5.5\6th Gen Fighter - F-22C?

Anything goes, as long as it is about the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
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FlightDreamz

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Unread post31 Mar 2018, 23:30

Anyone else remember the Lockheed X-44 Mantra? Or how about the FB-22 Raptor?

I think these F-22 derivatives would need to be s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d to hold more fuel (and maybe bigger weapon bays). Remember The YF-22 didn't originally have the "cheek" sidewinder bay's . Or as already suggested blow the dust of the YB-23 Black Widow blueprints.

http://aviationweek.com/defense/road-ne ... es-1370381

Image

The YF-23 DID have deeper weapon bays than the F-22.
A fighter without a gun . . . is like an airplane without a wing.— Brigadier General Robin Olds, USAF.
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element1loop

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Unread post01 Apr 2018, 06:09

I just wonder how an F-22B concept, stretched more, fits in with this;

" ... and it will be optimized for an air superiority role like the F-22. ... "

A big stretch will need much more engine grunt for a platform at >100 k lb, so seems to imply a large clean-sheet fighter, using current F-35 concepts, but taking multispectral VLO even further than the F-35 (which is a must to loiter deep)

The F-22-like A2A performance guideline rules out a B-2.1 bomber derived type.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial-Dist = LIFE
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Fox1

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Unread post01 Apr 2018, 18:29

I think the PCA mission would require an aircraft that is broadly similar to the FB-22/FB-23 concepts. A Mach 2ish capable, low observable strike aircraft with the range of an F-111 and payload of a small bomber would certainly be a good starting point for a design. The PCA mission will require a big aircraft that has lots of range,decent speed, large missile payload, powerful radar and other sensors, yet it will need to be faster and more agile than a subsonic bomber like the B-21. If you split the difference between aircraft like the F-22/F-35 and the B-21 you basically end up with something resembling the FB-22/FB-23.
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geforcerfx

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Unread post02 Apr 2018, 05:34

The more I see what the air force wants from PCA the more it sounds like a small change to the B-21. I know it's not that simple, but think about it. Large payload, great range, sensors, very stealthy, shares tech with F-35. I know the B-21 can't fill the role they want, but I wonder if they could make PCA fill the B-21's role, unless I am underestimating how large the B-21 is going to be (seems to be a lot smaller than our current bombers though).
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tomcattech

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Unread post02 Apr 2018, 21:00

I love it when an old thread gets new life around here...

Fox1 wrote:The PCA mission will require a big aircraft that has lots of range,decent speed, large missile payload, powerful radar and other sensors, yet it will need to be faster and more agile than a subsonic bomber like the B-21.


Kind of like a stealthy, 21st century Tomcat?

I kid, I kid....

Seriously, I truly believe the day of the "turn and burn"\"knife fight in a phone booth" days are rapidly coming to an end.

We were obviously wrong during the days of Vietnam when weapon and system advancement weren't quite where they needed to be, however we may now be a decade or two away from Point Defense\Offense directed energy weapon systems on fighter sized aircraft.... these weapons may be what 6th Gen is all about if we can figure out the usability and power consumption issues.

That being said, a fighter will always need to be able to be maneuverable and have a gun\point defense\weapon of last resort.

Every once in a while, everything goes to hell and you find yourself off-script and the pilots (or remote drivers) of the future will still need to deal with those situations.

However, (decades ago when I kept up with things such as ACM\BFM\Historical Conflicts on a tactical level) I believe a very large segment of aircraft kills in all conflicts come from a source that the pilot didn't even know was there until he came under attack. And in many cases not until parts of aircraft started coming apart.

History has shown us that Situational Awareness is king in ANY battle space, be it in the air or under the waves.

Being able to stand your aircraft on end and point your nose post-stall does you no good if you don't know where to point it. (while also being a fixed reference point in the middle of the air doing a pirouette is a lovely target for a short range missile shot)

As long as we continue to develop the systems of the F-35 for new and as yet un-thought of challenges, I believe the F-35's unparalleled SA will prove itself time and time again.

