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emanwingnut
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USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:59 am

The U.S. Navy requested for the F/A-18 Super Hornet replacement known as the F/A-XX to companies like Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed in 2012. The Super Hornets will be retired near 2030 when they hit their 9,000 hours. As a hopeful future Naval Aviator I am very excited to see what technology I might be flying in the future. Anyone have any ideas about what this 6/6.5 generation air superiority fighter will have? I was thinking there could be a scram jet, maybe a laser like what they have on the YAL-1, and possibly no tails.
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seahawk
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:01 am

The beter question is how many the US will have. 5 - 10 - 20?
 
emanwingnut
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:12 am

Quoting seahawk (Reply 1):

They would have probably over 200 because they would complement the F-35C to replace the 500 or so Super Hornets.
A mile of highway will take you a mile. A mile of runway will take you anywhere.
 
INFINITI329
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:43 am

Do the super hornets really need replacing now?
 
Legs
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:09 am

Quoting infiniti329 (Reply 3):
really need replacing now

No, they don't, but if you look at how long recent procurement programs have taken to run to delivery and IOC, its prudent to get the wheels in motion now so that there isn't a capability gap.

Quoting emanwingnut (Thread starter):
a scram jet,

I doubt it, a scramjet doesn't really fit with the fighter/attack mission profile. Weapon delivery at supersonic speeds is very, very diffcult and I'd wager would add another level of inaccuracy. And you can't manuever a hell of a lot while supersonic.

[Edited 2015-02-03 00:13:20]
 
Alfons
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:50 am

Is the F-22 already old iron? I am pretty certain that the Raptor can be built much cheaper in 2030 and will still shoot everything down from the East. Future innovation will more go into the software, interconnection and automatism improvements.

I don't understand this need of luxury and spending of the Americans. It's 2015 and they have two brand-new combat airplanes which bodies can carry much of the future technological improvements of the next 30 years or so.

Alfons
 
ThePointblank
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:09 am

Quoting infiniti329 (Reply 3):
Do the super hornets really need replacing now?

Super Hornets have been chewing through their airframe hours; the design service life of a Super Hornet is 6,000 hours. Roughly 1/6 of the Hornet fleet is well past 3,000 hours already and that was back in 2011.

For the USN, the reality is that the F-35C is the Super Hornet replacement, even if no one wants to say it. What's going on is that the USN's efforts is being synced with the USAF as they are looking in the future towards a F-22 replacement. It is very likely that the USN and USAF will cooperate and develop a common platform that will replace both the Super Hornet and the F-22 with one airframe, or at the very minimum, extensively share systems and technology as I doubt in this budget and political environment can the USAF or USN go it alone without facing backlash.

Quoting Alfons (Reply 5):
I don't understand this need of luxury and spending of the Americans. It's 2015 and they have two brand-new combat airplanes which bodies can carry much of the future technological improvements of the next 30 years or so.

Need to start thinking about the replacement now before you run out of time to develop a replacement later. Basically, right now it's a bunch of engineering and design exercises to figure out what they want in a future fighter, and to evaluate where technology is now and is going to be in the near future.

Remember, development of the F-22 started in the 1980's when the F-15 and F-16 were being acquired in large numbers. Advanced technology aircraft take a lot of time to develop. Both the USAF and USN have dates that they have circled in their calenders regarding when the F-22, F-15C, and F/A-18E/F are expected to retire, and they want to see a replacement aircraft at least starting to enter service just prior to that date.

Quoting Alfons (Reply 5):
I am pretty certain that the Raptor can be built much cheaper in 2030 and will still shoot everything down from the East.

Nope, because to restart production of the F-22 will require a major redesign of the F-22's avionics system. Basically, in a nutshell, the F-22's avionics was obsolete even before the aircraft entered service, and was practically non-upgradeable without having to sink billions to add new gear incrementally. Basically, they are spending billions to add things like AIM-9X, SDB, AIM-120D, MADL, and a bunch of other features when in other aircraft, even with the legacy avionics design, it is much cheaper and easier.
 
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seahawk
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:11 am

Quoting emanwingnut (Reply 2):
They would have probably over 200 because they would complement the F-35C to replace the 500 or so Super Hornets.

You mean like the 1000 - 600 - 360 - 180 F-22?
 
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flyingturtle
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:19 am

Really, it's puzzling that RFP are already sent to these companies when we still do not have combat experience with F-22 and F-35. The military-industrial complex in full gallop.

