Air Force Boss Wants Clean-Sheet Fighter That’s Less Advanced Than F-35 To Replace F-16 | World Defense

Air Force Boss Wants Clean-Sheet Fighter That’s Less Advanced Than F-35 To Replace F-16

space cadet

SENIOR MEMBER
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
1,338
Reactions
773 15 0
Country
USA
Location
USA



Air Force Boss Wants Clean-Sheet Fighter That’s Less Advanced Than F-35 To Replace F-16​

With a “son of F-16” under study, the Air Force's original procurement plan for the F-35 is looking increasingly precarious.​

BY THOMAS NEWDICK FEBRUARY 18, 2021

1614129440348.png


The U.S. Air Force is looking at an all-new fighter jet design to replace its F-16s, which currently provide the backbone of the tactical fleet. Air Force Chief of Staff General Charles Q. Brown Jr. is launching a months-long study into the service’s future force mix, which could include a “clean-sheet design” to replace the F-16 and which could potentially threaten long-held plans to buy 1,763 copies of the F-35A, originally intended as the F-16’s successor.

Speaking yesterday at the Defense Writers Group, Brown — a former F-16 instructor pilot — introduced his idea for a new “four-and-a-half-gen or fifth-gen-minus” fighter to supersede the Viper. The tactical aircraft (TacAir) study will be one proposal under investigation as the Air Force assesses the optimum balance for its tactical fighter force and will be run in concert with the Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE).

1614129483490.png

The first-ever formation of F-16s equipped with new Active Electronically Scanned Array radars over Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, July 2, 2020.

“This will help inform the decisions that I think I need to make internal to the Air Force, and what I would recommend that force mix might be,” Brown explained. “Now, I will also tell you I don’t think that everybody’s going to exactly agree with what I say. But I want to actually have a starting point as a point of departure, a point of dialogue.”

General Brown says he hopes that the force mix study will be completed in time to help inform decisions for the Air Force’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget request. “In the budget for FY 23, that’s where I see that we’ll really make some key decisions,” he added.

What the Air Force Chief of Staff has in mind is not an order for an advanced version of the F-16, such as the latest Block 70/72 version, something that outgoing Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, Will Roper, suggested could happen, in an interview with Aviation Week last month.

General Brown was vehement that the F-16 — even a much-improved version of the 1970s-era jet — is not the right choice for the future Air Force. He pointed to the Viper’s inability to receive software updates at the speed that’s desired and its lack of open-architecture software protocols that would allow it to be rapidly reconfigured.

Brown said he would want the new aircraft to feature “open-mission systems” — something that the Air Force has recently been testing in live flying scenarios involving manned aircraft. This kind of open architecture design would allow the new fighter to receive software updates in rapid succession, potentially even during a mission.

1614129562790.png

Air Force Chief of Staff General Charles Q. Brown Jr.

Instead, what the Air Force will consider is the manufacture of “something new and different, that’s not the F-16 — that has some of those capabilities but gets there faster and uses some of our digital approach,” Brown said. The reference to speed hints at a platform that will be quicker than the F-16, perhaps indicating a desire for a supercruise capability. Overall, higher speed would not only help boost sortie rates but also increase survivability in contested environments.

This “digital approach” could well be fundamental to the whole idea of a new tactical fighter for the Air Force and echoes the “Digital Century Series” that was another Roper brainchild. In this concept, smaller numbers of aircraft are rapidly produced to meet dynamically evolving threats, keeping pace with peer threats like China and Russia.

A similar type of digital engineering — the so-called eSeries concept — has also become a hallmark of the Air Force’s new T-7A Red Hawk trainer, as well as the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program, which is taking a system-of-systems approach to developing future aerial combat capabilities. Last September, Roper confirmed that some form of NGAD prototype had already flown, but Brown suggested the new tactical fighter would be tailored to work complementary to NGAD, as well as the F-35.

1614129630157.png

The Boeing/Saab T-7A Red Hawk trainer.

Indeed, Brown specifically named all three programs, pointing out that each was needed “to remain competitive against our adversaries” as well as to conduct the “low-end fight.” It might be surmised, therefore, that the proposed new tactical fighter would either be optimized to some degree for low-end warfare — like the type of asymmetric combat that the Air Force has been involved in for years in Afghanistan and the Middle East — or its design would otherwise incorporate lessons from these campaigns.

