Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Lockheed reveals bold technology plans with 6th-gen fighter concept
Flight International ^ | 01/04/2012 | Stephen Trimble

Posted on 01/04/2012 8:02:11 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki

Lockheed reveals bold technology plans with 6th-gen fighter concept

By: Stephen Trimble Washington DC

Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works division has revealed a conceptual next-generation fighter design that offers the first hints of an ambitious, long-term technology strategy for the new class of tactical aircraft that will emerge after 2030.

The concept - published in a 2012 calendar distributed to journalists - indicates the company will continue to seek new breakthroughs in performance despite the risk-averse culture of today's weapons buyers in the US military.

Featuring an F-22-like nose, an unusually contoured wing and nearly flat canted tails, the concept suggests a new level of speed and agility.

©LOCKHEED MARTIN

Lockheed also seemed to take a thinly-veiled shot at a next generation fighter concept released in September by Boeing, which showed a manned and optionally manned, tailless fighter with a conventional wing.

"Simply removing the pilot from an aircraft or introducing incremental improvements in signature and range does not constitute a generational leap in capability," Lockheed said in response to Flightglobal's questions.

"These improvements are already being looked att for our fifth generation fighters," the company added.

Instead, possible technologies for a next-generation fighter should include "greatly increased speed", more range and new features like self-healing structures and multi-spectral stealth, the company said.

Such capabilities must be supported by new breakthroughs in propulsion, materials, power generation and weapons, Lockheed said, adding some of these are "yet to be fully imagined".

Lockheed acknowledged that breakthrough performance will not come cheap.

"This will require another significant investment in research and development from a standpoint of time and money," the company said.

So far, USAF leaders have not been committal about plans for a sixth-generation fighter to replace the F-22 after 2030. The air force is instead focused on buying 1,763 F-35As to replace the F-16 and A-10 fleets. New development funding is largely devoted to fielding a next generation bomber by the end of the decade.

Meanwhile, the USAF has initiated the first steps towards working on a next generation fighter. In November 2010, the Air Combat Command asked companies to submit ideas for the technologies and performance for a new fighter that would appear in 20 years. The Air Force Research Laboratory also is funding research on basic technologies that could feed into a sixth generation fighter programme.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aerospace; f22; lockheedmartin; usaf
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-65 next last

1 posted on 01/04/2012 8:02:23 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki
Take out the pilot, the life-support, all the dials and switches and displays, and they might have something there.

/johnny

2 posted on 01/04/2012 8:05:00 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper
Take out the pilot, the life-support, all the dials and switches and displays, and they might have something there.

Skynet? (Terminator reference).

3 posted on 01/04/2012 8:07:05 PM PST by Pearls Before Swine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

bflr


4 posted on 01/04/2012 8:08:51 PM PST by Captain Beyond (The Hammer of the gods! (Just a cool line from a Led Zep song))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper

‘cause that “drone” thing worked so well in Iran.


5 posted on 01/04/2012 8:09:00 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (ROMNEY / ALINSKY 2012 (sarcasm))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

I keep thinking of a story by Kurt Vonnegut where there is a constant war where both sides had pilotless weapons so smart that they fight each other to a stalemate, one side cannot gain any ground on the other and vice versa. Then somebody gets an idea of putting people back in the cockpits of aircraft as well as manned kamakaze missiles to reintroduce the human element that artificial intelligence always has a hard time predicting human actions and keeping up. It is called “The Manned Missiles” and was published in 1958.


6 posted on 01/04/2012 8:11:03 PM PST by Nowhere Man ("People should not fear their government, their government should fear the people." - V for Vendetta)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

Why don’t they just use the anti-gravity and inertial damping systems recovered at Roswell?


7 posted on 01/04/2012 8:15:05 PM PST by Eddie01 (Liberals lie about everything all the time.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

How much have the F-35 and F-22 cost?


8 posted on 01/04/2012 8:18:23 PM PST by wastedyears (Not too long you devious little parathyroid. Soon I'll be rid of you and I'll be free.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wastedyears

You asked the 64 billion dollar question. With the chinese reverse engineering everything they can get their hands on it may be the production process that is the only secret. And that is largely a matter of how much they cost.


