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Block III Super Hornet

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posted on Feb, 3 2008 @ 09:47 AM
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I'm still not connecting WestPoint and Waynos.

The way I see it, the superbug is getting all the improvements it needs to be just as modern as the Raptor. TVC, stealth, advanced avionics (which will likely be in fact better than the raptors unless the guys at USAF decide to upgrade it with an old radar to make sure it stays worse than the raptor)

The Block III is getting the same improvements that the F-22 has over the F-15. I don't see how it can be called anything BUT 5th gen. In a way it is basically a new aircraft, they are upgrading absolutely everything including the airframe.

IMHO we should be classifying these aircraft by performance and not by date the first aircraft flew.

Now I don't know about 6th gen, IMHO they are counting on 6th generation technology BEING THERE twenty years from now when they start actual design work.

[edit on 3-2-2008 by BlackWidow23]




posted on Feb, 3 2008 @ 09:59 AM
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But it's the same basic airframe, so it CAN'T be 5th gen. Even the stealth isn't going to be that great, because you're still going to have big square edges. It's like the F-15A and Golden Eagle. Just because the latter has AESA radar and other big improvements over the F-15A, that isn't going to change the generation of it. It's still just an upgraded Eagle, no matter what they do to it.

You can't have designs that go from 4th gen, to 5th gen just because of systems upgrades, and that's MOSTLY what the Block III is, is a systems upgrade. The current Super Bugs were planned to be upgradable to Block III standards as they were built. It's an incremental upgrade. They're already all being upgraded as much as possible to Block II standards, which gives them some pretty nice systems. However, it appears they have scrapped plans for the TVC since the FCS already gives them the advantages of TVC.



posted on Feb, 3 2008 @ 01:25 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Completely agree with Westpoints point about it getting silly when we getting into saying "its 4.75 gen" etc. With what Zaph and Waynos have been saying as well and what I mentioned earlier that no matter what avionics you change the plane is still the same airframe which is one of the biggest factors when you try and label a aircraft into a specific generation of planes. Templars image he drew I don't think is based upon what lockheed sees as their block III hornet as what he posted is very much a new aircraft.

Anyways interesting news/PR that is worth following for sure.



posted on Feb, 3 2008 @ 01:25 PM
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What does a 5th gen mean then?

Full on stealth? I disagree with that but then i cant really think what makes a 5th gen aircraft 5th gen.



posted on Feb, 3 2008 @ 01:47 PM
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Stealth is part of it, but the overall package is what makes 5th gen. You have for the first time built in netcentric warfare capabilities, LPI radar systems. If you look at the generations, first generation had very limited avionics systems, generally limited or no radar. Second generation introduced early radar and missiles. Third generation introduced multi-role fighters. Fourth was when we started to see maneuverability over speed to win the fight. 4.5 is when we start to see more advanced avionics and systems that could be categorized as 5th gen, but by the same token the capabilities of 4th gen. 4 and 4.5 are kind of a grey area.



posted on Feb, 3 2008 @ 03:03 PM
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Stealth is the key (and really the only) discriminator between fourth and fifth gen. The weapons are the same, the systems have similar capabilities, NCW linkages are the same, but there is simply no way that the current fourth generation fighters can achieve the level of RCS reduction that fifth generation fighters can due to the inherent limits of airframe design.

All in all, you've got to wonder about the timing of the press release. Australia considering cancelling their Super Hornet order, India considering one, seems like a good time to make it look like going with any other option would be foolish, and that Boeing offer the road to the future. Personally I think the sixth gen part of the release is chaff, the real message is about the Block III Super Hornet.



posted on Feb, 3 2008 @ 05:18 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


I disagree. I think that with the addition of the diamond wing and some adjustments to the tailplanes the block III will be very much stealth. They ARE talking about upgrading the airframe, I don't see what will be the same about the aircraft.

And if they are upgrading the engines they can slap on some S shaped intakes for further stealth. Than add a coat of RAM and you have a 5th gen aircraft.

I personally think its silly to classify even half-generations. I think that if it doesn't meet 5th generation features, than it is a 4th generation aircraft, period. I think that its important to note that generations don't represent singularities in time and a generation of fighters can stretch 40 years from drawing board to last aircraft produced, such as the F-14 to the Typhoon.



posted on Feb, 3 2008 @ 05:43 PM
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If it was going to be such a different aircraft then why is it still called a Hornet? That's like saying the F-35 is a stealthier version of the F-16 with a different intake and more RAM. It's either a Hornet, and therefore NOT 5th gen, or it's NOT a Hornet, in which case it should have a totally different design and have to undergo a huge testing program and won't be in service for a long time. But if it's a Hornet then it can't change generations just because they make improvements to it.

