Skip to comments.Boeing Plans Sixth Generation Fighter With Block 3 Super Hornet
Posted on 01/30/2008 11:19:22 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
Boeing Plans Sixth Generation Fighter With Block 3 Super Hornet
Jan 30, 2008
David A. Fulghum/Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
Boeing is touting an even newer version of its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet that, paired with an advanced sixth-generation fighter in the works at the company, would give customers what Boeing deems a better package of capabilities than Lockheed Martin's combination of the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The idea is that customers could buy 4.5 generation Super Hornets (perhaps 4.75 generation with the planned extra forward stealth and extra range of Block 3 aircraft) and then switch to a new, sixth generation faster than if they bought the fifth generation Joint Strike Fighter. To be available circa 2024, the sixth generation aircraft would feature a combat radius of more than 1,000 miles and stealth against a much wider spectrum of radars.
"The [Navy] C-version of the F-35 doesn't buy you a lot that the Super Hornet doesn't provide," says Bob Gower, Boeing's vice president for F/A-18 and EA-18G programs. "Our strategy is to create a compelling reason for the services to go to the next [sixth] generation platform. How do you bridge F/A-18E/F to get us there? We want to convince customers to stay with [Super Hornet] a few years longer -- by adding advanced capabilities and lowering price -- so that they can get to the sixth generation faster. If you go to JSF first, it's going to be a long time."
Another part of Boeing's argument is that the "Navy is comfortable with the Super Hornet against the highest [enemy] threat through 2024, with the [improved] capabilities we have in the flight plan," Gower says. "The ability to counter the threat gets you to about the point that [Boeing's] sixth generation is available."
It's part of Boeing's counterattack on Lockheed Martin's claim that the decreasing price of the F-22, which is now at $140 million each, will make it so attractive that Australia may reconsider its buy -- already being paid for -- of 24 two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornets. Until Australia's recent change in government, a number of U.S. officials said the government was considering a second lot of 24 Super Hornets and a six-plane squadron of EA-18G Growlers.
Boeing makes the argument that a sliding in-service date for the JSF is worrying both the Australians and the U.S. military.
"The U.S. Air Force and Navy are now talking a lot more about where they need to go with sixth generation to get beyond JSF," Gower says. "It could be unmanned, but I think you will see a combination of missions -- some manned, some unmanned."
For Boeing, the real discriminators are going to be extended range (1,000-1,500 miles), a small radar signature against low-frequency radars, expanded awareness through connections with the network, and the ability to carry a number of bombs internally.
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Give it the all-around capability of the F-18/F-14, with the ground attack capability of the A-10.
How do you make that stealthy?
They can call it whatever they want, sixth generation, tenth generation, Starship Enterprise. I’ll believe it when I see it.
And I believe that, when I see it, it will fly without a pilot in it.
Great for the second tier spender.
blended wing maybe?
All model-T’s compared to what’s never been disclosed yet . . . but been in the . . . fleet . . . for decades, constantly improved.
OK, the F18 went from Mach 1.8 to Mach 1.6 with after burners... Will the next gen F18 go Mach 1.4?
Meanwhile the JSF, even though it has ineffiencient aerodynamics (with its “heavier than lead” lifter concept) and a canload of contractor subsidies (for its “new-flight” concept and high maintenance when it will fly), can super-cruise.
By the way, the V22 is another odd and costly project that proves however invaluable lately to avoid ground fire and get out of dodge for the Marines in Iraq, despite the naysayers. (I would have prefered a modified Chinook to fly horizontal in a sort of blended body system, a more normal evolution of the traditional flying concepts). But it is about time something like the V22 came out to save our necks, and we must stick to it... to hell or heaven together, else there is no army that stands to call itself an army.
So I think we should stick with JSF and Boeing should move on. Northrope made the same mistake by pulling a F20 Tigershark against the F16.
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More like a 2.75 generation Super Hornet since it's performance isn't even equivalent to the plane it "replaced" the F-14D.
and a six-plane squadron of EA-18G Growlers.
Whoever proposed that the ALQ-99 be exported should be fired on the spot.
Even a modified Chinook wouldn't meet the JORD and couldn't fit into the hangar bay on a LHA/LHD plus it would still be hampered by retreating blade stall.
else there is no army that stands to call itself an army.
Too bad that that short-sighted army bailed out on the V-22 back in 1983.
E/F has been crap to date
so what will Bo(ein)gus give us next
Many aircraft, in clean form, can break Mach without afterburner, including the Eurofighter, but. A clean F-16 can break mach 1.1 without afterburners, but to be considered supercruise you need to be able to sustain Mach 1.5 or above with a normal weapons load.
The F-22 can do this, the F-35 cannot.
Recent photo of the Boeing F/A-37 undergoing carrier trials:
What's to stop the Army from jumping back in with checkbook in hand to order a few dozen V-22s? It's already being considered for export sales.
The Army doesn't care about the V-22. They want it's big brother. Something that has the airlift of a C-130, the stealth of the F-22, and the speed and vertical capability of the V-22. The Joint Heavy Lift program.
Good luck with that, guys.
Thannks. Interesting bird.