Philip wrote:The F-35 is far too expensive for most nations and those outside the NATO bloc will never get yheir hands on one even if they havd the moolah.
Count the number of customers the F-35 has currently secured in North America, Europe and Asia. A vast portion of the ME market, barring Israel and Turkey, is yet untapped and will likely be opened up in the 2020's (KSA, UAE, Qatar, Jordan etc). The F-35 essentially has the vast majority of the F-16 and F/A-18 market covered. This then leaves other nations who also have the ability to, or want to develop the capability of developing 5th generation aircraft. Out of these, South Korea and Turkey (besides India) have announced plans, with the South Koreans even beginning fabrication of their first TD unit. Notice that all those designs are twin engined aircraft with overall thrust in the 180-200 kN class? Why do you think this is? Why do you think ADA and HAL are also sticking in this ballpark, and why Japan is also looking at a twin engined bird? Why have the Chinese put out two twin engined 5th generation aircraft?
What do you know that these nations do not?
Perhaps when you actually get into the technical specifics such as putting out a meaningful payload, or the ability to go a decent distance and actually perform the missions that require a new aircraft to replace older aircraft the idea of a single engine fighter in this class does not make sense for many of these teams?
If you want to actually develop a SE 5th generation aircraft that can cater to the F-16, F/A-18, MiG-29, and Gripen replacement market then you essentially need to start off with a 180-190 kN thrust engine that has enough growth possibility to eventually deliver 220+ kN of thrust over its life as fighters usually require more thrusts over time as they add capability. The risk associated an engine program in this class is SIGNIFICANT and most would rather look to field a twin engined aircraft as there are many many options to choose from in the 20-22K lb thrust class and this significantly reduces the overall risk to the program.
If you have actually done some hard analysis then by all means share what you think the market size for a SE 5th Gen. aircraft is, what attributes (performance and cost) the said aircraft should possess to gain a threshold share within this market, and what fleet replacement needs (or additional incremental capability) such an aircraft offers for the various legacy aircraft operators out there and why the current and planned market options (F-35, KFX, TFX, AMCA, J-31 etc) cannot cater to that need.