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Lockheed to Offer new Fighter to Japan Using Hybrid of F-22 & F-35 Tech

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posted on Aug, 31 2018 @ 02:01 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Better waiting for Block 3 to arrive on the F-35 line and speed up replacement of the F-16 and F-15.

There's no room for a boutique fighter under the current budget plans.

They could either run 400+ aircraft in FB-22+ or FB-23+ style as a quick and dirty PCA to get rid of the legacy aircraft (and maybe F-22) alongside the F-35 and push a NGF out to 2050 or beyond, upgrade or SLEP legacy aircraft on the cheap, wait until F-35's are really combat capable and then start in on a 2035-40 PCA in earnest. Or sit tight and turn a B-21 variant into a 2030 PCA fill-in running the lines concurrently to run those numbers up and costs down. Or go nearly all F-35 come block 3 quick while you wait for a 2045 PCA ( which would seem really unideal to me, but would make a lot of accountants happy, and would probably get you the most airframes in total in the fastest timeframe for similar dollars than any other proposal).

A run for a couple hundred or fewer boutique new airframes with a unique logistic footprint to play alongside the F-22, F-15, F-16, F-35, et al isn't going to happen, imo. Same reason they keep trying to axe the A-10. It's too expensive to run 283 A-10's compared to the coast benefits of streamlining the fleet. (They also know Congress will throw extra money at them and demand they keep it, so it works for them). The only way to get the dollars down to supportable levels is to have bigger runs of fewer types.




posted on Aug, 31 2018 @ 11:33 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

My post is a little bit of a mess:

Do you mean F-35 Block 4?

Cause F-35 Block 3i started getting delivered several years ago and F-35 Block 3F (the "final" Block 3F, not the "initial" 3F) has been getting delivered for several months. 3F is the final F-35 configuration for its initial development (before follow-on modernization). 3F is a software update to 3i, excluding the concurrency driven modifications such as the ejection seat fix.

It's also "really" combat capable. Yes I am aware this has a double meaning, both are true.

The USAF plans to buy 46 in 2018, 48 in 2019, 48 in 2020, 54 in 2021, 54 in 2022, 60 in 2023. I believe they begin the ramp from 48 per year to 60 per year because of Block 4. Block 4 is also in several different increments such as 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3. Planned upgrades include Advanced EOTS, upgraded DAS, upgraded EW, Universal Armament Interface, more weapons. Not sure how Block 4 relates to C2D2, but as part of C2D2 the F-35 is getting Auto-GCAS as well.

I think Block 4 has more of what the USAF wants out of the F-35. For example, at the moment the A-10 and F-16 can carry more advanced targeting pods than EOTS, which is important for CAS, which Block 4 solves. The F-35 could then potentially really begin replacing certain aircraft for CAS. Anyway, with all these new aircraft it's obvious the USAF will need to consolidate the fleet eventually. But the Block 4 upgrades generally don't make the F-35 a better air superiority fighter, the F-22 is still mostly better at that (excluding old avionics, lack of multi-spectral sensors) although internal carriage of 6 AMRAAM's is probably going to happen on the F-35 eventually. The F-35 is and will be one hell of a mid-end multirole fighter.

But, the USAF seems to think it will have difficulty attaining air superiority in the most difficult A2AD environments in the 2030 timeframe (such as parts of SCS). The Air Superiority 2030 flight plan (linked) did say that a family of systems with complementary capabilities is needed (you can read more in the link what these capabilities are) and that the projected force structure in 2030 is not good enough, which is inclusive of the F-22 and F-35 block 4.

So the F-35 Block 4 is not high-end enough to change this. Likewise, I am not a fan of a F-22 / F-35 hybrid. The F-22 does not have particularly good legs (43,340 lb empty weight with fuel capacity of 18,000 lb) that are inferior to those of the F-35. Improved range is extremely important and whilst you can probably put variable cycle engines in the F-22, would it really improve the situation enough? And the F-22 lacks broadband stealth. So, in my opinion, a F-22 / F-35 hybrid is simply a faster and more maneuverable F-35 that costs twice as much with no A2G capability. I think that's boring, unimaginative, decades too late, without enough advantages over existing aircraft. Therefore, I am inclined to believe that a F-22 / F-35 hybrid is not good enough.
edit on 1/9/18 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 1 2018 @ 01:46 AM
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Continued from previous post...:

So the options you presented which show the range of options available:


They could either run 400+ aircraft in FB-22+ or FB-23+ style as a quick and dirty PCA to get rid of the legacy aircraft (and maybe F-22) alongside the F-35 and push a NGF out to 2050 or beyond, upgrade or SLEP legacy aircraft on the cheap,


I do like the idea of a tailless "FB-22"-like design for broadband stealth and improved range, which fixes what as far as I can tell, to be the biggest gripes with the F-22 airframe itself. Avionics can be based on those of the F-35, but with growth potential. GaN radar. A2A optimized IRST. Growth capacity for Directed Energy Weapons and side looking radar. Besides, this configuration as been studied extensively (X-44) and has no technological quantum leaps over either the F-22 or F-35, so development could be done somewhat cheaply and quickly.

