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USAF Wants a 'Penetrating Counter-Air' System Within 14 years

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posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 10:37 PM
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The report adds context to recent proposals by the USAF to use alternative methods to develop and field a new kind of aircraft — often referred to as a sixth-generation fighter — to stay ahead of potential enemies after 2030. The report seems careful not to use conventional terms, such as fighter or bomber, to describe such an aircraft. Instead, it calls for developing a new “penetrating counter-air” (PCA) capability, among an array of new weapons, sensors and organisational changes.

The PCA concept suggests an aircraft that could enter and operate within hostile airspace protected by increasingly sophisticated air defence systems, including ground-based missiles and fighters. It “will certainly have a role in targeting and engaging [and] it also has a significant role as a node in the network, providing data from its penetrating sensors to enable employment using either stand-off or stand-in weapons”.

Since 2010, the USAF has performed an analysis of alternatives and further studies for a future sixth-generation fighter expected to replace the Lockheed F-22 after 2030. The new Flight Plan, however, indicates the USAF has shelved those plans to adopt a less conventional approach. It says the USAF “should proceed with a formal [analysis of alternatives] in 2017 for a PCA capability”.


www.flightglobal.com...




posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 11:19 PM
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I've seen the ships they roll in and most of us here have a vague idea of what is out there. The platform they already have that we wont see could drop a turd on Putin's face and then return to USA in less than a few minutes.



posted on Jun, 2 2016 @ 12:48 AM
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This reads as an oxymoron.



The PCA concept suggests an aircraft that could enter and operate within hostile airspace protected by increasingly sophisticated air defence systems, including ground-based missiles and fighters. It “will certainly have a role in targeting and engaging [and] it also has a significant role as a node in the network, providing data from its penetrating sensors to enable employment using either stand-off or stand-in weapons”.


On one hand they are seemingly introducing a new term "PCA" to us laypeople, but on the other hand indicating it's no big thing as the rest of it's capabilities 'read" as same-old, same-old.
Call me uneducated, but a 6th gen fighter wouldn't necessarily rely on the typical ground based missiles. We already have that. If I'm not mistaken we can already get in/get out without much tactical support if warranted.

The only thing that seems revolutionary would be the propulsion system and more independent computerized operating systems. hence the "Node" reference. Node-Hub....I'm comparing this to my limited understanding of something like the Tor-system. It can link to a larger system, but doesn't have too.



posted on Jun, 2 2016 @ 08:18 AM
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a reply to: Caver78

Could this just be a ruse and not what is really going on ? This piece makes it seem that there is and was a plan A and its in place .

Liar, Liar, Romania and Poland on Fire In order to understand how onerous these lies must be for the Russians, it’s necessary to recall a moment when US President Barack Obama assured then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev he’d take care of Russia’s concerns when he was reelected. In the ultimate sidewinder reversal, Obama’s open mic gaff back in 2012 stinks up this whole affair. Obama was accidently recorded saying to Medvedev: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him (Vladimir Putin) to give me space.” Most people do not even realize that these Aegis and SM-3 Block IIA interceptors’ site plans were never really abandoned at all. Obama and the west promised to stop, but there’s no way those sites could have be operational now unless preparations had not been ongoing. Also, the “offensive” capabilities of these systems are veiled as well. First of all, the newest versions are can destroy Russian satellites in low orbit, on top of the anti-retaliatory capabilities. More important still, it is suggested that the SM-3 Block IIA now in development by Raytheon, will have limited nuclear weapons delivery capability of an offensive nature (see decommissioned W80 nuclear warhead for Tomahawk cruise missiles). The Block IIA’s design closely resembles a small version of the Trident ICMB, and the payload capability matches the profile of a medium range ballistic missile. Research is obviously top secret, but Navy experience reminds me that an “Orbital Boost Vehicle” would enable exactly what Mr. Putin claimed. These missiles could be refitted to deliver a lethal nuclear or EMP first strike on Russia. This Defense Industry Daily report shows a formidable shore based ABM system with every increasing capability, derived from the US Navy Aegis Cruiser systems. So Mr. Basescu’s posturing is best left in the cartoon realm, for this is no funny game. Putin and Russia will do what he says, and the Romanian system has already been certified as operational. Russia is already pushed back to the wall by the EU and NATO, next they will move forward. The Polish and Romanian people have a right to not just know, but to understand the true implications of operational ABMs like these on their soil. Older readers will remember the ABM agreements back in the Reagan days. Space weapons and ABMs were the real détente killers back then, and they are even more so today. journal-neo.org...
journal-neo.org...



posted on Jun, 2 2016 @ 10:40 AM
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a reply to: the2ofusr1

Hadn't thought of it that way.
I also misspoke, instead of identifying PCA's capabilities as a re-hash, I should have said the surrounding capabilities for it as you pointed out. It's possible this is just the first inkling an entirely new weapons platform thatwill be slowly revealed because if a new name pops up for us, they've already been working on it for some time.

PCA seems to have rolled right off their tongues.

Or it's being made to look that way as funding is on it's way to be funneled off into more R&D.

Thanks for more context! I'm interested in this kind of thing but taking baby-steps in learning.



posted on Jun, 2 2016 @ 04:43 PM
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The author of the Journal-Neo article seems regrettably out of touch and ignorant on the topic matter, whether implying the SM-3 could be nuclear-tipped, suggesting an ASAT would really be more effective there than anywhere else in the world, the ridiculous implication the SM-3 and Trident have anything in common, or implying that President Obama's mic gaffe was less an offense to the countries Russia threatens and more a promise to an aggressive and belligerent ex-Super Power. Not that he has anywhere near the technical expertise to tell us how long it takes to set up the since-limited and redesigned ABM plans in eastern Europe.

