F-35 and X-47B

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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F16VIPER

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Unread post14 Oct 2012, 00:01

Is there an indication as to where they fit within the aircraft carrier force structure.
Is it possible that they both end up replacing all the fighter planes in a carrier, with the F-35C performing the fleet defense role and the operational version of the X-47B the strike role.

Also, isn't the X-47B what would be considered in Lockheedmartin's parlance a 6th gen plane?

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Unread post14 Oct 2012, 01:00

I think UAVs are ideally suited to monotonous drudgery work, like flying CAP. I think the F-35, being piloted, is better suited to combat. That said, a highly stealthy UAV might be a good candidate for flying a designated route to a fixed target and bombing it. But situations where things need to be evaluated are probably best left to manned aircraft.

According to an article I read, carrier suitability should be ongoing right now at PAX and carrier trials begin next year. Really interesting technology development.
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Unread post14 Oct 2012, 01:21

Here is an excellent thread about the X-47B even if I say so meself!:

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-15075.html

I have not kept it up to date with recent developments - despite naysayers things seem to go well. Early days about what it will do operationally I think. First X-47B has to launch and recover successfully to a carrier before the operational niche solved. This first launch recovery will be an aviation milestone moment for sure.
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Unread post14 Oct 2012, 02:02

Salute!

Don't forget cooperative missions in high-threat areas versus planned targets and IAD elements.

With all the data fusion capabilities of the Cee, and being fairly stealthy, a few drone wingmen could be used very effectively, with the Cee carrying a few missiles versus a heavy load of eggs.

Might be a viable employment concept.

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Unread post14 Oct 2012, 02:22

I wonder what an X-47B payload capacity might be. Any takers?
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Unread post14 Oct 2012, 03:10

It doesn't really matter very much for now because an operational UCAV comparable to the X-47 (naval or otherwise) isn't going to be here until the mid-late 2030s at the earliest. Right now the USN needs to figure out a means for handling the F135 that doesn't rely on sling-loads.
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Unread post14 Oct 2012, 03:51

They are all good, but neither is focused on air superiority, in regard to "replacing all the fighter planes in a carrier".
I think that's why Boeing sees as an opportunity and proposed a 6-gen fighter, though no particular interest has been shown from Navy.
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Unread post14 Oct 2012, 04:05

F16VIPER wrote:Is there an indication as to where they fit within the aircraft carrier force structure.
Is it possible that they both end up replacing all the fighter planes in a carrier, with the F-35C performing the fleet defense role and the operational version of the X-47B the strike role.
Also, isn't the X-47B what would be considered in Lockheedmartin's parlance a 6th gen plane?
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The Admirals seem to look at the UCLASS that will follow the X-47B as a means for the CBG to remain relevant and effective going into the future vs more robust A2AD networks that potential adversaries are putting in place.
With it's longer range/endurance, a CBG will be able to engage an enemy in a more timely fashion from extended distances far exceeding that of manned strike fighters.
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Unread post14 Oct 2012, 04:58

Then there is this:

X-47B UCAS B-roll

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IDIucbCDEk

"Published on Sep 4, 2012 by northropgrummanmedia
X-47B UCAS B-roll"
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post14 Oct 2012, 05:50

Here's how the CSBA sees things possibly developing..

... Combined with autonomous aerial refueling, these attributes would give an unmanned platform significantly greater unrefueled range and mission persistence than a manned fighter. For example, a carrier squadron of twelve X-47B-based aircraft could sustain five orbits along an enemy’s coastline to search for mobile targets or provide supporting electronic attack, or two-plus orbits five hundred miles inland, even if the carrier were based 1,500 nm from the coast, assuming sufficient tankers were available 500 nm from the coast. Each orbit is depicted in Figure 13 with a 200 nm-diameter circle representing the distance that an aircraft at the center of the orbit could travel within fifteen minutes (estimated conservatively at approximately 100 nm for an aircraft cruising at 460 knots). This metric is used to approximate the geographic rapid-response “coverage” of an aircraft persisting in the operational area. Removing the tail structure is also critical to achieving a low-observable RCS needed to penetrate and persist in contested airspace
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archeman

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Unread post14 Oct 2012, 21:44

spazsinbad wrote:Then there is this:

X-47B UCAS B-roll

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IDIucbCDEk

"Published on Sep 4, 2012 by northropgrummanmedia
X-47B UCAS B-roll"


That video has some pretty cool but also some dumb stuff in it.

List of dumbs:

* I don't see any advantage to UAVs using close formation flying - they don't do that now because they don't want them crashing into each other but even when that is less of a concern the traditional wing-man concept just isn't there (no man). The mutual interference will be greater than the mutual support.

* Low level flyby of the tower??? You might do that for laughs if you were in the aircraft and could enjoy it but if your not there then all you get is trouble and no laughs.

* UAV Dropping ordinance at 40% bank? Unlikely scenario. The moments before ordinance release will be completely filled and scripted carefully - like making sure the target approach is lined up correctly.
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Unread post14 Oct 2012, 23:35

As far as I can tell, the role depends on how autonomous a UAV is. One that has to be remotely piloted is probably going to be restricted to low threat situations for link stability and SA reasons. An autonomous UAV can go into high threat situations, but is still going to be limited by it's ability to make acceptable judgments (I've always liked the idea of unmanned wing-men, but who knows?).
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Unread post15 Oct 2012, 00:15

They'd be 'vortex surfing'...
'Vortex surfing' could be revolutionary 11 Oct 2012 by Roger Drinnon
Air Mobility Command Public Affairs

http://www.asdnews.com/news-45469/_Vort ... ionary.htm

"Migrating birds, NASCAR drivers and Tour de France bicyclists already get it. And now the Air Force is thinking about flying gas-guzzling cargo aircraft in formation -- 'dragging' off one another -- on long-haul flights across the oceans.

Flight tests with C-17s "vortex surfing" at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Sept. 6 and Oct. 2, have demonstrated potentially large savings of fuel and money by doing what geese do naturally. Tests show that flying in formation might be smarter than flying alone for Airmen, and not just for birds...."

LONG POST - GOOD READ.
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Unread post15 Oct 2012, 00:43

archeman wrote:
* Low level flyby of the tower??? You might do that for laughs if you were in the aircraft and could enjoy it but if your not there then all you get is trouble and no laughs.


It was programmed with a little Maverick playfulness.. sneak up on the Air Boss and spill his coffee..should play a mean game of beach volleyball as well.,All in preparation for it's role in the Top Gun sequel where it locks horns with it's F-35C rival.:D
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Unread post15 Oct 2012, 00:50

popcorn wrote:
archeman wrote:
* Low level flyby of the tower??? You might do that for laughs if you were in the aircraft and could enjoy it but if your not there then all you get is trouble and no laughs.


It was programmed with a little Maverick playfulness.. sneak up on the Air Boss and spill his coffee..should play a mean game of beach volleyball as well.,All in preparation for it's role in the Top Gun sequel where it locks horns with it's F-35C rival.:D


Somehow, I don't really think it would achieve the same spill-the-coffee effect as the Tomcat. :(
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