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U.S. Navy Starts Search for a Sixth Generation Fighter
Daily Tech ^ | April 17, 2012 10:47 AM | Shane McGlaun

Posted on 04/18/2012 6:45:23 AM PDT by maddog55

New fighter will complement the F-35

The F-35 program is still ongoing and infamously over budget, yet the U.S. Navy is kicking off the early steps in the search for a sixth generation fighter to replace the current F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. This first step in searching for new fighter aircraft is a Request for Information from companies interested in participating with the program.

The document reads, "To support OPNAV N98’s request, this is a Pre-Material Development Decision (MDD) market survey for the purpose of determining market interest, feasibility, and capability of potential sources and does NOT constitute a Request for Proposals. NO SOLICITATION DOCUMENTS EXIST AT THIS TIME."

You may be wondering if this means that the F-35 as far as the Navy's concerned could be dead. Well, this new program has no bearing on the F-35 - the Navy document states the new sixth generation fighter will complement the F-35 and a planned unmanned aircraft.

"The intent of this research is to solicit Industry inputs on candidate solutions for CVN based aircraft to provide multi-role capability in an A2AD operational environment. Primary missions include, but are not limited to, air warfare (AW), strike warfare (STW), surface warfare (SUW), and close air support (CAS).

“Also, consider the ability of your concept to provide other capabilities currently provided by strike fighter aircraft, such as organic air-to-air refueling (AAR), Tactical Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition (RSTA), and airborne electronic attack (AEA). "

Interestingly, the Navy is accepting pitches for unmanned, optionally manned, and manned aircraft. The fighters proposed could be brand-new, clean-sheet designs or concepts derived from current aircraft. Of all the missions the aircraft should perform, one the most interesting is the ability to refuel other fighters in the air.

(Excerpt) Read more at dailytech.com ...


TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: aerospace; navair

1 posted on 04/18/2012 6:45:24 AM PDT by maddog55
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To: maddog55

Odd use of the word “search”. As if the plane exists out there somewhere and they just have to find it.


2 posted on 04/18/2012 6:47:58 AM PDT by DManA
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To: maddog55
New fighter will complement the F-35

That statement assumes that the F-35 actually enters service. Since it turns out the carrier version of the F-35 can't actually land on a carrier that is going to be a problem. With its massive budget overruns and no planes in squadron service the F-35 looks like a prime candidate to get it's budget cut to 0 by either a Romney or second term Obama administration.

They should have built both the built the X-32 along with the F-35. Sure the F-35 was the only one with VTOL capability, but if, as it turn out it did, Lockheed Martin can't build the F-35s at least there would have been a fall back position for land bases and big deck carriers. Kind of like how the F6F Hellcat was a fallback for the F4U Corsair.
3 posted on 04/18/2012 6:55:17 AM PDT by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: DManA

Organics.

Microchip US soldiers uniforms for IFF. Create an organic compound that can eat through something. Give it a 24 hour shelf life before it destroys itself. Design it based on DNA, which can identify age, sex, etc.

Put 50,000 of the little buggers into the micro-robots being developed for spying, Fit it into a drone and release onto the battlefield.

No need for a plane


4 posted on 04/18/2012 6:56:48 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Solyent Pink is Sheeple!!!!)
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To: DManA
Of all the missions the aircraft should perform, one the most interesting is the ability to refuel other fighters in the air.

I don't know why this would be interesting. Using a drone for Navy style tanking would be easy. Program an orbit, track, or course and the manned aircraft come in and plug as they need to. In Navy tanking the tanker needs to be in the right place at the right time and that is about it. It does take some skills to work the pattern as the recovery tanker, hawking low fuel state birds. A good recovery tanker will be just upwind when the low state airplane reaches the ship. If the low state aircraft gets waved off or misses the arresting gear he should be able to look just in front of him and see the tanker waiting. The A-6 guys were awesome at that.

5 posted on 04/18/2012 6:57:38 AM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: GonzoGOP

>>That statement assumes that the F-35 actually enters service.<<

The F-35 JSF is the perfect example of the old adage that a camel is a mouse built to government specifications.

