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Featured US sixth gen fighter making rapid progress, to enter service by end of decade

F-22Raptor

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The Air Force is preparing to unveil a new 30-year fighter force design that includes at least two all-new fighters, a much greater use of autonomous and unmanned aircraft, a new way of providing close air support, and a narrowing timeline for retiring aircraft such as the A-10, F-16, and F-22, said Lt. Gen. Clinton S. Hinote, deputy chief of staff for strategy, integration, and requirements.

Hinote said the F-22 will begin to phase out in about 2030—the exact timeline will be situation-dependent—and the Next-Generation Air Dominance fighter will be needed soon to defeat a Chinese stealth aircraft and missile threat that is “closer than we think.”

In a May 13 interview with the editors of Air Force Magazine, Hinote said Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.’s revelation that the USAF is planning to reduce its fighter fleet from seven types to “four plus one” is the kickoff of a “transparency” campaign to explain choices to be unveiled in the fiscal 2022 budget submission.

Brown said the future fighter fleet will include the F-35, F-15EX, late-model F-16s, and the Next Generation Air Dominance, or NGAD family of systems; the “plus one” being the A-10. Brown did not mention the F-22, and “this was something you all rightly picked up on very quickly,” Hinote said.

The Air Force plans a “transition” from the F-22 to the NGAD, and “we felt like, now is a good time for us to be able to talk about how we’re going to bridge” between the two systems.

While the F-22 is a good airframe—it has been updated and will continue to receive upgrades, “mostly sensors,” Hinote said—the Air Force is anticipating “the sunset of the F-22 … in about the 2030-ish timeframe.” That won’t be the full retirement of the type, but the beginning of its phase-out, he said. By then the F-22 will be 25 years old and the Air Force should be deep into a new cycle of fielding NGAD and its successors on what could be as rapid as a five-year cycle.

“Our Chief of Staff Gen. Brown has it exactly right: We must ‘accelerate change or lose,’” said AFA President retired Lt. Gen. Bruce “Orville” Wright. “If he says it’s time to start thinking about retiring the F-22, then he understands something about what’s coming with NGAD. The Air Force has led the way in developing and fielding the most advanced technologies on the planet and integrating them into complex weapons systems. They’ve done that from the F-117 a generation ago to the B-21 today. We have to respect Gen. Brown’s confidence and that proven capability to deliver.”

The F-22 fleet is small and suffers from vanishing-vendor problems, senior USAF officers have said recently. A recent high-level USAF planning document said the F-22 won’t be competitive two decades from now. Hinote said the F-22 “has its limitations and we can’t modernize our way out of the [air superiority] problem with just using an updated F-22.”

However, the Air Force will not allow any gap in its ability to achieve air superiority, he insisted.

“We believe … we have a good story,” he said, which is that the F-22 will be kept “viable as a bridge to get to the new capability. This is not an area of the Air Force where we feel we can take a lot of risk.” Though he thinks some mission areas might tolerate gaps or risks—he didn’t name them—air superiority “is not one of them.”

One of the reasons senior leadership is talking about the F-22 and NGAD is because the budget request to be presented in the coming weeks will show a “large … commitment” to the NGAD, Hinote said.

The service expects to have “a tight transition plan” between the F-22 and NGAD, he added. Until NGAD is available, “We feel like a good use of our resources is to keep the F-22 viable as we are developing this sea change in the way we field capability.”

Depending on the threat and hedging against problems in NGAD, the USAF may consider a service-life extension program for the F-22, but Hinote said that seems unlikely because the NGAD is making swift progress.

“I was surprised at how well it’s doing,” he said. He has escorted a number of members of Congress to see the jet—which former USAF acquisition chief Will Roper revealed last September has already flown—and they have come away “at a minimum, fairly impressed,” Hinote assessed. Members of the Office of the Secretary of Defense have similarly visited the program, and “seeing is believing,” he added.

“We still have to make it real, and there’s a lot to do in the program, but when you see what is going on, and you hear it from the Airmen who are flying it, you get a chance to really understand … where we’re going.” He said he wished he could “brag on” the contractors who have brought the program so far, so quickly, but much of the project remains classified.