Given the obvious delays in any armaments procurement contract nowaday, it's a no-brainer for the US Armed Forces to commission the first flying saucer, and press it into service before EADS sells an updated version of the Reichsflugscheibe (projected EIS 2130).


David
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Alfons
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:47 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 6):
Need to start thinking about the replacement now before you run out of time to develop a replacement later.

I think you should even never stop thinking about what you might need in the future. But sending RFP's to major manufacturers for a new toy to have its first flight in 2030 - means starting development in maybe seven years - when the F-22 got into service only in 2005, and the F-35 just now?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 6):
Remember, development of the F-22 started in the 1980's when the F-15 and F-16 were being acquired in large numbers.

and it's still blocked from being sold to foreign countries because its used technologies is today and tomorrow still state of the art.

I can not believe that any new American greenfield built combat airplane will see daylight in 2030, earliest 2050. Anything else makes no sense.

Alfons
 
Ozair
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:06 pm

Quoting emanwingnut (Thread starter):
Anyone have any ideas about what this 6/6.5 generation air superiority fighter will have?

It is now called Next Generation Air Dominance, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Next_Generation_Air_Dominance

Frank Kendall recently provided some info on where the initial funding for 6th gen is going. He seems to indicate that it may be one aircraft tailored for both USN and USAF, at least that is the way that I heard it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_4KSE0WrAo

Initial thoughts were three options, a modified Super-Hornet, an upgraded F-35C or a new build. From what Frank Kendall is saying it appears that a new build is the favoured candidate.

Quoting emanwingnut (Thread starter):
I was thinking there could be a scram jet, maybe a laser like what they have on the YAL-1, and possibly no tails.

I can't see a scramjet either. Perhaps a derivative of what the Adaptive Engine Technology Development (AETD) program produces. I can see some serious electrical production required for some type of laser weapon, even if only for self-defence. I also don't get the tailess obsession. The NGAD won't be marginally more stealthy than what they have now so is it simply drag reduction?
 
TheSonntag
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:32 pm

I take it this plane shal still be manned with humans?
 
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flyingturtle
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:15 pm

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 11):
I take it this plane shal still be manned with humans?

One F/A-XX proposal has tandem seats, and depending on the mission, the thing can be flown with two, one or zero humans on board.


David
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
mham001
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:02 pm

Quoting emanwingnut (Thread starter):
As a hopeful future Naval Aviator I am very excited to see what technology I might be flying in the future. Anyone have any ideas about what this 6/6.5 generation air superiority fighter will have?

It could be the plane won't have a pilot.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 8):
Really, it's puzzling that RFP are already sent to these companies when we still do not have combat experience with F-22 and F-35. The military-industrial complex in full gallop.

But this is what it takes to attain/maintain air superiority.
 
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Aesma
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:35 pm

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 11):
I take it this plane shal still be manned with humans?

I think that's the most important factor : does it even make sense to build extremely expensive piloted planes when you can make drones for much less ? And these drones can do things no pilot can do nowadays, like flying very risky missions ?

Are warplanes even that useful nowadays ? Surely they're no help in solving the situation in Syria or Ukraine, and of very little use in Iraq. Because nobody wants to actually fight there to begin with.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
aklrno
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:49 pm

Quoting emanwingnut (Thread starter):
As a hopeful future Naval Aviator I am very excited to see what technology I might be flying in the future.

You should have a backup career plan. The Navy has already shown that drones can do carrier takeoffs and landings.

Since the USAF is flying drones out of Creech AFB in the Nevada desert, maybe the USN will do so out at NAS Fallon where the Top Gun school is now located. I hope you get to fly for real, but unmanned fighters are coming. Current aircraft are limited by human factors (like G forces). Unmanned won't be.
 
JohnM
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:35 pm

It will go to hell once the USMC gets jealous and demands that it have a lift fan.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:07 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 14):
I think that's the most important factor : does it even make sense to build extremely expensive piloted planes when you can make drones for much less ? And these drones can do things no pilot can do nowadays, like flying very risky missions ?

The problem is that you want the man in the loop when it comes to decision making regarding weapons release. Unmanned systems work fine under a certain set of conditions, and you have the ability to be fully data linked with the platform. When situations become more ambiguous and you loose the ability to be effectively data linked with your UAV, it becomes a problem.

