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art
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Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:23 pm

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown is launching a study, in tandem with DoD’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE), on the service’s future mix of tactical aircraft.


The study will include a “clean sheet design” for a new “four-and-a-half-gen or fifth-gen-minus” fighter to replace the F-16, Brown elaborated. Rather than simply buy new F-16s, he said, “I want to be able to build something new and different, that’s not the F 16 — that has some of those capabilities, but gets there faster and uses some of our digital approach.


https://breakingdefense.com/2021/02/cle ... saf-brown/

Why?
 
petertenthije
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:35 pm

Why not get more F-35s?
If that’s too expensive, get more F-35s without the stealth coating which should make it cheaper both to buy and in maintenance.
If that’s still too expensive, get new F-16s. It’s still very capable.
The first thing to remember is always treat your kite like you treat your woman.
Get inside her five times a day and take her to heaven and back!
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Nomadd
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:17 pm

There is no possibility that developing a sub-F-35 is going to do anything but wind up costing twice as much as per plane as more F-35s for a less capable aircraft. Even F-16s would be getting near F-35 price levels by the time they developed and rolled all the upgrades, that would no doubt be added, into the program.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:39 pm

"I want something like the F-16, that's not an F-16"

Just buy the Korean KF-X design and build it in the US.
 
tomcat
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:53 pm

What about the Mitsubishi F-2? Or the F-20 with a fresh coat of paint?
 
744SPX
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:45 pm

My personal choice would be a full-scale version of Rockwell International's HiMAT powered by an updated F119 or new adaptive cycle engine.

Best "realistic" option would be the F-16XL with an updated F119 engine. Faster (supercruise), better range, better weapons load, and more maneuverable.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:46 pm

mxaxai wrote:
"I want something like the F-16, that's not an F-16"

Just buy the Korean KF-X design and build it in the US.



If you want a good air-air aircraft, buy an F-35.
if you want a better, versatile, F-16 with real low operating costs, buy a Grippen.
If you want a cheaper F-16 for ground attack, buy the KA-50 or M346

You make a new design if (1) you have a need not covered by an existing design or (2) new technology.

Every part of the spectrum seems to be covered by a good, existing aircraft. Unless someone has some new technology, there is no point in making a new design.
 
Max Q
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 2:52 am

Remind me again why the F35 was needed..
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
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ssteve
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 3:03 am

744SPX wrote:
Best "realistic" option would be the F-16XL with an updated F119 engine. Faster (supercruise), better range, better weapons load, and more maneuverable.


My first thought was that they're making noise along these lines to work towards an armed T-7 purchase... but I cannot for the life of me figure out why that would make more sense than just buying more F-16s. Maybe the endgame is to make the alternatives look expensive, and end up with ... more F-16s.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:43 am

art wrote:
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown is launching a study, in tandem with DoD’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE), on the service’s future mix of tactical aircraft.


The study will include a “clean sheet design” for a new “four-and-a-half-gen or fifth-gen-minus” fighter to replace the F-16, Brown elaborated. Rather than simply buy new F-16s, he said, “I want to be able to build something new and different, that’s not the F 16 — that has some of those capabilities, but gets there faster and uses some of our digital approach.


https://breakingdefense.com/2021/02/cle ... saf-brown/

Why?


simple: Some US manufacturer will end up with an aircraft they can sell to countries that wouldn´t get cleared to buy the F35, a new "Freedom Fighter", and with better equipped lower tier allies if big mistake No.3 ever kicks off. Otherwise some countries will end up buying Chinese or Russian options for not quite gen. 5 fighters, and hand over the soft power that comes with it.

best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
art
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:55 am

tommy1808 wrote:
art wrote:
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown is launching a study, in tandem with DoD’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE), on the service’s future mix of tactical aircraft.


The study will include a “clean sheet design” for a new “four-and-a-half-gen or fifth-gen-minus” fighter to replace the F-16, Brown elaborated. Rather than simply buy new F-16s, he said, “I want to be able to build something new and different, that’s not the F 16 — that has some of those capabilities, but gets there faster and uses some of our digital approach.


https://breakingdefense.com/2021/02/cle ... saf-brown/

Why?


simple: Some US manufacturer will end up with an aircraft they can sell to countries that wouldn´t get cleared to buy the F35, a new "Freedom Fighter", and with better equipped lower tier allies if big mistake No.3 ever kicks off. Otherwise some countries will end up buying Chinese or Russian options for not quite gen. 5 fighters, and hand over the soft power that comes with it.

best regards
Thomas


What is wrong with modifying T-7 to make it a cheap light fighter? It would slot in below F-16. Dev cost would be tiny compared with a clean sheet design.

