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Old 02-14-2018, 03:14 AM   #11
GGTharos
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Like the Long-Range Bomber, for example.
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:27 AM   #12
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This comes because of the team success when 4 and 5th gen fly together. Good use of existing airframes. The danger is that development or even production of new 5th gen stops like it did for the Raptor.
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:42 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by GGTharos View Post
You can expect not to see F-15Cs with CFTs or ridiculous amounts of missiles mounted on them, most of the time.

Air superiority requires performance, and neither of the above are synonymous with it.

The truly important upgrades are the AESA radar, the new cockpit displays and processors, new EW equipment and various new pods that will probably be carried on a limited set of eagles. And of course, new versions of A2A missiles, as well as the JHMCS and data fusion capabilities, datalinks etc.
I have the feeling they are about to change this and put more emphasis on missile trucks with stand off capability. This seems like an upgrade for the F-15C to operate alongside the F-35 with its sensor advantage and stand off A-A capabilities. That reminds me on the early days of the F-4 somehow...
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:10 PM   #14
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I have a very strong feeling that they're not about to go in that direction

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Originally Posted by QuiGon View Post
I have the feeling they are about to change this and put more emphasis on missile trucks with stand off capability. This seems like an upgrade for the F-15C to operate alongside the F-35 with its sensor advantage and stand off A-A capabilities. That reminds me on the early days of the F-4 somehow...
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:27 PM   #15
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I am amazed that they decided to go the flankereske route instead of having secured development of the 6th gen years ago to replace both the F-15 and F-22.

I cant imagine the same airframes built in 80's and 90's still flying in the 2040.

Look at the B-52, KC-135, C-130H, aircraft produced in the the 60's and their still fine. Yes I know someone is going to mention it, their not designed to pull g's and that has a big effect on the lifespan of the aircraft. And to that I say look at the T-38 fleet. Most aircraft were produced in the 60's with a few in the 70s, and these are advanced jet trainer aircraft that have been abused and screwed with for over 50 years! And they still got another 10 years before their replaced.

The USAF F-16's will be around until 2046 confirmed, everything is internal upgrades now for example. In terms of air frame longevity its just replacing wings mostly for fighters.

Most aircraft in service today will still be in service in 2040 (as of now at least). Hell the A-10 might even make it to 2040 based on recent plans

6th Generation aircraft is definitely in development somewhere for the USAF, but It wont be operational for probably 30 years me thinks (just look at how long it is taking for the F-35 development period). IIRC the USAF stated in the fall that they are doing the smart thing and focusing on F-35 delivery and 4th generation upgrades rather than rushing 6th generation. I mean think about, the USAF is the only country with combat ready 5th generation aircraft. Lets focus on getting more 5th gen before we go to 6th.

The Navy did order over 12 more Super Hornets this year, 4th generation aint going anywhere anytime soon.
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuiGon View Post
I have the feeling they are about to change this and put more emphasis on missile trucks with stand off capability. This seems like an upgrade for the F-15C to operate alongside the F-35 with its sensor advantage and stand off A-A capabilities. That reminds me on the early days of the F-4 somehow...
I believe that is the official plan, make the Eagle a missile truck (mostly but also self sufficient hunter) for the Raptor and Fat Amy.
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:10 PM   #17
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What makes you think 6th gens aren't already being developed? Not built yet (as far as we know) but there's definitely 6th gen concepts on paper by now.
I know that, what I meant is that the replacement should be past that phase already. Having napkin concepts now means another 20 years in development at the least, hence the 2040 time frame.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:13 PM   #18
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How does a partially-full set of CFTs influence handling compared to a set of drop tanks that you could punch off? I assume not very well.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:16 PM   #19
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There is a significant price tag in terms of drag and, when fueled, in terms of CG.
They are not desirable IMHO. Nor is an F-15 missile truck. Not terribly useful when you can't do what an F-15 can do well: Lob spears at high speed.
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:53 PM   #20
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From flying F-15Es, it has a considerable effect on getting supersonic. I've only been super a few times flying it around 120 hours or so, but there isn't often a reason to go that fast in the majority of those flight hours since only a few have been tactical intercept/defensive counter air sorties. Doesn't hurt too much for subsonic acceleration but it just isn't a good shape for transonic speeds. It isn't as bad in -229 engine strike eagles because there's a lot more thrust there (and GE-129 equipped SA and SG models have even more thrust) but seeing as there's no plans to re-engine C models it will hurt their performance a lot.

I can see putting CFTs on if their goal is to extend loiter time for DCA type sorties because two CFTs gives about 1600lbs more gas than two external tanks (2 CFTs and 2 externals brings you to about 31.5k lbs of gas), but I don't know if that's the direction they're actually going to go. Also don't see the racks of AMRAAMs being helpful for it as a "missile truck" since they currently hold enough AMRAAMs for multiple launch and leave rounds before bandits get too close for that tactic anyway. Their current 6x2 loadout is enough to shape the picture for F-22s to cleanup as it is.
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