posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 12:45 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58
So, basically take the "evolutionary, not revolutionary(with lots of cool missiles)" path that the Russians have taken, but with an actual budget so
you can get all of those 4.5th-5th gen aircraft out onto the tarmacs in meaningful numbers.
I'm all for the high/low model, and while the F-22 was a phenomenal example of what a "high" aircraft should be, we struggle mightily when it comes to
building an equally ambitious "low" craft.
Back to the Russians, the T-50 is a great model for what a workhorse "low" aircraft for the USAF/USN might be, encapsulating a functional gen 4.5
aircraft in a conservative low-observable design with low-maintenance skins for F-117-level stealth.
With our budget, we could build them in numbers that would make Reagan blush.
The problem is that the F-22 and F-35 pushed the formula TOO far, while the F-18 Advanced and the F-15SE don't push it far enough.
As to "high", what's stopping the USAF from scrapping 6th gen entirely and instead choosing to pull a Su-35S and build a second production run of
F-22s, re-engined with F135s for Mach 2 supercruise (and fed through diverterless inlets and possibly fitted with 3d thrust vectoring), carrying the
F-35's avionics suite, and wrapped in new skins. The ensuing F-22E Super Raptor would be one hell of an aircraft, and would almost certainly qualify
as AT LEAST a Gen 5.5 fighter.
edit on 8-4-2016 by Barnalby because: (no reason given)