I'm rambling.... to the point.

I believe that just about everyone can agree that while the F-35 is a great aircraft, the cost/management/time waste on the government accounting\planning side has been abysmal, and this is not the way we want to approach the PCA program.

We should be focusing on small changes to existing resources that maximize effectiveness.

Why does the F-22 STILL not have an HMS\HMD? (money.. money.. money) From my sources even the Thales Scorpion was a good interim low cost solution.... but still here we are.

An upgraded engine that gets the F-35 squarely in the Air Defense \ Air Dominance role should also be a priority.

Smaller, more exact and time constrained programs that greatly expand performance of existing assets in the battle space would be a good ongoing goal as we reach into the next big thing (PCA\6th Gen\Klingon Cloaking Device\Star Wars Blasters)
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Unread post03 Apr 2018, 01:01

ignorantnewb wrote:Having ticked off the 'thinking outside of the box' request, and stepping firmly back in the box, it may be impossible for a F-22C or YF-23 to be turned into 6th gen/PCA by all the descriptives available (like the one above). Things have moved on requiring a clean sheet design (as rheonomic said). The problem with the hot production line of the F-35 is that the plane is too small to significantly upgrade - it's already near its limits. More range, EA, more room for next gen weapons/capabilities? Might get to the threads 5.5 gen request if one removes the pilot and goes fully automated (to make room).

Otherwise we're looking at 5+ gen through better engines for the F-35/22, allowing a tweak of the weapons bays for next gen weapons (without sacrificing range). Tweaked EW with broader aspect stealth coatings, with the F-35 optionally manned. IRST? Both planes are locked out of lazers without sacrificing stealth (with all the talk of PCA they'll likely build a new platform before 'stretching' the old one, though the Israelis want a two seater F-35). And I doubt they'll put laze in the B's vertical lift shaft, short range airfield only? I could be wrong.

The other possibility is the F-35 tweaked for an additional role, like protecting AWACS from the J-20. More long range hypersonic missiles to fire back (when available), combined with more defensively minded missiles that can take out incoming missiles. Otherwise it's jumping back out of the box...

p.s. No disrespect intended to element1loop, I agree but the thread was asking for interim solutions until PCA i.e. 5.5 gen. I don't know if this is presuming a delay in PCA or wanted it pushed back, so I went for complementary capabilities as well. An optionally manned F-35 could be a software upgrade and a little hardware away, and new stealth gunpods (plural) are a weapon, so 'megadeath gunfighter'?..



1) The PCA won't be an F-22, F-23, or F-35 variant.
2) F-35s are getting significant upgrades in range, persistence, and kinematics in the 2020s. (i.e. 20% more thrust, 35% more range.) They're also getting 3 new missiles, DIRCM, directed energy weapons, new EOTS, new computers, new EW, new displays, more A2G weapon integration.
3) Defense of high value assets (i.e. AWACS, Tankers) is a current role.
4) New guns are not a priority, nor is optional manning. Stealthy EFT/CFT, external weapons pods might be in the cards. F-35s controlling unmanned drones is something being developed.
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element1loop

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Unread post03 Apr 2018, 03:30

tomcattech wrote:... History has shown us that Situational Awareness is king in ANY battle space, be it in the air or under the waves.

Being able to stand your aircraft on end and point your nose post-stall does you no good if you don't know where to point it. ...

As long as we continue to develop the systems of the F-35 for new and as yet un-thought of challenges, I believe the F-35's unparalleled SA will prove itself time and time again.


Agree your emphasis on A2A SA here, i.e. continue to develop the F-35's A2A SA systems, then put that system into a large very long-range but agile VLO fighter. Add directed energy weapon, if/when mature.

2 x ~60 K lb engine thrust, to furnish the needed agility and accel, but optimised for high-transonic high-alt efficient cruise for long-range loiter and maintaining thermal VLO. i.e. even near idle thrust will need to be high-ish.