It was a great idea — combine the F/16 and F(A)/18 into a single low cost homogeneous platform — basically make a Southwest Airways maintenance model. Make it better than the rest but not the best of the best (that was supposed to be the F-22).

And I was its biggest fan.

They screwed that up so badly that the F-35 being built doesn’t even resemble what was envisioned. Billions of dollars thrown away with no discernible ROI.

As I said before, the stalwart F/16 and FA/18 are good for another 20 or 30 years until the US Government decides it really wants a real MRF platform. I don’t think this “search” will result in one.


6 posted on 04/18/2012 7:08:02 AM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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To: freedumb2003
The F-35 JSF is the perfect example of the old adage that a camel is a mouse built to government specifications.

Unfortunately the government never wanted the F-15, F-16 or F-18 in the first place. John "40 seconds" Boyd forced them on the desk pilots. He is unfortunately no longer around to focus the minds of the procurement pencil warriors. The F-15's motto of "not a pound for air to ground" made it the best fighter in the sky for nearly 30 years. The F-35 is a Ferrari dumptruck. It can't do any job well and costs too much to buy in the first place. Heck it costs more per plane than the F-22 and that is better than the F-35 at both air to air and air to ground.

A good fighter can still drop bombs, especially with the development of JDAMS. But there isn't much you can do to turn a bomb truck into a fighter.
7 posted on 04/18/2012 7:19:50 AM PDT by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: GonzoGOP
The F-35 is a Ferrari dumptruck.

LOL -- I am SO going to steal that term!!!!!


8 posted on 04/18/2012 7:25:05 AM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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To: GonzoGOP
Kind of like how the F6F Hellcat was a fallback for the F4U Corsair.

Different era. Aircraft now are built by consortia to spread the risk. Back in those days and with a major war going on Grumman could offload the Wildcat production to the Eastern Aircraft Group (General Motors) and begin re-tooling for the Hellcat all while the Hellcat's design was still being worked out (testing the Zero captured in the Aleutians).

The Brits taught us how to use the Corsair on a carrier flight deck, but by then the Hellcat was beginning to supplant the Wildcat. I don't think that there was a plan there. Just the way it worked out.

I'm skeptical about semi-autonomous drones and their capabilities in A2A and Close-Air Support. But I'm thinking that another manned 'bridge' between the drones and 4th/5th generation fighters may be redundant given that we're talking about 2030 as a target date -- and that will undoubtedly slide to 2040 or later.

9 posted on 04/18/2012 7:32:13 AM PDT by Tallguy (It's all 'Fun and Games' until somebody loses an eye!)
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To: maddog55

All we hear are the shortfalls of the F-35. How about some good news?


10 posted on 04/18/2012 7:32:45 AM PDT by Rannug ("God has given it to me, let him who touches it beware.")
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To: freedumb2003

Boeing X-32 ?


11 posted on 04/18/2012 7:36:53 AM PDT by molson209
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To: maddog55

autonomous - Humans can't handle the G-s that the machines can.


12 posted on 04/18/2012 7:47:34 AM PDT by FreeAtlanta (Liberty and Justice for ALL)
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To: Rannug

It has wings.


13 posted on 04/18/2012 7:51:54 AM PDT by FreeAtlanta (Liberty and Justice for ALL)
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To: FreeAtlanta

LMAO


14 posted on 04/18/2012 7:55:54 AM PDT by Rannug ("God has given it to me, let him who touches it beware.")
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To: Tallguy
The Brits taught us how to use the Corsair on a carrier flight deck, but by then the Hellcat was beginning to supplant the Wildcat. I don't think that there was a plan there. Just the way it worked out.

Actually in that case it was very much a plan. The Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engine came out and the Navy wanted a plane to use it. The F4U had the best potential, but was a very complex aircraft. The F6F was a much simpler design. They knew it would work and that they could get it into production quickly. So the Navy ordered both with the F6F as the backup. And it was a good thing they did because while the F4U was a great aircraft, depending on it alone would have stuck the navy with the F4F all the way into 1944.