The idea of the tactical aircraft (TacAir) study is “to look at what is the right force mix,” he said, explaining that the service needs fifth-generation fighters such as the F-35; it needs NGAD “to remain competitive against our adversaries;” and, it needs capabilities for the “low-end fight.”

At this point, there is no timeline for any kind of prototype or demonstrator to be produced for the TacAir study, although experience with the NGAD suggests that would at least be feasible in relatively short order. Instead, however, Brown said the focus now is on “modeling and simulation and analysis,” adding that “that’s what I plan to do here over the coming months.” Beyond that, any decision on where the program would go next would also be based on the findings of CAPE — the body that advises the Pentagon on alternative weapon systems and force structures as well as their cost-effectiveness.

As well as CAPE, Brown’s TacAir study is supposed to align with another, separate study, the new Global Posture Review, which is described as a “review to ensure the footprint of American service members worldwide is correctly sized and supports strategy.” This will consider, for example, the future status of forward-deployed Air Force assets.

“I think the dialogue back and forth between the two will help shape the Global Posture Review; at the same time, the Global Posture Review will help shape our TacAir study based on the priorities the department has laid out,” Brown said.

As well as assessing if there’s a place for a future “clean-sheet design” in the tactical fighter inventory, Brown says it might be time to reassess the service’s aim to field 386 squadrons across the Air Force. In 2018 the service unveiled its plans to massively expand force structure from 312 squadrons to 386 by 2030, a plan that The War Zone discussed in detail in this previous feature.

I want to get as close as I can to 386 capability with the force size that I have, with the dollars we have available and make that case,” Brown confirmed. Moreover, the Air Force chief hopes that the kinds of capabilities embodied in a revised tactical fighter mix could also achieve the desired capability with fewer than 386 squadrons.

The observation about what this will all cost is critical, of course. The Air Force is already under pressure to pay for the F-35 — the most expensive program in Pentagon history — as well as NGAD, with the potential to add another new tactical fighter on top of this. In the meantime, the Air Force has also committed to buying new F-15EX fighter jets to top up its current tactical fleet, while there will also be various unmanned programs that also demand a share of the budget. That is not to mention all the other initiatives outside of the Air Force’s tactical airpower portfolio.

The trifecta of NGAD, F-15EX, and — potentially — something else under TacAir further emphasizes that the F-35 program is starting to come under increasing pressure, too.

1614129773775.png

An artist’s concept of a manned NGAD fighter.


There is also the issue of unmanned options and the fact the Air Force is increasingly looking to integrating combat drones within its tactical aviation fleet. It is too early to say how that will affect plans for the manned fighter force mix, but it seems inevitable that the trend will have a major impact, more generally, on plans for future combat fleets.

With an Air Force fighter fleet that averages 28 years old, Brown recognizes “that’s not going to compete well with adversaries.” The TacAir study will therefore look at how to bring down the average age while remaining affordable — something it seems the F-35 is struggling to achieve.

The Air Force F-35A buy is still officially pegged at 1,763 aircraft but last December Aviation Week reported that, as early as 2018, the service had prepared a study that called for F-35A orders to be cut back to 1,050.

Although the unit prices for all F-35 variants have been decreasing in the years since then, concerns have grown about the sustainment costs of the jets. In 2019, the U.S. military assessed it would cost $1.196 trillion just to operate and maintain the full planned fleets of F-35s across the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy through 2070.

Brown admitted that the F-35 is currently having problems with engine wear and that the TacAir study would factor this in, too. He said that the jet’s F135 engines are “failing a little faster in certain areas,” as a result of heavy usage and regular deployments. While changes to maintenance are being looked at, Brown also confirmed that one solution to the issue may simply be to use the F-35 less.

The Air Force is also facing a shortage of F135 engines, as increased demands for repairs cause a logjam in scheduled depot maintenance. Officials recently admitted this is an issue that could take months to solve.

“I want to moderate how much we’re using those aircraft,” Brown said. “You don’t drive your Ferrari to work every day, you only drive it on Sundays. This is our ‘high end’ [fighter], we want to make sure we don’t use it all for the low-end fight.”

One solution to that low-end fight could, of course, be the new fighter now being examined under the TacAir study.

