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New F-16 Replacement

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New F-16 Replacement

Old 21st Feb 2021, 16:46
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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[QUOTE=LateArmLive;10994446]
Originally Posted by Lima Juliet View Post
Maybe time for BAe to dust off Tornado 2000 then...

Great idea, as long as they replace the wings, fuselage and engines too! And remove the backseat...
Why would they remove the Tornado’s best capability and reduce the IQ of those operating the aircraft by 90%?
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Old 21st Feb 2021, 18:00
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Salute!

Gotta tellya, that a "clean sheet design" mentioned by the new administration CSAF likely has to do with those critters that are many - "poly" and then suck blood - "ticks". Been there, done that, For those not familiar with U.S. procurement, I shall review.....

We go from from looking at a potential or existing threat, and then initial "statement of need" to "operational requirement" to "request for proposal" to "proposal year" to "contract award" to "design review 1" then "design review x" then "new requirement/spec" then "prototype testing" and ...... In short, a career for a few folks both in USAF and contractors and the civil service butchers, bakers, clerks and even some engineers ( we call them engineers for life).

As Tdracer stated, we are talking years and $$$ and possibly some good seats at the opera or restaurant for the aforementioned critters. And IMHO the new tanker debacle was purely a result of those critters after the Airbus folks won the contract and a critter from the state of Washington exerted some pressure leading to a new contract for big B. One "good" thing about the Boeing plane was we could replace the human boom op posiiton with a cosmic 3d camera and yet still have a human operating the boom and the associated pay, health care and maybe retirement $$$ down the road. What did we gain/save? Nothing. I would hook up with a complete robot system if still flying.

90% of the money for a new Block 30 Viper has been spent, logistics path is here now, and the unit production cost would be stupid low, maybe lower than one of the proposed "light attack" systems.

I smell serious influence and policy decisions by the critters I described.

.. Gums opines...




Last edited by gums; 22nd Feb 2021 at 14:53.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 08:47
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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100% correct Gums
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 10:05
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
Not surprising - if you're appointed to a Committee or a Task Force to bring a new aircraft in to service how many points will you get for saying "its fine- we'll take it exactly as is..." - ZERO whereas you can load on something for every eventuality safe in the knowledge that you'll be long gone by the time the consequences are clear
It's not just the USAF - the Royal Navy has a distinguished record in doing the same
In this category the World's Benchmark undoubtedly has to be the German Armed Forces Procurement. No one comes close to them in inflating requirements to the point of derailing every project. If it's not at least Gold- plated it is not considered adequate.

Regarding a cheaper and at the same time equally performing platform than an F-16: WTF?! How on Earth should that work?! And that as a new clean sheet development with 202x Salaries for the designers. Development costs have yet to be written off, which is long finished for the F-16. New revolutionary aerodynamic findings haven't been made since the F-16, it is still top notch in that department. It will get an AESA Radar soon. What exactly is it that it can't do that a new cheap design is intended to do???
To whome ever buys this story: Please give me your contact data, so I can offer you my used car.

Last edited by henra; 22nd Feb 2021 at 10:22.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 10:18
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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It all comes down to industrial strategy, which some see as verging on communism but proves its worth when you suddenly need to design and quickly ramp up production of something critical to national security, perhaps a vaccine for an emerging disease or perhaps a combat aircraft. Vaccine designers get to practice on the flu every year, and aircraft designers get to do weapons integration and occasional upgrade work, but the opportunity to work from a clean sheet comes around perhaps once in a career. The decision facing national security policy makers (ie broader than just Defence departments) is whether to keep the associated skills and experience alive: paying designers' salaries is precisely the point. This comes around every 30 years or so for the UK and France with their single companies but more often in the US given its intent to maintain domestic competition. To that extent the decision is a strategic one, almost unrelated to the tactical requirements of the day, and above the pay grade of generals or even Defence secretaries.

Last edited by Easy Street; 22nd Feb 2021 at 10:47.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 10:58
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Originally Posted by Easy Street View Post
It all comes down to industrial strategy, which some see as verging on communism but proves its worth when you suddenly need to design and quickly ramp up production of something critical to national security, perhaps a vaccine for an emerging disease or perhaps a combat aircraft. Vaccine designers get to practice on the flu every year, and aircraft designers get to do weapons integration and occasional upgrade work, but the opportunity to work from a clean sheet comes around perhaps once in a career. The decision facing national security policy makers (ie broader than just Defence departments) is whether to keep the associated skills and experience alive: paying designers' salaries is precisely the point.
I do understand your general point. But why would you put them on a project that should deliver a 'bog standard' design, where copying of existing solutions would be the most viable approach.(If I were handed that task I would simply take the F- 16 design, at most add a few Cubic feet for a bit more fuel and electronic gadgets, maybe a few square inch more wing or even just clean up a few things that were learned during the last 40 years and be done with it) when at the same time designers are working on NGAD and stuff like that?
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 11:02
  #27 (permalink)  
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The concept could be, as I believe has been mentioned previously, rapid development using computerised CADCAM and aerodynamics to design a production model straight off the jigs rather than going through prototyping then redesigning fir production etc which can take decades.

