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US Air Force Wants 6th Gen Fighter, not More F-22s

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posted on Mar, 9 2016 @ 12:21 PM
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The rumor running around is that the Pentagon wants to do a restart on the F-22 line because of the demand for the 5th gen fighter and the simple lack of having enough out there. 180 odd is far from sufficient to be both in Europe, Alaska, the Middle East and in East Asia. You're looking, at best, at having a wing (26) in each region in combat readiness. And even that would take a near miracle. When it comes to a single theater, sure, ~100 works. However, we're rockin it in how many?


The US Air Force has no interest in restarting production of the Lockheed Martin F-22, partly because it's too expensive and because it wants to move quickly on a next-generation fighter.

...

“Because we want to do it faster and don’t want to do another 20-year development programme for a whole host of reasons, we’ll try and go with technology that are at a high readiness level now with manufacturing capabilities that are at a high readiness level now,” Lt Gen James Holmes tells a Senate Armed Services subcommittee panel in response to questions about restarting F-22 production.


You can see the impact of the B-21 program right here. Only what's ready at the time, dev only in integration, not new tech. Makes PERFECT sense.

An interesting bit was (and a little horrifying in a way):


“I think it’s completely possible as we get the requirements that there may be competitors that bid on modification of an existing technology or platform like the F-22 and the F-35.”


And THAT explains the queries I've been hearing about the laser equipped F-35D even more so.

However, that would be a gen 5+, bubs.

www.flightglobal.com...




posted on Mar, 9 2016 @ 12:30 PM
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So..... we already have something flying that's 6th gen and want to build those now?

Or am I reading that wrong?
edit on 9-3-2016 by grey580 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 9 2016 @ 12:31 PM
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a reply to: anzha

SecAF has already said there's no chance in hell they're restarting Raptor production. It would cost $400M per airframe in the initial run to do it, and none of the people that worked in it to begin with are left, so they'd have to watch videos to train people how to build them.



posted on Mar, 9 2016 @ 12:32 PM
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Oh goodie. The MIC complex only got to pull a few trillion dollars out of the government ans into grimy pockets for the mass of 5th gen fighters. Surely they should be able to swing dozens of trillions of dollars out and about this time around.

Perhaps we should simply stop 'rocking out' in so many damn 'theaters' and just chill the hell out.

Wonder how many fighters it would take to defend the physical homeland? Oh wait, silly question.. Got to love our priorities.


Edit: 400 million on an airframe I am reading above! And that is on the old one, what a joke. Please explain to me how some metal and electronics reasonably cost 400 millions dollars.
edit on 9-3-2016 by lightedhype because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 9 2016 @ 12:32 PM
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a reply to: grey580

No. They're going to use off the shelf technologies with a few new systems.



posted on Mar, 9 2016 @ 12:37 PM
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a reply to: lightedhype

Have you ever bothered looking at the condition of the Air Force lately? And I'm not talking about just the last couple years, the last decade plus? Those fighters just to defend our homeland are falling apart. Our most numerous aircraft are older than their crews and mission capable rates have been steadily dropping.

www.abovetopsecret.com...

www.abovetopsecret.com...
edit on 3/9/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 9 2016 @ 12:38 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

You don't think they have a tech demo already?

Ok so a new Airframe with ots parts.





edit on 9-3-2016 by grey580 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 9 2016 @ 12:38 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Once they closed the F-22 line, there was no real way of bringing it back no matter what Lockheed et al did with the tooling and documentation. It would take a war against a peer or near peer to change that.

I expect the requirements will really preclude a F-22 or F-35 deriv, honestly. There is only so much you can do with their shape for stealth, even with the awesome sauce new materials, engines and whatnot.



posted on Mar, 9 2016 @ 12:41 PM
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a reply to: grey580

Sixth Gen won't look like anything we've seen to date. They won't have a tech demonstrator until at least 2020 IMO.



posted on Mar, 9 2016 @ 12:43 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

The time frame is right, but I bet chunks of it have already flown: Avionics, materals, possibly UAVs with the shape, etc.



posted on Mar, 9 2016 @ 12:47 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Some of that. Not as much as you think.



posted on Mar, 9 2016 @ 12:49 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Good idea: F-35 sensors on two new good airframes with an Advent and MHD electrical power generation, start with Navy, then lighten for AF.

If I think about it, what are the Navy requirements in the future? Really, a shrunken B-21 which can land on a carrier. Long range strike & interception and LPI ISR seems to be most important. Leave the fighting to missiles and drones.

The Marines, they could use an inertia-reducing mini black triangle to lift off from their mini carriers, but jarhead maintenance, saltwater and supercooled quantum physics drives don't go together.
edit on 9-3-2016 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)

edit on 9-3-2016 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 9 2016 @ 12:52 PM
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Here's another article.

www.nationalinterest.org...

Both Navy and Air Force want an Air Superiority Fighter.



posted on Mar, 9 2016 @ 12:58 PM
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a reply to: grey580

The Navy needs one. The Hornet, in any variant, has loiter time issues unless it's almost on top of the carrier. The F-35 isn't air superiority.



posted on Mar, 9 2016 @ 01:10 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

The whole carrier air wing needs replacing. They did a great job of making a post cold war wing. We're entering the period after that and the Rhino and whatnot don't fit the bill any more.

Stupid question:

Why don't they do a drone for the E-2 replacement?



posted on Mar, 9 2016 @ 01:11 PM
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Too bad we don't have the Horten brothers around any longer....
I bet they could drum up a few good modern designs with the great new materials at hand today, such as grapheme and high strength alloys etc...
Who knew their WW2 plywood fighter design would become the mighty B2 stealth bomber when it grew up...?
Im expecting skin and shape altering controls for hypersonic performance ....
A laser missile defence.....
Ultimate stealth and invisibility to the human eye...
Hypersonic speeds and econo cruise loitering...
As well as an array of electronics which would allow the pilot to control a flight of drone chicks with big teeth.....
and a few nasty suprises we wont know about till we need to....



posted on Mar, 9 2016 @ 01:11 PM
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a reply to: anzha

E-2 or C-2? The E-2 isn't ready for replacement yet. The D is just entering service.



posted on Mar, 9 2016 @ 01:14 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

E-2. Yes, the D is just entering service, but they're hurting for aviators and a guy on the ship is easier to train and replace than the folks in the air.



posted on Mar, 9 2016 @ 01:14 PM
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a reply to: bandersnatch

It didn't. Jack Northrop's design did. Northrop flew a hybrid design before the Horton Brothers designed their first one. They both flew their first true wing design about the same time.



posted on Mar, 9 2016 @ 01:16 PM
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a reply to: anzha

I haven't heard anything about them having crew shortage issues to the extent they'd need to go to a UAV. They're not going to replace the Hawkeye for a lot of years yet.




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