they actually want.
At a moment its time to stop buying ineffective plane just for making number, SH is at the end of is life and un-able to make superiority for conflict in a neuar futur.
If superhornet were about air superiority then wouldn't they have opted for the more powerful engine? I always was under the impression that the superhornet was a jack of all trades part fighter part A7 that could generate more sorties than the f14. Is the navy even concerned about air superiority against near peer adversaries? Ngad is a long way away from introduction even assuming congress buys what they develop so new superhornets are needed to drive down the age of the fleet. I think its prudent to keep the SH going until they can develop a viable new alternative.
Maybe Grumman will continue their partnership with the navy and bring a Tomcat stealthy heir maybe named Bobcat
 

bring_it_on

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I fear they are going down a dead end there.

IMHO they are headed towards at least 60 additional Super Hornets. Just last year they told Congress that they want to stop buying the Super Hornet because they are ready to move ahead with NGAD..have an office set up etc etc (which was the right thing to ask for IMO). Now they are publicly saying that they don't even know what the SH replacement actually looks like. It could be manned, or it could be unmanned. I suppose they may have ruled out optionally manned or perhaps just forgot to mention it as an option still on the table. Congress is likely to turn down their request, keep adding SH's until they figure out what they actually want.
At a moment its time to stop buying ineffective plane just for making number, SH is at the end of is life and un-able to make superiority for conflict in a near futur.

Yes, I don't think that is in dispute. But I don't think that Congress is going to let the Navy kill off one of its production programs without having a concrete plan in place for NGAD/FA-XX. Asking them to stop the SH buy but then also saying that "we've still not figured out what will replace it" is probably not going to cut it with Congress when it comes time to ask for SH termination once again this budget cycle (after the current MYP is delivered).
 

F-2

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It's also hard to speculate about the future when so many programs are classified. There's a lot of work going on behind the scenes that makes it difficult to see the bigger picture.
Yea until we get a look at the demonstrator I don’t think we’ll have a great idea of what the Air Force has in mind. I also think the Navy is very much following the air forces lead on this.
 

In_A_Dream

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It's also hard to speculate about the future when so many programs are classified. There's a lot of work going on behind the scenes that makes it difficult to see the bigger picture.
Yea until we get a look at the demonstrator I don’t think we’ll have a great idea of what the Air Force has in mind. I also think the Navy is very much following the air forces lead on this.
And this is in the context of the entirety of next generation combat architecture going into the upcoming warfighting era. Everything is getting re-defined, traditional roles, taskings, etc. The injection of AI, high speed data transfers, & unmanned aircraft into the battlefield completely changes everything. Look at the disruption that's happening across the DOD right now. Big plans are coming, the United States knows that there is no stopping China's emergence right now.
 

doggedman

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Does anyone think this is close to the configuration? I'm reminded of the Syd Mead artwork that was floating around before the YF-22/YF-23 configuration was revealed.
 

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F-2

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Not to put too much stock in anything, but it strikes me that those vertical-ish tails look like a tacked-on afterthought to that concept.
I was actually wondering are they variable, it looks like they fold down. I know a totally tailless aircraft is great for stealth but presents some difficulties for mobility.
 

Sundog

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Not sure if this is related:

It's just an image of an advanced fighter. I still haven't figured out what the landing gear looking thing is at the back. If that's meant to be the MLG, they screwed up royally. Not to mention all of the antenna sticking up all over the top, which aren't very stealthy. It makes me think of them going to an artist and asking him/her to make an image or 3D model of an advanced fighter and the artist puts together all kinds of cool things they've seen in manufacturer concepts without really knowing how to put them all together.
 

TomcatViP

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The landing gears are meant to designate variable configurations (there is also an Unmanned variant depicted below).
The verticals look to be collapsible, you are right @F-2 .
 
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MihoshiK

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Not to put too much stock in anything, but it strikes me that those vertical-ish tails look like a tacked-on afterthought to that concept.
I was actually wondering are they variable, it looks like they fold down. I know a totally tailless aircraft is great for stealth but presents some difficulties for mobility.
If you look in the PDF file that the picture came from, and enlarge the page a bit you can see that those fins are definatively fold-down: There's actual recesses in the wings for them in the rendering.
 

Fluff

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Not to put too much stock in anything, but it strikes me that those vertical-ish tails look like a tacked-on afterthought to that concept.
I was actually wondering are they variable, it looks like they fold down. I know a totally tailless aircraft is great for stealth but presents some difficulties for mobility.
If you look in the PDF file that the picture came from, and enlarge the page a bit you can see that those fins are definatively fold-down: There's actual recesses in the wings for them in the rendering.
interesting, but could be titbits, could be misinformation, could be artistic license.

some clearer statements, sounds like a pure fighter. upgrade options sound like a video game, how many kills needed to get the top engine?

Fold up 'rudder?' Really with thrust vectoring and FBW we cant replicate this without a rudder?

Almost sounds like a permanent opportunity to spend money, new airframes every 5-10 years.
 
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