It is becoming abundantly apparent that the Air Force is having second thoughts about whether it can actually afford the planned 1,763 F-35As, something that would have been hard to predict would happen just a couple of years ago. More recently, even the F-15EX acquisition faced pushback from those who felt it would threaten the F-35 enterprise.

1614129946062.png

The 56th Operations Group flagship F-16 escorts Luke Air Force Base’s first F-35A to the base in March 2014.

It is highly significant that so far this year both Roper and Brown have suggested that a new F-16 model, or something like it, could be introduced to the Air Force and potentially reduce F-35 numbers in the process.

Speaking in January, before stepping down as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, Will Roper said he thought the F-35A was “a long way from being an affordable fighter that we can buy in bulk.” He added that he expected to see “other trades in terms of numbers of F-35s, up or down, and capability mixes with Block 4 vs. things one might do with F-15EX or NGAD.”

“That’s why other tactical aviation options are appealing to have in the mix so that the Air Force has options,” Roper added.

That approach would seem to be in line with Brown’s plans to look at how a new tactical fighter might fit into the mix. What that fighter may look like, and whether the Air Force will be able to pay for it alongside the F-35 and NGAD, remain to be seen, however.

Contact the author: [email protected]
 

space cadet

SENIOR MEMBER
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
1,338
Reactions
773 15 0
Country
USA
Location
USA

The Air Force May Soon Be Shopping for a New Fighter Jet​


1614262144997.png

Screengrab from "Air Force 2030 -- Call to Action" video

24 Feb 2021
Military.com | By Oriana Pawlyk
The U.S. Air Force isn't ruling out bringing a new fighter jet into its inventory as it looks to replace older, fourth-generation F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, according to the service's top general.
As the service tries to determine the right mix of aircraft for its future inventory, it's considering the idea of a new fighter that falls somewhere between fourth- and fifth-generation airframes -- one that could easily be upgraded throughout its life, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles "CQ" Brown said last week.

"Let's not just buy off the shelf; let's actually take a look at something else out there that we can build," Brown said during a Defense Writers Group virtual chat with reporters. He added that the service would want something that can be economically sustainable, produced quickly and has an open-architecture software system that can be rapidly modified to keep up with missions.

Read Next: DC, Capitol Police 'Stunned' at Slow National Guard Response During Jan. 6 Riot

His comments reiterated those of Dr. Will Roper, the former assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, and Mike Holmes, a retired general and former head of Air Combat Command. In recent months, both have spoken of wanting to bring in a new jet with a "family of systems" that lets it connect easily to other aircraft and fight alongside them.

Roper told Aviation Week in January that the Air Force is weighing buying new F-16 fighters from Lockheed Martin as "a capacity solution" to increase its jet inventory. Lockheed moved its production line to its South Carolina plant in 2019 to centralize its manufacturing of F-16s, which have been updated since the last jet was delivered to the Air Force in 2005.

But Brown said the F-16 may not be the best option.

"I want to be able to build something new and different that's not the F-16, that has some of those capabilities, but gets there faster and features a digital approach," he said Feb. 17.

Since the inception of the Joint Strike Fighter program, the Air Force has maintained that older Falcons should be replaced by the fifth-gen F-35 Lightning II, also made by Lockheed. The Air Force is the largest customer for the aircraft, with hopes to procure 1,763 F-35 A-variants.

But in March 2020, Holmes hinted that there may be some wiggle room as the service assesses its inventory needs.

"When [F-16s] need to be replaced, what am I going to replace them with?" Holmes said during the annual McAleese Defense Programs Conference at the time.

The Air Force should also be thinking ahead, he said, citing the service's fighter road map, which roughly outlines where its aircraft inventory and platforms should be by 2030 and beyond.

"What we're trying to work through is to think about it as a capability road map to say, 'What is going to do the mission we've been doing with fighters?' [and] work [that idea] into the future," he said. "The answer to, 'Is it manned? Unmanned?' [is] yes."

So far, the service has not publicly moved away from the F-35 program. But according to Aviation Week, future budgets could limit its inventory. The magazine reported in December that the service might cap its total F-35 buy at 1,050 stealth fighters.

Just how the service's fighter road map may develop is unknown. The Air Force is also considering how to work in the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program, which defies the traditional categorization of a single platform, featuring a network of advanced fighter aircraft, sensors and weapons in a growing and unpredictable threat environment.