9 posted on 01/04/2012 8:28:34 PM PST by Brilliant
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki
"In the year 2054, the entire defence budget will purchase just one aircraft. This aircraft will have to be shared by the Air Force and Navy 3½ days each per week except for leap year, when it will be made available to the Marines for the extra day."

Norm Augustine, former CEO of Lockeed Martin

10 posted on 01/04/2012 8:31:38 PM PST by Vince Ferrer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

I need a like to the pic. The one in the story is broken.


11 posted on 01/04/2012 8:31:58 PM PST by Ronin (If we were serious about using the death penalty as a deterrent, we would bring back public hangings)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Eddie01
“Why don’t they just use the anti-gravity and inertial damping systems recovered at Roswell”

That was what I was thinking..you would think in 2030 about ninety years after Roswell, Area 51 etc that they could have figured all that alien stuff out :)

12 posted on 01/04/2012 8:33:55 PM PST by montanajoe
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Cringing Negativism Network
Progress comes with errors. In fact, failures are how we learn.

With that attitude, we wouldn't have ever had aircraft, because they ALWAYS screw up.

It's a dangerous business.

Now, if there was a 80% failure rate on drones, I might agree with you that it's not quite time, yet.

But how many recent drone crashes, besides that one, can you name? How many air hours do drones have without incident?

Time to move forward and work out the problems, and make it work.

/johnny

13 posted on 01/04/2012 8:35:17 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper

If Iran can bring down a state of the art US drone.

Russia or the PRC can hijack a US pilotless fighter, and perhaps even use it against us.

Re-start the F-22 production lines. NOW.


14 posted on 01/04/2012 8:37:56 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (ROMNEY / ALINSKY 2012 (sarcasm))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper
Take out the pilot, the life-support, all the dials and switches and displays, and they might have something there.

And Iran might have something there again too ... like last month...

for every advantage there a disadvantage...

and remote robot planes have weak link major disadvantage...

a data link that can be jammed, cut, or cracked....

a many million dollar plane that has all the keys to all you latest bleeding edge technology is something it might be wise to have some one in locally control(like a pilot)

Funny no one will every risk having a remote control pilot-less robot airliner...

not even if it only a cargo hauler...to risky.....

but put your national defense secrets at the same risk...no problem

15 posted on 01/04/2012 8:38:08 PM PST by tophat9000 (American is Barack Oaken)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Cringing Negativism Network; tophat9000
There are fixes to all those problems. Very hard, complicated fixes.

Heck, in WWII, our torpedoes were mostly useless for a part of the war.

We didn't whine about it, we didn't say it couldn't be done. We knuckled down and figured it out.

/johnny

16 posted on 01/04/2012 8:43:21 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper

Nobody is whining.

More than a bit of denial going on though.

Restart the F-22 lines.


17 posted on 01/04/2012 8:44:55 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (ROMNEY / ALINSKY 2012 (sarcasm))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: tophat9000
Oh, and Gary Powers was locally in control, and the CCCP got a pretty much intact U-2.

Man right there is no guarantee of safeguarding the technology.

A master zeroize tac nuke, however, is. ;)

/johnny

18 posted on 01/04/2012 8:46:38 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: All

The planes keep getting faster and more agile but it’s the humans who have to catch up...we can only take so many G’s. I could imagine a turn so sharp it could snap the neck or pop out the eyeballs.

I believe the F22 has programmed fail safes which keeps the plane under certain parameters, otherwise the pilot will GLOC.


19 posted on 01/04/2012 8:47:17 PM PST by ak267
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

By the way, does it turn into a Robotech fighter?


20 posted on 01/04/2012 8:48:48 PM PST by ak267
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

What a wonderful opportunity to show a concept plane on the 2012 calendar that may be operational within 19 years.

Why don’t we just publish it’s cad/cam design so all of our enemies won’t have to spend lots of $$$ in the next 19 years to best our latest technology?