The NGAD timetable will be “event driven,” but Hinote doubts it will be 10 years before it is in operational service. The “long pole in the tent” right now is integrating “the most important things onto that platform with a government reference architecture.”

He also noted that NGAD is a family of systems and will be “optionally manned,” meaning several versions of the jet may be built and employed with or without crews.

When the budget comes out, “it may not look like a 100 percent” replacement of F-22s with NGADs because “you’re talking about a set of capabilities, … some of that may be unmanned [or] optionally manned. So it’s not one-for-one.”

Broadly, he expects the Air Force to embrace autonomous aircraft as force multipliers. “We’re really working hard at identifying the true value propositions” in missions where unmanned systems may be used, he reported. He noted the Skyborg autonomous aircraft test earlier this month, which did not require the use of a runway for launch or recovery—something that could be a game-changer as the Air Force seeks to complicate the targeting problem for adversaries.

The NGAD concept calls for rapid turnover in technology, such that when one is about to be deployed, the next version will already be in design, if not development. Hinote suggested that the second NGAD type is already in design, then said, “I can’t confirm or deny that one.” But the Air Force is embracing the concept because it will allow “the great companies of our industrial base to re-enter the competition at the design phase, as opposed to crowding them out in the sustainability phase” as a consequence of what has recently been coined “vendor lock.”

It hasn’t been decided what the optimum cycle of NGAD platform turnover should be, but the hardware and software will be in a perennial spiral, Hinote said.

“As you’re allowing that program to mature, through a spiral series, you’re designing the next platform” with new software and sensor technology, he said. As these are integrated into the existing version, “you jump over that one” to the next one. “It could be every five years,” he said. “It could be every eight years.”

The A-10, which also is expected to fly until the 2030s, will be superseded by a “new way” and “new concepts” of delivering close air support, Hinote said.

“We’re not looking at building another non-survivable close air support aircraft like it,” he explained. “The lines on the battlefield are not necessarily where you’re going to be. In fact, it’s probably going to look much more distributed … [that’s why you’re seeing the] long-range fires discussion … play out in the press and in the Pentagon.” This is a “big, big deal,” he said. Close air support will “feel much different.” The new aircraft will be used “typically” in the counterterrorism environment, Hinote said, and the new concept is “pretty compelling.” He didn’t give details, but said that when the new capability becomes available “it’ll be pretty evident that we need to just go ahead and divest the A-10 and move to the new” construct.

As for the F-16, Hinote confirmed what Brown has suggested, that it will likely be a “clean sheet design” created in much the same way as the NGAD, using digital methods. The role envisaged for the new airplane will be homeland defense and missions “that don’t necessarily require a high level of survivability.” For example, it may not need to have “radar stealth.”

However, this is not a pressing decision, as “our F-16 ‘new’ blocks are actually still in decent shape; we can upgrade them and keep them viable for some time.” When it comes time to “sunset” the F-16, “a clean sheet design using digital tools is the way to go,” Hinote said.

Fielding the NGAD is urgent, Hinote added. While he would not say when the threat will overmatch USAF’s current capabilities, “the time is absolutely coming where the combination of something like a [Chinese] J-20 with an advanced … missile is a threat to air superiority for the United States. … It’s something we’ve got to address.”

https://www.airforcemag.com/new-force-design-ngad-needed-soon-f-22-sunset-begins-in-2030/
 

PakSword

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If people don't stop off topic trolling, they will be sent on a few days forced leave.

Stay on the topic. This is a soft warning, I will start issuing infraction in the next round.
 

patero

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If people don't stop off topic trolling, they will be sent on a few days forced leave.

Stay on the topic. This is a soft warning, I will start issuing infraction in the next round.
Yeah it was going off topic, but I wasn't trolling just sharing a funny video. My sincerest apologies, I won't bother visiting this site again.
 

PakSword

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Yeah it was going off topic, but I wasn't trolling just sharing a funny video. My sincerest apologies, I won't bother visiting this site again.
There is a stupid and funny section on this forum as well.
 

