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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tomcattech

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Unread post30 Mar 2017, 18:22

Long time lurker... First Post...

Thinking outside the box here...

Considering the lag time and cost of aircraft development these days I'm wondering if we should take a piece of playbook from the Russians and build upon what we know for a "possibly" quicker\less expensive turn around.

We know that the F-22 is a kinematic beast

We know that the F-35 is a revolution in aircraft systems, upgrade ability and Situational Awareness.

One might think it would be less expensive to somehow put the systems of the F-35 in an F-22 package.

Throw in even more powerful AETD engines and re-think the stealth coating, you may have a winning package for years for a cost that is less and a time frame that may be quicker.

I know I'm missing tons of minutia, and there are tons of barriers in the vein of making things fit that weren't designed in.... but on a 5,ooo foot level, it may make sense.
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neptune

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Unread post30 Mar 2017, 20:31

Great minds think alike!

search here: Military Aviation Forum

USAF Air Combat Command PCA 2017
:)
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alloycowboy

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Unread post30 Mar 2017, 21:10

Putting the F-22 back into production is just a bad idea as it doesn't have stealth baked into it like the F-35 does. It also has a short combat radius. You would be better off coming out with a Hot Rod varient of the F-35 with revamp air intakes, three stream engines and modified wings. This would save you from having to write and test 8 million lines of code for the F-22 which would take ten years.
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quicksilver

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Unread post30 Mar 2017, 23:23

alloycowboy wrote:Putting the F-22 back into production is just a bad idea as it doesn't have stealth baked into it like the F-35 does. It also has a short combat radius. You would be better off coming out with a Hot Rod varient of the F-35 with revamp air intakes, three stream engines and modified wings. This would save you from having to write and test 8 million lines of code for the F-22 which would take ten years.


This.
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strykerxo

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Unread post31 Mar 2017, 00:20

Depending on the requirements for an AX design, the F-22 might not have room for that kind of growth. Hypersonics would require air-frame redesign and materials, it may also degrade stealth, although trade-offs between hypersonics and stealth still could make it very survivable.

The F-22C (where's the "B") could be a formidable option.

1. F-35 like skin better stealth maintenece
2. latest engines greater wet and dry thrust
3. elimination of stabs saving weight and drag
4. multi axis thrust vectoring
5. fuselage plug for additional fuel and weapons
6. F-22/35 EW suite including cheek arrays
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neptune

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Unread post31 Mar 2017, 00:48

alloycowboy wrote:Putting the F-22 back into production is just a bad idea .....



.... the size of the F-22 is a minimum as referenced; this may be an unmanned B-21 missile truck .... :wink:
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citanon

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Unread post31 Mar 2017, 02:49

I don't think so, the brief of PCA is penetrating persistent surveillance and attack against air and surface to air threats.

Considering the uncertainty of communications in the required operating environment the brief dictates a manned platform that is able to direct unmanned partners.

So maybe an f22 sized b21 or some merger of the two designs, if that's even possible.

Also, me thinks 2 crews. One pilot + self defense, one offensive warfare officer to manage the drone swarm and cyber ops. :D
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icemaverick

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Unread post31 Mar 2017, 04:03

It has already been determined that putting the F-22 back into production is prohibitively expensive. This is the main hurdle. Furthermore, the F-22 uses PowerPC microprocessor architecture (long out of production) and its code was written in ADA whereas the F-35 was written in C++. So you would have to upgrade the entire computer system and I don't think it's as simple as simply porting the F-35's computer and software over. You would probably have to re-write millions of lines of code.

At best you could upgrade the F-22s that are already in service. To some extent, this is already being done. For example, the F-35 coatings are being incorporated into the F-22.

As others have said, it would probably be cheaper to build a more A2A optimized F-35:
1. The F-35 will soon hit full rate production
2. The production line will be open for a very long time
3. There will be thousands of F-35s eventually in service so you can take advantage of the existing logistical infrastructure
4. It makes more sense economically to use an already open production line
5. You would possibly have export customers (e.g. Israel, Japan etc.)
6. Any new tech developed for this A2A-optimized F-35 could possibly be incorporated into some of the existing F-35s
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neptune

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Unread post31 Mar 2017, 06:09

citanon wrote:I don't think so, the brief of PCA is penetrating persistent surveillance and attack against air and surface to air threats.

