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


Brumby

Major
U.S. Air Force Family Of Systems Trumps Next-Generation Fighter

For the U.S. Air Force, the succession of era-defining fighters—World War II’s P-51, the Korean War’s F-86, the Vietnam War’s F-4, the Cold War’s
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
and the
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
today—is over. The future of air superiority belongs to a collection of capabilities, such as aircraft and satellites new and familiar integrated on a shared network and fighting as a team.

Once considered the Air Force’s straightforward replacement program for the
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
F-22, the budget line for Next-Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) reflects this philosophical sea change in airpower acquisition. The focus has shifted from delivering the F-22’s highly anticipated successor to creating an environment that enables a networked force of old and new capabilities, which may or may not include a new aircraft. The point is not to develop a new aircraft, but rather to leverage capabilities to achieve air superiority in multiple domains including air, space and cyberspace.

“We see [NGAD] as an enterprise challenge,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Fantini, director of warfighting integration capability, at the Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute on Aug. 7.

Any discussion that starts with a question about a specific platform for NGAD is eschewed. The aircraft is just the “truck.” The future is in the technology that connects a disparate set of platforms, including some, such as the F-22, that were designed specifically to not connect with other platforms.

“We don’t want to have a conversation about widgets,” said Fantini. “We want to have a conversation about the highway that brings the proverbial truck into the fight.”
Source : AWST Sept 6, 2019

I am seeing a narrative that the USAF has been using lately in advancing their thoughts on where the program is heading. The language emphasis is about building a highway and not the truck.
 

Air Force Brat

Brigadier
Super Moderator
Sounds like a path to the FCS in the air. sigh.
Yep,its a line of krapola, like the line that guns were no longer necessary on fighter aircraft, its a bunch of bull. You've got to have a suitable platform to maintain air superiority, or else you will have to "prove that you have capability, that you may not have..

All the bells and whistles are nice, but you damn well better have a "hammer" in your tool box! its the "chickification" of the Air Force, they are more worried about the negative impact of nose art from the past, than the op-for!
 

Jura

General
Yep,its a line of krapola, like the line that guns were no longer necessary on fighter aircraft, its a bunch of bull. You've got to have a suitable platform to maintain air superiority, or else you will have to "prove that you have capability, that you may not have..

All the bells and whistles are nice, but you damn well better have a "hammer" in your tool box! its the "chickification" of the Air Force, they are more worried about the negative impact of nose art from the past, than the op-for!
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
 

Brumby

Major
If you have not heard of MDC2 it is part of the future networked battle space management tied to possibly any emerging NGF in whatever shape or form it might become.

Ask U.S. Air Force leaders what new hardware they need to realize a sweeping four-year-old vision for multidomain command and control (MDC2) in future warfare, and they still cannot give you an answer. And, for the moment, that’s the point.

“This is a cultural shift for airmen because we’re traditionally a hardware-focused force,” Gen. David Goldfein, the Air Force chief of staff, said at the Air and Space Power Conference in London in July. “But our future is in software.”

No new aircraft or weapon system yet lies at the heart of the MDC2 concept, but the service’s leaders can be quite prescriptive about one component they would prefer to eliminate almost completely from the “kill chain” in a future conflict: Humans.

Humans currently play a direct role in every step of the targeting process, from finding the target, to fixing its position, to assigning a platform and weapon to engage it and, finally, pulling the trigger. If a cultural and operational revolution now underway within the Air Force is successful, a human will not be directly involved in the targeting process until the moment just before it is time to fire.

“We can never walk away from a human on the loop,” Goldfein said. “But what we don’t need is a human in the loop at every stage of the kill chain.”

MDC2 has been the most constant and consistent theme of Goldfein’s speeches and interviews over the full length of his tenure, since publicly elevating the concept to one of his top priorities in 2016. It has reshaped how Air Force leaders discuss future capabilities. Instead of focusing on how a new platform or technology offers the next breakthrough in aerial combat, Goldfein and his Air Staff explain how a combination of networks and software algorithms can transform the character of war itself, whether in the air, space, sea or land.

