Hi Guys and Girls,
I started think about stealth aircraft the other day and the replacement's for the US (teen) and Russian (Mig29/SU27) type's.
For most NATO countries the only option is the F35, the Russians are busy with the (PAKFA) so that leaves some very advanced country's that haven't
yet decided on a platform or are seriously considering a new build.
The list below isn't ordered in anyway:
Turkey is buying the F35 but also has a indigenous project in early design stages to "make up for short comings of the F35"
The bottom source mentions the possible ability to communicate with drones via protected data link that is interesting and something that I've heard
in certain circles about other projects and existing platforms
Although South Korea's place on this list is a little odd as it's currently not yet funded that will more than likley change early is 2015.
Japan seems to be a little upset about the whole F22J issue, so although Japan will buy the F35 they like Turkey seem to wish for more
"The ATD-X will be used as a technology demonstrator and research prototype to determine whether domestic advanced technologies for a sixth
generation fighter aircraft are viable. The aircraft also features 3D thrust vectoring capability. Thrust is controlled in the ATD-X by the use of 3
paddles on each engine nozzle similar to the system used on the Rockwell X-31, while an axis-symmetric thrust vectoring engine is also being developed
for the full scale production model. The nozzles on the prototype appear to be uncovered and might have a slight
adverse effect on the aircraft's stealth characteristics.
"Among the features the ATD-X is to have is a fly-by-optics flight control system, which by substituting optical fibers for wires, allows data to be
transferred faster and with immunity to electromagnetic disturbance"
A joint Russian-India project to build a heavy stealth fighter, I'd think this is being watched closly.
"Quoting FGFA project director Andrev Marshankin, the Sputnik news agency had reported agreement between Indian and Russian officials on the
specifications of the 30-tonne fighter, which is based on the Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA. Enduring Indian reservations over the FGFA programme include those
over the fighter's AL-41F1 engine and its stealth and weapon-carrying capability."
OK not a indigenous project but Pakistan buying from China, may upset the Russians and the Indians.
China's has two major projects underway the J20 / J31, in my mind this seems to me like the USA F16/F15 team. The J20 representing the multirole
reasonably cheap done most roles versus the J31 being the F15 initially rolled for air supremacy with the option for growth.
My main question is a little blue sky as we will not see the fruits if any of any of the projects above for at least twenty years. (hopefully by then
I'll be drink rum on a beach) Do we think that any of the above will provide any serious surprises.
For the most part all stealth to date have been single seat (although having a Intel/RIO onboard could be very handy. Engines we yes one or two but
could we maybe see and ramjet/hybrid ramjet aka SR72. The wing seems to have settled on trapezoid, maybe canards will make a return although at
certain parts of the flight profile they scream shoot me.
The sensor fusion on the F35, I personally think makes it very interesting and may allow a mini awacs type of role a few F35 running ahead then
passing back targeting information via Link16 to its friend's that are just outside of the range of the enemy missile range. (but within the range
of the Amraams/Meteors)
Also as the development timeline of new aircraft new seems to be about 20 years, the USA's interest in 6th gen seems like a reasonable idea in that
by the new the rest catch up the US will be in the middle of a new role out.
However the UK/France and maybe a number of other will not have the money for 6th gen manned(assuming it is or optionally managed) I personally see
F35 or late gen Typhoon's being teamed with UCAV's.
Just some food for thought,