Considering the uncertainty of communications in the required operating environment the brief dictates a manned platform that is able to direct unmanned partners.

So maybe an f22 sized b21 or some merger of the two designs, if that's even possible.

Also, me thinks 2 crews. One pilot + self defense, one offensive warfare officer to manage the drone swarm and cyber ops. :D


Sorry to ask this but.....the link to the PCA brief document, please.
Thanks in advance.
:)
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citanon

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Unread post31 Mar 2017, 08:04

It's not a brief, but I assume the AF will tread close to the vision from Grynkewich's articles:

https://warontherocks.com/2017/01/the-f ... 0-problem/

Notice in particular the role he outlined for PCA in the context of all the other capabilities.

In order to evaluate various innovations in an operational context, our team organized viable concepts into several conceptual frameworks for further analysis. The first conceptual framework included robust modernization of the planned force of 2030, but had few additional capabilities added to the mix. As such, this provided a base case for our analysis, showing us the maximum amount of capability we could extract from the force without starting major new acquisition programs. The force in this conceptual framework achieved control of the air the old-fashioned way, by rolling back an adversary’s integrated air defense system over time from the outside in until air superiority was attained over a desired geographical area.

Our second and third conceptual frameworks were a standoff force and attritable force, respectively. The standoff force broadly consisted of non-penetrating platforms delivering large volumes of weapons (including non-kinetic effects) from beyond the lethal range of threat systems. The attritable force consisted of a large number of platforms with modular payloads (either kinetic or non-kinetic) that could be reused multiple times, but that were also inexpensive enough that losing some in a high-threat environment was acceptable. Importantly, the attritable force we assessed in this conceptual framework did not just exist in the air domain, but in cyberspace and space as well.

Broadly speaking, we expected both the standoff and attritable forces to achieve air superiority through the high volume of weapons, effects, and/or attritable platforms swarming and converging in the desired space at the desired time to overwhelm enemy defenses. Yet deeper analysis revealed that neither force was able to generate enough awareness of targets much beyond the edge of an adversary’s defenses. Each could only achieve air superiority on the outskirts of an integrated air defense system. Over time, air superiority could extend deeper into the adversary system — but to get to that point the scheme of maneuver ended up resembling yet another traditional roll-back operation, albeit with cyberspace and space capabilities in play as well.

Our fourth conceptual framework centered on what many would describe as a sixth-generation fighter: a highly survivable, highly lethal platform supported by cyberspace and space capabilities.While our analysis showed this conceptual framework would be highly effective at the tactical level, it was hobbled at the operational level by an insufficient quantity of capability due to the high cost of the platform. Additionally, to achieve the effectiveness needed, the development program postulated for this program would carry a significant degree of technical risk, creating a very real possibility that this sixth-generation fighter would not field until well past 2030. In short, we concluded that the exquisite capabilities in this conceptual framework would cost too much and arrive late to need.

At this point in our study, the problem seemed intractable: we could not modernize our way out of the problem, multi-domain standoff weapons and attritable forces failed to achieve air superiority, and our only successful operational capability was unrealistic both in terms of cost and timeline. As we reviewed the analysis conducted on the conceptual frameworks in greater detail, however, several important insights came to light that would guide us as we developed courses of action.

First, we learned that modernization of some current platforms would allow them to perform some parts of the counter-air mission, including as defensive counter-air over friendly forces and suppression of enemy air defenses on the edge of the integrated air defense system. Second, we learned that we knew how to launch standoff weapons over long distances — the challenge would be giving them enough information to hit a target. We also learned that while we did not have access to the all information necessary to provide that targeting information today, we could significantly improve our ability in this area by fusing cyberspace intelligence with new space-based capabilities (such as using cubesat or nanosat technology to blanket an area of interest with overhead coverage).

