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5 Developments in Military Aviation in the Next 10 Years?

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posted on Jun, 22 2006 @ 12:03 PM
OK since its such a slow week on ATS I thought I would start this thread!

I want you guys to propose 5 developments that you think will occur within the next decade in
military aviation. They can be to do with anything in the field just make them serious!

Oh and for fun give one development that you think definately won't happen!

Here are my 5:

  1. UAV's that work as a swarm (or at least as a small team), and interact with each other, instead of working alone.
  2. A reconaissance drone which can stay airborne for at least 36 hours without refuelling (this might already have happened and I just don't know about it).
  3. An active aircraft that can fly at speeds of at least mach 5.
  4. An active aircraft based on the YF-23.
  5. A UAV fighter that utilises radar and visual stealth

And the one thing that I think definately won't happen is an aircraft demonstrating any form of anti-gravity propulsion.

There you go, now its you're turn.

posted on Jun, 22 2006 @ 12:55 PM
Alright, here is my list of 5 things that will be introduced, its pretty similar to gfad's list.

1. Micro UAV's
2. Airships (to relay communications and for reconnaissance)
3. Mach 5+ aircraft (Aurora's declassification
4. Laser Gunships (Boeing is currently working on one)
5. Visual stealth technology

gfad, your #2 is already our there; the RQ-4 Global Hawk, it has a 32+ hour endurance (according to some reports 36 hours)
I highly doubt they will reintroduce the YF-23, they are already fighting over the costs and number of airframes of the F-22. There is just no room for the YF-23, unless they want to build a (long range) bomber version of it.

Things that wont happen:

1. Airborne Laser; completely useless
2. Introduction of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; It will probably be delayed again for a couple of times. Congress will lose it's patience and so will the European partners. Development and unit costs will most likely increase to the point the F-35 will be more expensive than the F-22.
3. Retirement of the B-52 & A-10; They simply can't do without them, nothing can replace them either.
4. Fully operational missile defense system; Needs a lot more testing and refinements.
5. dont know yet...

posted on Jun, 22 2006 @ 01:14 PM
Wow, thats a good idea for a thread Gfad!

UAV's that work as a swarm

There's allways been research on how swarms of animals operate, schools of fish, flocks of birds, etc, and many studies seem to show that very simple 'rules' can allow the swarm to move in the odd and 'animal like' ways that they do. Perhaps those rules can be incorporated into UAVs. Perhaps a lead UAV can be remote controled, and the 'swarm' operates automatically from those rules.

Retirement of the B-52 & A-10; They simply can't do without them, nothing can replace them either

Wow, thats a good point too. As much as we might have robotically controlled missiles that are invisible to the eye, we'll still need the capacity that those things represent too!

What about 'permanent' airships, remote controlled vehicles that can be sent up, and don't have to land to refeul or anything? I recall that the nuke submarines don't need to surface to refuel and can operate continuosuly, so what about 'continuous operation' wrt flight?

posted on Jun, 22 2006 @ 01:21 PM
OK so heres my thoughts for the 10 year leap...

1) Stealth UCAV that has active visual camouflage (Said to be flown on the Tier III Quartz before it got canned [so they said] )

2) Mach 6 Recon bird flying out of Tonapha - I say 6 built at max due to price.

3) FB-23 (Black Dagger? I see widow being taken out as it lost the fly off...) to be rolled out as a bomber system.

4) High alt recon / strike UCAV using kinetic penetrator weapons and not conventional explosives. Rotary weapons bay and active stealth - 36 hrs + Loiter on target time.

5) Sensor craft swarms. These are the future of SEAD. high / low alt swarms, armed with a guided small diameter bomb. My prediction is that the small diameter bomb is being designed with armed UCAVs firstly in mind, as could be a smaller HSARM. (High speed anti radiation missle)

posted on Jun, 22 2006 @ 01:30 PM
Glad you liked the thread Nygdan. I think the idea of computer controlled craft acting in an pseudo-organic way is very interesting. I think it probably classes as biomimetics which is quite a big area of engineering currently. Can you imagine watching a swarm of aircraft flying over you acting like those fish you see in schoals?

Zion Mainframe, I think all your points are good, but aren't a Boeing Laser Gunship and an Airborne Laser the same thing?

