CSBA Analyst Calls For F-35C Redesign

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element1loop

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Unread post11 Feb 2019, 04:18

Corsair1963 wrote:Honestly, perplexing idea as the F-35C has little real threat for the foreseeable future. Unless some believe the J-20, J-31, or Su-57 are substantially more capable. Yet, few with any real knowledge of the subject matter believe that.... In addition a number of upgrades will be available to the F-35 Series in the coming years. Including improved Engines and even better Avionics and Weapons. So, no reason to believe it won't be able to maintain it's current level of superiority over it competitors for sometime to come... In short I see no reason for a major redesign to the F-35C. Other than the usual upgrades over it's life to keep it competitive.


All true, and agree in principle, though the point is to get that capability with added radius and depth (where an MQ-25 can't follow) which will matter given potential area 'denial' to ships.

Another consideration, F-35C with a more efficient adaptive-engine with same wing brings a potential increase for ceiling of C for better missile range, but more importantly, for better missile energy retention at shorter range. A pretty good thing to have on top of more range due even lower air resistance (unknown if other factors would limit C ceiling increase though). More ceiling also increases vertical standoff against sensors (improved VLO due inverse-square implication), providing the option to adapt to multispectral sensor improvement of GBAD.
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Unread post11 Feb 2019, 04:38

element1loop wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:Honestly, perplexing idea as the F-35C has little real threat for the foreseeable future. Unless some believe the J-20, J-31, or Su-57 are substantially more capable. Yet, few with any real knowledge of the subject matter believe that.... In addition a number of upgrades will be available to the F-35 Series in the coming years. Including improved Engines and even better Avionics and Weapons. So, no reason to believe it won't be able to maintain it's current level of superiority over it competitors for sometime to come... In short I see no reason for a major redesign to the F-35C. Other than the usual upgrades over it's life to keep it competitive.


All true, and agree in principle, though the point is to get that capability with added radius and depth (where an MQ-25 can't follow) which will matter given potential area 'denial' to ships.

Another consideration, F-35C with a more efficient adaptive-engine with same wing brings a potential increase for ceiling of C for better missile range, but more importantly, for better missile energy retention at shorter range. A pretty good thing to have on top of more range due even lower air resistance (unknown if other factors would limit C ceiling increase though). More ceiling also increases vertical standoff against sensors (improved VLO due inverse-square implication), providing the option to adapt to multispectral sensor improvement of GBAD.


Honestly, instead of re-inventing the wheel. A better solution maybe a large Stealthy Tanker like the proposed KC-Z that
the USAF is considering.
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element1loop

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Unread post11 Feb 2019, 05:08

Corsair1963 wrote:
element1loop wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:Honestly, perplexing idea as the F-35C has little real threat for the foreseeable future. Unless some believe the J-20, J-31, or Su-57 are substantially more capable. Yet, few with any real knowledge of the subject matter believe that.... In addition a number of upgrades will be available to the F-35 Series in the coming years. Including improved Engines and even better Avionics and Weapons. So, no reason to believe it won't be able to maintain it's current level of superiority over it competitors for sometime to come... In short I see no reason for a major redesign to the F-35C. Other than the usual upgrades over it's life to keep it competitive.


All true, and agree in principle, though the point is to get that capability with added radius and depth (where an MQ-25 can't follow) which will matter given potential area 'denial' to ships.

Another consideration, F-35C with a more efficient adaptive-engine with same wing brings a potential increase for ceiling of C for better missile range, but more importantly, for better missile energy retention at shorter range. A pretty good thing to have on top of more range due even lower air resistance (unknown if other factors would limit C ceiling increase though). More ceiling also increases vertical standoff against sensors (improved VLO due inverse-square implication), providing the option to adapt to multispectral sensor improvement of GBAD.


Honestly, instead of re-inventing the wheel. A better solution maybe a large Stealthy Tanker like the proposed KC-Z that
the USAF is considering.


How is putting an improved engine in F-35s and changing nothing else 're-inventing the wheel'?

One can walk and chew gum too.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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Corsair1963

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Unread post11 Feb 2019, 05:12

element1loop wrote:
Honestly, instead of re-inventing the wheel. A better solution maybe a large Stealthy Tanker like the proposed KC-Z that
the USAF is considering.


How is putting an improved engine in F-35s and changing nothing else 're-inventing the wheel'?[/quote]


What??? My point was instead of redesigning the F-35C. (title of the thread) That buying a large Stealth Tanker would be a better solution. As "range" seems to be the main reason for the proposal....
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Unread post11 Feb 2019, 08:07

Precis of Regaining the High Ground at Sea: Transforming the U.S. Navy’s Carrier Air Wing for Great Power Competition'.
Analyst: Navy Needs to Re-Configure Carrier Air Wings for Future Fight [prolly best read at source]
07 Feb 2019 RICHARD R. BURGESS

"...Clark sees the need for a CVW to move toward including more unmanned aircraft. He recommended development of three new aircraft types: an unmanned air combat vehicle (UCAV); an unmanned refueling aircraft, initially the MQ-25; and FA-XX, a new fighter with a longer strike range.