I suppose in a sense this is a F-22 and F-35 hybrid, but I think it's different enough to warrant its own designation. I think this is one of the best options. The disadvantage of this aircraft is it's certain to be a large and expensive aircraft, perhaps more expensive than the F-22. Such an aircraft also has a lot in common with concept art for so called "6th generation" fighters. However, a larger aircraft will have a bigger visual and IR signature - not good for fighting against other stealth aircraft, so this could incorporate some IR suppression and the aircraft could be made pancake-like like the Su-57 (then again, both the J-20 and Su-57 are large aircraft).

Regarding a NGF, nobody seems to have any idea what a NGF really is at this point so I don't think we can even plan for a NGF fighter at all. The so-called "6th-generation" fighters generally appear to be more like improved 5th generation fighters in my opinion, they are only called "6th generation" for marketing purposes. NGF fighters should be studied in the meantime and implemented when they are ready and needed.



wait until F-35's are really combat capable and then start in on a 2035-40 PCA in earnest.


I don't think the F-35A is really good enough for the 2030's, 2035-2040 might be running a little late for PCA.


Or sit tight and turn a B-21 variant into a 2030 PCA fill-in running the lines concurrently to run those numbers up and costs down.


Interesting idea. I don't think this has been attempted before, I think it warrants further discussion but I don't know what kind of questions to ask.


Or go nearly all F-35 come block 3 quick while you wait for a 2045 PCA ( which would seem really unideal to me, but would make a lot of accountants happy, and would probably get you the most airframes in total in the fastest timeframe for similar dollars than any other proposal).


I don't think the F-35A is really good enough until 2045 for reasons in my previous post.


F-22/F-35 hybrid (I added this one). This would likely kick out PCA a decade.


I don't think the F-22/F-35 hybrid is really good enough until 2045 for reasons in my previous post.


The new F-117 (I added this one)


As I mentioned, the first option of a "FB-22"-like aircraft, whilst it would be cheap to develop without necessarily a lot of technical risk, would also be a large, complex, and potentially expensive aircraft. And, as I mentioned, a larger aircraft will have a bigger visual and IR signature, that to compensate could need IR suppression and be made flat. We also know that whilst raw aircraft kinematic performance is good for survivability as it extends the range of its missiles while reducing warning time to the adversary, it makes the aircraft shorter range, bigger, heavier, more complex, more expensive and flying fast increases the IR cross section dramatically.

So what if we went the other way?

Make it small(er). Optimize it for subsonic cruise with excellent transonic performance. Impressive fuel capacity for its size. No supercruise. No Mach 2 performance. Variable Cycle. Maneuverable, but not super-maneuverable. Make it as flat as possible to the point where it's almost a god damned flying saucer with extreme broadband stealth and IR suppression. Hell, make the pilots seat recline at a greater angle than the F-16 and limit the pilots height to 5 foot 8 to make it smaller and flatter. Shallow weapons bays optimized for air-to-air carriage to make it flatter. Then, make every single surface of the aircraft a sensor. Optionally manned. Delete most communications equipment, to save space perhaps make the only communication system MADL. Simplify the control surfaces as much as possible to reduce RCS and complexity.

I wrote the new F-117, cause the F-117 was simple and used off-the-shelf components except for in a single area where it was extremely advanced. It was also developed quickly.
edit on 1/9/18 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 1 2018 @ 02:49 AM
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Does anyone know how much IRST detection range scales with object size?

I'm wondering if we could simply compare physical laws such as the radar range equation, to tell us what the future of air combat envisages.



posted on Sep, 1 2018 @ 03:06 AM
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a reply to: C0bzz

Yes, I meant Block 4. And yes, it is "combat capable" , but it isn't "combat capable". Hard to do CAS without a downlink these days, for example.

And Block 4 won't be a grand air-superiority fighter, but with enough of them as part of an integrated array of platforms, they'd fill in adequately alongside the F-22 for the foreseeable future.

