F-35 Production ready to soar in 2019!

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
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Unread post31 Jan 2019, 22:00

marsavian wrote:I doubt it will be greater than Mach 2 dash speed as very high speed is anti-stealthy too from an IR POV. Stealth, range, payload, maneuverability, speed in that order of priorities. This will probably be the last designed manned USAF stealth aircraft built before the 6th generation hypersonics arrive.

If not Mach 3, i.e. Mach 2 dash as top end, then range requirements will kind of fix how much gas you have to carry. I suppose LM could look at some kind of F-22 stretch incorporating F-35 tech. I personally suspect an F-35 stretch may make more fiscal sense and give you something the DoD can actually afford. A lot probably depends on how AETP motors turn out.

The F-35 platform was reminiscent of the F-22 platform. So would an F-35X stretch. But the Skunks or Ft Worth boys may go in an entirely new direction.

If you want to stealthily carry hypersonic missiles, though... I still think your weps bays need to be on the order of 20-25' and be able to accomodate a munitions diameter of at least 24". FWIW.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.

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