In the MDC2 concept, the platform—either a fighter or a bomber, available now or in the future—still has value, but only in how it relates to the network.

“It is time to focus less on the truck, and more on the highway,” Goldfein said.
Source : AWST Sept 5, 2019

Note the truck and highway comment.
 

Jura

General
Yep,its a line of krapola, like the line that guns were no longer necessary on fighter aircraft, its a bunch of bull. You've got to have a suitable platform to maintain air superiority, or else you will have to "prove that you have capability, that you may not have..

All the bells and whistles are nice, but you damn well better have a "hammer" in your tool box! its the "chickification" of the Air Force, they are more worried about the negative impact of nose art from the past, than the op-for!
If you have not heard of MDC2 it is part of the future networked battle space management tied to possibly any emerging NGF in whatever shape or form it might become.



Source : AWST Sept 5, 2019

Note the truck and highway comment.
guess you'll like, dated Sep 4, 2019 (personally I facepalm, the article refers to
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
but I'd been thinking of Kamikaze while reading)
USAF Pursues Disposable Aircraft For Air Superiority
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

:

The U.S. Air Force has added the obscure category of “single-use aircraft” to the list of technologies being pursued to form the next generation of air superiority capabilities.

The reference to single-use aircraft emerged for the first time as a future air superiority option in a Sept. 4 speech at the Defense News conference by Acting Secretary of the Air Force Matt Donovan.

After describing a vision to use a mix of manned, unmanned and optionally manned aircraft for the air superiority mission in the future, Donovan also listed several technologies in development today.

“We are investing in advanced standoff weapons, low-cost single-use aircraft, and technologies such as directed energy and hypersonics,” Donovan said.

Single-use aircraft form a rare technological niche in aviation history, blurring the definition between a traditional aircraft and a cruise missile. The military defines the latter as a weapon that uses its own guidance system, and unlike ballistic or hypersonic missiles, maintains a constant speed during the cruise phase of flight. An aircraft, whether manned or unmanned, is capable of varying speed within the parameters of its flight envelope.

An early example of a single-use aircraft emerged in Germany during World War II. The rocket-powered, wooden “Natter” was designed during the latter stages of the war to intercept Allied bombers, but entered service too late to have an impact on the war.

The concept has re-emerged more recently within the
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
as an option for delivering small amounts of cargo. San Francisco-based startup OtherLab in 2017 demonstrated a biodegradable, cardboard unmanned aircraft called the Aerial Platform Supporting Autonomous Re-supply Actions, which was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s Inbound, Controlled, Air-Releasable, Unrecoverable Systems (ICARUS) program.

Donovan did not offer further details of the Air Force’s plans for applying single-use aircraft technology to the air superiority mission, and left the conference without taking questions.
... wondering if sober
Matthew Donovan
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Description
Matthew Donovan is a United States Air Force veteran and government official who is serving as the Acting United States Secretary of the Air Force since June 1, 2019. He served as the United States Under Secretary of the Air Force from 2017 to 2019.
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
“It has got to try to be stealthier across more of the radar spectrum. It has to be stealthy in the IR spectrum. It has to be stealthy in the electromagnetic spectrum and how much it emits. It has to be stealthy in other ways,”
“Navy leaders intend [the future fighter] FA-XX to be survivable in highly contested environments, which it might achieve through a combination of sensor countermeasures and self-defense weapons rather than aircraft shape and coatings alone,”
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


Basically they don’t know yet. That’s the whole article in summary. There are lots of parts that they seem to be working at. You have concepts from Europe that look more like Fifth gens than something totally ground breaking.
If you want key points well
  • A Wider spectrum of Stealth not just Radar X Band. But IR and more.
  • Active defense and countermeasures. Traditional Chaff and Flares with towed decoy and hard kill, soft kill provisions. Defensive missiles, Lasers and jammers even electric interference generation.
  • Speed without Burner, Longer Range.
  • Manned optional. Although drones are getting good they want that human in the loop.
  • Manned unmanned partnership. Loyal wingmen to networked weapons that work in concert. Even using the aircraft as mother ship. This I think is where “Disposable aircraft” comes in. Suicide drones already are just this as are Cruise missiles.
  • More networking more sensors more sharing. The aircraft as a Node of control.
  • Is it a fighter at all? The British and French, even I think F/A-XX sure the USAF well...
the Air Force could develop multiple types of sixth-gen aircraft.

