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New F-16 Replacement

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New F-16 Replacement

Old 25th Feb 2021, 16:08
  #41 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by henra View Post
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?
If it follows other industries then there will be a point where the available computing power will allow a kind of very generalised system to be developed which it will be possible to "port" from one aircraft to the next. Then you will not really ever be writing new software but developing a "flight system" that will be able to run on every aircraft you own down to drones. A single improvement for one aircraft will potentially help all of them.
All the functions that need to be certified in some way will be split off so that their slower pace of evolution doesn't hold the rest back.

Essentially it will have to be made cheaper by not actually writing new software for every aircraft but continuously evolving a software platform and using it everywhere.
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Old 25th Feb 2021, 17:27
  #42 (permalink)  
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I think this is what the US is trying to achieve with the "digital engineering" stuff around the B-21 and the rumoured demonstrator of the new fighter.
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Old 25th Feb 2021, 17:31
  #43 (permalink)  
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You mean like MOSA?




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Old 26th Feb 2021, 00:28
  #44 (permalink)  
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I was there at the beginning of the F-14, A-10, F-15, but flying mudbeaters - A-7D. I was a big proponent of the F-15, and there was no doubt USAF needed a new "general purpose" fighter other than the F-4 to replace the F-100 and F-105, plus support the F-15. The A-7D was a bomb truck, and very good one. My fellow Sluf drivers and I resisted the A-10 as far as replaceing the A-7D, but the thing was gonna be great in the VietNam scenario. So a few wings would be great, but we all gave it low chances of surviving two days in the Eastern Europe Fulda Gap scenario.

In the mid 70's nobody wanted an upgraded F-4!!! We had the idea of the hi-lo mix and many light weight fighters. The LWF program resulted in the sale of the century, and that little rascal turned out to be a great air-to-mud plane, with an inherent defensive capability.

If we want a new "low end" or "mid" capability, I do not see how you could beat a block30 Viper with an AESA radar and new comm gear to coordinate with others. No new motor or anything else. Might have to have a new fire control 'puter to accept the F-35 code, but the basic Viper avionics architecture was the easiest to add new stuff from the time it showed up.

...Gums sends..

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Old 28th Feb 2021, 16:15
  #45 (permalink)  
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Who'd have guessed that Saab and Boeing would be able to design and build a production ready, new, clean sheet of paper trainer design that met all the KPPs and requirements, and was able to beat the existing, fully amortised T-50 and M-346 on both price and costs.

And to do so by a handsome margin.

That's what digital model based design does for you.

Then you add truly modular and open architectures, so that you can port across existing mission systems, and can upgrade software and hardware in a truly agile manner, avoiding the obsolescence issues that already plague the F-35, for example.

And that's how a clean sheet of paper new design could be better AND cheaper than friend Gums'

"Block30 Viper with an AESA radar and new comm gear"
Asturias 56 said:

"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."
That's true of the old way of doing things, it's plainly less true today.

As soon as you start thinking that tinkering with F-16s is the answer, you're just demonstrating that you don't 'get it'.
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Old 28th Feb 2021, 19:31
  #46 (permalink)  
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Over on the" F-16 dot net" forums related to the F-35, there's a lotta discussion about the issue, and as with this forum it is very country-oriented. However, you folks that dominate here are welcome to contribute there, hmmmmm.

Where various countries and/or "pacts" go is gonna be interesting. We are not back to the 70's and 80's in terms of technology nor several regional alliances with their interests at heart. We are in the assymetric warfare scenarios as we were when I flew in 'nam. So the planners are trying to balance the never-ending pissant conflicts with the hopefully remote possibility of conflict among peers. The latter is what the F-35 and maybe a supplemental platform is concerned with.

I flew during the operational evalution an aircraft at the late part of the exercise, and it was in combat.

The thing was designed for the host nation to use/defend itself. Nevertheless, the thing was so damned good at CAS and in the low threat environment that USAF kept it there until the "first end of the war" late 1972.

I shall refuse to comment in public about the two countries' politics and USAF use of the plane other than CAS and other "direct" support missions of the ground forces of both countries plus some folks from OZ and RoK units

.No doubt we must plan ahead, but there is no quick fix in less than 2 or 3 years other than more Vipers to act as bomb trucks and a few A2A scenarios depending on the theater and expected threats, both in the air and the ground air defense system. I see the F-35 as the ultimate Weasel system, so let the Vipers bomb and sweep and such. The Mudhens ( aka F-15E) are doing well as penetrators and such, now, but the F-35 will do as well or better in a very short time.

Gotta go, but a great thread as long as "mods" let it go.

...Gums opines...
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Old 28th Feb 2021, 20:46
  #47 (permalink)  
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Make no mistake, from this old fighter pilot, there is a niche for something between the A-10 and the F-35. As of now, the Viper and maybe the Mudhen fill the gap.

If a country is willing to spend the $$$ or pounds or rubles or....., and start from scratch and then field the critter in 6 or 7 years, minimum, I say go for it. OTOH,
That's what digital model based design does for you.

Then you add truly modular and open architectures, so that you can port across existing mission systems, and can upgrade software and hardware in a truly agile manner, avoiding the obsolescence issues that already plague the F-35, for example.
The F-16 had a multiplex bus avionics design that put the F-14, F-15, A-10, F-4, F-111 and F-18 to shame. If your weapon or gizmo could talk on the 1553 bus following the NATO protocol for 1760 wepons and basic mux bus protocol, then you could plug stuff in day and night. The other ones I mentioned required dedicated boxes and unique electrical and "logical" (read "computer") interfaces that required hardware and several systems' software modifications. Go see how the F-18 launched a HARM or Harpoon. The Viper got the Slammer first due to its "open" archecture all the way back to late 70's. The Norwegian Penguin required a fire control computer and maybe some SMS code, but the thing basically plugged in on a store station. The HARM was best designed and implemented for the F-18, and required special boxes in the plane. DItto for the Harpoon. As my job was to integrate new wepons on old planes and old weapons on new planes, I speak from experience in these matters.

So I don't buy the cosmic computer model design stuff as panacea. Sure, helps in the mechanical form, fit, function, but what I saw was software failures in basic design and system design that could not be corrected sitting in front of a screen and "tinkering" with this module or the other. Further, the sfwe folks fought ADA and other efforts/standards that alowed straightforward plug and play because they had their "special" code or interface and did not like the "standard" demanded by several NATO and U.S. application standards.

A good original design that considers downstream requirements is not all that hard if you have both good systems engineers, armament system gurus and demand the software folks get away from the keyboards and quit "hacking".

/rant off


Last edited by gums; 28th Feb 2021 at 21:56. Reason: corections
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