Quoting Alfons (Reply 9):
and it's still blocked from being sold to foreign countries because its used technologies is today and tomorrow still state of the art.

It was more of an arbitrary decision than anything else. They can export certain technologies, just not the entire package.
 
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seahawk
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:25 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 14):
I think that's the most important factor : does it even make sense to build extremely expensive piloted planes when you can make drones for much less ? And these drones can do things no pilot can do nowadays, like flying very risky missions ?

For air-to-air the autonomous situational awareness of the drone is too limited. And datalinks to the controllers are also open to jamming.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:54 am

If we see humans, I wonder whether there will also be ways to improve the g-suits. As far as I know, the Eurofighter typhoon in germany is using a special Libelle Multiplus seat which includes liquid, so that g-forces can be tolerated much better.
 
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SeJoWa
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:23 pm

Quote/
While many programs are classified, Winter said some key efforts will be made in underwater and electromagnetic maneuver warfare. The next-generation fighter also is a top focus.

Greenert said it must have manned and unmanned capabilities and carry a spectrum of weapons. Stealth and speed are not top priorities; in fact, "stealth may be overrated," he said.

The fighter must have full spectrum dominance, autonomous sensor and payload integration and next-generation advanced propulsion, Winter said. What is that? "We will let you know when we get it," he said.
/Unquote

Source:
CNO wants more high-tech assets, delivered quickly | February 4, 2015
http://www.navytimes.com/story/milit...po-technology-priorities/22856343/
 
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Aesma
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:35 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 17):
The problem is that you want the man in the loop when it comes to decision making regarding weapons release. Unmanned systems work fine under a certain set of conditions, and you have the ability to be fully data linked with the platform. When situations become more ambiguous and you loose the ability to be effectively data linked with your UAV, it becomes a problem.

Can you give a wartime examples when this mattered ? Didn't the US carpet bomb every country it engaged with millions of bombs ?
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
ThePointblank
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:12 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 21):
Can you give a wartime examples when this mattered ? Didn't the US carpet bomb every country it engaged with millions of bombs ?

The US military as a whole only has so much bandwidth to fly UAV's with its current satellite constellation. Building more satellites and launching them is a multi-billion dollar affair, and the bandwidth needed to feed UAV operators with the sensor information is fairly limited. And that's assuming that someone doesn't have the ability to interrupt the satellite link.

The US military primarily focuses on using PGM's to achieve their effects. Indiscriminate carpet bombing is not part of the US military method of operations. The nice thing about PGM's is that if you need to destroy a building, you don't need to level a city block, or even the entire neighbourhood to achieve what you want.
 
mham001
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:10 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 21):
Can you give a wartime examples when this mattered ? Didn't the US carpet bomb every country it engaged with millions of bombs ?

I thought we were talking about air superiority fighters?
 
Ozair
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:34 am

Quoting mham001 (Reply 23):
I thought we were talking about air superiority fighters?

Not really. The USN already defined that the FA-XX (NGAD) would have a broad multi-role mission set. The days of single mission naval aircraft are long gone.

”Primary missions include, but are not limited to, air warfare (AW), strike warfare (STW), surface warfare (SUW), and close air support (CAS).”

But in addition persistent capability inside an enemy air defence system, the USN also wants the prospective aircraft to provide other capabilities found in existing strike fighters. These include organic air-to-air refuelling, tactical reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition (RSTA), and airborne electronic attack (AEA).


http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/th.../2012/04/us-navy-issues-fa-xx-rfi/

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 20):
Stealth and speed are not top priorities; in fact, "stealth may be overrated," he said.

I'd be interested to know how Greenert thinks the NGAD will provide persistent capability inside an enemy air defence system without a heavy investment in stealth?
 
angad84
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:38 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 24):
I'd be interested to know how Greenert thinks the NGAD will provide persistent capability inside an enemy air defence system without a heavy investment in stealth?

Optimised for very high altitude and capable of sprinting out of danger?

If they can make a variable-cycle engine work, that might be a way to guarantee survivability.

Cheers
Angad
 
Ozair
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:04 am

Quoting angad84 (Reply 25):

Optimised for very high altitude and capable of sprinting out of danger?

I doubt it, while dismissing stealth the Rear Adm also dismissed speed.

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 20):
Stealth and speed are not top priorities;

One thing is for sure, high altitude for a less optimized stealth design that doesn't have speed as a top priority won't survive long. I doubt even if it had speed it would be effective in that type of threat environment.