In foreign service the Hawker Hurricane was a backup to the more complex Spitfire. Both served side by side with the cheaper to produce Hurricane actually doing most of the work in the Battle of Britain.

A contract of this type where the more complex aircraft actually came in on time was for the B-29 Superfortress and B-32 Dominator. Both were 4 engine very long range bombers using the Wright R-3350 engine. The B-32 was designed as a backup aircraft if the cutting edge B-29 hadn't worked out. Since the B-29 did work out the B-32 is just a footnote in history.

This sort of thing was very common up until the Robert McNamara era.
15 posted on 04/18/2012 8:00:13 AM PDT by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: Rannug

There isn’t any...


16 posted on 04/18/2012 8:04:38 AM PDT by maddog55 (OBAMA: Why stupid people shouldn't vote.)
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To: Rannug
All we hear are the shortfalls of the F-35. How about some good news?

The Russians and the Chinese are trying to build similar aircraft so they are going to go broke too.

Russian T-50


Chinese J-20 prototype.
17 posted on 04/18/2012 8:06:04 AM PDT by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: DManA

It’s not odd if you are looking for other countries to make your fighter jet for you because it’s way cheaper!


18 posted on 04/18/2012 8:18:55 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: maddog55

Bring back the F-4 Phantom ............


19 posted on 04/18/2012 8:28:42 AM PDT by jmax
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To: DManA
"Odd use of the word “search”. As if the plane exists out there somewhere and they just have to find it."


Found it .... BTW, Newt could get THIS job done, y'know

20 posted on 04/18/2012 8:34:28 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: freedumb2003

I would add to your excellent post that the F-22 line should be re-started. There is simply nothing out there or in the planning/development stages that comes close to it.


21 posted on 04/18/2012 8:39:43 AM PDT by riverdawg
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To: GonzoGOP

“But there isn’t much you can do to turn a bomb truck into a fighter.”

Except for the F-15E. . . .just say’n


22 posted on 04/18/2012 8:49:55 AM PDT by Hulka
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To: Hulka
Except for the F-15E. . . .just say’n

What came first the fighter or the bomber? Hint the fighter versions ends with suffix A-D. Going to my original point that you build the fighter first, then hang bombs on it.
23 posted on 04/18/2012 8:55:46 AM PDT by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: maddog55

I think the best bet would be to go for a ship redesign, with the idea of creating a “drone aircraft carrier” to complement our manned aircraft carriers. Some things that may be wanted in such a design include:

1) Three operational modes. Semi-submersible (SS), surface (S) and elevated (E) modes. The SS mode is for “semi-stealthy” operations, with little or no radar profile. S operational mode for rapid movement. And an E mode for both drone launch and recovery and for torpedo evasion, especially against the Russian “wake homing” torpedoes, which are a serious threat.

2) The drones themselves can be of several types, all brought to the launch deck by elevator. The smallest would be light reconnaissance and asub drones, the largest number; then high performance fighter drones, faster and more maneuverable than manned fighters; and finally medium range bomber drones, somewhat like the latest version of the Reaper, called Altair, that has a 3,000lb payload.

3) The actual size of the ship is a good question, and there could be two or more sizes, used as part of a traditional carrier group.


24 posted on 04/18/2012 9:12:07 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy ("It is already like a government job," he said, "but with goats." -- Iranian goat smuggler)
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To: Hulka
“But there isn’t much you can do to turn a bomb truck into a fighter.”

Except for the F-15E. . . .just say’n

I think it is great that the F-15E (and other variants) was able to almost casually say, "well, we own the sky so why not drop some ordinance so we can own the ground as well?"

We have the chicken and egg conundrum: since there is no craft that can challenge the F-15 does that just mean it has easy and clear access to the targets? Or does its ability to kill ground targets guarantee clear skies?