Perhaps other more knowledgeable posters here will find time to break down in detail how wrong he is, but hopefully a mere back and forth on Wikipedia can at least inform the layman that all of his claims about the SM-3 are patently absurd, beyond that they do indeed have ASAT capability.



posted on Jun, 2 2016 @ 06:21 PM
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a reply to: the2ofusr1

Wow, that's the biggest load of drivel I've read in a long time. About the only thing he got right was the ASAT ability.

The Orbital Boost Vehicle was designed as a silo based, three stage interceptor, carrying a kinetic kill vehicle to kill incoming missile warheads. Orbital is the name of the company that built them, nothing else.

www.globalsecurity.org...

The SM-3, while big for an antiair missile, would carry a tiny nuclear warhead, if it was even capable of carrying one, which it isn't. About the only thing it has common with the Trident, is that it's a missile.

The SM-3 was designed to carry the Lightweight Exo Atmospheric Vehicle, not a conventional warhead. It is an antimissile/antisatellite weapon.
edit on 6/2/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 08:52 AM
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What a PCA will be , a sort of anti air B-21 ? or more of a fighter ? or something else ? In my imagination it will be a some sort of long range , plane with a lot of air air weapon or diricted energy ( in my opinion) there is no mention of a fighter or a F-35 derivative.
edit on 3-6-2016 by darksidius because: (no reason given)

edit on 3-6-2016 by darksidius because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 04:11 PM
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originally posted by: darksidius
What a PCA will be , a sort of anti air B-21 ? or more of a fighter ? or something else ? In my imagination it will be a some sort of long range , plane with a lot of air air weapon or diricted energy ( in my opinion) there is no mention of a fighter or a F-35 derivative.


Penetrating Counter Air is a mission, not a platform description. Look at what they want:



The PCA concept suggests an aircraft that could enter and operate within hostile airspace protected by increasingly sophisticated air defence systems, including ground-based missiles and fighters. It “will certainly have a role in targeting and engaging [and] it also has a significant role as a node in the network, providing data from its penetrating sensors to enable employment using either stand-off or stand-in weapons”.


That sounds, conventionally, like a multi-role fighter such as F-35. But if they go to pains to say that it is NOT a 6th gen fighter, and there's no mention of air-combat maneuverability but there is of sensors and attack, then what could it be?

I'd vote for a stealth UCAV missile/bomb sled, directed to targets by F-35/F-22, primarily air-to-ground, and in particular against SAM sites---lots of submunitions to overwhelm SAM defenses. You don't need a big bomb to flatten a building, just one of the N small ones to hit the radar. No radar, no SAM threat outside IR lock on distances.

It might be expendable or semi-expendable (don't sweat if it doesn't come back).

Given that they would have F-35 and F-22, this thing would add more incremental capability at lower cost, and potentially sooner, than a full 6th gen manned fighter. Would use F-35 level stealth coatings in a 'fat cruise missile' configuration, dropping off bomblets and EMP against the SAM network, and standard drone software.

Supposedly there is a RQ-180. What is the evolved combat version thereof?


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posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 04:56 PM
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a reply to: mbkennel
I don't think so, you need a supersonic Platform , this think take place of the NGAD you will fight the T-50 and J-20 , the F-35 is still inferior in performance to win over the Russian and Chinese futur plane. You can't resolve this with a subsonic UCAV companion unable to dogfight with the foreign plane. We don't speak about bombing, we speak the air air combat role, and its not a sort of cruise missile.



posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 05:00 PM
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a reply to: darksidius

Did you read the quote? It doesn't say anything about dogfighting. It's a targeting and escort platform. You don't need supersonic for that mission. You send it in well ahead of time to hunt for targets and then it meets up with strike aircraft and does the EW escort mission.



posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 01:59 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
It will take the place of a 6th gen fighter program or come in extra ?


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posted on Jun, 6 2016 @ 01:47 PM
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a reply to: darksidius

It appears to be in place of, and perhaps intelligently so.

The rational goal is overall capability, not cool posters. That described capability + more F-35's & F-22's and B-21's will provide more benefit than the same money deployed in 6th generation fighter.

Where are the high-level challenges?

a) renewed Russia. There the need is air-to-ground against high-tech air defense, with air superiority likely already secure with F-22.

b) powering up vs China. There the need is long-range air-to-air recon and air-to-sea.



posted on Jun, 6 2016 @ 06:03 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: darksidius

Did you read the quote? It doesn't say anything about dogfighting. It's a targeting and escort platform. You don't need supersonic for that mission. You send it in well ahead of time to hunt for targets and then it meets up with strike aircraft and does the EW escort mission.


Apologies to bring up this old chestnut again, mate, but to my limited knowledge the EW escort kind of sounds like the F117 companion's mission. What's the chances that they are looking to either take that platform unmanned or replace it, as I can imagine airframe wise they must be getting quite long in the tooth.

What say you?



posted on Jun, 6 2016 @ 06:20 PM
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a reply to: AussieNutter

Absolutely nothing. Heh.



posted on Jun, 7 2016 @ 12:07 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Sounds like another rabbit hole...



posted on Jun, 7 2016 @ 02:59 AM
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a reply to: Bfirez

Thought it might be, but thought it was worth a mention. *shrug*



posted on Jun, 7 2016 @ 04:34 AM
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In your opinion what the PCA will look like ? What type of plane will do this mission ?
edit on 7-6-2016 by darksidius because: (no reason given)
The NGAD initiative transform in PCA so will it be a F-22 follow on ?
edit on 7-6-2016 by darksidius because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 7 2016 @ 08:23 AM
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a reply to: Bfirez

Funny story that....



posted on Jun, 7 2016 @ 12:45 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I'll bet it was hilarious, bordering on unbelievable.



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