US F/A-XX and F-X 6th Gen Aircraft News Thread


Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
The US is about to start official analysis and consideration of the F/A-XX 6th generation stealth aircraft for the US Navy.

This thread will be about the two following US military 6th generation stealth aircraft programs.

The US Navy F/A-XX 6th Generation Aircraft program
The US Air Force F-X 6th Generation Aircraft program

The Navy is scheduled to make a selection for production by 2030 so that F/A-18E/F Super Hornets can begin to be replaced after 2035.

The US Air Force Program to replace the F-15C/D aircraft, and then later the F-22A aircraft is expected to meet roughly the same schedule, with the F-22s being replaced many years later of course, after the F-15s are all replaced.

Here is some news to start the thread:




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US Naval Institute said:
The U.S. Navy expects to undertake an analysis of alternatives (AoA) for its F/A-XX next-generation replacement for the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet starting in fiscal year 2015.

The new aircraft and its associated “family of systems” would be expected to become operational around 2035.

“We’re doing study work right now to neck down what it is that we’re going to spend our money on in the analysis of alternatives,” Rear Adm. Mike Manazir told USNI.

“But at the beginning of fiscal year ’15, we will start that analysis of alternatives, which will then start the acquisition process to get an airplane in 2030.”

The Navy does not yet know what kind of aircraft the F/A-XX will be, but the service is working on defining exactly what capabilities it will need when the Super Hornet fleet starts to exhaust their 9,000-hour airframe lives around 2035.

“Right now our effort is take the F/A-18E/F off and list everything you lose,” Manazir said. “Now, how do you service that?”

Though the Navy does not yet have a concrete vision for what the F/A-XX might ultimately turn out to be, there are certain attributes the service must have.

“You have to have something that carries missiles, you have to have something that has enough power and cooling for directed energy weapons and you have to have something that has a weapons system that can sense the smallest radar cross-section targets,” Manazir said. The F/A-XX family of systems might also incorporate the use of cyber warfare capabilities at a tactical level.
A couple of more F/A-XX pictures from Boeing:





And here is of concept art from Lockheed for the F-X aircraft:




See my
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TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
Jeff take a second look at that last image. It's a early PAK FA fan work. the Tail clearly says T50 and the insignia on the wings are Red stars with white boarders the markings of the Russian Air force.

any way:
At this point we are still trying to figure on the key features that will push these platforms beyond fifth generation. but we have a few guesses.
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ADVENT Engines these sip fuel in cruising but can kick it to high performance when needed.
Manned optional
depending on the mission and need the fighter could fly herself on target and attack or be piloted.
Smart Skin
This may mean that the Fighter's skin would not just be a covering with stealth features but also be a sensor in and of it's self this may mean some panels could be radar and IR sensors that wrap around the aircraft. this may also mean that the Aircraft could have active camouflage systems. Changing colors and IR characteristics to fool enemy systems and pilots.
Directed Energy
Laser systems mean that the fighter at first could blind inbound missiles, then destroy them and drones eventually the missile in visual range could become obsolete.
 

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
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Jeff take a second look at that last image. It's a early PAK FA fan work. the Tail clearly says T50 and the insignia on the wings are Red stars with white boarders the markings of the Russian Air force.
Thanks! I have removed the errant pic!

any way:

At this point we are still trying to figure on the key features that will push these platforms beyond fifth generation. but we have a few guesses.

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ADVENT Engines these sip fuel in cruising but can kick it to high performance when needed.

Manned optional depending on the mission and need the fighter could fly herself on target and attack or be piloted.

Smart Skin
This may mean that the Fighter's skin would not just be a covering with stealth features but also be a sensor in and of it's self this may mean some panels could be radar and IR sensors that wrap around the aircraft. this may also mean that the Aircraft could have active camouflage systems. Changing colors and IR characteristics to fool enemy systems and pilots.

Directed Energy
Laser systems mean that the fighter at first could blind inbound missiles, then destroy them and drones eventually the missile in visual range could become obsolete.
Yep...it's all going to be quite amazing.

Active stealth in the skin for electronics and camo will be cool and has already been tested,
 

A Bar Brother

Junior Member
The US Navy is looking at three options. The first is an advanced Super Hornet. The second is an advanced F-35. The third is a new development.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
No.
Advanced super hornet is Boeing's hope from 2015 till 2025. it's a life extension program to keep the Rinos pertinent into the 2020s.
F35C and the F/A-XX officially called the Next Generation Air Dominance concept are the two future runners. No matter what happens the F/A18 series buys by the USN are dead by the late 2020's and Boeing knows that. on October 1 2029 ( the first day of Fiscal year 2030) The Navy wants to have a new fighter on it's way to the decks of it's carriers. Now the debate has been is it a totally new animal in the form of a sixth generation or is it improved F35C's or a mix of both.
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A Bar Brother

Junior Member
No.
Advanced super hornet is Boeing's hope from 2015 till 2025.
Oh, I wasn't talking about the Block 3 Super Hornet. I was talking about something else.