I wonder if problems with F-35 (still has many deficiencies to correct) and its high operating costs have something to do with wanting to source something else. I don't understand why F-16 is not acceptable unless the goal is to reduce operating costs below F-16 costs in the long term.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:07 am

art wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
art wrote:


simple: Some US manufacturer will end up with an aircraft they can sell to countries that wouldn´t get cleared to buy the F35, a new "Freedom Fighter", and with better equipped lower tier allies if big mistake No.3 ever kicks off. Otherwise some countries will end up buying Chinese or Russian options for not quite gen. 5 fighters, and hand over the soft power that comes with it.

best regards
Thomas


What is wrong with modifying T-7 to make it a cheap light fighter? It would slot in below F-16. Dev cost would be tiny compared with a clean sheet design..


now that is easy.... if you want to modify a T-7 into a Gen 5 minus fighter you get a new aircraft, and probably end up losing customers not able to get the F35 to China. If you just turned into into an armed trainer, there are the M-346FA and FA-50.

best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
kanye
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:43 am

"In particular, Brown said he would like to see any F-16 replacement sport “open-mission systems” that would allow near-real-time software updates to meet new threats."



That sounds like a description of Gripen E.
I guess there is a reason Boeing developed T7 trainer together with SAAB.
 
texl1649
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:53 pm

This really sounds like wishcasting to me. It’s unlikely any such new program could get funding given the present environment, and realistically, to do so would require it to come in something like half to 60 percent of the cost of the F-35. Generals love to pontificate about new programs, but a new tactical aircraft in that cost range possibly without stealth to replace the F-16 is almost inconceivable.

An armed T-7, possibly even a drone variant, for light attack or intercepter roles seems likely some day, but I can’t see that being what he is expending words about. An advanced F-16 procurement could still be done, in theory, but even the USAF realizes Lockheed ain’t gonna offer that with a lot of ‘F-15EX’ types of features/advancements for significantly less than the F-35’s. And above poster is right that the Gripen open architecture, and features/capabilities are basically everything that the most advanced F-16 (errr, F-21) could become.
 
744SPX
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 2:03 pm

If the ask is for an aircraft with F-16 capabilities (payload) and getting there faster, its got to be something in the same size category and faster, which eliminates any kind of trainer conversion. Way too small and far slower. Same goes for Gripen E. Significantly less payload than an F-16 and not any faster.
 
texl1649
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 2:28 pm

744SPX wrote:
If the ask is for an aircraft with F-16 capabilities (payload) and getting there faster, its got to be something in the same size category and faster, which eliminates any kind of trainer conversion. Way too small and far slower. Same goes for Gripen E. Significantly less payload than an F-16 and not any faster.


What is the point of an F-16 that gets there faster? When has the F-16 been too slow to get on station in the past 40 years? The only thing I can recall is perhaps Benghazi, but then again they were reportedly ordered to stand down anyway.

A super cruise F-16 class capability in either ground attack or A2A mode would be...highly unlikely to be worth the tens of billions to develop, validate, procure, and maintain. Now, if an AETP type of engine derivative could somehow be crammed into an F-16, then sure, it would be cheaper to maintain than an F-35, and it would be nifty to have a rapidly updatable centralized database/open architecture, but really I don’t understand the point of this pontification (not 744SPX, but the USAF general).
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 2:45 pm

This is will be an armed single seat version of the T-7.

Compared to the latest F-16 the T-7 turns quicker, climbs faster, accelerates faster, has a higher thrust to weight ratio, is a third of the hourly operating cost and is a third of the cost to purchase. The T-7 has a thrust to weight ratio the same as the F-22 and it would not surprise me if the T-7 could supercruise at Mach 1.2 or even Mach 1.3 while clean. This is quite ridiculous for a budget trainer but it is crystal clear why it won the T-X contract.

The USAF is seeing such extreme performance and it won't take them long to add weapons.

Most two seat fighters lose around 400kg of fuel compared to the single seat version. Once they add 400kg of fuel to the T-7 design it now has a higher fuel fraction than an F-16 allowing it to fly further on internal fuel despite it being a smaller fighter.

The F-16 would maintain more range when heavy weapons are fitted but with four AMRAAM missiles and a pair of Sidewinders the T-7 design would have similar range. A single seat T-7 would be able to fit the same radar size that a F-16 could fit despite it being a smaller aircraft due to the air intakes being on the side allowing the nose to be bigger. The F-16 air intake being under the nose restricted the radar size.

I expect a minimum of 500 of these single seat T-7 aircraft to be purchased by the USAF. Homeland defense and escorting tankers are obvious roles where big money can be saved
 
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smithbs
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:55 pm

texl1649 wrote:
This really sounds like wishcasting to me.


It seems to be. Every once in a while Generals look up at the ceiling and muse out loud, thereby sparking vigorous debate on a.net.

The armed T-7 theories seem plausible. We shall see what happens.
 
744SPX
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:04 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
This is will be an armed single seat version of the T-7.

Compared to the latest F-16 the T-7 turns quicker, climbs faster, accelerates faster, has a higher thrust to weight ratio, is a third of the hourly operating cost and is a third of the cost to purchase. The T-7 has a thrust to weight ratio the same as the F-22 and it would not surprise me if the T-7 could supercruise at Mach 1.2 or even Mach 1.3 while clean. This is quite ridiculous for a budget trainer but it is crystal clear why it won the T-X contract.