An advanced missile will always be needed for when conditions are sub ideal for laser use, or failures.

PCA would also make a natural interceptor, to deal with aircraft approaching maritime boundries, so a 'gun' weapon may be essential, if only for use in peace time.

A sufficently energitic 'multi-role' DIRCM might do as a 'gun' (for less weight) if you demonstrate in advance, what it can do to a wing tip, engine, plexiglass, or drone. i.e. something pilots will definitely notice--with scaleable effects.

i.e. provide a fighter 'DIRCM' system with plenty of kilowatts of growth potential.
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mixelflick

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Unread post05 Apr 2018, 15:17

So we're in agreement it'll be a clean sheet design.

Where I think the air force will fall down is in sticking with (largely) off the shelf or existing technology. The USAF has always had the latest and greatest baked into its new fighters from the get go. The F-22 is only the most recent example. Prior to that, the F-15 broke all new ground - especially in radar and engines. The F-4 Phantom was a quantum leap over the fighters it replaced, and it just goes on and on.

What's more interesting to me is their reluctance to push the envelope on new air to air weapons. The F-15 had new radar and engines, but shot the same sidewinder and sparrow missiles as the Phantom did (albeit upgraded versions). The AMRAAM was a step up, but only arrived later in the F-15's life cycle. The F-14 really pushed the air to air weapons envelope, and real or perceived it certainly held the enemy at a distance.

PCA isn't likely going to be a hyper-sonic, so shooting the AIM-120D isn't going to loft it any farther. I've heard rumors that a new AAM is in development, but they're just that - rumors.

Long story short: I'll be surprised if they can resist adding every new gizmo and gadget - except when it comes to air to air weapons LOL.
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wrightwing

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Unread post05 Apr 2018, 20:44

mixelflick wrote:So we're in agreement it'll be a clean sheet design.

Where I think the air force will fall down is in sticking with (largely) off the shelf or existing technology. The USAF has always had the latest and greatest baked into its new fighters from the get go. The F-22 is only the most recent example. Prior to that, the F-15 broke all new ground - especially in radar and engines. The F-4 Phantom was a quantum leap over the fighters it replaced, and it just goes on and on.

What's more interesting to me is their reluctance to push the envelope on new air to air weapons. The F-15 had new radar and engines, but shot the same sidewinder and sparrow missiles as the Phantom did (albeit upgraded versions). The AMRAAM was a step up, but only arrived later in the F-15's life cycle. The F-14 really pushed the air to air weapons envelope, and real or perceived it certainly held the enemy at a distance.

PCA isn't likely going to be a hyper-sonic, so shooting the AIM-120D isn't going to loft it any farther. I've heard rumors that a new AAM is in development, but they're just that - rumors.

Long story short: I'll be surprised if they can resist adding every new gizmo and gadget - except when it comes to air to air weapons LOL.


There are 3 new AAMs in development. It's a lot more than just rumors, at this point. LREW/SACM/MSDM. The 2020s are going to look different, in terms of load outs, and capabilities.
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element1loop

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Unread post06 Apr 2018, 11:11

mixelflick wrote:What's more interesting to me is their reluctance to push the envelope on new air to air weapons. ... PCA isn't likely going to be a hyper-sonic, so shooting the AIM-120D isn't going to loft it any farther.


I do wonder about the tactical practicality of an A2A missile with >2.5 minute fly-out time. They need to be FAST to be useful at that range. Much changes in 3 mins. Maybe the greatest utility at long-range would be rapid ground moving-target attack on high-value popups.
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Unread post06 Apr 2018, 13:07

Yeah for once, it would be nice to have new airframe AND missile combo that allows for maximum potential of the platform to be realized. I suppose it happened with the F-14/AWG-9/Phoenix, but that was a loooong time ago...
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Unread post20 Apr 2018, 21:29

Interesting new info on this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=33&t=54041

Close enough to merge threads maybe? Maybe not...
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