“I don’t know right now whether it’s a single platform [or] it’s a number of platforms,” he said. “I want to keep that wide open so we can really drive towards game changing technology as we go forward.”

Next-gen aircraft might not look like today’s fighters, Carlisle said.

“In people’s mind when they think fighter, they think F-22, F-35, F-18, F-15, F-16 — but it may not be a fighter in the traditional sense,” he said. “It may have different attributes. It may be a bigger airplane with a bigger internal storage and bigger payload.”
Now this goes in line with the “B21 with air to air” but at the same time it could not be. Because a lot of this has wiggle wording “It May...” and that all important “I Don’t Know right now...”
I suspect that this could turn into a series of aircraft and technologies integrated into existing programs. The B21 for example would be an excellent mother ship for drones, But a poorer platform for speed. There are just some missions it wouldn’t be suited to. So you could have a F35E or something else come in. The PCA and NGAD is sounding less like a single platform and more like a arsenal of platforms.
 

Brumby

Major
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


Basically they don’t know yet. That’s the whole article in summary. There are lots of parts that they seem to be working at. You have concepts from Europe that look more like Fifth gens than something totally ground breaking.
If you want key points well
  • A Wider spectrum of Stealth not just Radar X Band. But IR and more.
  • Active defense and countermeasures. Traditional Chaff and Flares with towed decoy and hard kill, soft kill provisions. Defensive missiles, Lasers and jammers even electric interference generation.
  • Speed without Burner, Longer Range.
  • Manned optional. Although drones are getting good they want that human in the loop.
  • Manned unmanned partnership. Loyal wingmen to networked weapons that work in concert. Even using the aircraft as mother ship. This I think is where “Disposable aircraft” comes in. Suicide drones already are just this as are Cruise missiles.
  • More networking more sensors more sharing. The aircraft as a Node of control.
  • Is it a fighter at all? The British and French, even I think F/A-XX sure the USAF well...

Now this goes in line with the “B21 with air to air” but at the same time it could not be. Because a lot of this has wiggle wording “It May...” and that all important “I Don’t Know right now...”
I suspect that this could turn into a series of aircraft and technologies integrated into existing programs. The B21 for example would be an excellent mother ship for drones, But a poorer platform for speed. There are just some missions it wouldn’t be suited to. So you could have a F35E or something else come in. The PCA and NGAD is sounding less like a single platform and more like a arsenal of platforms.
Progressively it appears to me based on high level statements that the framework for a NGF will revolve around the following product sets of systems :
1) A platform that will be B-21 like which in the past I have described as a B-21 lite. This shaping will provide multi spectrum stealth, valuable internal weapons storage space, range, and electrical power capacity for DEW and sensors;
2)Loyal wingman with the leading candidate being the Kratos XQ-58A Valkryrie;
3)Attritable drones such as the "Goldern horde" program; and
4)Advanced missiles including hypersonics and long range missiles with AI and EW capabilities
 

Brumby

Major
Feds doing yearly 1t deficit, The US Air Force’s radical plan for a future fighter could field a jet in 5 years
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
I just don't think the Century series concept is fundamentally sound. The long development cycle with 5th generation development is associated with complex embedded systems and not the shell. The future fight is in systems and electronics. A shell doesn't necessarily add value and building new shell every few years would just subject the program to more development testing. The whole idea of system of systems was not to be bound by a shell by distributing the shell into multiple parts like the main body, loyal wingman and attritable drones.
 

Top