USAF Sixth Gen PCA

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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southernphantom

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Unread post05 Dec 2017, 03:59

neptune wrote:
....would this not be but a 5Gen+??, not a 6Gen!
:)


Note that USAF has deliberately avoided referring to PCA as a 6th-generation system. Hopefully it will leverage COTS technology and components to the greatest reasonable extent; evolutionary is the way to go to keep costs in check (at least in my opinion).



popcorn wrote:Former SECAF Michael Wynne has an interesting proposal to defining a 6Gen fighter. Base it on the F-22 but incorporate the battle management capabilities of the F-35. Skunk Works and Phantom Works would each be given a F-22 for 3 years to achieve their vision of a 6Gen a/c. If the results don't please the AF, then it could initiate a program to develop a 6Gen from scratch.


http://www.sldinfo.com/redefining-the-n ... -aircraft/


This would be at least a somewhat reasonable approach, if USAF wanted a fighter.

It doesn't. I fully expect a multi-crew, twin-engine platform the size of a 737. Due to range requirements, PCA is likely not going to be a small aircraft. The system seems tailor-made for a potential war with China in which forward bases are not survivable. It could very well be a B-21 variant or a set of modular mission equipment for the B-21.

On a related note, I'm starting to find myself questioning the relevance of CVNs if the MQ-25 is not fielded in sufficient numbers. The throw distance just isn't there when compared to strategic bombers and SSGNs.
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milosh

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Unread post07 Dec 2017, 14:21

Why not FB-22 proposal?
download/file.php?id=10947&t=1

Its upgraded engine and sensors could upgrade F-22 fleet too.
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geforcerfx

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Unread post07 Dec 2017, 18:45

milosh wrote:Why not FB-22 proposal?
download/file.php?id=10947&t=1

Its upgraded engine and sensors could upgrade F-22 fleet too.


I've always thought the FB-22 is what Lockheed will offer (design wise, with some tweaks) for the PCA competition. It pretty much fits the defined capabilities on PCA perfectly, but I would also like to see what Boeing and NG come up with.
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southernphantom

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Unread post07 Dec 2017, 21:28

milosh wrote:Why not FB-22 proposal?
download/file.php?id=10947&t=1

Its upgraded engine and sensors could upgrade F-22 fleet too.


The FB-22 or a B-21 variant is probably the closest thing to an off-the-shelf PCA. If the FB-22 has the necessary range, I'd give a derivative, modernized design nonzero odds of getting the contract.
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mixelflick

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Unread post08 Dec 2017, 16:29

"Penetrating" = over mainland China IMO. Couldn't be more obvious..

The FB-22 does look tailor made, albeit it'll probably be scaled up some with a 2nd crew member. I question though how another Lockheed bird would leave the US aerospace defense industry? They've had a monopoly on stealth fighter design since the F-117, through the F-22, now the F-35 and possibly through winning the PCA contract.

That's a lot of concentration risk, although I love checking my Lockheed stock. Has more than tripled over the past 5 years! :)
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neptune

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Unread post16 Feb 2018, 22:37

https://www.military.com/dodbuzz/2018/0 ... ogies.html



Air Force Wants to Invest Heavily in Next-Gen Technologies


15 Feb 2018
By Oriana Pawlyk

The Air Force has long made clear it wants to conduct rapid research and testing on new equipment that can give it a competitive edge against near-peer adversaries, such as China and Russia, while also prototyping weapons for the advanced fight. And it plans to start investing heavily in that goal soon, its new budget request for Fiscal 2019 shows. The service asked for $504 million next year for its next-generation air dominance research, development, test and evaluation program, according to the document. And that's not all: In its future years defense program [FYDP], showing the next five years of planned spending, the Air Force shows a planned investment of roughly $11 billion over the course of five years for RTD&E on next-gen air dominance. But what will the end product be? "Under next-generation air dominance, we're investing in a family of systems," Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told Military.com on Tuesday. "We're going through the analysis of alternatives now, and that will help define the capabilities of the future."

The service in 2016 debuted its Air Superiority 2030 roadmap, which includes the sustainment of old fighters and new jets such as the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, but also outlines next-gen air dominance, defined as advanced fighter aircraft, sensors or weapons -- or all of the above -- in a growing and unpredictable threat environment. Officials say the Air Force's next-generation platform may defy traditional categorization. "As we went through the [study], we specifically precluded ourselves from using the word ‘fighter,’" said Air Force Brig. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, deputy director of global operations at the Pentagon. Grynkewich served as the lead chief of strategic planning for the Air Superiority 2030 Enterprise Capabilities Collaboration Team. "Air combat is not all about fighter aircraft dogfighting anymore ... it's about bringing a network to bear, and attributes [penetrating counter air] needs in terms of range, persistence, survivability, lethality," Grynkewich said in July. Next-generation air dominance was once synonymous with penetrating counter air, or PCA. To many, the concept of an advanced, stealthy and hypersonic fighter aircraft came to mind.