The NGAD program could include fighters and autonomous drones fighting side-by-side. For example, the autonomous Skyborg -- which aims to pair artificial intelligence with a human piloting a fighter jet -- is intended for reusable unmanned aerial vehicles in a manned-unmanned teaming mission; the drones are considered "attritable," or cheap enough that they can be destroyed without significant cost.

Meanwhile, the Air Force is already bringing in the Boeing-made F-15EX, the service's first fourth-generation fighter program in more than 20 years.

In 2019, senior defense officials with the Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office said they arrived at the F-15EX decision because the aircraft would help keep a diverse and "robust industrial base" while providing "a higher-capacity" combination alongside the F-35.

The service awarded Boeing an estimated $1.2 billion contract last summer to acquire eight multirole F-15EX fighters -- considered "fourth-plus-generation" -- and associated development, test and certification and support equipment.

Air Force officials have said the F-15EX's most significant upgrade will be its open mission systems architecture, which is in line with Brown's goals.

"I realize that folks have alluded that it will be a particular airplane," Brown said of a future fighter. "But I'm open to looking at other platforms to see what that right force mix is."

-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.
 

space cadet

SENIOR MEMBER
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
1,338
Reactions
773 15 0
Country
USA
Location
USA
They are looking for something like JF-17 or F-20 Tiger Shark?
no they are looking for something with better capabilities than F-16, more range, more speed, lowered RCS (but not stealth) I think they are hinting at super cruise, with a new computer system that can be rapidly updated, in flight even, to adjust to emerging threats quickly. They are looking at this as being the backbone of the Air Force for probably for 30+ years as the F-16 has been.
 

Scorpio

SENIOR MEMBER
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
Messages
1,656
Reactions
3,007 66 0
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
The F-36 Kingsnake, slated to be the F-16's possible replacement,

FB_IMG_1618916689314.jpg


download.jpeg

has a similar cranked-arrow wing design. If it could hold at least as much ordnance as the F-16XL, it can also fulfill the bomb/missile truck role!

FB_IMG_1618916687041.jpg

The F-16XL has up to 17 ordnance stations; the 12 under its extra-large wings are rated to hold 750lbs (340kg) each!
Had the F-16XL been fully accepted into active service, it would've made for an excellent bomb/missile truck!
 

Scorpio

SENIOR MEMBER
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
Messages
1,656
Reactions
3,007 66 0
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan

The US Considered Developing F-36 King Snake To Replace F-16​

images (29).jpeg

The F-36 King Snake is a new US concept, it is light weight, cheap and does not emphasize stealth performance. It could be called “5-” generation fighter.


The F-35 has won over other candidates to replace the F-16, but the F-35’s price is too expensive and is inferior to the F-16 in some features. Therefore, the F-35 can hardly replace the entire F-16 in a short time.
The average service life of 783 F-16C fighters, currently in service in the US Air Force is 28.7 years, so the F-16Cs are nearing the end of their service life. This makes a new fighter jet’s 20-year development cycle impossible. Instead, experts want to quickly design, define the specifications of a new fighter within a year, and relies on simpler construction techniques to quickly begin mass production.
F-36 concept
The F-36 will reuse existing technologies to speed production. For example, the F-36 could use the F119 turbofan engine on the F-22 Raptor to reach Mach 2, without having to completely redesign the engine. Or the F-36 can also be equipped with the advanced AN/APG-83 active electronically scanned array radar, like the latest version of the F-16. It could also be equipped with a new infrared sensor system and photoelectric targeting system.


Like the F-16, the F-36 will be a multi-role fighter that can perform air-to-air, air-to-ground and air-to-surface missions. The aircraft will also be equipped with an internal weapon bay. As a fighter that does not focus on stealth, the F-36 will also have hard points under the wings. In addition, the F-36 will be equipped with a cannon to carry out air strikes on enemy ground targets.
The development philosophy of the F-36 is rapid development, in accordance with the financial capacity and the ability to upgrade with new technologies in the future. If the F-35 is compared to a Ferrari supercar, the F-22 is the Bugatti Chiron, the F-36 that the US Air Force needs is just a popular car that is good enough and as durable as a Toyota.