Perhaps the Rear Adm was not the best informed before he gave the speech. He is a submariner after all.
 
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SeJoWa
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:31 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 24):

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 20):
Stealth and speed are not top priorities; in fact, "stealth may be overrated," he said.

I'd be interested to know how Greenert thinks the NGAD will provide persistent capability inside an enemy air defence system without a heavy investment in stealth?

This is a key point indeed. I've been alluding to great changes in the battle space here and there, and noteworthy comments are beginning to appear. One key element to our understanding is further up in the article:

Quote/
While many programs are classified, Winter said some key efforts will be made in underwater and electromagnetic maneuver warfare. The next-generation fighter also is a top focus.
/Unquote

This segues direcly into swarmfare. We are on the cusp of great changes - and there's no guarantee we will get there first. It is not tons of money alone that will assure our future relevance or supremacy, but a bottoms up, hands off development approach by agile, small teams experimenting relentlessly, and encouraged to do so.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:32 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 26):
Perhaps the Rear Adm was not the best informed before he gave the speech. He is a submariner after all.

Would agree on that front; the USN doesn't have the institutional experience the USAF has in regards to stealth, and would be more cautious as a result to not dismiss stealth, and place their exclusive trust in electronic warfare.
 
Eagleboy
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:44 am

Quoting emanwingnut (Thread starter):
I was thinking there could be a scram jet, maybe a laser like what they have on the YAL-1, and possibly no tails.

While these techs are possible whether or not they are desitable in an air superiority aircraft is a differnet matter.

Quoting Alfons (Reply 5):
I don't understand this need of luxury and spending of the Americans. It's 2015 and they have two brand-new combat airplanes which bodies can carry much of the future technological improvements of the next 30 years or so.

They are looking to what they will need to relace their new aircraft in 20 years time. Althoguht personally I see the F-22 and F-35 being upgraded and lasting until 2040.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 10):
Frank Kendall recently provided some info on where the initial funding for 6th gen is going. He seems to indicate that it may be one aircraft tailored for both USN and USAF, at least that is the way that I heard it.

Well so far that "one place fits all" theory has been causing problems for the F-35.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 8):
The military-industrial complex in full gallop.

I would agree. while I see the need to plan at least a decade ahead in terms of tech they rush to start a profram may lead to a long getation and an eventual product which is dated at its EIS.
 
Ozair
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:59 pm

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 27):
electromagnetic maneuver warfare

According to this link which is a cut from CNO's speech, http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2013/10/...agnetic-spectrum-maneuver-warfare/

In a recent speech, CNO outlined his four areas of focus for 2014. One of those is “Electromagnetic Spectrum Maneuver Warfare (EMMW).”... EMMW is an operational approach to seizing the initiative across the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS). The goal is to combine EMMW capabilities in the sea, air and land domains to generate enhanced combat effects. EMMW, in essence, means leveraging the cyberspace domain and the full electromagnetic spectrum for both offensive and defensive effects.

EMMW is not a program, or system, or even a refined concept of operations. It is an emerging operational art, one we must master to fully understand the battlespace.


So a heavy reliance on EW warfare. I'm not sure that will cut it against a near peer.

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 27):
This segues directly into swarmfare.

I'm not convinced that swarm warfare will ever be practical on a modern battlefield.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 28):
the USN doesn't have the institutional experience the USAF has in regards to stealth, and would be more cautious as a result to not dismiss stealth, and place their exclusive trust in electronic warfare.


It's an odd position, an investment in stealth allows significantly less EW to be employed to hide the platform beneath the noise floor. Every new fighter/bomber/UAV aircraft in development is making a significant investment in stealth, at the very least from a shape perspective, but the USN thinks they can survive on EW alone.

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 29):
Althoguht personally I see the F-22 and F-35 being upgraded and lasting until 2040.

A modified F-35 remains one of the options for the NGAD so it wouldn't be surprising to see a heavily modified F-35 come out in the late 20s or early 30s. Upgraded engine, lengthened airframe, new materials and sensors.

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 29):
Well so far that "one place fits all" theory has been causing problems for the F-35.

And yet all three services are now receiving jets. Had the F-35 been three separate programs I doubt all three would have seen production and one or even two of the services would have to soldier on with 4th or 3rd gen aircraft in the face of emerging near peers.