F-22Raptor

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The Air Force is preparing to unveil a new 30-year fighter force design that includes at least two all-new fighters, a much greater use of autonomous and unmanned aircraft, a new way of providing close air support, and a narrowing timeline for retiring aircraft such as the A-10, F-16, and F-22, said Lt. Gen. Clinton S. Hinote, deputy chief of staff for strategy, integration, and requirements.

Hinote said the F-22 will begin to phase out in about 2030—the exact timeline will be situation-dependent—and the Next-Generation Air Dominance fighter will be needed soon to defeat a Chinese stealth aircraft and missile threat that is “closer than we think.”

In a May 13 interview with the editors of Air Force Magazine, Hinote said Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.’s revelation that the USAF is planning to reduce its fighter fleet from seven types to “four plus one” is the kickoff of a “transparency” campaign to explain choices to be unveiled in the fiscal 2022 budget submission.

Brown said the future fighter fleet will include the F-35, F-15EX, late-model F-16s, and the Next Generation Air Dominance, or NGAD family of systems; the “plus one” being the A-10. Brown did not mention the F-22, and “this was something you all rightly picked up on very quickly,” Hinote said.

The Air Force plans a “transition” from the F-22 to the NGAD, and “we felt like, now is a good time for us to be able to talk about how we’re going to bridge” between the two systems.

While the F-22 is a good airframe—it has been updated and will continue to receive upgrades, “mostly sensors,” Hinote said—the Air Force is anticipating “the sunset of the F-22 … in about the 2030-ish timeframe.” That won’t be the full retirement of the type, but the beginning of its phase-out, he said. By then the F-22 will be 25 years old and the Air Force should be deep into a new cycle of fielding NGAD and its successors on what could be as rapid as a five-year cycle.

“Our Chief of Staff Gen. Brown has it exactly right: We must ‘accelerate change or lose,’” said AFA President retired Lt. Gen. Bruce “Orville” Wright. “If he says it’s time to start thinking about retiring the F-22, then he understands something about what’s coming with NGAD. The Air Force has led the way in developing and fielding the most advanced technologies on the planet and integrating them into complex weapons systems. They’ve done that from the F-117 a generation ago to the B-21 today. We have to respect Gen. Brown’s confidence and that proven capability to deliver.”

The F-22 fleet is small and suffers from vanishing-vendor problems, senior USAF officers have said recently. A recent high-level USAF planning document said the F-22 won’t be competitive two decades from now. Hinote said the F-22 “has its limitations and we can’t modernize our way out of the [air superiority] problem with just using an updated F-22.”

However, the Air Force will not allow any gap in its ability to achieve air superiority, he insisted.

“We believe … we have a good story,” he said, which is that the F-22 will be kept “viable as a bridge to get to the new capability. This is not an area of the Air Force where we feel we can take a lot of risk.” Though he thinks some mission areas might tolerate gaps or risks—he didn’t name them—air superiority “is not one of them.”

One of the reasons senior leadership is talking about the F-22 and NGAD is because the budget request to be presented in the coming weeks will show a “large … commitment” to the NGAD, Hinote said.

The service expects to have “a tight transition plan” between the F-22 and NGAD, he added. Until NGAD is available, “We feel like a good use of our resources is to keep the F-22 viable as we are developing this sea change in the way we field capability.”

Depending on the threat and hedging against problems in NGAD, the USAF may consider a service-life extension program for the F-22, but Hinote said that seems unlikely because the NGAD is making swift progress.

“I was surprised at how well it’s doing,” he said. He has escorted a number of members of Congress to see the jet—which former USAF acquisition chief Will Roper revealed last September has already flown—and they have come away “at a minimum, fairly impressed,” Hinote assessed. Members of the Office of the Secretary of Defense have similarly visited the program, and “seeing is believing,” he added.

“We still have to make it real, and there’s a lot to do in the program, but when you see what is going on, and you hear it from the Airmen who are flying it, you get a chance to really understand … where we’re going.” He said he wished he could “brag on” the contractors who have brought the program so far, so quickly, but much of the project remains classified.

The NGAD timetable will be “event driven,” but Hinote doubts it will be 10 years before it is in operational service. The “long pole in the tent” right now is integrating “the most important things onto that platform with a government reference architecture.”

