Saturday, November 24, 2018

Weird Thought. The Next Gen Fighter should be at least G600 sized if not just a rebuilt B-1!

I was reading about the Brit Tempest and the efforts by the French/Germans to build a Next Gen Fighter and compared that to the marketing/information put out on the F-35 and I had a weird thought.

The Next Gen Fighter should be G600 sized, if not just a rebuilt B-1.

Let's go over what we're being told...

*  Range.  This puppy need to fly far.

*  Speed.  It doesn't have to be supersonic.  High subsonic is not only good enough but probably desired.  It's always said that most fighter only spend a few minutes supersonic in their life.

*  Missiles/Weapons.  It needs to carry a boatload of weapons.  Anti-Air?  Current thinking is that 6 is probably a minimum.  Desired is probably at least 6 BVR and a couple for WVR.

*  Maneuverability.  Maneuvering is irrelevant so we don't need it to be able to yank and bank.  That's old skool and no longer applies.

*  Electronic Attack.  It needs to carry a big honking AESA.  Both for detection of enemy aircraft but apparently more importantly to conduct EA.

*  Cyber.  I still don't know how this applies to USMC Infantry (small units) or attack aircraft (always considered this a strategic asset which means this should be the Navy's baby or the USAF's equivalent today to the old Strategic Air Command) but Cyber is essential.

*  UAV Operations.  Supposedly these next fighter will command swarms of UAVs.

*  Lasers.  They're coming or so say the experts, so we need power generation to have them up and running.

All that means (at least to me) that the next gen fighter is gonna have to be bigger than the F-22 to fly further and carry a heavier weapons load.  It's gonna have to have more crew if it's gonna effectively and EFFICIENTLY conduct all the missions being added to it, and it's gonna have to have the room/space to generate power for lasers.

In my mind that means you're looking at the REAL next gen fighter being sized like the G600 and carrying a crew of probably 4 (at the least) or optimally around 6-8 people.

Planners need to get a handle on the requirements with a quickness.  If my napkin sketch of things is even half right then we're putting too much into too small an airframe.

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