Yes the F-35 has had its issues but it is and has been on a successful program and schedule for the last 3 or so years.

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 29):
they rush to start a profram may lead to a long getation and an eventual product which is dated at its EIS.

The program is still in the hands of DARPA. Until it moves beyond that it will remain flexible to any advances in technology, physics and design.
 
Scruffer
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:37 pm

Quoting legs (Reply 4):
I doubt it, a scramjet doesn't really fit with the fighter/attack mission profile. Weapon delivery at supersonic speeds is very, very diffcult and I'd wager would add another level of inaccuracy. And you can't manuever a hell of a lot while supersonic.

The F-22 and quite a few other aircraft have been cleared for weapons employment while supersonic. There were quite a few tests from the YA-12 at well over mach 2. I don't see how it would change anything regarding accuracy either since most weapons used has some type of guidance esp anti-air weapons.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:43 am

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 29):
They are looking to what they will need to relace their new aircraft in 20 years time. Althoguht personally I see the F-22 and F-35 being upgraded and lasting until 2040.

Considering that the first Super Hornet will be retired by 2030, the USN needs to start thinking about what their future replacement will look like. There will be design studies, sit downs with the pilots, commanders and engineers as to what they want to see.

Considering that aircraft design cycles are taking much longer overall, in both civilian and military worlds, they had to start thinking about the future replacement now. Otherwise, you will get a situation where your replacement platform isn't ready for service, but your current platforms are all too worn out and outdated to serve.
 
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SeJoWa
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Sat Feb 07, 2015 1:12 pm

Quoting Ozair (Reply 30):

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 27):
electromagnetic maneuver warfare

According to this link which is a cut from CNO's speech, http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2013/10/...agnetic-spectrum-maneuver-warfare/

In a recent speech, CNO outlined his four areas of focus for 2014. One of those is “Electromagnetic Spectrum Maneuver Warfare (EMMW).”... EMMW is an operational approach to seizing the initiative across the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS). The goal is to combine EMMW capabilities in the sea, air and land domains to generate enhanced combat effects. EMMW, in essence, means leveraging the cyberspace domain and the full electromagnetic spectrum for both offensive and defensive effects.

EMMW is not a program, or system, or even a refined concept of operations. It is an emerging operational art, one we must master to fully understand the battlespace.

So a heavy reliance on EW warfare. I'm not sure that will cut it against a near peer.

Good link to a useful description you found there. I'm not an expert in either cyber or EM, but fighting without mastery in both domains will be a sure way to lose very quickly. Googleing "Knickebein" should show how during WWII already, the fight was taken to the waves. And let's recall the Israeli use of very advanced cyber warfare in their bombing of a putative Syrian nuclear plant a few of years ago.

The spectrum is everything in modern battle. A little overdone, but less and less so.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 30):
Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 27):
This segues directly into swarmfare.

I'm not convinced that swarm warfare will ever be practical on a modern battlefield.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 28):
the USN doesn't have the institutional experience the USAF has in regards to stealth, and would be more cautious as a result to not dismiss stealth, and place their exclusive trust in electronic warfare.


It's an odd position, an investment in stealth allows significantly less EW to be employed to hide the platform beneath the noise floor. Every new fighter/bomber/UAV aircraft in development is making a significant investment in stealth, at the very least from a shape perspective, but the USN thinks they can survive on EW alone.

The Navy doesn't propose to completely drop the advantages of reduced signatures - it's simply a matter of considering the superposed effects of emitters and multiple adaptive platforms. In a sense, think of chaff and flare over the entire battlespace. It's a much better strategy for survival in a world where sensors, networks, and computing power still are improving by leaps and bounds.
 
tommy1808
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:43 pm

Quoting Ozair (Reply 30):
Every new fighter/bomber/UAV aircraft in development is making a significant investment in stealth, at the very least from a shape perspective, but the USN thinks they can survive on EW alone.

maybe that does show their experience with stealth? After all navel vessels have fairly powerful radars. Maybe they just assume they can defeat stealth soon enough and that potential serious enemies won't be far behind. That would reduce stealth from "nneeds to have" to "nice to have".

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:06 am

There's also a balance between stealthier and stealth at all costs.

After all the Super Hornets had radar reducing techniques applied and from my meagre understanding their RCS is an order of magnitude less than the original Hornets. Even by merely reducing the RCS you make your opponent's life harder as they either need to improve their equipment or use more of it to plug the holes you have created.