The report’s recommendations for re-configuring the carrier air wing by 2040 include:
* Sustaining planned procurement of the F/A-18E/F strike fighter through fiscal 2023.

* Sustaining procurement of the F-35C strike fighter through the first half of its planned production, ending in fiscal 2024.

* Develop an FA-XX fighter, a derivative of an existing fighter, by 2024.

* Develop a low-observable UCAV attack aircraft for production by 2025.

* Continue development of the MQ-25 aerial refueling UAV and increase overall number of tanker aircraft to 12 per air wing. Also, develop the UCAV as a tanker for the mid-to-late 2030s.

* Retire the EA-18G electronic attack aircraft as they reach the end of their service lives during the 2030s and replace them with UCAVs equipped with the Next-Generation Jammer and also with expendable UAVs and missiles.

* Field a rotary wing MALE [medium-altitude, long-endurance] UAV (in concert with the Marine Corps) to augment the carrier-based helicopter squadrons and assume some of the ASW missions...."

PPT Slides: https://csbaonline.org/uploads/document ... at_Sea.pdf (2.5Mb)

Source: http://seapowermagazine.org/stories/20190207-CVW.html
Attachments
21C Outer Air Battle - Regaining_the_High_Ground_at_Sea.gif
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 post11 Feb 2019, 10:04

Corsair1963 wrote:What??? My point was instead of redesigning the F-35C. (title of the thread) That buying a large Stealth Tanker would be a better solution. As "range" seems to be the main reason for the proposal....


Ah, I get you now.
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Unread post11 Feb 2019, 16:17

Corsair1963 wrote:My point was instead of redesigning the F-35C. (title of the thread) That buying a large Stealth Tanker would be a better solution. As "range" seems to be the main reason for the proposal....


If the point of such new/future US combat aircraft is to have a longer range than the F-35C - which as others have said is already long (longer than other existing US Navy aircraft, past or present) - and which I also seem to concur (by reading the intended objectives for such new aircraft/variant) wouldn't it make some sense for a "A-12 comeback" or more precisely the new aircraft to be based or have the A-12 as a starting point?
I'm saying this because:
- Such aircraft - a subsonic flying wing - would IMO be one of the very few designs which could "easily" (note the quotes) outrange the already long range design of the F-35C.
- In terms of Air-to-Air combat, with advancements in technology such aircraft could be fitted with advanced AESA radar and other sensors and employ advanced air-to-air missiles such as the AMRAAM. This would give the US Navy a very long range or "picket" fighter aircraft capability.
- At the same time it would bring back to the US Navy the medium-size long-range bomber capability lost with the A-6 Intruder retirement.
- Very long loiter time (useful for both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions).
- Lower development cost since some of the development work as already been done in the past.
- Potentially lower procurement cost since subsonic aircraft could/should potentially be cheaper than a revolutionary supersonic aircraft.
- Such design would IMO fill the tanker role nicely as well in complement to the MQ-25.
- Give Boeing more work in terms actual modern/stealth aircraft manufacturing in order for them to "shut up" regarding the argument of producing already obsolete aircraft (such as the Super Hornet and even the F-15 Eagle) in order to keep their combat aircraft production lines open.

And with this, the role of the supersonic fighter/interceptor/combat/strike aircraft would fall into the responsibility of the F-35C.

Well, my 2 cents anyway...
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post11 Feb 2019, 18:26

Anyone who has followed the nasty cluster that are the USN\Defense Department high level decisions regarding the Fleet Air Defense mission for the past 15-20 years should not be surprised at the conundrum that the branch currently finds itself in.

The F-35C is a fine aircraft for the requirements that the customers put forth.

It is not the Fleet Air Defense asset the USN has needed for some time now (Neither is the Super Hornet).

IMO, they will need to make do with what they have and push (HARD) for an aircraft (Gen 5 or 5.5) suited for the mission at hand.

Can they get what they need from the Air Force's PCA?
Probably not....

As I've stated in other threads, it's past time to start thinking outside the box to keep dev time and procurement costs for new aircraft at a reasonable level.

No bucks, No Buck Rogers....
Hornets by mandate. Tomcats by choice!!
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Unread post11 Feb 2019, 21:22

tomcattech wrote:IMO, they will need to make do with what they have and push (HARD) for an aircraft (Gen 5 or 5.5) suited for the mission at hand.


Just what is the mission at hand?
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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Unread post11 Feb 2019, 21:54

steve2267 wrote:
tomcattech wrote:IMO, they will need to make do with what they have and push (HARD) for an aircraft (Gen 5 or 5.5) suited for the mission at hand.


Just what is the mission at hand?