As a government, we are so stupid!

Remember, loose lips, sink ships!


21 posted on 01/04/2012 8:48:58 PM PST by Noob1999 (Loose Lips, Sink Ships)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cringing Negativism Network
I'm all for restarting the F-22 lines.

We're talking about next generation fighters, and it takes time to put one together. Now is time to start thinking about what replaces the F-22.

I believe in not fighting the last war.

Things work out so much better when you think and act ahead.

/johnny

22 posted on 01/04/2012 8:51:12 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper

We have a generation of kids trained from birth practically on ever more realistic video games. You can bet that most Reaper etc ‘pilots’ had a copy of Ace Combat/ Falcon or similar back in high school and in their barracks now.

Once the military gets building/buying actual dogfighter type drones, there is an endless supply of ‘pilots’ about 50 % trained before they ever sign up for service.

Put him/her in a VR cockpit with a 360 view and the need for manned fighters is all but eliminated.

G limits...gone.
Maneuverability...through the roof.
Fear of death....gone.

Drones are a great idea, though we should always have real pilots because there is the very real danger of the communication tech between ‘pilot’ and craft being hacked. That’s the only downside I can imagine to drone warfare.


23 posted on 01/04/2012 8:52:00 PM PST by Norm Lenhart (Curse you, Norm Lenhart! Im slain, crumpled in a ditch by your obvious superiority - Humblegunner)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Cringing Negativism Network
Restart the F-22 lines

They may want to fix the oxygen system first. Pilots and F-22's are too expensive to auger into the ground for lack of Oxygen.
24 posted on 01/04/2012 8:52:11 PM PST by Tailback
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Cringing Negativism Network

Heck, even more F-15’s and F-16’s would be nice along with a lower cost tier like an F-5, perhaps the updated F-20 variant would do. (The F-5/20 is a fave of mine)


25 posted on 01/04/2012 8:54:56 PM PST by Nowhere Man ("People should not fear their government, their government should fear the people." - V for Vendetta)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Norm Lenhart
That’s the only downside I can imagine to drone warfare.

Wait... Didn't that happen during Gulf War I? Didn't we send hundreds of robot drones (cruise missiles) off to fly to their destination and take out their targets without human intervention?

Why, yes, it did happen.

We've already got robot wars. We need to get better than everybody else faster than everybody else.

/johnny

26 posted on 01/04/2012 8:56:42 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Norm Lenhart

If some kid trained from birth to fly a virtual jet from the Nevada desert can fly an American plane with a huge arsenal.

A kid trained from birth to fly a virtual jet from the steppes of Kazakhistan or Xinjiang, can fly an American plane with a huge arsenal, as long as they’ve got access to the right technology, satellites and hacks - the sort of resources adversarial nations have. In fact, it’s increasingly likely that’s where some of the technology was produced.

Contemplate that.

America is not alone in knowing how to do things.

In fact, the more we outsource, the more such technology we LOSE.

The more vulnerable we become, to being trumped at even our very best.

“Free trade” is dangerous.


27 posted on 01/04/2012 9:05:39 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (ROMNEY / ALINSKY 2012 (sarcasm))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper
Get rid of the pilot and what you have is another expensive drone for Iran to hijack. Drones need to be cheap and low tech, so you don't care when you lose them. Put another way a battery of s-300 missiles costs Iran 91 million dollars just for the radar and launchers. The missiles cost just under a million each. So if you can get the drones under 5 million a pop they become prohibitively expensive to shoot down. Think V-1 with GPZ guidance ans you are on the right track.

Pilots are expensive and life precious so you give the guys the best for those missions that only a man can do. Drones need to be cheap, mass produced, and expendable. A billion dollar drone defeats the main advantages of the drone. It is too expensive to risk, or to mass produce.
28 posted on 01/04/2012 9:07:48 PM PST by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Cringing Negativism Network

I cannot deny a word of what you wrote.


29 posted on 01/04/2012 9:10:58 PM PST by Norm Lenhart (Curse you, Norm Lenhart! Im slain, crumpled in a ditch by your obvious superiority - Humblegunner)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper

Very true, but I was getting at a dogfighting kind of scenario.