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“The platform itself may or may not be a new one, nor focused on manned or unmanned,” one Navy official told U.S. Naval Institute News on Wednesday.

“So the F/A-XX may show up as something that is a Hornet-like aircraft with new weapons that can strike further and allow the Navy to fight its way into an AOR [Area of Responsibility] — maximizing the range of its weapon systems with linked fire control,” a Navy official told USNI News.
It may even be just a light bomber/missile truck.
Thus, the F/A-XX air vehicle might be more of a “truck” carrying a “payload” rather than a fully integrated weapons platform like a Super Hornet or F-35 that can find, fix, track, target, engage, and assess on its own.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
BB there are a lot of "Like's" in that statement. The stated aim is to replace the F/A18E-F Super Hornet. Now just because they are looking for a capacity set similar to Super Hornets does not mean it is a Advanced Super Hornet. The description given seems to indicate the emphasis being on Attack. But Super Hornets don't just strike ground targets they are multifunction fighters. The end product is not likely to have much Horner DNA in it. Especially since there is also the USAF involved. The Air force is looking for a fighter to replace or supplement Raptor and the last of the Eagles. There mission demands placed into the mix would push for a more fighter fighter.
 

FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
The US Air Force F-X 6th Generation Aircraft program

The US Air Force Program to replace the F-15C/D aircraft, and then later the F-22A aircraft is expected to meet roughly the same schedule, with the F-22s being replaced many years later of course, after the F-15s are all replaced.
I thought replace F-15E, F-22 later and F-15C/D replaced by last F-35A :confused:
 

thunderchief

Senior Member
Smart Skin
This may mean that the Fighter's skin would not just be a covering with stealth features but also be a sensor in and of it's self this may mean some panels could be radar and IR sensors that wrap around the aircraft. this may also mean that the Aircraft could have active camouflage systems. Changing colors and IR characteristics to fool enemy systems and pilots.
I somehow doubt that is going to work ;) We already have IR focal-plane arrays in AAMs and SAMs, and by 2035. I would fully expect them to work as human eye and brain, i.e. detecting and perceiving shape like we do . If a human being could recognize something as a plane, so would missile .


Directed Energy
Laser systems mean that the fighter at first could blind inbound missiles, then destroy them and drones eventually the missile in visual range could become obsolete.
Again very doubtful . Relatively simple and cheap measures could harden the missile against laser threat (coating, shaping, frequency filtering ... )
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
I thought replace F-15E, F-22 later and F-15C/D replaced by last F-35A :confused:
not really F35A's mission set focuses more on the strike fighter role. meaning although she might take some of the role of F15E the Air superiority potential of the E and it's young agee compared to the F15C/D will keep it in service until the USAF Next Generation Tactical Aircraft. F35 is good but using it to replace raptor is also not really a option for the Us either as pound for pound Raptor is almost as young and the better manouver and fighter platform with many of the same features.

I somehow doubt that is going to work ;) We already have IR focal-plane arrays in AAMs and SAMs, and by 2035. I would fully expect them to work as human eye and brain, i.e. detecting and perceiving shape like we do . If a human being could recognize something as a plane, so would missile .
Camouflage is not invisibility good tactics and a smart planning are still needed. at a distance optical and thermal camouflage will be relevant just as camouflage clothing breaks up the human shape at a distance. If the Enemy gets too close that's where the fighter then switches it up by going on the attack. and Chances are the Next Generation Tactical Aircraft and Next Generation Air Dominance fighters will likely include super maneuverability and Advanced Air to Air engagement capabilities. In other words if all else fails it can still kick arse old school.



Again very doubtful . Relatively simple and cheap measures could harden the missile against laser threat (coating, shaping, frequency filtering ... )
Were Talking a tactical High energy laser. Filtering will only last as long as the protective coating. and the same for armoring the missile. The US Already has somewhat compact Tactical High Energy Lasers that can down drones and Missiles the power output and size is the only real limitations. the most effective counter would be Ablative armoring but Ablative operates by being burned of and if a Formation of fighters is using these lasers together it's not going to last long, as there is only so much armor that can be placed on the missile. And lasers are just one of the possibilities for DEW there is also microwave. that stated at the end of the day I still see Kinetic weapons as being at the heart of these future birds.

Chances are Thunder Just like how the Russians keep Claiming Stealth to be a bluff and then started building PAK FA and PAK DA. Others will try and bluster but then convert. The Japanese and Europeans missed the fifth gen step but both seem to be trying to get in at the bottom floor of sixth. Some point to the Radar system under development by the JASDF for the ATD-X as having potential microwave weapons capabilities.

Additionally another tidbit for thought ADVENT engines are already being thought about for replacement of the F35's engines as well as on the Next generation Bomber program in the 2020's time frame.
Directed energy weapons and manned optional retrofits as well as sensor upgrades may extend Raptor and Lightning lifespans by creating Gen 5.5 fighters. this may be for the Russian and PRC there openers in upgrades to T50, J20 and FC31 as well as follow on programs
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