Meanwhile the USAF has gone much further down that path with internal weapon bays and radar absorbent material. It may be that the USN believes it is not worth the extra maintenance effort to go so far in radar reducing.

If the USN was so against reducing the radar return of their stuff none of the newer ships would have the angles and such that they do.

So while the next USN attack jet may not go full on stealth like the Raptor or Lightning II it will likely have a much smaller RCS than the Super Hornet.
 
Ozair
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:13 am

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 33):
fighting without mastery in both domains will be a sure way to lose very quickly.

Of course and we don't need to look to WW2 to find examples of how important control of the spectrum is. Vietnam and GW1 both had excellent examples of controlling the spectrum.

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 33):

The Navy doesn't propose to completely drop the advantages of reduced signatures - it's simply a matter of considering the superposed effects of emitters and multiple adaptive platforms. In a sense, think of chaff and flare over the entire battlespace. It's a much better strategy for survival in a world where sensors, networks, and computing power still are improving by leaps and bounds.

If we are talking survival in a modern battlespace then EW is used much later in the targeting cycle. Using the F2T2EA cycle stealth is focused on defeating the Find and Fix segments while EW really only comes into play during the Track and Target segments. The advantage of stealth systems is you require less EW to support a stealthy platform vs a non or less stealthy one.

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 33):
sensors, networks, and computing power still are improving by leaps and bounds.

Computing developments and radar/sensor improvements are not on a linear scale. If it were we would have radar systems that were accurate to a meter out to the orbit of pluto or beyond.

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 34):
After all navel vessels have fairly powerful radars. Maybe they just assume they can defeat stealth soon enough and that potential serious enemies won't be far behind. That would reduce stealth from "needs to have" to "nice to have".

Which makes a less stealthy platform detectable from further away. The USN already has an understanding on stealth. The DDG51 and to a greater extent the DDG1000 are both stealthy as well as the entire submarine fleet. Why doesn't this extend to naval aircraft? Most likely once the USN starts using the F-35C we will see a greater emphasis on stealth airframes.

Quoting ZaphodHarkonnen (Reply 35):
If the USN was so against reducing the radar return of their stuff none of the newer ships would have the angles and such that they do.

As above, the USN has made significant efforts to reduce the RCS of both the DDG51 and DDG1000. The DDG51 apparently looks like a small trawler on radar while the DDG1000 will be less for a ship almost twice the size.

DDG 1000 has a 50-fold radar cross section reduction compared to current destroyers, improves strike group defense 10-fold and has 10 times the operating area in shallow water regions against mines.
http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=900&ct=4

The rough estimates below can be found here, http://www.nps.edu/Academics/gseas/tsse/docs/projects/2006/report.pdf

CG-47 154,670 m2
DDG-51 3,093 m2
DDG-1000 61.86 m2

Note as well that we are not just talking about RCS, but reduction in thermal emissions and communications, the parts of stealth that most people ignore.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:50 am

It should be worth repeating that F/A-XX will probably be a joint program with the USAF and their F-X program, due to the foreseeable political and budgetary future. It could spring out of both the USAF and USN realizing they have two similar programs with similar time frames and decide to work together so it is easier to get budgetary and Congress approval, or Congress and the Pentagon force the USAF and USN to work together.

We'll see what comes out of the situation; I know the USAF is currently looking to achieve Milestone A with their F-X program in 2018, which is basically requiring the USAF to start writing on paper what they want to see in terms of capabilities and an analysis of alternatives plus estimated life cycle costing for all options. I doubt the USN is any further on F/A-XX, and they appear to have a very similar time frame as well.
 
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SeJoWa
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:08 am

Richard Aboulafia in an article concerning the possibility of further dwindling prime contractors:

Quote/
But if you believe the industry is actually shaped by market forces, the implications of LRS-B are far more profound. Whoever loses LRS-B will lose the capability to be a combat aircraft prime. The loser almost certainly will not be around to bid on F-X or F/A-XX and could decide to sell its other defense assets.
/Unquote

http://aviationweek.com/defense/opin...s-b-and-military-aircraft-industry

Quoting Ozair (Reply 36):

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 33):
fighting without mastery in both domains will be a sure way to lose very quickly.

Of course and we don't need to look to WW2 to find examples of how important control of the spectrum is. Vietnam and GW1 both had excellent examples of controlling the spectrum.

