art
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Second tier advanced fighter projects news and discussion

Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:43 pm

If the American F-35, Russian Su-57, Chinese J-20, European FCAS and Tempest projects can be seen as first tier advanced fighter projects, what about the rest?

This is intended to provide a single news and discussion platforn for the numerous other advanced fighter projects. Very briefly, these are:

F-3

Japanese project
Developer: Mitsubishi

KF-X

South Korean project
Developer: Korean Aircraft Industries
Others involved : Indonesian Aerospace

TF-X

Turkish project.
Developer: Turkish Aerospace Industries
Others involved: BAE Systems

AMCA

Indian project
Developer: Aeronautical Development Agency
 
art
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Re: Second tier advanced fighter projects news and discussion

Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:46 pm

Korea Kicks Off Stealth Fighter Program

https://www.defense-aerospace.com/artic ... ogram.html
 
Ozair
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Re: Second tier advanced fighter projects news and discussion

Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:15 pm

Thailand is looking to become a development partner for their next fighter aircraft. They have enacted a new defence procurement law that states Thailand mist be involved in the software development of the equipment it acquires. While their acquisition of a new fighter is apparently still a few years away they could take an early position in one of these new programs.

Not really sure which of the potential programs fits Thailand, perhaps the KF-X?

Thailand Denies F-35, To Buy New Jets If Allowed Joint Development

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) will not purchase the F-35 fighter jets owing to its new policy of buying defence hardware only if allowed participation in the software development programme.


"We are implementing a 'pur­chase-and-develop' policy in our procurement plans, which we intend to begin enforcing in the next 3-5 years," Air force commander ACM Maanat Wongwat was quoted as saying by Bangkok Post on Monday.

"The air force has a policy of not purchasing ready-made aircraft, and the F-35 manufacturer has yet to sell its jet to a buyer who wants to participate in the development of the fighter jets' software programmes," Wongwat added.

According to the new "Concept of Project Requirements (COPR)" policy, the air force will purchase defence and strategic hardware only if it is allowed to take part in the development of the software used to operate the products. The RTAF hopes to gain from technology and expertise transfer in the process.

"We have to also put our own heart and soul into the weapons and military hardware that we're going to buy. It's not that the airframe isn't that important, but the software is important too as it is the brain of a fighter jet. That's why we have to take part in developing it," said ACM Maanat.

A source at the RTAF said the air force is preparing to set up a committee to draft the COPR for the purchase of a new fleet of fighter jets, which will be announced when the RTAF begins looking for potential jet suppliers.
...

https://www.defenseworld.net/news/25623 ... evelopment
 
art
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Re: Second tier advanced fighter projects news and discussion

Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:15 am

From a Janes article earlier this year:

The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) has confirmed to Jane’s its plans to pursue a “Japan-led” programme to develop a next-generation fighter aircraft that will replace its Mitsubishi F-2 multirole combat platform in the 2030s.


https://www.janes.com/article/86159/jap ... re-fighter

In another article below, the anticipated development cost of the F-3 is reported to be in the region of $45 billion (5 trillion yen). Would Japan proceed without a partner to share some of the cost? If not, who might that partner be?

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/ ... -jet-52277
 
Ozair
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Re: Second tier advanced fighter projects news and discussion

Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:08 am

art wrote:
From a Janes article earlier this year:

The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) has confirmed to Jane’s its plans to pursue a “Japan-led” programme to develop a next-generation fighter aircraft that will replace its Mitsubishi F-2 multirole combat platform in the 2030s.


https://www.janes.com/article/86159/jap ... re-fighter

In another article below, the anticipated development cost of the F-3 is reported to be in the region of $45 billion (5 trillion yen). Would Japan proceed without a partner to share some of the cost? If not, who might that partner be?

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/ ... -jet-52277

To me Japan seems a good fit for the UK Tempest program. UK and Japan have been warming to each other lately and are working on an upgrade to the Meteor. If they are serious about a partner then that seems the best bet but would likely require some compromises from both sides.

$45 billion is an incredible sum to take on themselves...
 
mxaxai
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Re: Second tier advanced fighter projects news and discussion

Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:14 pm

Ozair wrote:
$45 billion is an incredible sum to take on themselves...

I would hope that this includes the initial production batch. If they do seek a foreign partner, and that partner isn't the USA, either of the European programs could work. One is looking for partners with engineering capacity and the other is searching for funding. Japan has both.

I wonder why the F-35 doesn't cut it, seeing how it is generally considered to be as good or better than anything in production or development. Japan is a customer and partner already.
 
art
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Re: Second tier advanced fighter projects news and discussion

Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:31 am

mxaxai wrote:
If they do seek a foreign partner, and that partner isn't the USA, either of the European programs could work. One is looking for partners with engineering capacity and the other is searching for funding. Japan has both.


