Thing is there is nothing that says that PCA and This new offering are mutually exclusive.
More like 6-8 years and production 10-12 with IOC 17-18 years. With the limited buy of F22 The Airforce has been looking into a gap filler due to the age of F15 that were supposed to be boneyard now.
Just because another level of Beuracracy is involved doesn't make it faster. Often quite the opposite. They may model after the LRSB but that also has yet to emerge from the either.The IOC of the PCA/NGAD will come faster. The reason being that the RCO is involved in running the program, not the usual USAF procurement. They are modeling it after the LRSB. As for not having funding
Assuming that the schedule is kept... you said it your self.The B-21 is going to take 8 years from contract to IOC (if they can keep the schedule). There's no reason a PCA couldn't do the same
Now then let's get to this.The F-22 was originally going to IOC in 1995, but was delayed for budgetary reasons (Cold War was over, Peace Dividend, etc). The F-35 took so long because it was so ambitious. They really made three different aircraft that shared parts and winked at Congress. Making sure all the parts worked together was part of the problem (others being bad management and stupidity in adding more requirements after the contract award, always bad that).
Just because another level of Beuracracy is involved doesn't make it faster. Often quite the opposite. They may model after the LRSB but that also has yet to emerge from the either.
Assuming that the schedule is kept... you said it your self.
Now then let's get to this.
First the Lockheed Martin leverage the aerodynamic of the F22 with the tech of the F35. This means established technology and production of some parts.
Now yes eventually PCA will emerge but what is PCA going to be? Most reliable projections are pretty close to a F22 but with improved sensors, manned optional control system and Directed Energy weapons.
That's kinda the point. F22A would not be the F22 of the future just like how F16C is not F16A. Replacement parts, new engines and more not F135 but the next generation engineThere's nothing left to be production for the F-22. The tooling has been saved, to be sure, but the proposal is for new composites and new RAM/stealth materials. Since they are new, they require new tools and developing the entire production line. Additionally, the F119 engine the F-22 has is no longer in production. A new engine will have to be fitted. Likely the F135. Dropping in a new engine requires changes to the airframe. The F119 and F135 are not 1:1 swappable. Additionally, the F-35 avionics are highly complex and it will take a while to get working. Combined, we're likely to see this take a lot longer than Lockheed is claiming. This looks like a Raptor, but its not a Raptor
To get a PCA out of the F-22, you'd have to modify the F-22 airframe a lot (more than the Hornet to Super Hornet change) to accommodate things like next generation EW and DEW systems, and probably upsize it a far bit to give it more range (the variable cycle engine could help with range, but they'd probably still want more).Thing is there is nothing that says that PCA and This new offering are mutually exclusive.
That's kinda the point. F22A would not be the F22 of the future just like how F16C is not F16A. Replacement parts, new engines and more not F135 but the next generation engine
Jul 24, 2018... Farther more 5 years from now is about the same time the USAF would be looking for a F22C upgrade package. ...
don't you know the Pentagon will have to have pay tens of billion yearly for F-35s during 2020s EDIT and beyond?!Raptors are neglected big way,
for example "The USAF is also moving forward with plans to equip Raptor pilots with a helmet-mounted display system by 2020 ..." inside ...
would generate three pages of daydreaming
now AirForceMag (talks also other tankers and so on):
Boeing has won an $804 million Navy contract to develop the unmanned MQ-25 Stingray carrier-based tanker. Initial operational capability is forecast for 2024, and at program completion, the Navy expects to have 72 of these aircraft on its carrier decks, for an expected program cost of $13 billion. The program may well prove to be a pathfinder for future Air Force tanking operations.
The Stingray—formally the Unmanned Carrier Aviation Air System, or UCAAS—is the Navy’s answer to the increasing range of adversary air defenses. It will extend the reach of manned carrier aircraft, allowing carriers to stand off farther away from their targets, out of range of ground-based missiles and aircraft such as those being fielded by China.
The aircraft is to be able to pass 14,000 pounds of fuel to a receiver aircraft at a distance of 500 miles from the carrier, and still be able to return to the ship. The range of the F-35 and F/A-18 could be increased about 50 percent with a dedicated MQ-25. The Navy’s concept is for MQ-25s to orbit the carrier at some range, topping off combat aircraft on their way to and from the target.
Boeing won with a conventional fuselage-wing-tail design, besting two other competitors for the contract: Lockheed Martin, which was offering its Sea Ghost flying-wing concept, and General Atomics, proposing its Sea Avenger variant of its Avenger remotely piloted aircraft. Northrop Grumman, considered a favorite for the contract because of its pioneering work on the X-47 series of aircraft, withdrew from the competition last year. The X-47 was the first unmanned aircraft to make autonomous takeoffs and landings from an aircraft carrier, and the first to perform an aerial refueling, as the receiver aircraft.
The win makes Boeing the defacto “America’s Tanker Company,” as it is also the prime contractor for the Air Force’s KC-46 tanker, which is a much larger and conventional platform based largely on the 767 airliner/cargo aircraft.
The win gives Boeing a potential leg up on a future Air Force tanker program beyond the KC-46. Gen. Carlton Everhart, head of Air Mobility Command, told reporters at AFA’s 2016 Air, Space & Cyber Conference the service was re-scoping its planned three-stage tanker modernization plan. The KC-X and KC-Y programs would likely both be met by the KC-46, but for the
“We want to jump to the KC-Z … in the 2030-2035 timeframe,”
The KC-X program completes in 2027, when Boeing is supposed to deliver the 179th KC-46. Everhart said the KC-Y program, which follows immediately after, would likely be a “bridge” buy of KC-46s, until the KC-Z could be ready.
He said the tankers bought for KC-Y would likely offer some improvement on the KC-46 in the form of communications relays or laser defenses that could shoot down incoming missiles. Boeing is already at work on a KC-46 improvement program, even though the first operational aircraft have yet to be delivered.
Everhart did not discuss the KC-Z’s size, capacity, or how many might be needed, but he did say he was starting talks with industry. Air Force officials have reported that the service has had at least “observers” on the Navy’s evolving unmanned carrier-based aircraft programs.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson called the Stingray contract “historic,” marking a “dramatic shift in the way we define” combat requirements, “work with industry, integrate unmanned and manned aircraft, and improve the lethality of the air wing.”
The route to the MQ-25 took many twists and turns. The Navy and Air Force worked together on the Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle program in the 2000s, but the Air Force publicly dropped out of that effort. The Navy pressed on with the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program, at one time even eyeing it as an alternative to the F-35. The UCLASS would have had capabilities in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, strike, as well as potentially in aerial refueling, but the program became overloaded with requirements from various stakeholders in the Navy and other parts of the Pentagon. The Navy dropped UCLASS in 2016, shifting focus to the tanker mission.
Industry sources have reported that the Air Force didn’t actually give up on the UCAV, but simply shifted the effort to a secret, or “black” program potentially adaptable to the tanker mission.
Boeing alone among the MQ-25 competitors built an all-up flying prototype. General Atomics used its Avenger for deck-handling demonstrations.
I understand and it would be a nice upgrade, but the problem is the timing is just too late. Had they proposed this and started it back 10 years ago, I'd be supportive. However, they did not. And technology and the capabilities of China and Russia have improved. Well, at least China and China is the one that really matters when wargaming this, eh?
The Russians just ordered only 2 new SU-57s, rather than the 12 for the LRIP. The sanctions and relatively low oil prices are hitting them hard. China has the capability to match the F-22 in numbers in 3 to 4 years if they want. The Russians definitely do not.