F-35 Failed, The US Considered Developing F-36 King Snake To Replace F-16 - Military-wiki
 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
12,354
Reactions
24,508 1,297 0
This Is the F-36 Kingsnake. It Could Be the Air Force's Next Fighter Jet.
Meet the new, non-stealthy fighter that may replace the F-16.
By Kyle Mizokami
Mar 18, 2021

1618917836200.png

  • The U.S. Air Force has expressed interest in a new, non-stealthy fighter jet to replace the F-16.
  • Several aviation experts have banded together and invented a new jet out of thin air.
  • The result, the F-36 Kingsnake, would use the F-22’s engines, place less of an emphasis on stealth, and use digital engineering.

Last month, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown caused a stir when he announced the service was looking into buying a brand-new fighter jet to help replace the F-16 Viper. Such a jet doesn’t exist—yet—but thanks to new digital engineering techniques, it could actually enter service before 2030.

✈ You love badass planes. So do we. Let’s nerd out over them together.

Now, the alternative aviation magazine Hush-Kit has brought experts together to design that potential F-16 replacement. The result: the F-36 Kingsnake lightweight fighter.

Hush-Kit huddled with aviation authorities Stephen Mcparlin and James Smith, who helped bring aircraft like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Eurofighter Typhoon to life. Then, illustrator Andy Godfrey from the Teasel Studio took their ideas and created this concept art for the F-36:

1618917852100.png

F-36 Kingsnake, side view.

Hush-Kit used Gen. Brown’s specifications—a lightweight, inexpensive fighter jet that doesn’t emphasize stealth (making it a “fifth-gen-minus” design)—to design the F-36.

The average age of the Air Force’s 783 F-16C fighter jets is 28.7 years, making a 20-year development period for a new jet out of the question. Instead, experts wanted a fast design process that froze the plane’s specs within one year and relied on simple construction techniques, but also utilized advanced technologies such as 3D printing if it could get the fighter off assembly lines faster.

Re-using existing technologies would speed up the process. For example, the F-36 uses the F-22 Raptor’s F119 afterburning turbofan engine to achieve a top speed of Mach 2. The Kingsnake is equipped with an AN/APG-83 advanced electronically scanned array radar— the same one used in the latest version of the F-16—and an infrared sensor system derived from the Legion electro-optical targeting pod.

A “Luddite Czar” would prevent new technologies from creeping into the jet, drawing out the jet’s development time and increasing the likelihood Kingsnake would fall behind.

1618917869600.png

Like the F-35 (pictured), the F-36 would have an internal weapons bay. It would also carry weapons on wing-mounted hardpoints.
NurPhotoGetty Images



Like the F-16 it would replace, the Kingsnake would be a multi-role fighter jet capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. The jet would carry missiles and guided bombs in internal bays, but as a non-stealthy plane, it would pack both on wing-mounted external hard points. The Kingsnake would also a gun, making it capable of strafing attacks against enemy ground forces.


“The F-35 is a Ferrari, the F-22 a Bugatti Chiron—the United States Air Force needs a Nissan 300ZX.”


The guiding principles behind the F-36 are speed of development, affordability, and the ability to incorporate new tech at a later date. “The F-35 is a Ferrari, the F-22 a Bugatti Chiron—the United States Air Force needs a Nissan 300ZX,” Hush-Kit’s Joe Coles tells Pop Mech.

Could the Air Force build something like the F-36 Kingsnake? Yes. The real question: Willit?


The requirement for a sub-5th generation fighter isn’t set in stone yet, but the Air Force will make up its mind by 2023.

Given that the Air Force recently admitted to designing and building its secret sixth-generation fighter jet in just one year, it could build a plane like the F-36 fairly quickly.

1618917930500.png

A kingsnake attacking a western diamondback rattlesnake, a member of the viper family.
DE AGOSTINI PICTURE LIBRARYGetty Images

As for the F-36’s name, kingsnakes are North American snakes that live up to 30 years, which bodes well for the F-36’s service life. Kingsnakes are so named because they have a habit of eating other snakes—a fitting moniker for a fighter designed to replace the Viper.
 

aliraza

MEMBER
Joined
Sep 5, 2019
Messages
74
Reactions
740 30 0
Country
Pakistan
Location
Oman
This Is the F-36 Kingsnake. It Could Be the Air Force's Next Fighter Jet.
Meet the new, non-stealthy fighter that may replace the F-16.
By Kyle Mizokami
Mar 18, 2021

View attachment 17498
  • The U.S. Air Force has expressed interest in a new, non-stealthy fighter jet to replace the F-16.
  • Several aviation experts have banded together and invented a new jet out of thin air.
  • The result, the F-36 Kingsnake, would use the F-22’s engines, place less of an emphasis on stealth, and use digital engineering.