Would make sense to join forces with FCAS or Tempest. Problem is that Japan wants to lead its own project to revive/maintain an indigenous fast jet design and manufacturing capability, so I don't see Japan joining a European project at the moment.

I wonder if Taiwan would be interested (if politically acceptable to Japan). Both Japan and Taiwan feel threatened by China. Taiwan has an aerospace industry and 300 or so fighters in its inventory, so could make a useful contribution and buy quite a few F-3's.
 
Ozair
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Re: Second tier advanced fighter projects news and discussion

Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:46 am

art wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
If they do seek a foreign partner, and that partner isn't the USA, either of the European programs could work. One is looking for partners with engineering capacity and the other is searching for funding. Japan has both.


Would make sense to join forces with FCAS or Tempest. Problem is that Japan wants to lead its own project to revive/maintain an indigenous fast jet design and manufacturing capability, so I don't see Japan joining a European project at the moment.

Hence my statement that a compromise from both sides would be needed. I don't think FCAS is a good fit, they won't have much of a say and the main work has already been carved up by Dassault and Airbus while Tempest seems to still have some possibilities. It might be that they could still progress their own domestic airframe design but share technology between Tempest/F-3, perhaps common software, sensors or even engines? That would retain a Japanese looking aircraft while lowering overall cost of development.

art wrote:
I wonder if Taiwan would be interested (if politically acceptable to Japan). Both Japan and Taiwan feel threatened by China. Taiwan has an aerospace industry and 300 or so fighters in its inventory, so could make a useful contribution and buy quite a few F-3's.

Would be a political storm given Japan currently is a policy supporter of One China. Japanese/Chinese relations have been worsening though so a significant re-engagement with Taiwan is possible although unlikely. Would Japan be happy working/developing an aircraft with Taiwan that has a reputation for being riddled with Chinese spies? Taiwan has just released an advanced trainer aircraft and has also started work on a new fighter sized engine so i think they would be open to a joint development, even as a junior partner.

Both sides would have similar requirements for a new airframe that is A2A focused, probably a large A2A missile payload, high dash speed but ability to loiter for long periods, excellent sensor package.

mxaxai wrote:
Ozair wrote:
$45 billion is an incredible sum to take on themselves...

I would hope that this includes the initial production batch.

Not sure but if they go alone they will have to develop the full spectrum of technology from engine, avionics, materials, stealth shaping and associated systems. I could easily see that approaching that US$30+ billion mark or more.

mxaxai wrote:
I wonder why the F-35 doesn't cut it, seeing how it is generally considered to be as good or better than anything in production or development. Japan is a customer and partner already.

I wonder why Japan doesn't look at the loyal wingman concept a bit closer. It would seem to be the perfect fit for their requirements. Use the F-35 in smaller numbers but design and build large numbers of loyal wingman that can loft the payload required with long loiter time and potentially good kinematics.
 
art
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Re: Second tier advanced fighter projects news and discussion

Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:59 pm

Will Turkey's invasion of Syria affect the T-FX programme? Donald Trump is currently talking of taking steps to damage the Turkish economy. If Erdogan persists in attacks in Syria and the US applies sanctions, I wonder if that will result in BAE being pushed into suspending its T-FX activities. I recall that during development of the Indian LCA the FCS was being developed in conjunction with LM. After India conducted a nuclear test, further LM involvement was embargoed by the US administration and India had to develop the FCS on its own.
 
art
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Re: Second tier advanced fighter projects news and discussion

Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:19 am

ADEX: Full-sized KAI KF-X mock-up unveiled

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ed-461464/

A modest design but very low development cost at an estimated $7.2 billion. Prototype scheduled for 2021. I wonder if there is an export market for a cheap stealthier twin engine fighter.
 
texl1649
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Re: Second tier advanced fighter projects news and discussion

Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:46 am

The KF-X has substantial partnerships with Indonesia, and also Lockheed, United Tech., Martin Baker, GE. Somehow the Koreans sought to get Lockheed to do 20 percent of the development cost, in exchange for an F-35 buy. They’ve been battling export limits since 2015 I think, from the US but if that is overcome (doing their own AESA radar locally now for instance), I don’t know why the Thai interest couldn’t be rolled into a share/buy.

Japan’s willingness to work with the Koreans I doubt highly, but I also am skeptical they will fund so much as indicated. Not really that much to be gained that couldn’t be much more cheaply acquired with further F-35 buys.
 
Ozair
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Re: Second tier advanced fighter projects news and discussion

Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:34 pm

art wrote:
ADEX: Full-sized KAI KF-X mock-up unveiled

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ed-461464/

A modest design but very low development cost at an estimated $7.2 billion. Prototype scheduled for 2021. I wonder if there is an export market for a cheap stealthier twin engine fighter.