Personally I’m all for the big bomb approach. I do not in any way agree with or understand the concept of ‘limited warfare.” If we are going to go to war as a country, we should go total, win and go home.

And to hell with the UN.


30 posted on 01/04/2012 9:14:21 PM PST by Norm Lenhart (Curse you, Norm Lenhart! Im slain, crumpled in a ditch by your obvious superiority - Humblegunner)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: GonzoGOP
So get rid of the weak link. The link, in other words. Make them autonomous.

A large part of the cost of any AC project is man-rating it. Same with space.

Lots of hoops to jump through for that.

/johnny

31 posted on 01/04/2012 9:15:24 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: montanajoe
They already have...

"Anything you can imagine we already know how to do."-Ben Rich, Lockheed Chief, Skunkworks

Other Ben Rich quotes:

"The U. S. Air Force has just given us a contract to take E. T. back home."

"We also know how to travel to the stars."

"If you've seen it in Star Trek or Star Wars, we've been there and done that."

"We have things in the Nevada desert that are alien to your way of thinking far beyond anything you see on Star Trek."

32 posted on 01/04/2012 9:18:17 PM PST by BreezyDog (PLAN A: A Peaceful Restoration of the Republic.....PLAN B: A Restoration of the Republic)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Norm Lenhart
but I was getting at a dogfighting kind of scenario.

Our current pilots get our robot dogfighters (missiles) close, and then pickle them off to go do the manuevers that would kill a pilot.

As I've said. We've already got robot wars. We need to get better at it faster than everybody else.

/johnny

33 posted on 01/04/2012 9:18:59 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper

Even split the difference. It’s not that complex to create a system where if the direct link from American Military satX is cut or interfered with, the drone cuts communication, goes full auto and flies back to base.

If China etc get around that then they have control of the satellites and we are dead anyway.


34 posted on 01/04/2012 9:22:20 PM PST by Norm Lenhart (Curse you, Norm Lenhart! Im slain, crumpled in a ditch by your obvious superiority - Humblegunner)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Cringing Negativism Network
Don't forget that one of the selling points of the F-22 was the highly integrated computer interaction between aircraft to coordinate the battlespace.

Which involves data links, which can be hacked, or spoofed.

Just like a drone.

/johnny

35 posted on 01/04/2012 9:23:51 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Norm Lenhart
Problem is the OODA loop is getting tighter.

We won't have years, like we did in WWII to fix problems, learn on the job and get it right.

We need to get ahead of the (potential) enemy, and be inside his OODA loop.

And I don't particularly care where that leads us technically. I'm not one to make a piece of hardware a fetish. It works, or I make something that does.

/johnny

36 posted on 01/04/2012 9:30:52 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Nowhere Man

Years ago, I read something like that. Some tech reverse engineered some old artifact and figured out how to do math in his head.


37 posted on 01/04/2012 9:42:42 PM PST by Dawggie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper

“And I don’t particularly care where that leads us technically. I’m not one to make a piece of hardware a fetish. It works, or I make something that does.”

Tangent time but I promise to tie this together ;)

Short version - I spent years as the Ed of an Off-Road motorsport site and dealt with enviro issues pertaining to land closures etc. Biggest lesson learned was that the regulations caused by the green commie groups to further their desire to wreck the concept of America, lie at the heart of most of our current problems. The voting public however refuses to accept the feel-good whale warriors don’t really want to save anything but Marxism.

Now, to the point...

Columbia vaporized over eco correct foam damaged a heat tile. Greens banned the stuff that worked for a couple decades over flourocarbons.

Training grounds, facilities across the globe have been shut down or heavily restricted over the endangered snarfblat and cactus feelgoodicus.

The technologies used in creating, maintaining etc our greatest weapons have been blacklisted at worst and generally legislated to a bare level of usability by OSHA and unions.