Could you kindly point out one or two of those? Thank you.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 37):

It should be worth repeating that F/A-XX will probably be a joint program with the USAF and their F-X program

I very much hope not. A greater effort towards sharing systems and subsystems would be the best outcome in my view, as the indirect costs of added bureaucracy feed through in the most nefarious ways. The value of clearly focussed teams is real, and every distraction results in an exponential cost increase.

And that's not even considering the medium to very long term effects of people cycling through real, working teams and carrying that winning formula with them wherever they go. I cannot stress this enough.

Quoting ZaphodHarkonnen (Reply 35):
ZaphodHarkonnen

There's also a balance between stealthier and stealth at all costs.

Aye. Where there's a kill chain, there's a killer chain.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 36):
CG-47 154,670 m2
DDG-51 3,093 m2
DDG-1000 61.86 m2

Note as well that we are not just talking about RCS, but reduction in thermal emissions and communications, the parts of stealth that most people ignore.

Aye. I think we'll be hearing a lot more of the Zumwalt class.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 36):
Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 33):
sensors, networks, and computing power still are improving by leaps and bounds.

Computing developments and radar/sensor improvements are not on a linear scale. If it were we would have radar systems that were accurate to a meter out to the orbit of pluto or beyond.

And as you've noted, radar as we know it is merely one part of the picture.
 
tommy1808
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:30 pm

Quoting Ozair (Reply 36):
Which makes a less stealthy platform detectable from further away. The USN already has an understanding on stealth. The DDG51 and to a greater extent the DDG1000 are both stealthy as well as the entire submarine fleet. Why doesn't this extend to naval aircraft?

Of course, the question is how far will you go? At some point more stealth will cut into other performance parameters, and at some point more stealth may become less desirable than performance.
And of course stealth for ships and aircraft aim for completely different things. A ship can't really hope to go undetected, but hope to appear to small to justify shooting at if bigger fish are present. That is very different from aircraft.

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
ThePointblank
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:30 am

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 38):
I very much hope not. A greater effort towards sharing systems and subsystems would be the best outcome in my view, as the indirect costs of added bureaucracy feed through in the most nefarious ways. The value of clearly focussed teams is real, and every distraction results in an exponential cost increase.

And that's not even considering the medium to very long term effects of people cycling through real, working teams and carrying that winning formula with them wherever they go. I cannot stress this enough.

A shared platform will have major cost savings that can't be ignored. Yes, someone (or both) will have to give up on some specifications, but that's a different matter all together, as there will be criticisms regardless with the specifications drawn up for a stand alone program.

The problem is now quantifying whatever that penalty is in real world terms, whether in performance, range, or cost, as they are all interrelated and substitutable to some extent. If each service partner had their own variant, would it have been built to higher performance and range, or the same performance and range? If the latter, are any cost savings overwhelmed by the savings (or increased performance and range) in the other variant due to the common program? There's no real way of measuring that because that's frankly, a guessing game, and there may well be no real world impact on performance at all, and there may be significant cost savings by having a joint program instead of the two services going it alone.

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 38):
Aye. Where there's a kill chain, there's a killer chain.

The thing is, signature reduction breaks the kill chain in multiple areas; first, it disrupts one ability to gain early warning, second, it disrupts the ability to accurately figure out where you are, and finally, it disrupts the ability to accurately put a weapon on you and shoot at you with.

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 39):
Of course, the question is how far will you go? At some point more stealth will cut into other performance parameters, and at some point more stealth may become less desirable than performance.

Disagree on that point somewhat; yes, early stealth, there was major performance and capability penalties due to the early requirements. But technology marches on, and stealth technology has been refined significantly.

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 39):
A ship can't really hope to go undetected, but hope to appear to small to justify shooting at if bigger fish are present.

Yes, a ship can go undetected from radar. It's call a submarine.  
 
tommy1808
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:57 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 40):
Yes, a ship can go undetected from radar. It's call a submarine.  

isn't that a boat?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 40):
Disagree on that point somewhat; yes, early stealth, there was major performance and capability penalties due to the early requirements. But technology marches on, and stealth technology has been refined significantly.

I agree, there are much less trade offs with stealthy materials being able to be part of the load bearing structures, but there are still be trade offs. Even with perfect materials, you still have a bulky weapons bay to haul around wherever you go.