The market here is probably for non US aligned nations who likely cannot acquire the F-35. I expect given the production volume the F-35 will likely remain cheaper to acquire and perhaps similar to sustain long term. Even then, the KF-X is still planned to use the F414 so there will remain some US scrutiny. The problem with this market space is it isn’t great and already quite contested. Rafale and Eurofighter will want to continue exports, Gripen E is also there, China and Russia as well. What does the KF-X bring or how does it distinguish itself in the market compared to the previous airframes?

Interestingly, an article published today by DefenseNews indicates continued budgetary uncertainly for the KF-X...

South Korea’s future fighter program at risk, even as development moves along


...

Despite development progress, there are signs of challenges in the jet fighter program, including a potential funding loophole. That’s because Indonesia, the only international partner of the KF-X, has been backtracking from its original commitment to investing 20 percent of the development costs. KAI is obliged to pay for 20 percent, and the government is to fund the remainder.

Under a 2016 deal, Indonesia is obliged to pay around $1.3 billion to acquire up to 48 jets called IF-X in Indonesia and get the transfer of fighter jet technologies.

But the South Asian nation has paid only $190 million, some 13 percent of its financial commitment, citing domestic budgetary constraints. As of July, Indonesia has funding shortfall of $250 million, according to DAPA officials.
Jakarta, instead of cash, has offered to make payment in kind, including the provision of CN235 transport aircraft produced by Indonesian Aerospace, also known as PTDI, under a license.
Indonesia also reportedly asked to renegotiate the terms of deals on the KF-X/IF-X, with a focus on getting more technology transfer from South Korea.
“It’s a thorny issue,” a DAPA source said, asking not to be named. “The two governments have been in consultations over the funding issue but have yet to narrow a gap.”

...

https://www.defensenews.com/2019/10/15/ ... ves-along/

I doubt Indonesia will remain a reliable partner especially if they remain keen on increasing technology transfer. In that context maybe for Taiwan the KF-X is a better option than for the Japanese program to co-develop noting the similar non-recognition of Taiwan by South Korea?

Some other issues which indicate to me the program is probably being too ambitious,
The KF-X Block I will not have an internal weapons carriage, which is planned for subsequent production blocks.

That seems a crazy idea! If you want internal carriage do it from the start, designing that into a later aircraft is essentially creating a brand new airframe and not simply a new production block…
 
art
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Re: Second tier advanced fighter projects news and discussion

Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:48 pm

Ozair wrote:
The KF-X Block I will not have an internal weapons carriage, which is planned for subsequent production blocks.

That seems a crazy idea! If you want internal carriage do it from the start, designing that into a later aircraft is essentially creating a brand new airframe and not simply a new production block…


I'm no hardware designer but surely they mean to design an airframe with a weapons bay, albeit incomplete, to be used for internal carriage at a later point.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Second tier advanced fighter projects news and discussion

Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:05 pm

art wrote:
Ozair wrote:
The KF-X Block I will not have an internal weapons carriage, which is planned for subsequent production blocks.

That seems a crazy idea! If you want internal carriage do it from the start, designing that into a later aircraft is essentially creating a brand new airframe and not simply a new production block…


I'm no hardware designer but surely they mean to design an airframe with a weapons bay, albeit incomplete, to be used for internal carriage at a later point.


Well, why not complete it? You want to know that your design works right? If it doesn't work at a later point, you still need to redesign it, seems so fundamental to the airframe. So I do not get this either.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
art
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Re: Second tier advanced fighter projects news and discussion

Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:18 pm

defensenews reports that Turkey is hoping for Russian help for the TF-X programme if it buys Su-35.

...Turkey is struggling to design and develop its first indigenous fighter jet. Turkish officials originally hoped to fly the “national fighter jet” in 2023, but industry sources say this is an unrealistic target.

A government official said any Su-35 deal would be an off-the-shelf purchase. “All the same, we would expect our Russian partners to assist our fighter jet program with some technology transfer,” he said.


https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/10 ... -jet-deal/

Is there a realisation in Turkey that executing the TF-X programme appears to be beyond the capability of the Turkish aerospace industry?
 
art
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Re: Second tier advanced fighter projects news and discussion

Tue Oct 29, 2019 2:12 pm

AMCA news

The defence establishment plans to seek the Cabinet Committee on Security’s approval for the detailed design and prototype development of the advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA) by early next year.