I will make one unequivocal statement: there will never be a more beautiful craft than the F-15. (F-14 #2, F-16 #3, F-18 #4 -- FWIIW, I have been told that the F4 are the most beautiful for the 'nam guys who got support from them)

25 posted on 04/18/2012 9:12:36 AM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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To: freedumb2003
A-10, so ugly it is beautiful.

I really love the look of the F-22. Until it came along, the old Corsair, Spitfires and P-38 Lightenings were my favorites. The F-22 just looks sexy.

26 posted on 04/18/2012 9:29:18 AM PDT by FreeAtlanta (Liberty and Justice for ALL)
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To: freedumb2003

“I will make one unequivocal statement: there will never be a more beautiful craft than the F-15.”

I think that mark has already been hit with the F-22. It is a great looking airplane, and has it all over the F-15 in performance as well.

Of course, beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. :-)


27 posted on 04/18/2012 10:22:21 AM PDT by PreciousLiberty (Pray for America!!!)
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To: PreciousLiberty
I think that mark has already been hit with the F-22

The F-22 is uber-cool in appearance. But cool<>beautiful. The F-15 always looked to me like an elegant swan. Every line so artfully drawn, every plane so sophisticated.

And her cool younger cousin:


28 posted on 04/18/2012 11:00:47 AM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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To: freedumb2003

There was another airplane with swept wings and 2 jet engines called the ME262 that was an elegant Swallow.


29 posted on 04/18/2012 11:19:37 AM PDT by MikeSteelBe (Austrian Hitler was, as the Halfrican Hitler does.)
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To: MikeSteelBe
...the ME262

To end the old joke... "this Fokker was in a Messerschmidt"

No question, this was the F-22 of its day.

30 posted on 04/18/2012 11:22:50 AM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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To: GonzoGOP

According to the engineers at Boeing, and the flight-line old guys at St Louis (they service and repair the jets), the F-15E is 80% different from the Gay Eagles. Don’t even have the same landing gear. Totally different jet.

If you just go by looks as most non-aviation types usually do, then yeah, but if you actually look at the components of the jet it is not.

The F-15E is a terrific multi-role jet.


31 posted on 04/18/2012 1:31:04 PM PDT by Hulka
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To: freedumb2003

“I will make one unequivocal statement: there will never be a more beautiful craft than the F-15”

Yeah, agree. . .but also think the A-10 is so ugly it is beautiful. . .but that’s just me.


32 posted on 04/18/2012 1:45:45 PM PDT by Hulka
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To: Hulka
Yeah, agree. . .but also think the A-10 is so ugly it is beautiful. . .but that’s just me.

I have never understood the "warthog ugly" thing with the A-10. With those big old shoulders and the ability to damn near stand still, it is like the Da Vinci's sculpture of David -- muscled and elegant. The only people who would not find it beautiful are the denizens of the hard targets it is about to rain hellfire down upon. The A-10 rips armored targets apart like aluminum beer cans.


33 posted on 04/18/2012 2:13:36 PM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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To: freedumb2003

Don’t know of any of the f-22s engines catching on fire for being temperamental.


34 posted on 04/18/2012 5:32:34 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: freedumb2003

One of the few things “Red Tails” got right was the sound of the American Browning .50 caliber vs the slower thump of the ME262’s MK108 30mm cannons.


35 posted on 04/19/2012 3:25:22 PM PDT by MikeSteelBe (Austrian Hitler was, as the Halfrican Hitler does.)
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To: freedumb2003

The design team for that aircraft had to read the book by Hans-Ulrich Rudel. He popped over 500 Russian tanks with a cannon armed Stuka.

They actually had to create a higher level of iron cross award for Hans’ commie-killing accomplishments.


36 posted on 04/19/2012 3:33:56 PM PDT by MikeSteelBe (Austrian Hitler was, as the Halfrican Hitler does.)
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To: freedumb2003

...the ME262. And like the Third Reich, we did not build enough of them (the F-22) to win any serious war.


37 posted on 04/22/2012 6:40:23 AM PDT by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now it is your turn ...)
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