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Northrop Releases 6th Generation Fighter Concept, Image

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posted on Dec, 11 2015 @ 07:27 PM
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image that I still can't figure out how to embed


Releasing a new artistic concept of a so-called sixth-generation fighter on 11 December, Northrop Aerospace Systems president Tom Vice singled-out the critical but often overlooked quality of managing all the heat generated by ever-more powerful weapons and sensors anticipated on future combat aircraft.

Northrop’s sixth-generation fighter concept shows the stealthy, swept-wing fighter using a powerful laser weapon to engage multiple targets. Even the best high-power lasers are only 32-33% efficient, meaning 2MW of heat is generated for every 1MW of energy that can be formed into a laser beam, Vice says.


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Lasers, cranked kite, looks like a mini LRS-B.
edit on 11-12-2015 by anzha because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 11 2015 @ 07:50 PM
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A laser burning up meteorites. That's interesting



posted on Dec, 11 2015 @ 07:54 PM
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a reply to: charolais

If they switch to a high efficiency laser diode fiber laser, bet they do a lot better than what's discussed in the article.



posted on Dec, 11 2015 @ 10:50 PM
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Another picture from Northrop, but this would be the FA-XX instead.



posted on Dec, 11 2015 @ 10:54 PM
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Looks like more of those flying wing drones.

I wish there were more creative designs that performed as well for their intended purpose. I'm bored with flying wing-type designs.



posted on Dec, 11 2015 @ 11:00 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

Probably not going to get a different baseline design from Northrop:


Amid signs of growing U.S. Air Force and Navy interest in a sixth-generation combat aircraft, Northrop Grumman is accelerating studies of key technologies for directed energy weapons and thermal management, which it says will be fundamental to future capability.

The company, whose last venture into the air dominance arena in the 1980s, the YF-23, lost out to Lockheed Martin’s F-22 in the advanced tactical fighter contest, has unveiled new images of a pair of optionally manned, tailless concepts aimed at replacing the Raptor and the Boeing F/A-18E/F. While acknowledging there are still more unknowns than knowns about future requirements for the next generation air dominance (NGAD) aircraft, Northrop says technology to cope with dramatic growth in heat loads will be a key enabler to whatever needs emerge.

The increase in heat loads is driven by the development of advanced weapons, particularly airborne lasers, as well as more powerful electronics, sensors and propulsion systems. The issue, which has already been a factor in early test and operations of the F-35, is expected to challenge all NGAD concepts. Under Northrop’s NGAD umbrella this includes the U.S. Air Force’s F-X requirements (now set to embrace an F-15C replacement in addition to the F-22), as well as the Navy’s F/A-XX mission.

Unlike any previous generation of air dominance aircraft at this embryonic stage, the configuration will be directly impacted by the integration challenges of directed energy weapons. “One of the unique things that happened (on NGAD) is the convergence of aircraft and weapons,” says Tom Vice, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems president. Despite the miniaturization of laser technology and the switch from bulky chemical-based systems to solid-state, electric lasers, Vice says thermal management is still key.

...



Range will be another important design driver, though perhaps not for the usual reason. “We anticipate limited basing in the future,” says Hernandez. “If range is important, then you’ll need to carry a lot of weapons. The other thing we know is that the adversaries have been increasing their defensive capabilities. So survivability is going to be really important. So this looks like a little baby B-2. That’s Northrop’s sweet spot,” he adds.


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bat wings through the 2060s and (probably) the rest of my life.



posted on Dec, 11 2015 @ 11:37 PM
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a reply to: anzha

First thank you for a non political post - this is why I love ATS.

2ND - where's the LRS-B pictures?



posted on Dec, 11 2015 @ 11:40 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Pew pew pew



Pew pew



posted on Dec, 11 2015 @ 11:54 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Mmmmmmm lazers... The thermal management aspect is very intriguing and telling... she sounds like she'll have some good legs on her too.



posted on Dec, 12 2015 @ 04:58 AM
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This concept picture remember me the Steve Douglass Texas picture of the past year.



posted on Dec, 12 2015 @ 07:16 AM
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a reply to: darksidius

Really?





They don't look that similar to me.



posted on Dec, 12 2015 @ 08:51 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
forgot the rear of the NGAD and the planform look a little similar. Northrop seem to be on the battlefront on each futur program
No news since a lot about the Lockheed 6th gen concept.
edit on 12-12-2015 by darksidius because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 12 2015 @ 09:07 AM
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a reply to: darksidius

Lockheed is building it through Skunk Works. They don't talk about programs much.



posted on Dec, 12 2015 @ 09:43 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

It seems the usual suspects are starting to come out to be skeptical about the 6th gen fighter.

Its right to be: de omnibus dubitare (after all).

However, I think they are missing a few key points. The first of which is part of the reason the F-22 was cut and the F-35 exists was because of the strategic situation that we were in and a lack of foresight. The so-called 'strategic holiday' was in full swing during the development of both and then we had two significant wars on top plus several bombing campaigns, etc.

While there are going to be wars in the future, its obvious (finally) to everyone the peace dividend and strategic holiday are over. Priorities are going to shift once more and what would have been unlikely to make it through the procurement process before, in the previous situation, will now.

I DO find this hilarious given the rants about the F-35:


For a sixth-generation fighter like the ones depicted by Northrop Grumman, top-end speed and maneuverability may be sacrificed to some degree—at least, if the crank-kite flying wing design is used—in order achieve many other enhanced capabilities at an affordable cost. For instance, packing a laser system and long-range into a 9G tailless, supersonic fighter design may not only be prohibitively expensive, but also wasteful. By giving up maneuverability and high top-speed performance for enhanced stealth and greater fuel and weapons capacity, while relying on lasers instead of maneuverability for self defense, little is lost while much is gained.


And a laser has been planned for the F-35 since back when I worked on such things.



posted on Dec, 12 2015 @ 10:07 AM
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a reply to: anzha

I think they're all in for a shock when this one drops.



posted on Dec, 12 2015 @ 11:38 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Unless they are looking for money like their fusion work.



posted on Dec, 12 2015 @ 11:45 AM
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a reply to: anzha

The RCO may not be involved, but the AF is going to model future competitions on the bomber model. Yes, there was still a protest, but long term they're going to save a lot in the EMD portion of development.



posted on Dec, 12 2015 @ 11:52 AM
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For a sixth-generation fighter like the ones depicted by Northrop Grumman, top-end speed and maneuverability may be sacrificed to some degree—at least, if the crank-kite flying wing design is used—in order achieve many other enhanced capabilities at an affordable cost. For instance, packing a laser system and long-range into a 9G tailless, supersonic fighter design may not only be prohibitively expensive, but also wasteful. By giving up maneuverability and high top-speed performance for enhanced stealth and greater fuel and weapons capacity, while relying on lasers instead of maneuverability for self defense, little is lost while much is gained.


Well that would explain the dorsal inlets.
Still a nice looking bird though.

K~



posted on Dec, 12 2015 @ 01:30 PM
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a reply to: aethertek

If you note, their concept for the FA-XX is different from the F-X.

The former has dorsal inlets. The latter does not.

Both are cranked kites though.

The image LM has running around looks like the YF-23.



posted on Dec, 12 2015 @ 01:59 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Up to this point at least, the LRS-B looks like its running well and the if continues, other programs ought to emulate it.

The EMD has been a nightmare for multiple programs since at least the 1980s. I'd be delighted if they've found a way through the quagmire.



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