USAF News and Discussion

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The USAF have had a fire onboard a C-17A, which fortunately was on the ground at the time. The crew of 7 and 1 pax escaped without injury. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.

 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro

According to the article this's the concept from USAF for F-22 replacement. LM working on this, or this's just another contender. Anyway based on this, USAF preference are still not to reopen F-22 line, but move straight toward replacement.

That's quite remarkable for F-15, where there's going to be used at least for another two decades with F-15EX. While F-22 is aim to be replaced.
That's quite interesting. Looks like they have used the digital build methodology. I do like the modular aspect to it.
 

cdxbow

Active Member

According to the article this's the concept from USAF for F-22 replacement. LM working on this, or this's just another contender. Anyway based on this, USAF preference are still not to reopen F-22 line, but move straight toward replacement.

That's quite remarkable for F-15, where there's going to be used at least for another two decades with F-15EX. While F-22 is aim to be replaced.
The cutting edge moves on. F117 was the same, retired pretty early as technology improved. The B52 has had a much extended lifetime, the F-15 doing something similar on the fighter side, the difference is it's new platforms.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
I wonder which vendor gets to build the NGAD fighter? Neither Boeing or LM have been exactly brilliant in recent days but I can’t see alternatives to them. NG has the B-21 to contend with but I guess this is a possibility. GA could be as well but AFAIK has never built a manned fighter.
 

Boagrius

Well-Known Member
That's quite interesting. Looks like they have used the digital build methodology. I do like the modular aspect to it.
Definitely not the shape I would have expected. I had assumed a tailless flying dorito with no vertical stabs for sig reduction. Then again it may just be a random artist rendering, so we will see. Given the secrecy surrounding NGAD, it may be a while before we really know what it looks like.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
The image gives the impression this design shares some DNA from NG’s YF-23 (wing shape and engine exhaust setup). Agree, too early to know what it will really look like.
 

pkcasimir

Member
I wonder which vendor gets to build the NGAD fighter? Neither Boeing or LM have been exactly brilliant in recent days but I can’t see alternatives to them. NG has the B-21 to contend with but I guess this is a possibility. GA could be as well but AFAIK has never built a manned fighter.
The USAF's Digital Century Series concept for design, production, and sustainment attempts to break out of the current reliance on just a handful of airplane manufacturers and draw in new companies just as the Space launch business has produced a number of US companies that didn't exist 10 years ago. A discussion of the concept would take up more space than can be allotted but any discussion of the USAF's sixth generation fighter must include a discussion of the NGAD concept and the Digital Century Series. The USAF wants to break the system that produced the F-35 and F-22 and transition to a system where fighters would be designed and manufactured in short cycles by companies outside of the traditional airplane manufacturers and thus shorten the cycle and expand the defense production base. Whether it will work, is another discussion.
Too much attention is being payed to this artist's concept. In the eyes of the US Air Force, it really isn't that significant and there is no guarantee that the first sixth generation fighter will look anything like it.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Terran

Active Member

According to the article this's the concept from USAF for F-22 replacement. LM working on this, or this's just another contender. Anyway based on this, USAF preference are still not to reopen F-22 line, but move straight toward replacement.

That's quite remarkable for F-15, where there's going to be used at least for another two decades with F-15EX. While F-22 is aim to be replaced.
It’s a bit more complicated. First this isn’t really an F22 replacement. F22 is supposed to get a mid life upgrade in the next 4 years. It’s planned to retire from service in the 2060s. The reason for no restart is that you would need to reestablish the industrial base that is today ice cold. Plus conduct such a major redesign to the fighter to match current technologies and requirements that it becomes a situation like the F18C vs F/A18E a totally new aircraft with an old name. LM talked about offering a Lightning Raptor hybrid to port F35 tech into F22 airframes. But the cost factor would have basically killed the Sixth Gen program.

Had F22 been allowed to be exported and the line sustained past the 195 units. F15EX wouldn’t have happened. The F15EX came about simply being as the Export like was open and serving the Saudis and UAE.

Edit. As an aside anyone else thinks the concept art looks like the snow Speeder from Empire Strikes back?
 
Last edited:

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
I agree the export ban &ycked the Raptor program. Orders from Japan, Australia, and perhaps the UK would have driven costs down to where the USAF could have acquired another 50-150 jets. As for the NGAD design, disagree, this is a F-22 replacement. I really wonder what technology the Raptor has over the F-35 that prohibited its export to solid allies.
 

SolarWind

Active Member
I agree the export ban &ycked the Raptor program. Orders from Japan, Australia, and perhaps the UK would have driven costs down to where the USAF could have acquired another 50-150 jets. As for the NGAD design, disagree, this is a F-22 replacement. I really wonder what technology the Raptor has over the F-35 that prohibited its export to solid allies.
The F-22 is very costly to operate and keep in ready condition. It requires climate-controlled hangars, a special coating that must be reapplied after each flight. That was probably one of the reasons the US Air Force orders were cut short. But despite that, many allies were very interested in acquiring some, and it might have sustained the production line, had they been exported. I for one do not see why certain close allies could not be allowed to buy the F-22, but I was unfortunately not consulted on that :p.
 
Last edited:

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Needless to say stealth coatings are highly classified but surely this technology has advanced to the point of greater durability? In a peer to peer conflict, how can sortie rates be high enough when ground crews have to screw around with coatings, not to mention optimizing all the electronic kit?
 