The USAF is seeing such extreme performance and it won't take them long to add weapons.

Most two seat fighters lose around 400kg of fuel compared to the single seat version. Once they add 400kg of fuel to the T-7 design it now has a higher fuel fraction than an F-16 allowing it to fly further on internal fuel despite it being a smaller fighter.

The F-16 would maintain more range when heavy weapons are fitted but with four AMRAAM missiles and a pair of Sidewinders the T-7 design would have similar range. A single seat T-7 would be able to fit the same radar size that a F-16 could fit despite it being a smaller aircraft due to the air intakes being on the side allowing the nose to be bigger. The F-16 air intake being under the nose restricted the radar size.

I expect a minimum of 500 of these single seat T-7 aircraft to be purchased by the USAF. Homeland defense and escorting tankers are obvious roles where big money can be saved


Frankly, I'm not buying the figures (7165 lbs) that have been floating around for the T-7 empty weight. There is no way its that light. You could build it 100% out of composites (which it isn't, not even close) and it still wouldn't be close to that light. Besides, Boeing has yet to come out with official figures on the T-7 anyway.

Look at the F-20, T-50, etc. 12-14,000lbs empty. The F404 alone weighs 2300 lbs.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:45 am

744SPX wrote:
Frankly, I'm not buying the figures (7165 lbs) that have been floating around for the T-7 empty weight. There is no way its that light.

I don't know where you found that weight figure but that puts the thrust to weight ratio far better than the F-22. I said it has equal thrust to weight ratio as the F-22.

An empty F-22 has a thrust to weight ratio 1.58 to 1
An F-16 has an empty thrust to weight ratio of only 1.43.
Your weight figure for the T-7 gives a silly 2.2 to 1.

My source has the T-7 weighing 5000kg empty. This is only 350kg lighter than the 40 year old F-20 using the same engine. This is 100kg heavier than the M346 Master that has the a very similar layout and dimensions to the T-7. The two M346 engines weigh the same as the single F404.

It makes sense for the T-7 to maintain 90+% commonality with the fighter version. I have been saying an armed version of the T-7 has been coming 6 months ago.
 
meecrob
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:01 am

RJMAZ wrote:
744SPX wrote:
Frankly, I'm not buying the figures (7165 lbs) that have been floating around for the T-7 empty weight. There is no way its that light.

I don't know where you found that weight figure.


They're not "wrong." I read 7165 lbs and agreed that it is suspiciously light, so I looked around the net. Multiple sites state it as the empty weight. I'm inclined to trust your source who says ~5000kg empty, but it begs the question of what other figures are unreliable.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:03 am

There is a major difference between the F-16 and other similar aircrafts designed after the F-22. That is even though the newer airplanes may be aluminum instead of composites, the use of titanium instead of steel in areas where high temperature or strength can contribute to the weight differences.

Manufacturing technology for titanium has come a long way since the '80s. Even with aluminum where you can use high speed machining to fabricate complex fittings instead of lower strength casting should make a newly design aircraft more efficient than the F-16 in the same weight class.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
Oroka
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:52 pm

OH I KNOW I KNOW!

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

F-21! Its like a F-16, but not a F-16 or a F-35!


(I'll see myself out)
 
Mortyman
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:02 pm

Why not make a new F-14 ...
 
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SAS A340
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:27 pm

Would it be a +4? ++4? 4.5 or -5 gen? :duck:
It's not what u do,it's how u do it!
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:39 pm

Mortyman wrote:
Why not make a new F-14 ...


Was this rhetorical? ;)

If not, then:

Swing wing gives you high speed performance with low speed maneuverability with a penalty of weight and complexity of the swing mechanism.

You can get most of what a swing wing offer with a delta wing and canard and avoid the maintenance headache.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
art
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:56 am

The cost of operating the USAF’s F-35A has been cited as high as $44,000 per hour, according to the Department of Defense. The Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation Office and the F-35 Joint Program Office previously have express scepticism that the F-35A’s operating costs could be reduced to $25,000 per hour by 2025, which is Lockheed’s goal.


https://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-wing ... 01.article

I can see why operating a vast number of F-35 is losing its appeal for the USAF. I wonder how much more than expected other air forces are having to pay to operate F-35A. I repeat what I said 10 years ago - the costs associated with this aircraft risk forcing users to cut back in all sorts of ways, resulting in reduced capability, not the increase in capability promised (more capable than F-16 it was replacing but at a similar cost).
 
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Carlos01
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Re: Possible successor for F-16 to be built?

Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:56 am

Throws an interesting twist to the Finnish airforce race this year. If the US themselves want already something more simple to replace several of these expensive monsters, it's worth asking why the heck anybody else would buy them. Not to mention it's known to be unreliable, and very expensive in every way.

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