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International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

The Military Issues & History Forum is a venue to discuss issues relating to the military aspects of the Indian Armed Forces, whether the past, present or future. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
NRao
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Location: Illini Nation

Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 10 Sep 2017 18:54

U.S. Air Force Next-Generation Fighter Taking Shape

The U.S. Air Force has begun lifting the veil on its next-generation air superiority fighter, with one top general telling Aviation Week the service is working on a more powerful, fuel-efficient engine to extend the range of the new platform, as well as advanced stealth technology to allow it to avoid enemy radars.

Details of the Air Force’s work on the next-generation fighter, officially known as Penetrating Counter Air (PCA), have been tightly held as the service works to finalize the capability requirements for the new platform. But Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command (ACC), says the service has now identified the key technologies it needs to meet the threat.

As potential adversaries develop ever more lethal weapons such as Russia’s S-400 surface-to-air missile system and the recently designated Su-57 stealth fighter, Holmes stresses the importance of developing a sophisticated new aircraft to replace the Air Force’s premier air-to-air fighter, the F-22 Raptor.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________
WHAT WILL PCA LOOK LIKE?
* ACC chief says Russia’s Su-57 threatens fourth-gen fighters
* Air Force must continue improving F-35, F-22, and move to next-gen
* PCA will have more powerful, fuel-efficient engine for increased range
* Increased stealth compared to current platforms is also key

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

“That’s a good-looking airplane [the Su-57], and certainly it will pose threats to our fourth-generation airplanes; we will have to continue to work to improve the F-22 all the time, and the F-35, to try to keep an advantage there,” Holmes said in an interview at Langley AFB, Virginia, on Aug. 17. “Eventually you will run into a limit in your ability to improve those platforms, and so we need to have something else ready.”

The Air Force has spent the last few years studying what it will take to ensure control of the skies for the rest of the century as part of its Air Superiority 2030 effort—including an F-22 follow-on. The service is still working through an analysis of alternatives to determine the capabilities of the new platform, but “we think we have the technologies picked out,” Holmes says.

Extended range will be a key feature, likely to allow the new fighter to self-deploy and to accompany the new B-21 bomber on deep-penetration missions. Increased range drives increased airframe size and engine power, Holmes explains. PCA’s engine will need to be more fuel efficient, have more thrust and more cooling air to support a longer-range and even stealthier airframe than current technology allows, he says.

Image
Boeing’s latest concept art for the next-generation fighter is a sleek, tail-less design. Credit: Boeing

The Air Force, and engine manufacturers Pratt & Whitney and General Electric, have been working on a new class of combat aircraft propulsion systems based on three-stream engine technology that might fit this bill. The third stream provides an extra source of air flow that, depending on the phase of the mission, is designed to provide either additional mass flow for increased propulsive efficiency and lower fuel burn for longer endurance, or additional core flow for higher thrust and cooling air to boost combat performance.

This technology, which is being matured under the Air Force’s Adaptive Engine Transition Program, is part of the service’s efforts to develop PCA, Holmes acknowledges.

Stealth also will be a key requirement for the new aircraft, despite potential tradeoffs such as speed, and advances in counterstealth radars that some argue make stealth obsolete, Holmes says.

“It’s a cat-and-mouse game, and it is never over,” he says. “It’s not that you build something that can help detect stealth airplanes and now there’s no need to pursue stealth—it keeps going and you keep countering each other’s advantages and coming up with new ideas.”

The Air Force also is looking at the weapons a future air superiority fighter might require, and how many it would need in internal weapons bays, as well as its mission systems—for instance sensors and fusion capabilities, Holmes says.

He declined to specify what developmental weapons technologies the Air Force has chosen for the new fighter to field, saying “it will have appropriate weapons for its mission.”

Directed-energy lasers have been floated as one possible armament for the future fighter. In addition, the Air Force for the first time revealed a funding line for a secretive “Air Dominance Air-to-Air Weapon” in fiscal 2018 budget documents, requesting $1 million to stand up the project. Little is known about the next-generation air-to-air capability, but it may be a successor to the Raytheon-built AIM-9X Sidewinder and AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile the Raptor currently carries, or possibly a longer-range version of those weapons. A longer-range air-to-air missile also could equip future nonstealthy aircraft that have to stand off from surface-to-air missile threats.

Now that the Air Force has identified key technologies for PCA, the next step is to make them a reality: “taking ideas and getting to where they are manufacturable and buildable,” Holmes says. But he makes the caveat that PCA depends on alignment with the results of Secretary of Defense James Mattis’s Defense Strategic Guidance, as well as getting sufficient funding to keep all of the technology development activities on track.

Overall, the Air Force requested $294.7 million in fiscal 2018 to continue studying options for PCA.

“Right now our focus is on getting the money to keep those development activities on track so that we won’t be missing a piece of it when we get ready to go forward with an airplane,” Holmes says.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 11 Sep 2017 05:54

Concept art of what Lockheed's proposal will definitely not look like -

Image

shiv
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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby shiv » 13 Sep 2017 20:22

A brilliant "must read" article for fighter flying fans
Cold War Eagle Driver
Only one quote:
A thing people who haven’t done it don’t know about BFM (Basic Fighter Manoeuvres) is how physically demanding it is. It’s like doing a round with a heavyweight boxer … at 7 Gs a 200-pound pilot weighs 1,400 pounds, at 9 Gs 1,800 pounds, and you’ll do it over and over each engagement.”

Karthik S
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3708
Joined: 18 Sep 2009 12:12

Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby Karthik S » 13 Sep 2017 20:33

shiv wrote:A brilliant "must read" article for fighter flying fans
Cold War Eagle Driver
Only one quote:
A thing people who haven’t done it don’t know about BFM (Basic Fighter Manoeuvres) is how physically demanding it is. It’s like doing a round with a heavyweight boxer … at 7 Gs a 200-pound pilot weighs 1,400 pounds, at 9 Gs 1,800 pounds, and you’ll do it over and over each engagement.”


Thanks Shiv, another point is that max speed he could manage out of a "clean" and new F-15C was 2.21 Mach, I don't know how 2.5M stuck. I had this feeling that MKI's top speed is lower than that of F-15.

sudeepj
BRFite
Posts: 1059
Joined: 27 Nov 2008 11:25

Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby sudeepj » 13 Sep 2017 21:17

brar_w wrote:Concept art of what Lockheed's proposal will definitely not look like -

Image


I bet the air intakes and the jet exhaust are going to be above the flying wing.. :-)

JayS
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2614
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby JayS » 13 Sep 2017 22:43

brar_w wrote:Concept art of what Lockheed's proposal will definitely not look like -

Image


:D reminds me of such pictures that would be published of F117 in 80s. One toy model wasalso there. I was just recently reading a book about the Black programs in the US. It describes it. None ever come close to actual aircraft.


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