I totally agree about retiring the B-52 and A-10, I can't see them being relegated to museums too soon!

posted on Jun, 22 2006 @ 01:43 PM

Originally posted by gfad

Zion Mainframe, I think all your points are good, but aren't a Boeing Laser Gunship and an Airborne Laser the same thing?

No not quite, the Airborne laser was earlier this year set back to a technology demonstration status. It will be part of the missile defense system one day, it's a modified 747 with a giant build-in chemical laser system to shoot down enemy missiles.
The laser gunship (Advanced Tactical Laser) is basically a normal AC-130 Gunship but with a laser weapon:

Boeing Receives Aircraft for Laser Gunship Program

More info @

[edit on 6-22-2006 by Zion Mainframe]

[edit on 6-22-2006 by Zion Mainframe]

posted on Jun, 22 2006 @ 02:23 PM
well, if your into UAV's and the future, look at this link at they will let you know what may or may not be flying in ten years time .....

What a day out that would be...wonder how non- industry bods would get tickets??

posted on Jun, 22 2006 @ 03:08 PM
5. Accurate cost assessment.
4. Less funding, especially after the US pulls out of Iraq.
3. Smaller countries (Pakistan, India, China) to develop their own jet fighters, bombers, etc.
2. Unmanned and very fast aircraft (bombers).
1. No more unnecessary aircraft.

posted on Jun, 22 2006 @ 03:40 PM
1. Electronic articulators on operational aircraft (instead of using hydrolics to move the control surfaces)
2. "Flapless" aircraft which use a form of thrust vectoring instead of control surfaces
3. "Electic armor" on attack helicopters to make it almost bullet proof on key areas
4. Self-defense lasers to shoot down incoming missiles at very short ranges
5. Chinese aircraft carrier

posted on Jun, 22 2006 @ 04:06 PM
This is what I think would happen....

1. Evolution of AESA to the point where it is effectively lasers...
2. Abandoning of missile BVR as lasers render missiles "old and slow"
3. Negating of stealth through advances in radar and computer tech - and satellite look down radar.
4. Implementation of UCAVs as the node points of a controlling AWACs satellite - identical to the fighters of today only cheaper = more numerous and they will be specialised in their niches - instead of an AWACs controlling several hundred miles of airspace, a satellite will control entire battle theatres.
5. Subsequent abandoning of UCAVs, and refocus on heavier, shielded aircraft [probably manned] that can take the hit of a laser and keep going. Maybe even the advent of energy based sheilds.

.... however, the global economy is going to go up the spout when energy prices become too expensive to sustain businesses, and the current pigheadedness with regards nuclear fission means we will be too late realising there is no alternative.

posted on Jun, 22 2006 @ 11:48 PM
1. Definitely a mach 5 or better recon and/or strike aircraft will be made public.

2. A medium range plus, mach 3 fast attack bomber ( probably not based on the YF-23 or any other known aircraft.

3. Practical demostration of visual stealth technology for both attack/strike aircraft, and UAV platforms.

4. A full scale (BWB) Blended Wing Body aircraft, being tested for tanker or even bombing applications. Might even be some commercial airline folks involved in some small capacity.

5. Demonstration of a fighter/bomber class engine pushing the 50,000 thrust pound level. GE or P&W likely developers.

Not to be seen yet...

Any aircraft demonstrating true in flight morphing capability.

[edit on 22-6-2006 by Angus_Macpherson]

[edit on 22-6-2006 by Angus_Macpherson]

posted on Jun, 23 2006 @ 03:17 AM

Originally posted by Angus_Macpherson
4. A full scale (BWB) Blended Wing Body aircraft, being tested for tanker or even bombing applications. Might even be some commercial airline folks involved in some small capacity.

*cough* B2? *cough*

posted on Jun, 23 2006 @ 07:38 AM
1. UAV fighters and bombers (although probobly only designed in 10 years)
2. UAV's that don't need a person to authorise the kill
3. Computers used more to decide where assets should be positioned and what should be in the air
4. mass re-training of pilots to service UAV's
5. Lazer weaponary shrunk to smaller sizes and fitted to planes like the A-10 (if still in service)

The cost of loosing men has got too high for the govenments of MEDC's especialy america. Politicaly they can't afford to lose even a single man in war so machines will replace the men.

posted on Jun, 23 2006 @ 02:59 PM
my questionhere is, regarding that Boeing laser , what if somebody develops an armor or covering or whatever with a higher reflectivity as far as light is concerned????
then what i mean laser is light and light reflects.

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