If we could develop these capabilities and pair them with new and existing air-domain data sources, we would significantly improve the effectiveness of standoff weapons. Doing this, however, would require getting the right sensors in the right places, meaning sometimes deep in adversary territory. Attritable assets with the right sensor payloads provided one option, as did networking together current or upgraded airborne sensors, including fifth-generation aircraft and dedicated ISR platforms. Still, attritable assets lacked persistence, and fifth-generation assets could not go everywhere we needed them to go. We still would need a capability to penetrate and persist in the adversary air defense system. Such a capability was not just needed to employ weapons or project effects, but just as importantly to serve as a key node in what was emerging as a new conceptual multi-domain battle network.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post31 Mar 2017, 08:36

I don't get where this perceived need for air-to-air optimized fighter aircraft comes from. F-22 is so overwhelming in capabilities that even the current amount will be more than sufficient especially with all the 4th gen force backing them up. Then F-35 is very capable air-to-air fighter as it currently is and will be extremely capable when it gets to FOC. It will also have the advantage of being by far the most numerous fighter aircraft for the foreseeable future. I'm pretty sure there will be very little air-to-air combat as F-35s will turn enemy airfields to rubble very quickly in the conflict. If there will be air-to-air combat, F-35s will have very lopsided kill ratios against their enemies. IMO, air-to-air optimized fighter aircraft would be just waste of money and would actually reduce combat capability compared to just acquiring F-35s and B-21s with the same money. Let's take a look at it after 20 years or so...
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citanon

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Unread post31 Mar 2017, 11:03

hornetfinn wrote:I don't get where this perceived need for air-to-air optimized fighter aircraft comes from. F-22 is so overwhelming in capabilities that even the current amount will be more than sufficient especially with all the 4th gen force backing them up. Then F-35 is very capable air-to-air fighter as it currently is and will be extremely capable when it gets to FOC. It will also have the advantage of being by far the most numerous fighter aircraft for the foreseeable future. I'm pretty sure there will be very little air-to-air combat as F-35s will turn enemy airfields to rubble very quickly in the conflict. If there will be air-to-air combat, F-35s will have very lopsided kill ratios against their enemies. IMO, air-to-air optimized fighter aircraft would be just waste of money and would actually reduce combat capability compared to just acquiring F-35s and B-21s with the same money. Let's take a look at it after 20 years or so...


I think if you look at what they are talking about, the primary focus of the PCA is still in taking down IADS. They see F35 as sufficient for the traditional peeling back layers of an onion style campaign but want PCA to go right into the heart of the enemy defenses to change the fight.
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talkitron

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Unread post31 Mar 2017, 17:42

citanon wrote:I think if you look at what they are talking about, the primary focus of the PCA is still in taking down IADS. They see F35 as sufficient for the traditional peeling back layers of an onion style campaign but want PCA to go right into the heart of the enemy defenses to change the fight.


Yeah, I think the PCA is supposed to be able to fly into the interior of mainland China. It probably needs to be bigger to fit the fuel and weapons required for such long range penetrations.
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tomcattech

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Unread post31 Mar 2017, 19:34

It's good to see some well thought out responses in this thread.

The PCA link\info is awesome. (Thanks for that)

My overall thought was thus:

The F-35 is a revolutionary aircraft in many respects and I'm glad it is finally here, but the birthing process was long\complicated\expensive and protracted.
(With many missteps along the way)

IMO its time for an EVOLUTIONARY aircraft, which takes in what we have learned and builds upon it using a more aggressive time frame and low"ish" cost considerations.

Whether that means:

A. An established kinematic beast of an airframe\engine combo like the F-22 with F-35 systems
B. Taking the F-35 to the next level air to air (if possible within an F-35 airframe)
C. New F-23 with F-35 systems
D. Something else we haven't thought of

Point is, let's take what we have and make it better (if it makes sense) instead of starting from the ground up.
(We have F-22 tooling, F-23 designs, infrastructure and fabrication assets for the F-35.)

Time to think outside the box....
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nutshell

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Unread post31 Mar 2017, 19:46

The code issue is GROSSLY overestimated.
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