Terran

Active Member
Technically there was no ban. But Congress never allowed LM & Boeing to build an export model. Because they never funded the USAF to build one.
This means that an ally could in theory get one but it would have all the USAF codes and secrets. Communications and sub systems. Which is why it never could happen.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
It’s a bit more complicated. First this isn’t really an F22 replacement. F22 is supposed to get a mid life upgrade in the next 4 years. It’s planned to retire from service in the 2060s. The reason for no restart is that you would need to reestablish the industrial base that is today ice cold. Plus conduct such a major redesign to the fighter to match current technologies and requirements that it becomes a situation like the F18C vs F/A18E a totally new aircraft with an old name. LM talked about offering a Lightning Raptor hybrid to port F35 tech into F22 airframes. But the cost factor would have basically killed the Sixth Gen program.

Had F22 been allowed to be exported and the line sustained past the 195 units. F15EX wouldn’t have happened. The F15EX came about simply being as the Export like was open and serving the Saudis and UAE.

Edit. As an aside anyone else thinks the concept art looks like the snow Speeder from Empire Strikes back?
It was Robert Gates who killed the F-22 production line when he, as SECDEF ordered it shut down in 2011 when it wasn't even halfway through production of the USAF's order for 750 aircraft.
I agree the export ban &ycked the Raptor program. Orders from Japan, Australia, and perhaps the UK would have driven costs down to where the USAF could have acquired another 50-150 jets. As for the NGAD design, disagree, this is a F-22 replacement. I really wonder what technology the Raptor has over the F-35 that prohibited its export to solid allies.
The export ban had nothing to do with the demise of the F-22. It was all US politics that killed it.
 

Terran

Active Member
It was Robert Gates who killed the F-22 production line when he, as SECDEF ordered it shut down in 2011 when it wasn't even halfway through production of the USAF's order for 750 aircraft
My point was that had F22 production not been cut at the 195 units the F15EX never would have happened. The 200 units of F15EX wouldn’t have been needed. I bonus point out that even if the US had curtailed order but retained export options they could have ordered new units. This is exactly how the F15 order worked as the USAF had bought only 219 F15E in the original orders for that type ending 2001 (not much more than the F22) but as that was offered for export Boeing found buyers retaining a hot line till today allowing the USAF today can buy F15EX. Had F22 orders been closed at the same 195 units but an export option been made then the line may have been open to reorder.

But as the line was shut with no option for FMS of not just by Gates but the two Administrations who had him in their service and Congress. That isn’t nor ever could have been an option by 2017 when the Structural issues of the F15 models became apparent and the need to replace them drove to F15EX. Basically I view the Bush and Obama administrations as short sighted vs the potential for great power threats.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
My point was that had F22 production not been cut at the 195 units the F15EX never would have happened. The 200 units of F15EX wouldn’t have been needed. I bonus point out that even if the US had curtailed order but retained export options they could have ordered new units. This is exactly how the F15 order worked as the USAF had bought only 219 F15E in the original orders for that type ending 2001 (not much more than the F22) but as that was offered for export Boeing found buyers retaining a hot line till today allowing the USAF today can buy F15EX. Had F22 orders been closed at the same 195 units but an export option been made then the line may have been open to reorder.

But as the line was shut with no option for FMS of not just by Gates but the two Administrations who had him in their service and Congress. That isn’t nor ever could have been an option by 2017 when the Structural issues of the F15 models became apparent and the need to replace them drove to F15EX. Basically I view the Bush and Obama administrations as short sighted vs the potential for great power threats.
Ok fair enough and I agree with your summation ref: the F-22. It was very short sighted and I also think that the legislation forbidding its export should have been either repealed or amended to something along the lines of its export limited to FVEY plus say Japan, Singapore and Germany and that's it.
 

Boagrius

Well-Known Member
Ok fair enough and I agree with your summation ref: the F-22. It was very short sighted and I also think that the legislation forbidding its export should have been either repealed or amended to something along the lines of its export limited to FVEY plus say Japan, Singapore and Germany and that's it.
IIRC it wasn't fitted with the same anti-tamper mods as the F35, and bringing that up to spec would have been difficult/expensive.

I vaguely recall stories of the US getting upset when the RAAF started tinkering with NCTR functionality on its classic Hornet radars. I imagine similar "fiddling" with the Raptor, even among friends, could have been... unwelcome for the US.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
IIRC it wasn't fitted with the same anti-tamper mods as the F35, and bringing that up to spec would have been difficult/expensive.

I vaguely recall stories of the US getting upset when the RAAF started tinkering with NCTR functionality on its classic Hornet radars. I imagine similar "fiddling" with the Raptor, even among friends, could have been... unwelcome for the US.
Yeah nah, they definitely wouldn't have a sense of humour about it. Considering how Boeing spat the dummy over the RAAF changes to the Wedgetail software, I wonder if was security or possible loss of revenue that the US spat the dummy about WRT the classic Hornet NCTR.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Technically there was no ban. But Congress never allowed LM & Boeing to build an export model. Because they never funded the USAF to build one.
This means that an ally could in theory get one but it would have all the USAF codes and secrets. Communications and sub systems. Which is why it never could happen.
What do you mean " ... technically there was no ban." For gawds sake man there was a 1997 Law that forbade the export of the F-22. The Obey Law. You cannot get much more of a formal notification and enforcement of a ban than that.

 

t68

Well-Known Member
Yeah nah, they definitely wouldn't have a sense of humour about it. Considering how Boeing spat the dummy over the RAAF changes to the Wedgetail software, I wonder if was security or possible loss of revenue that the US spat the dummy about WRT the classic Hornet NCTR.

Hi NG
Can you expand on this please what was the issue that got Boeing upset and when with the RAAF being the launch customer for wedgetail
 
Top