He also noted that NGAD is a family of systems and will be “optionally manned,” meaning several versions of the jet may be built and employed with or without crews.

When the budget comes out, “it may not look like a 100 percent” replacement of F-22s with NGADs because “you’re talking about a set of capabilities, … some of that may be unmanned [or] optionally manned. So it’s not one-for-one.”

Broadly, he expects the Air Force to embrace autonomous aircraft as force multipliers. “We’re really working hard at identifying the true value propositions” in missions where unmanned systems may be used, he reported. He noted the Skyborg autonomous aircraft test earlier this month, which did not require the use of a runway for launch or recovery—something that could be a game-changer as the Air Force seeks to complicate the targeting problem for adversaries.

The NGAD concept calls for rapid turnover in technology, such that when one is about to be deployed, the next version will already be in design, if not development. Hinote suggested that the second NGAD type is already in design, then said, “I can’t confirm or deny that one.” But the Air Force is embracing the concept because it will allow “the great companies of our industrial base to re-enter the competition at the design phase, as opposed to crowding them out in the sustainability phase” as a consequence of what has recently been coined “vendor lock.”

It hasn’t been decided what the optimum cycle of NGAD platform turnover should be, but the hardware and software will be in a perennial spiral, Hinote said.

“As you’re allowing that program to mature, through a spiral series, you’re designing the next platform” with new software and sensor technology, he said. As these are integrated into the existing version, “you jump over that one” to the next one. “It could be every five years,” he said. “It could be every eight years.”

The A-10, which also is expected to fly until the 2030s, will be superseded by a “new way” and “new concepts” of delivering close air support, Hinote said.

“We’re not looking at building another non-survivable close air support aircraft like it,” he explained. “The lines on the battlefield are not necessarily where you’re going to be. In fact, it’s probably going to look much more distributed … [that’s why you’re seeing the] long-range fires discussion … play out in the press and in the Pentagon.” This is a “big, big deal,” he said. Close air support will “feel much different.” The new aircraft will be used “typically” in the counterterrorism environment, Hinote said, and the new concept is “pretty compelling.” He didn’t give details, but said that when the new capability becomes available “it’ll be pretty evident that we need to just go ahead and divest the A-10 and move to the new” construct.

As for the F-16, Hinote confirmed what Brown has suggested, that it will likely be a “clean sheet design” created in much the same way as the NGAD, using digital methods. The role envisaged for the new airplane will be homeland defense and missions “that don’t necessarily require a high level of survivability.” For example, it may not need to have “radar stealth.”

However, this is not a pressing decision, as “our F-16 ‘new’ blocks are actually still in decent shape; we can upgrade them and keep them viable for some time.” When it comes time to “sunset” the F-16, “a clean sheet design using digital tools is the way to go,” Hinote said.

Fielding the NGAD is urgent, Hinote added. While he would not say when the threat will overmatch USAF’s current capabilities, “the time is absolutely coming where the combination of something like a [Chinese] J-20 with an advanced … missile is a threat to air superiority for the United States. … It’s something we’ve got to address.”

https://www.airforcemag.com/new-force-design-ngad-needed-soon-f-22-sunset-begins-in-2030/

Biggest thing to me is Airmen have already flown it and it’s been shown off to members of Congress. This fighter is a lot further along than most people have realized.
 

arjunk

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Why are they phasing out the F-22?
F-22 does not use modern technology and computers like F-35.

This sixth gen fighter is basically an F-22 with the modern technology present in the F-35.

It is completely overkill and will be like something out of a sci fi movie. Even the "old" F-22 is more than enough for any plane on this earth for the next 15 years. In fact it is so ahead of its time most of this decades old fighter is still highly classified.
 

Avicenna

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For whatever mod deleted my post.

That wasn’t a troll post.

Rather it was made to illustrate the significant progress Chinese military modernization has made.

Enough so to make the USAF react in such a way.

Who would have ever thought the F-22 would be facing such an early retirement?

The J-20 threat likely will shape the NGAD to a more Pacific theatre friendly machine with emphasis on range, speed and the BVR fight.
 