Rollout of prototype envisaged 2024-2025
Maiden flight envisaged 1 year later
Production start envisaged 2029

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/ind ... 798166.cms
 
Ozair
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Re: Second tier advanced fighter projects news and discussion

Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:41 am

Seems a bit presumptive for South Korea to seek this integration of Meteor onto the KF-X given it has yet to even fly. It is certainly good news for the aircraft and also good news for the missile given it is a second partner in the region looking at the Meteor.

Wonder how this impacts South Korean use of Meteor in the future as well with their F-35s certainly capable of taking the missile now the UK is paying for its F-35 integration.

MBDA to integrate Meteor BVRAAM onto RoKAF’s future KF-X fighter

MBDA Missile Systems announced on 22 November that it has been awarded a contract by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) for the integration of the Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) onto the Republic of Korea Air Force's (RoKAF's) future KF-X fighter aircraft.

"The contract includes integration support to KAI, transfer of know-how and manufacture of test equipment for the KF-X integration and trials campaign," said the company in a statement, without providing any details about the value of the contract or its expected completion date.

MBDA's CEO, Éric Béranger, was quoted as saying, "We're very pleased to mark this next and important step in our partnership with KAI and the Korean Defence Acquisition Program Administration [DAPA]. South Korea is a strategic market for MBDA, and we're proud that Meteor will be providing KF-X with the world's most potent air-to-air capability."

As Jane's previously reported, the Meteor has been described by industry and military officials as providing a step-change in air-to-air combat capabilities. Whereas similar-type missiles have a relatively short boost-phase after launch, after which they glide to the target while bleeding energy, the Meteorʼs ramjet propulsion system means it is propelled up to the point of impact. This reduces the adversary aircraft's chances of escaping the missile and gives the pilot more assurance of success when engaging enemy aircraft.

MBDA's announcement comes after KAI displayed in mid-October a full-scale mock-up of the KF-X at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX) 2019. KAI also showcased a mock-up of the KF-X's cockpit. As is the trend for modern combat aircraft today, the KF-X will feature a large-area display in place of the traditional multifunctional display units.

...

https://www.janes.com/article/92836/mbd ... -x-fighter
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Second tier advanced fighter projects news and discussion

Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:18 am

Are we talking about fighters that have similar capability as the F-35, or more like light attack planes.

I could see the T-7 become a cheap light attack type of plane, even some interception roles with the right sensor networks added.

To be a full 5th gen fighter or trying to go toward 6th would have incredible development costs, can the smaller firms / countries able to cover this?
 
Ozair
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Re: Second tier advanced fighter projects news and discussion

Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:42 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
Are we talking about fighters that have similar capability as the F-35, or more like light attack planes.

I could see the T-7 become a cheap light attack type of plane, even some interception roles with the right sensor networks added.

If you consider that the thread is titled Second tier advanced fighter projects then we are talking about both 4.5 and potential 5th gen aircraft outside of Europe, Russia, China and the US as evidenced by the suggestion of the F-3, KF-X, TF-X and AMCA. I wouldn’t call the T-7 advanced from the perspective of fighter technology but may be advanced in its build. I also don’t expect the T-7 to be competitive to the above listed aircraft in a fighter V fighter engagement.

If we wanted to compare potential rivals to the T-7 it would probably include Gripen, Tejas, JF-17, T-50, M-346 etc.

JayinKitsap wrote:
To be a full 5th gen fighter or trying to go toward 6th would have incredible development costs, can the smaller firms / countries able to cover this?

Japan is looking at those costs with their F-3, India seems committed to the AMCA costing a lot while the KF-X and TF-X are really 4.5gen aircraft given external weapons.
 
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Devilfish
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Re: Second tier advanced fighter projects news and discussion

Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:37 pm

art wrote:
A modest design but very low development cost at an estimated $7.2 billion. Prototype scheduled for 2021. I wonder if there is an export market for a cheap stealthier twin engine fighter.

If KAI could keep the price competitive with its 2nd Tier peers and the capabilities consistent with their claims, I could imagine small air forces being interested in it...particularly the PAF if they still haven't acquired an MRF by the time the KF-X goes into production.....

Image
https://newsassets.cirium.com/assets/ge ... emid=79574

Image
https://newsassets.cirium.com/assets/ge ... emid=79067

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... it-461492/


This in view of the KF-X's expected commonality with the PAF's fleet of FA-50s...and the already established lines of support with the OEM. The "stealth" aspect is probably a lesser consideration.



Ozair wrote:
I wouldn’t call the T-7 advanced from the perspective of fighter technology but may be advanced in its build. I also don’t expect the T-7 to be competitive to the above listed aircraft in a fighter V fighter engagement.

If we wanted to compare potential rivals to the T-7 it would probably include Gripen, Tejas, JF-17, T-50, M-346 etc.

KAI advertise the KF-X as roughly equivalent to Block 70 Falcons and early Hornets.
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