Rather the company designs and sells their entire aircraft/systems design and the DoD orders one or two squadrons worth, as they used to in the 1950s as jet designs proliferated. You end up with multiple different types - but they can be specialised for roles and scrapped if they don’t work out. If one proves a major success you can order more.

It keeps design teams together and drives innovation, rather than being tied up in decades of negotiations and incremental changes, ending up with aircraft entering service with systems already decades behind modern design ( processors, memory, sensors etc).

And who knows what is already flying out there as a black programme. (And of course the reports that the B-21 programme is proceeding so fast and well is because they already had a black UAV design from which it grew)

Last edited by ORAC; 22nd Feb 2021 at 13:00.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 11:33
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Originally Posted by Evalu8ter View Post
Best VFM, perhaps, would be a weaponised T-7 Red Hawk. Cheap as chips compared to a clean sheet design, plus no additional support / airworthiness chain to fund and by 2030 most of your pilots are already qualified on it, so as a first tour, or if an urgent need arose to bolster the front line, it would help get bums in cockpits quickly. Make it ‘more SAAB (ie Gripen) and ‘less Boeing’ and it could be an effective real ‘Gen 5 minus’ as opposed to the real Gen 5 / Gen 6 it is designed to prepare crews for. Probably not enough ‘pork’ for the current USAF Brass to get their noses into post retirement I guess......
That’s a good point chap, as it reminds me of this article stating T-7 offered to likes of Serbia as a supplement light Attack a/c Trainer

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...port-customers

Sometimes in engineering , the KISS principle should be the answer to complex requirements. Slightly digressing into my rotary wing industry, I’ve spoken to many a peep at Heli Expo stating that all they want for the next helicopter is old school and not something too high tech with all bells whistling to do the job.

By the time this F-16 replacement comes to fruition. It will be entering its 6th decade of service lol and the F-15 will be on Par with the Buff.

Gripen seems to be getting a lot of attention especially with the CF-188 replacement, wonder if it has a good fighting chance. Here’s the thing if say likes of Boeing teams up with Saab again then perhaps an Americanized Gripen could work out.

cheers



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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 11:45
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
The concept could be, as I believe has been mentioned previously, rapid development using computerised CADCAM and aerodynamics to design a production model straight off the jigs rather than going through prototyping then redesigning fir production etc which can take decades.
Will CAD/CAM solve the Software/Avionics/Optronics development issues that plague today's Aircraft programmes 10x more than the mechanical design of the aircraft?
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 13:08
  #30 (permalink)  
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Henra,

Theyre already flying one prototype with an open architecture - who knows if it is an F-16+ aircraft as opposed to an F-22 replacement?

Regardless, the open architecture avionics and mission software might well port straight across.

https://www.defensenews.com/breaking...e-fighter-jet/
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 14:33
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
It's not just the USAF - the Royal Navy has a distinguished record in doing the same
Got any credible supporting examples for that? Or is it just your usual blether?

Last edited by Not_a_boffin; 22nd Feb 2021 at 14:44.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 14:43
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Easy Street View Post
It all comes down to industrial strategy, which some see as verging on communism but proves its worth when you suddenly need to design and quickly ramp up production of something critical to national security, perhaps a vaccine for an emerging disease or perhaps a combat aircraft. Vaccine designers get to practice on the flu every year, and aircraft designers get to do weapons integration and occasional upgrade work, but the opportunity to work from a clean sheet comes around perhaps once in a career. The decision facing national security policy makers (ie broader than just Defence departments) is whether to keep the associated skills and experience alive: paying designers' salaries is precisely the point. This comes around every 30 years or so for the UK and France with their single companies but more often in the US given its intent to maintain domestic competition. To that extent the decision is a strategic one, almost unrelated to the tactical requirements of the day, and above the pay grade of generals or even Defence secretaries.
This.