I also don't think the Raptorning would make much sense without a large buy. As a short-term hedge and boutique buy, it doesn't bring enough to the table for long enough for the cost. If you bought enough to retire one or more legacy fleet, it would probably buy you time to sort out PCA and mature it, which might save money, but you don't push the need back far enough, imo.

If we're convinced that PCA and the Pacific need increased range and persistence, I don't know why we wouldn't dust off all the FB-22 or -23 data and get a true mutlirole aircraft with range. Make that your 35-hybrid. Buy it in enough numbers to mothball all the F-15's. So you're left with F-22 and FB-22/23 with OTS F-35 systems, the F-35, and low cost per hour F-16's as trucks. This is your quick and dirty PCA. Now you can wait for everything to mature and really try for a leap in capability with a later NGF program.

Alternatively, if we want broadband ELO, persistence, and a network of systems, why not tap into a non-nuclear B-21 line? It could play the role of shooter or spotter alongside the shorter legged F-22 and F-35 fleet, and needs less tanker support, has growth potential with excess space and power generation, and probably has a sweet EW/ELINT system ready to go. It could also drive down costs for long-lead items on the B-21 line, as well as save money on the logistical/training footprint. Depending on how exactly the baeeline B-21 is going to be outfitted, you might get away with a Raider-lite.





I don't think the F-35A is really good enough until 2045. 

I understand this driving PCA talk, but the F-15 and F-16 were (on their own) generally obsolete by the nineties. Every generation of frontline combat aircraft has been impressed for longer than its predecessor. They'll probably still be rolling off the line at the way procurement runs these days. Between upgrades, new weapons, and support, they'll continue to be relevant until someone can afford to produce the massive quantities of better systems they'd need to truly make them obsolete.

Eventually we're going to have a number problem. We already do, but it'll become critical. We'll need viable airframes and the easiest and cheapest way is to go with more F-35's and run and short-term mature solution for your PCA. Both the B-21 and FB-22 or -23 are basically done. Variable-flow engines are ever closer to real maturity. You could afford to buy enough to make a difference and stall a true NGF program. If you retire the F-15 and A-10 fleets, you save a lot of money. Pushing back 6 gen efforts saves even more. Increasing the buy rate of the Raider with a high-commonality variant geared toward support and Hunter-Killer links for counter-air pushes unit costs down for each line. Better standoff weapons keep your older assets relevant. Penetrating and persistent RQ-systems, Raider, etc keys up targeting for the less survivable assets with shorter legs.



posted on Sep, 1 2018 @ 03:18 AM
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originally posted by: C0bzz
Does anyone know how much IRST detection range scales with object size?

I'm wondering if we could simply compare physical laws such as the radar range equation, to tell us what the future of air combat envisages.


Probably just depends on resolution. You're probably looking at limits of contrast/attentuation rather than size (at least as far as aircraft detection). So you need a bigger lens for higher resolution.



posted on Sep, 1 2018 @ 05:57 AM
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Ill have what their smoking...
au.finance.yahoo.com...



posted on Sep, 1 2018 @ 07:00 AM
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a reply to: Blackfinger

Good grief that article is bad. It even contradicts their source article in some respects.

"The US military is quietly talking about a new hybrid fighter jet that could kill the F-35"

more like,

Bad journalism could kill our democracy.

The author is a young guy, so I'll try to be easy on him.
edit on 1/9/18 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 1 2018 @ 07:46 AM
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a reply to: C0bzz
the article is crap but the fact remains, there is not enough money in the budget to procure a F-22 follow on on top of the F-35, LRSB, PEA and got knows what else. Hell if you look at the continuing resolution there wont be enough Money to procure the F-35 and the B-21 in a timely fashion going forward. This is the reality and all the talk about yet another fighter jet in the F-35/-f22 category amounts to nothing more than daydreamings.


edit on 1-9-2018 by mightmight because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 1 2018 @ 09:12 AM
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a reply to: mightmight

Any follow-on has to be or replace PCA. Then you're looking at a NGF program pushed quite away out. If they cheap out on PCA, they could manage low(-er) program unit acquisition cost and buy enough to replace the A-10 and F-15 fleets (which means even lower unit cost). That's how you move the money around.

Just buying another 100 F-22+ as an expensive, low-run supplement is absolutely how to run out of money.

If you buy 500 FB-23+ in lieu of PCA, you replace the entire F-15 fleet and move some C's and the mudhens to the ANG and reserve units, part out the older, high-hour C's, you do the same.with the A-10's replacing them with F-35's, F-16's, and UAVs. Move some to ANG and Reserve units, retire the ones with heavy miles, and you get your PCA on the cheap and eliminate entire supply lines and training programs for front line units. Your next gen now needs to be 20 yrs out and you can seed technology slowly.

But yes, buying a small run of an F-22/35 hybrid or just about anything just puts you behind in other programs. You need big runs to get costs down and to actually entirely replace things. Replacing one hundred Eagles with Raptornings just leaves you with an even more diverse fleet and logistics footprint. The days of having eight different tactical fighters are long gone.



posted on Sep, 1 2018 @ 04:07 PM
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originally posted by: RadioRobert
a reply to: mightmight

Any follow-on has to be or replace PCA.

Yeah ok but a) they dont want a FB-22/23+ for PCA, b) nobody is looking to a FB-22/23 for Japan anyway and c) its already too late.

A F-22/F-35 hybrid is not a FB-22/23. And cant do PCA like the Air Force wants with an F-22/F-35 hybrid either.
And more iimportantly, PCA is already happening. They got some serious bucks with 0207110F and are building demonstrators. Dusting off some 90s FB-22/FB-23 concept or whatever aint happening.
Just look at what the Air Force said they want for PCA. VVLO, longer range and efficiency. Nobody wants to go back twenty years and build on some short legged fighter for a bomber escort.

I get where you are coming from, but this was a discussion to be had ten years ago.
And the best platform for the PCA capabilites remains the B-21 anyway.



posted on Sep, 1 2018 @ 05:21 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

I feel like you're having a different discussion than the one we were having...

If you think I'm prognosticating a FB-22 PCA or something, you're arguing something noone is predicting. We're just saying if they saw a need for immediate interim recap, the small supplement of F-22/35 hybrids is still a poor investment. There would be other ways to recap and get more immediate capability in bigger numbers which takes the pressure off an immediate PCA need and lets you skip to looking at the next-next step forward.
edit on 1-9-2018 by RadioRobert because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2018 @ 10:56 AM
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Air Force not considering new F-15 or hybrid F-22/F-35, top civilian says


The two biggest manufacturers of military aircraft have been busy marketing new versions of their fighter jets to the U.S. Air Force, but the service’s top official told Defense News in an exclusive interview that it’s not actually interested in purchasing either of them at the current moment.

...

But just because those companies are offering new jets, doesn’t mean that the Air Force wants them.

In an exclusive Sept. 5 interview, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said she believes the service needs to expend its precious financial resources on stealthy, fifth-generation platforms — specifically the F-35 — and thus buying even an advanced fourth generation fighter like the so-called F-15X is not in the cards.

...

What about a new fifth generation plane that would combine the F-35 and F-22?

Wilson shut down that idea as well, saying that proposal "is not something we’re currently considering.”



www.defensenews.com... ays/

So. Dead as a doornail. On with the F-35 (and its upgrades) and the NGAD bird(s).



posted on Sep, 13 2018 @ 10:59 AM
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a reply to: anzha

Of course they are. He Who Shall Not Be Named decreed that there would be no more non stealthy tactical aviation, and no one has had the balls to order different since.



posted on Sep, 13 2018 @ 12:04 PM
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Little to do with their signature and everything to with the F-15X $65M proposed price tag. It's a cost/benefit loser, and there is no immediate need that would justify it.



posted on Oct, 4 2018 @ 08:24 AM
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TOKYO -- The Ministry of Defense has decided to develop a new aircraft to succeed the F-2 fighter, as proposals from three American and British companies for a replacement failed to meet the ministry's costs and capability requirements, government officials told the Mainichi Shimbun.

mainichi.jp...


edit on 4/10/18 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 4 2018 @ 08:46 AM
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a reply to: C0bzz

They could have saved a little time by skipping straight to this...sheesh.



posted on Oct, 4 2018 @ 10:38 AM
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a reply to: C0bzz

Sounds like unrealistic requirements then...



posted on Oct, 4 2018 @ 04:55 PM
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originally posted by: RadioRobert
a reply to: C0bzz

Sounds like unrealistic requirements then...


Nah, sounds more like the offerings being crap.

According to the article the choices were F-15, Typhoon and F-22. But "no clear explanation was given about the possibility of the U.S. government lifting the export ban" on the F-22 tech.



posted on Oct, 4 2018 @ 05:47 PM
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a reply to: C0bzz

LOOKS LIKE MITSUBISHI'S BACK ON THE MENU, BOYS!




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