But the Air Force is keen on moving away from a "one-size-fits-all" idea and toward a family of systems approach. Officials have said it helps when the service turns to the defense industry for contributions to the program. While munitions, lasers, sensors and speed are on the table, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson this week said the air superiority focus coincides with a renewed emphasis on electronic warfare, networked capabilities, and control of the electromagnetic spectrum. Wilson highlighted China's recent push to modernize in these areas. "[China] is modernizing very quickly -- they're modernizing their air defenses, but also their air-to-air capability is really modernizing across the board. It is the pacing threat for the U.S. Air Force because of the pace of their modernization," she told reporters at the Pentagon on Tuesday. Wilson said China's quick pace is driving the Air Force to react. There has been explicit recognition "of the re-emergence of great power competition," she said. "China seeks to be a regional power in this area," Wilson said. For the Air Force, the effort now "is across-the-board modernization to be able to operate in a highly contested environment," she said.
:)
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element1loop

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Unread post20 Feb 2018, 05:21

6th-Gen = Printed hypersonic laser combat

... with fluffy dice
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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steakanddoritos

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Unread post05 Mar 2018, 05:35

Speaking of FB-22 derivatives as PCA, here is my concept:
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popcorn

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Unread post05 Mar 2018, 06:35

What are those 2 structures aft of the cockpit?
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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citanon

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Unread post05 Mar 2018, 07:25

popcorn wrote:What are those 2 structures aft of the cockpit?


That's where the energon cubes go.......

I like it. I think it looks cool but it's got a bit too much of the Su-57 booty going on in the back. Also, the back pimples look wrong....
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Unread post05 Mar 2018, 09:09

How does the whole "family of systems approach" work?

The thing that comes to my mind is going back to Cold war era concepts where you had dedicated platforms to perform missions.

Air superiority (F-14)
Ground attack (A-7)
Electronic warfare (EA-6)
AEWACS (E-2)

Where as today we have a one size fits all F/A-18 that does everything, A-A, A-G, EW, Tanker,
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Dragon029

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Unread post05 Mar 2018, 10:03

It's my understanding that they're referring to (for example) a next-gen plane, maybe a new engine (as the successor / final part of the ADVENT / AETD / AETP programs), maybe laser / DE weapons, maybe a new missile, maybe an unmanned wingman, etc. Various systems or programs of record that together achieve the USAF's 'Next Gen Air Dominance' requirements.
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Unread post05 Mar 2018, 15:53

Or it could be along the lines of a modular platform that can change the performance, S.A and mission set of the base form.

Something like this.

Shooter: Base aerodynamic platform, optionally manned. VLO, Mach 2+, 600 NM range, Raptor like Kinematics. with 8 A-A missiles. When unmanned, the 9G limiter is raised to 15 Gs, only has frontal AESA and ALR-94 like system for S.A.

Sensor pack: Transforms the shooter to an AEWACS like platform, 360 degree SA and large networking capabilities to share with shooters and the rest of the combat cloud, can act as an airborne router. reduced speed and maneuverability.

A\G pack: with built in IRSTs and large weapons bays for multiple 2k munitions, 30mm gun or Direct energy weapons for CAS. Configures the aerodynamic profile for low altitude, low speed performance. Optional STOVL capabilities.

Interceptor pack: configures baseline platform into a hyper sonic jet, equipped with scramjets for hypersonic, high altitude cruise. Added fuel and sensors for YF-12 like mission sets.

EW pack: Transforms baseline into EW\SEAD warfare specialist ala Growler, reduced kinematics but with more range.


All these capabilities are available with the F-35, but unlike the F-35, you can buy fewer packs for your force structure.

I.E.
1000+ baseline shooters, 500 A/G packs, 100 interceptor packs, 100 EW packs and 100 sensor packs.

You're not buying 1000 F-35s that can do it all, This should reduce cost.

A 4 ship CAP flight can be made up of 2 baseline shooters, 1 equipped with sensor packs and one equipped with EW pack.
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Unread post05 Mar 2018, 17:34

steakanddoritos wrote:Speaking of FB-22 derivatives as PCA, here is my concept:
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I really like this concept! Yet, it's probably going to be bigger and I'd guess 15 AAM's might not be enough. I've always thought a scaled up (25 - 50%) YF-23A like aircraft would be better. Better stealth, much longer range and bigger weapons bays. I think 20 AAM's is the likely base weapons load, with up to 25 - 30 being even more likely.

This thing should have triple the weapons load of a Raptor or thereabouts IMO. The YF-23A would be perfect, just look at the wing area for fuel! A stretched fuselage for more weapons space, minimizing of the engine (no thrust reversers) and a few other changes. Plenty of room for avionics and sensors.

And I think they would finally "move on" from vectored thrust engines. The YF-23A brings a lot of the capability they're now asking for. More range, check. Much longer supersonic cruise, check. Better stealth, check. All of these areas went heavily in the YF-23A's favor. The top speed and other particulars are still classified all these years later.

I hope they build it, or something like it. It was for my $, the greatest fighter never built...
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viper12

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Unread post05 Mar 2018, 21:58

There's one potentially big problem with steakanddoritos' concept ; as the wings are far at the rear, I fear the aerodynamic center to be quite at the rear too, possibly behind the center of mass. Which would mean reduced maneuvrability and, with the control surface configuration, more trim drag during cruise flight.
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