Tai Hai Chen

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Why are they phasing out the F-22?
It's no good compared to J-20.
The J-20 threat likely will shape the NGAD to a more Pacific theatre friendly machine with emphasis on range, speed and the BVR fight.
J-20 really surprised Americans. They did not expect such an advanced jet in China so quickly. The expected some time in the 2030s to 2040s time frame instead of 2010s time frame. Also, I think China is currently well ahead in 6th gen development and it will be even bigger surprise for the Americans in the next few years.
 

LeGenD

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Why are they phasing out the F-22?
Not in production, and restarting it is not on the cards in view of 6th generation NGAD which is taking shape behind-the-scenes.

F-22 does not use modern technology and computers like F-35.
FYI

Three sensor platforms—radar; electronic warfare (EW); and communications, navigation and identification (CNI)—combine to form part of the advanced integrated avionics suite that provides the F-22 Raptor pilot with unprecedented capabilities. They do so through the computing power of two Common Integrated Processors (CIPs) in each aircraft.

A clear advantage over previous generation aircraft is the F-22’s ability to gather information from multiple sensors, both onboard and off-board the aircraft, and fuse it to present a comprehensive view of the mission environment. “In the F-22, we supply the pilot with a single view of the world,” says Ron Shue,
Lockheed Martin’s avionics integrated product team (IPT) leader. The CIP makes “the correlation,
enabling the pilot to command the actions,” he adds.


The avionics suite comprises hardware and software produced by the F-22 team members: Lockheed
Martin, Boeing Military Aircraft & Missile Systems, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Raytheon, BAE
Systems and TRW. Lockheed Martin is primarily responsible for the development and initial testing of the aircraft’s integrated avionics suite at both its Marietta, Ga., and Fort Worth, Texas, facilities. Team partner Boeing is responsible for final integration testing and software delivery for the F-22’s advanced avionics.

The first flight of an F-22 equipped with a combat-ready avionics suite took place in January 2001. This significant milestone was required for U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) approval to start the aircraft’s low-rate initial production.

The avionics suite incorporated
Block 3.0 software components to support radar processing, sensor
fusion, EW and countermeasures, CNI, and a pilot-vehicle interface.
Last February, the industry team delivered the latest integrated software package, Block 3.1, to the Combined Test Force at Edwards AFB, Calif., for flight testing. The new software package was successfully flown for the first
time on April 25 in Raptor 4006.

The
Block 3.1 package supplies more than 90 percent of the total functionality planned for the F-22. It offers increased radar, EW and CNI capabilities, plus the addition of GPS navigation. Eventually, all F-22s will receive the avionics updates. “The release of Block 3.1 integrated software is a significant enhancement to the warfighting capabilities already demonstrated by the Raptor,” says Bob Rearden, Lockheed Martin F-22 vice president and general manager. Prior to delivery, subsystem hardware and software had been rigorously tested at Boeing’s Avionics Integration Lab (AIL) in Seattle. And since 1999, airborne testing has been conducted on the Boeing 757 Flying Test Bed (FTB) aircraft. Use of the FTB reduces avionics system risk and limits development costs. It enables extensive evaluation and troubleshooting before full avionics systems are installed on the F-22. To date, more than 98 percent of system anomalies have been found prior to delivery to the Raptor.

Source: Avionics Magazine



NOTE: F-22A Raptor was uplifted to Block 3.2B standard recently.

F-35 is relatively more advanced in computing (and infrared imaging) aspects:



F-22A have surprises of its own however.

It's no good compared to J-20.
:rolleyes:
 

Bilal9

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For whatever mod deleted my post.

That wasn’t a troll post.

Rather it was made to illustrate the significant progress Chinese military modernization has made.

Enough so to make the USAF react in such a way.

Who would have ever thought the F-22 would be facing such an early retirement?

The J-20 threat likely will shape the NGAD to a more Pacific theatre friendly machine with emphasis on range, speed and the BVR fight.
Ha ha don't worry - my post got deleted as well.

I guess being a mod is an unpaid thing - and that is OK.

They are doing yeoman's duty in keeping the threads clean. It is a Thankless job.

But exceptions are bound to happen. Half the time, some of my posts get deleted for reason's unfathomable to me...
 

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