The Block III is not getting a diamond wing. I'm not sure where you are getting that from. The Block III is going to look just like a Block II, with a slightly different front fuselage, and different avionics, and a towed decoy.

But even with more RAM, and S shaped intakes the F-18 will never be a true stealth platform. You can make it harder to detect, but it will never be true stealth. The design is wrong for it.

[edit on 2/3/2008 by Zaphod58]



posted on Feb, 3 2008 @ 05:51 PM
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Just an FYI, This weeks AWST came a bit early and they confirm that this is something that is eally being looked at.

Also, Boeing is offering the navy a 3rd production run with a per plane cost of under 50 million. Equipped with AESA that would make the E/F model pretty cheap IMHO.



posted on Feb, 3 2008 @ 08:11 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Well I don't think that the name is really a valid point to judge generation from. And the F-35 IS just a stealthy, less aerodynamically capable version of the F-16 with souped up computers.

The first post of this thread mentions a "diamond shaped biconvex wing", I was referring to that, which is, in fact, a major airframe change, and IMO would qualify the block III hornet as a 5th generation aircraft. I was unable to find a primary source for that however, I was simply trusting the OP.



posted on Feb, 3 2008 @ 08:45 PM
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The Block III Hornet and the 6th gen fighter are two completely different animals. They're offering the Block III to COMPLEMENT the 6th gen. The new fighter is the one that's going to have the diamond wing, no fins, tandem cockpit etc.

The Block III is going to look EXACTLY like the Super Hornets out there in the fleet now. The differences will be very subtle and most people won't be able to tell the difference. That's the point of block upgrades. It lets you get birds in service, and slowly introduce upgrades to them. It's not changing the structure of the aircraft at all, except in very minor ways.

And no, the F-35 is NOT a stealthier less capable F-16. It's a totally different animal. In the case of the Block III Hornet it's the SAME animal with new upgrades and capabilities.



posted on Feb, 3 2008 @ 10:07 PM
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The articel that I have found was from aviation week whos links hardly ever work. Anyways here is the information about the supposed sixth gen fighter.


To be available circa 2024, the sixth generation aircraft would feature a combat radius of more than 1,000 miles and stealth against a much wider spectrum of radars.

We want to convince customers to stay with [Super Hornet] a few years longer -- by adding advanced capabilities and lowering price -- so that they can get to the sixth generation faster. If you go to JSF first, it's going to be a long time."

"The U.S. Air Force and Navy are now talking a lot more about where they need to go with sixth generation to get beyond JSF," Gower says. "It could be unmanned, but I think you will see a combination of missions -- some manned, some unmanned."

For Boeing, the real discriminators are going to be extended range (1,000-1,500 miles), a small radar signature against low-frequency radars, expanded awareness through connections with the network, and the ability to carry a number of bombs internally.


Personally its an interesting possibility that is mostly coming due to the lowering cost of F-22 production. There are a number of reasons money being one that the USN would like the idea of bridging the gap and push away the JSF since it doesn't meet their original wants of dual seating and twin engine (it seems almost mandatory for USN plane designs). At this point though I a haven't seen anything about wing design structure etc for the "sixth" gen. F-18 replacement other then ideas in the last sentence of the ex. At this point I don't see a sixth gen aircraft by 2024. Does anyone else?

Well lets try and get some news sources posted here so we can be sure we have the same info as well


blog.wired.com...

en.wikipedia.org...

Also this may make things clear. They still call the F-18 a fifth gen fighter.
www.boeing.co.in...


[edit on 3-2-2008 by Canada_EH]



posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 01:09 AM
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reply to post by Canada_EH
 


Yes Canada and Zaph, you're right. I did put in my own post that the Block III SH and the 6th Gen fighter were two different projects, but ,judging by the arguments still being put forward to justifiy the Hornet leapfrogging the F-22, I must have been using 6th gen stealth typing.



posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 09:13 AM
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reply to post by waynos
 


No no Waynos wasn't at all thinking that you thought the SH was leapfrogging the 22 but Boeing does seem to think that its on par with it lol. See link above.



posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 09:18 AM
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That was more at Blackwidow than yourself and was only a joke anyway, things can easily be overlooked in a thread. I've done it too.



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