When your "national capability" contracts to (literally) a handful of people who know the "why" behind a design decision / configuration (as opposed to the "how" or "what") you're in trouble. The "why" is very different to the "what" and the "how" - and changes over time. Why you did something a certain way twenty years ago, may very well not be relevant now or in the future. Which is why copycatting leads eventually to atrophy and loss.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 15:44
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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"The concept could be, as I believe has been mentioned previously, rapid development using computerised CADCAM and aerodynamics to design a production model straight off the jigs rather than going through prototyping then redesigning fir production etc which can take decades."

Oh no - not that again......... every 20 years the USAF decides to build in volume off the drawing board and it never turns out well - a prototype is a good idea. The point is that "designing for production" is better than building it wrong to start with
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 17:10
  #34 (permalink)  
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Oh no - not that again......... every 20 years the USAF decides to build in volume
The error there is the phrase “in volume”. The concept being, as I understand it, to keep design teams together by building/buying small production runs.

You might end up with fleets of around 100 airframes - but that’s where the USAF and USN seem to have ended up with the F-22 and F-35C anyway.

It’s what was proposed just over a year ago* - and what General Brown seems to have bought into....

The idea for a clean-sheet 4.5th-generation aircraft was inspired by the digital engineering work that allowed Boeing to design the T-7A advanced jet trainer in a few years and the work that also allowed the service’s top-secret Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) platform to be designed and test flown in a matter of years, says Brown.

“If we’re going to do software defined, and we have the capability to do something even more capable for cheaper and faster, why not?” he says. “That’s what we’ve learned with our e-series approach with the T-7, and, what we learned with the NGAD. So, the question is: What is the son of NGAD?”

* https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...-in-five-years

Here's The Air Force's Questionably Ambitious Plan To Develop New Fighters In Five Years
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Old 23rd Feb 2021, 08:14
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The T-7 has been underdevelopment for over 6 years - hardly "quick"
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Old 23rd Feb 2021, 14:41
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Good point, Astur
a prototype is a good idea. The point is that "designing for production" is better than building it wrong to start with
You have just nailed the original Viper contract, the so-called "sale of the century". Two prototypes, great performance, but the folks at the JTF that were in our first squadron ( 16th TFTS) and at HQ claimed the GD Viper was gonna be easier to produce en masse. If you compare the YF-16 with the FSD version, F-16A, the biggest modification was not aerodynamic or related to the flight control system, but avionics for the A2A and A2G missions and it was primarily the radar.

By golly, GD was cranking out about 3/4 of a squadron each month in 1980. Maybe a whole squadron of the things. We were flying down to Ft Worth 2 or 3 times a week to pick up new ones, and MacDill was doing the same from Tampa. So you do the math.

We shall see.

..Gums sends...
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Old 24th Feb 2021, 04:01
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Howzabout just dusting off the YF-23?

And if somebody wants to mess around with it to appease current politico/industrial goals, then let them give it the mid-life update it woulda been getting now....if it had been built back then when it shoulda been.

Awaiting incoming.....

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Old 24th Feb 2021, 07:53
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Howzabout just dusting off the YF-23?
Making a guess, as a non-professional....

Because it was only ever a prototype and never went through EMD and was built in 1990 so the team which designed it would now be in their 60-70s. The engine it was built around no longer exists, nor the electronics or software which wasn’t open architecture.

The stealth technology was the same costly first generation type as used in the F-22 which would need to be replaced, which would lead to a complete airframe and shut line redesign. (e.g. 3D [email protected] sintering of metals such as titanium will allow major weight saving and redesign of structural,elements - which change stress loads leading to further changes etc etc)

All the above, plus incorporating modern composite materials would almost undoubtedly make it more expensive and lengthy than starting with a clean sheet design, because you’d have to work out what you had before working out it could be modified into what you want rather than just starting anew.
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Old 24th Feb 2021, 21:18
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Salute!

Great discussion but we must look at the "contribution" of the critters I described a few posts back.

I look around for entities across the globe that have the ability to exert force all around the world and not for conquest. Still looking for more than one. Maybe a few that could use military instruments of policy for their basic survival or way of life. But not on a global stage.

The U.S. foreign policy is now going thru a change, so we must watch and try to understand. The threat to the policy the new guys wish to implement and even the U.S. homeland security itself, have to be considered.

Gonna be interesting next two years.

..Gums sends...
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Old 25th Feb 2021, 16:12
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Gums

As you have been around since pontious was a pilot, could i ask you how the F16 and F15 where viewed back in the day? was there a group back then that thought the answer was new F4s

I only ask, as do we see the F16 airframe as the ultimate airframe and is there nothing more we can get from aerodynamics, propulsion as we well as electronics?

very interested in your sage views

Last edited by dagenham; 25th Feb 2021 at 16:36. Reason: drunk
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