Defense of the CVBG (which includes poking out the eyes of those well outside SAM range).
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Unread post11 Feb 2019, 22:03

sferrin wrote:
steve2267 wrote:
tomcattech wrote:IMO, they will need to make do with what they have and push (HARD) for an aircraft (Gen 5 or 5.5) suited for the mission at hand.


Just what is the mission at hand?


Defense of the CVBG (which includes poking out the eyes of those well outside SAM range).


^^^THIS^^^
Hornets by mandate. Tomcats by choice!!
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Unread post12 Feb 2019, 00:23

tomcattech wrote:
Defense of the CVBG (which includes poking out the eyes of those well outside SAM range).


^^^THIS^^^


Even the late Cold War concepts really didn't have fast jets doing this.

The bomber streams were detected with OTH-B and then destroyed
with terminal seeker equipped MaRVs launched by surface ships and
submarines.

In some cases, stealthy UAVs lurked around bomber ingress routes
which the CSBA study seems to embrace.

But this is the same Navy that passed on a high-end, stealthy UAV after 15+ years of development.
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Unread post12 Feb 2019, 00:34

sferrin wrote:
steve2267 wrote:
tomcattech wrote:IMO, they will need to make do with what they have and push (HARD) for an aircraft (Gen 5 or 5.5) suited for the mission at hand.


Just what is the mission at hand?


Defense of the CVBG (which includes poking out the eyes of those well outside SAM range).


So... this is an air-to-air interceptor? Because I thought a few pages back F/A-XX was defined as a fighter escort for bombers? Or are you defending the CVBG by sinking enema ships @ 1000nm? Which means a strike fighter / aircraft? Requirements for these different missions would seem to differ a lot. Without specifying those requirements, what you really want, you're kinda stuck.
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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Unread post12 Feb 2019, 03:05

tomcattech wrote:
It is not the Fleet Air Defense asset the USN has needed for some time now (Neither is the Super Hornet).



The F-35C is more than adequate in the Fleet Defense Mission. Unless you know something we don't know???
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Unread post12 Feb 2019, 03:38

Corsair1963 wrote:The F-35C is more than adequate in the Fleet Defense Mission. Unless you know something we don't know???


I'm curious aoa_35's and quicksilver's opinions on that matter.

Googling 'F/A-XX requirements' and browsing some of the entries leaves me confused. Most of the press seems to be stating that the F/A-XX is supposed to be a 6th generation fighter to replace the F/A-18E/F Super Duper. I guess I'm confused why you would build a 6th gen aircraft to replace a 4th gen aircraft. The F/A-18E/F is a strike fighter in its own right. Maybe Aoa or QS can edjumekate me as to what the Super Duper can do that the F-35C (hell the F-35B) can't do? I understand that at present the Super Duper can carry a wider variety of weapons... but it has shorter legs than the Sea Lightning, poorer SA, more or less manual sensor fusion (as I understand it) conducted by the Mk1 brainbox etc.

Wikipedia is no help... going on about scramjets and all. And scramjets will suck down the gas. To go anywhere... the aircraft is going to be on the scale of an SR-71 (or at least the old Vigilante which wasn't small either). I just don't see the deckspace on a CVN for a hypersonic aircraft. (I don't see a hypersonic aircraft in the next 20 years, either. But the Skunkworks has pulled off surprises in the past.)

But even a 1000nm range tactical fighter with supercruise ability... you're talking at least F-22 sized if you want 1.5Mach or better. If you buy planes by the pound... that sucker is going to be expensive... I dunno, maybe if Boing gets the contract, then all will be well in the Navair nasal radiator community... :drool:

If the big need is just to be able to strike at 1000nm, with a modest supercruise capability for short distances... the F-35C with an AETP-derived powerplant (or maybe even just an F135 GO2.0 motor) may be able to meet those needs, especially if an MQ-25 could refuel an outbound strike at 3-500nm from the carrier. For an air-to-air / escort role, if a fuel tank could be designed to be sucked up into the top of the weapons bay, still leaving room for 1-2 AIM-120's below, that might get you on the order of another 4200lb of gas. If an AETP motor delivers on 30% fuel savings (or whatever that figure is), that gets close to the 1000nm range figure being tossed around.

IMO, it is dangerous to be tossing around performance figures if you just "stretch" the F-35C. For one, your weight is going to go up, and the F-35C just barely meets the approach to the boat speed required of it. So it will need a bigger wing (more weight). Or you could aerodynamic trickery like blown flaps, as someone suggested, but the Navy has not been to keen on blown anything for a while now.

What I find interesting would be about a 7ft longer weapons bay on the F-35. That would be a HUGE stretch. But it might mean the ability to carry an SM-2B / SM-6 sized weapon, or possibly a hypersonic AGM. But I'm not sure any such requirements yet exist. And I'm pretty sure performance will be drastically different from the F-35 we know and love.

But then again... perhaps that roll (hypersonic weapons employment) is for the B-21?
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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