I totally agree that we gotta be better faster yesterday. And until we as a people give the infection that is the left a shot of right wing penicillin, we are well and truly blanked. That’s really the one and only thing stopping us and has been for 50 years. We forfeited our exceptionalism to embrace liberalism. Every single problem in the world today has it’s roots in the left at some level.


38 posted on 01/04/2012 9:58:24 PM PST by Norm Lenhart (Curse you, Norm Lenhart! Im slain, crumpled in a ditch by your obvious superiority - Humblegunner)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

Kinda look like this:

http://www.snopes.com/photos/airplane/a37.asp


39 posted on 01/04/2012 10:03:08 PM PST by TheBattman (Isn't the lesser evil... still evil?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Norm Lenhart
AMEN! Preach it brother!

/johnny

40 posted on 01/04/2012 10:03:31 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper

YaEEEESSS!

I anxiously await the day when Mr. And Mrs. America realize that security clearances at bases and defense contractors aren’t designed so much to stop Chineese esponiage, but are the only “legal” way to keep Greenies out of/and from litigating any progress we CAN make technologically.

People should ponder the deeper meanings of that at their next yoga session.


41 posted on 01/04/2012 10:18:40 PM PST by Norm Lenhart (Curse you, Norm Lenhart! Im slain, crumpled in a ditch by your obvious superiority - Humblegunner)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: TheBattman

TeH SeX! Someone flattened and shrunk an SR71 ;)

Short story... Daughter is AF and works with all the cool new semi-invesible flying things. She hadn’t ever seen a 71 in real life until we went to the Museum/graveyard in AZ.

She stood mouth agape at that piece of 1950s tech for some time. Amazing what we can do when we really want to.


42 posted on 01/04/2012 10:26:23 PM PST by Norm Lenhart (Curse you, Norm Lenhart! Im slain, crumpled in a ditch by your obvious superiority - Humblegunner)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: Norm Lenhart

I saw my first SR-71 in the flesh a few summers back. For basically “ancient” design and technology- its still pretty incredible.


43 posted on 01/04/2012 10:34:05 PM PST by TheBattman (Isn't the lesser evil... still evil?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: TheBattman

For SR fans, there’s a book called “Sled Driver” by one of the pilots. It’s a limited edition and VERY expensive. Excerpts are available online. The stories of that thing over Libya are incredible.

I’’ll see if I can find the link.


44 posted on 01/04/2012 10:36:59 PM PST by Norm Lenhart (Curse you, Norm Lenhart! Im slain, crumpled in a ditch by your obvious superiority - Humblegunner)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: Noob1999

These are only the planes they want us to know about.


45 posted on 01/04/2012 10:41:03 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Norm Lenhart

Right here on FR ;)

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-vetscor/1981814/posts


46 posted on 01/04/2012 10:42:37 PM PST by Norm Lenhart (Curse you, Norm Lenhart! Im slain, crumpled in a ditch by your obvious superiority - Humblegunner)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: TheBattman

Probably overall the best plane ever made, comparing a majority of different performance parameters.


47 posted on 01/04/2012 10:45:46 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: Cringing Negativism Network

yea, in the unlikely event you lose a drone , the Iranians will not have an American pilot to parade around blindfolded as is their want. Seems like the operational factors make drones very attractive. They can loiter over target areas for many hours and not get bored, they are hard to pick up on radar, and can deliver a surgical deathblow with a push of a button.

They cost way less to build, maintain, and fly.

seems like a many win situation to me.


48 posted on 01/04/2012 11:00:23 PM PST by ping jockey (We have arrogant jerks for leaders and WE will pay the highest cost.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Vince Ferrer
In the year 2054, the entire defence budget will purchase just one aircraft.

If things don't change, in 2054 the entire revenue of the United States will be used to pay interest on our debt. There will be no defence budget.

49 posted on 01/04/2012 11:25:11 PM PST by Prokopton
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: ak267
"I could imagine a turn so sharp it could snap the neck or pop out the eyeballs."

You just described how it it that unmanned missiles can hit even the best human-piloted aircraft...

50 posted on 01/05/2012 12:43:07 AM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-65 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson