Originally posted by urmomma158
Different block numbers eg block 10,20,30 etc of the AC had the same basic shape but improved(F16). And as the system gets older you can replace them
for less with upgraded one's. The same airframes wont be used forever. Not only that but we aren't getting that many Raptors just yet (just 180)
although the production line will get extended. Newer Raptor models will come out. Not only that but new AC based on the same basic design but can be
a different AC like the FB 22.
The block numbers signify upgrades to materials, sensors etc.
Basically everything but the internal airframe and the critical surface shapes
. Apart from the CFTs obviously, but these were limited to areas
where there aerodynamic impact would be minimal.
Now, the F-22's shape is optimised already, therefore will not be changed. Its materials may be changed, but since the design doesn't rely on them
it will make little difference.
Its the laws of diminished returns you get as you approach optimal performance - the only place I know of where this doesn't seem to apply is formula
The FB-22 (if it happens) is going to be a completely different aircraft as far as I am aware, and from what I was told a while back by a guy from
Lockheed, he referenced more to the black widow for the bomber - kinda hard to put into words, but it almost seemed they weren't interested -
strange, but just the way it was said.
The only way I can see the F-22 reduce its RCS significantly will be with active cancellation or plasma stealth.