Last month, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown caused a stir when he announced the service was looking into buying a brand-new fighter jet to help replace the F-16 Viper. Such a jet doesn’t exist—yet—but thanks to new digital engineering techniques, it could actually enter service before 2030.

✈ You love badass planes. So do we. Let’s nerd out over them together.

Now, the alternative aviation magazine Hush-Kit has brought experts together to design that potential F-16 replacement. The result: the F-36 Kingsnake lightweight fighter.

Hush-Kit huddled with aviation authorities Stephen Mcparlin and James Smith, who helped bring aircraft like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Eurofighter Typhoon to life. Then, illustrator Andy Godfrey from the Teasel Studio took their ideas and created this concept art for the F-36:

View attachment 17499
F-36 Kingsnake, side view.

Hush-Kit used Gen. Brown’s specifications—a lightweight, inexpensive fighter jet that doesn’t emphasize stealth (making it a “fifth-gen-minus” design)—to design the F-36.

The average age of the Air Force’s 783 F-16C fighter jets is 28.7 years, making a 20-year development period for a new jet out of the question. Instead, experts wanted a fast design process that froze the plane’s specs within one year and relied on simple construction techniques, but also utilized advanced technologies such as 3D printing if it could get the fighter off assembly lines faster.

Re-using existing technologies would speed up the process. For example, the F-36 uses the F-22 Raptor’s F119 afterburning turbofan engine to achieve a top speed of Mach 2. The Kingsnake is equipped with an AN/APG-83 advanced electronically scanned array radar— the same one used in the latest version of the F-16—and an infrared sensor system derived from the Legion electro-optical targeting pod.

A “Luddite Czar” would prevent new technologies from creeping into the jet, drawing out the jet’s development time and increasing the likelihood Kingsnake would fall behind.

View attachment 17500
Like the F-35 (pictured), the F-36 would have an internal weapons bay. It would also carry weapons on wing-mounted hardpoints.
NurPhotoGetty Images



Like the F-16 it would replace, the Kingsnake would be a multi-role fighter jet capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. The jet would carry missiles and guided bombs in internal bays, but as a non-stealthy plane, it would pack both on wing-mounted external hard points. The Kingsnake would also a gun, making it capable of strafing attacks against enemy ground forces.





The guiding principles behind the F-36 are speed of development, affordability, and the ability to incorporate new tech at a later date. “The F-35 is a Ferrari, the F-22 a Bugatti Chiron—the United States Air Force needs a Nissan 300ZX,” Hush-Kit’s Joe Coles tells Pop Mech.

Could the Air Force build something like the F-36 Kingsnake? Yes. The real question: Willit?


The requirement for a sub-5th generation fighter isn’t set in stone yet, but the Air Force will make up its mind by 2023.

Given that the Air Force recently admitted to designing and building its secret sixth-generation fighter jet in just one year, it could build a plane like the F-36 fairly quickly.

View attachment 17501
A kingsnake attacking a western diamondback rattlesnake, a member of the viper family.
DE AGOSTINI PICTURE LIBRARYGetty Images

As for the F-36’s name, kingsnakes are North American snakes that live up to 30 years, which bodes well for the F-36’s service life. Kingsnakes are so named because they have a habit of eating other snakes—a fitting moniker for a fighter designed to replace the Viper.
i use to love the concept of f-16 xl
and now this one
there are three amazing designs americans avoided
lockheed ah56.this helli was ahead of its time by 50 years at least
yf23 was also hugely successful with aerodynamics profile
and f16 xl could have achieved same purpose as f15 but at fraction of cost
 

Scorpio

SENIOR MEMBER
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
Messages
1,656
Reactions
3,007 66 0
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
True, that's why they are going back to f16 xl air frame with minor modifications for F36 program instead of creating new designs and airframe

Two major features it can carry 18 hard points and remains economical by having single engine
i use to love the concept of f-16 xl
and now this one
there are three amazing designs americans avoided
lockheed ah56.this helli was ahead of its time by 50 years at least
yf23 was also hugely successful with aerodynamics profile
and f16 xl could have achieved same purpose as f15 but at fraction of cost
 
Top