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
ThePointblank
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:41 am

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 41):
I agree, there are much less trade offs with stealthy materials being able to be part of the load bearing structures, but there are still be trade offs. Even with perfect materials, you still have a bulky weapons bay to haul around wherever you go.

Not exactly:

 
Ozair
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:40 am

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 38):
The loser almost certainly will not be around to bid on F-X or F/A-XX and could decide to sell its other defense assets.

Richard's doom and gloom thinking isn't valid. The emerging UAV market demonstrates there are new entrants that can be major sub contractors on the next bids and be primes on any subsequent. The same claims were made when the JSF was awarded and have been proven unfounded.

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 38):

Could you kindly point out one or two of those?

For Vietnam the battle against the SA-2 is a perfect example.

Brig. Gen. William S. Chairsell, commander of the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing from August 1966 to August 1967, made a similar evaluation. "Prior to the ECM pod, " he wrote, "our aircraft were required to ingress and egress to and from the target using terrain masking for protection and employ the 'pop-up' maneuver over the target, " tactics that brought the planes "well within range of the majority of AW [automatic weapons] and AAA [antiaircraft artillery]" and made them "extremely vulnerable to SA-2 firings and AAA at the peak of their pop-up. " Thanks to the self-protection pod, General Chairsell continued, "our aircraft could now roll into the target from medium altitude--12, 000 to 15, 000 feet," a change that reduced losses and improved bombing accuracy.
http://www.allworldwars.com/Tactics-...onic-Warfare-by-Bernard-Nalty.html

The following link has a section devoted to hitting the C4 targets as well as the nugget below.

B-52 crews were trained almost exclusively for low altitude delivery and sometimes had problems in bombing effectively or in flying in formation. Most bombs proved to have missed their targets by greater than expected distances, and jammers suited for high altitude missions had to be improvised and deployed. The B-52s required massive munitions stocks and extensive refueling support.
http://csis.org/files/media/csis/pubs/941015lessonsgulfiv-chap07.pdf
 
tommy1808
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:47 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 42):
Not exactly:

yes, exactly. It is physically impossible to increase the volume of an airframe without making it bigger and heavier unless you have access to timelord technology.

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
ThePointblank
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:07 am

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 44):
yes, exactly. It is physically impossible to increase the volume of an airframe without making it bigger and heavier unless you have access to timelord technology.

It appears that the F-35C and the F/A-18E share the same frontal area, and the last time I checked, the F-35C is shorter. Yet the F-35C will fly further, and carry a substantial warload. The F-35A is also similar in frontal area to the Rafale and Eurofighter, and are about the same length as well.

It appears that going from a twin engine configuration to a single engine configuration allows a major increase in internal volume and fuel capacity. Granted, the F-35 is slightly heavier, but it carries much more fuel as well.

Going from a twin engine configuration to a single engine configuration means you eliminate a firewall that would have separated the two engines, and the redundant plumbing to feed a second engine. In addition, a single, more powerful engine weights less than two engines of similar performance. It also means less frontal area for a single engine configuration.

That means you can devote the extra space to a decently sized internal weapons bay as a result for an aircraft of the same weight class.
 
tommy1808
Posts: 12882
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:20 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 45):
That means you can devote the extra space to a decently sized internal weapons bay as a result for an aircraft of the same weight class.

No, you can´t. Its physics. An aircraft with the same level of ingenuity as the F35 would perform all tasks but stealth equal or better. You wrote yourself that they had to sacrifice engine redundancy to achieve the performance.

best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
angad84
Posts: 2077
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:10 pm

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 46):
they had to sacrifice engine redundancy to achieve the performance

I"m the furthest from an F-35 apologist, but modern engine tech has evolved to the point where single engines are extremely reliable, to the point that building in redundancy is counter-productive and not cost effective.

The single engine is the least of the F-35's sins.

Cheers
Angad
 
Alfons
Posts: 309
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:17 am

RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:22 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 42):
Not exactly:

I know that the F-35 looks as bad from the side as an Airbus A380, but hiding the volume aspect from the side only because of looks?  http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_fb6U2mWlk...g/s1600/f-35c+vs+f-18+tailhook.jpg
 
tommy1808
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RE: USN F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighter

Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:45 pm

Quoting angad84 (Reply 47):
The single engine is the least of the F-35's sins.

I know, it is still a design compromise. Same capabilities with two engines would be bigger, one engine and no weapons bay would be smaller than the F35.

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6

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