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New Fighter

CBH99

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When you can design & push the limits of something in secret, without every single minor thing reported on in the MSM - a lot can get done!
 

dimsum

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When you can design & push the limits of something in secret, without every single minor thing reported on in the MSM - a lot can get done!
puts tinfoil hat on

What if the F-35 was trotted out, warts and all, to have the public focused on that while NGAD and other programs trudged along in secret? :unsure:
 

Good2Golf

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U2...SR-71...F-117...Stealth Hawk...others no doubt...all operational for years and years before public knowledge. Wouldn’t surprise me a bit.
 

YZT580

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puts tinfoil hat on

What if the F-35 was trotted out, warts and all, to have the public focused on that while NGAD and other programs trudged along in secret? :unsure:
A lot of money to spend on a distraction. Shades of Patton's phantom army? More likely that the F35 hasn't worked out as they hoped and they have developed a good alternative: all without ruining sales of the F35 to foreign buyers I might add.
 

Good2Golf

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I doubt it’s a reaction to F-35 program challenges. Follow on efforts to F-22 has been in the works for some time, so even though NGAD itself may be a specific output, the Gen-6 activities are not new.
 

reveng

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When you can design & push the limits of something in secret, without every single minor thing reported on in the MSM - a lot can get done!
The rate of technological advancement presents real challenges, and so do shifts in geopolitics. The longer it takes to operationalize a system, the greater the risk that the operational conditions & threats for which it was designed will have changed dramatically, thus reducing effectiveness.

Digital engineering aims to address some of these challenges. But you're right, a lot can get done when you give a problem (or set of problems) to a group of smart people, provide them with sufficient resources, and get out of their way.
 

MarkOttawa

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The rate of technological advancement presents real challenges, and so do shifts in geopolitics. The longer it takes to operationalize a system, the greater the risk that the operational conditions & threats for which it was designed will have changed dramatically, thus reducing effectiveness.

Digital engineering aims to address some of these challenges. But you're right, a lot can get done when you give a problem (or set of problems) to a group of smart people, provide them with sufficient resources, and get out of their way.
U-2. A-12/YF-12/SR-71:

Mark
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YZT580

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Was it another Skunk works production or does anyone really know?
 

OldSolduer

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I doubt it’s a reaction to F-35 program challenges. Follow on efforts to F-22 has been in the works for some time, so even though NGAD itself may be a specific output, the Gen-6 activities are not new.
You're spoiling our tin foil hat moment. ;)
 

CBH99

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Was it another Skunk works production or does anyone really know?
Given it was designed in secret, and designed with the efficiency of 'give a problem to a smart group of people and get out of their way' - I imagine Skunk Works or Phantom Works, or whatever NG's version is, was well involved. I imagine it won't be publicly disclosed for a number of years, and we will find out in a documentary 10+ years from now. 0.02
 

Kirkhill

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A lot of money to spend on a distraction. Shades of Patton's phantom army? More likely that the F35 hasn't worked out as they hoped and they have developed a good alternative: all without ruining sales of the F35 to foreign buyers I might add.
Kind of grabbed my attention

Some 625 F35s are currently in service. 3 Variants - all in continuous improvement mode. Which industry thinks is a good thing. And Project Managers and Accountants detest. There is no end point.

F4 Phantom (19 Variants)


AircraftNumber
F-4A45
F-4B649
RF-4B46
F-4C583
RF-4C503
F-4D825
F-4E1370
F-4E 2020 (Turkey)54*
F-4EJ (Japan)140
RF-4E149
RF-4EJ (Japan)15*
F-4F175
F-4G Wild Weasel134*
F-4J522
F-4J (UK)15*
F-4K (UK)50
F-4M (UK)116
F-4N228*
F-4S302*

F16 Fighting Falcon


I don't know how you want to describe and count the number of blocks, mods and variants there.... but there seems to be a lot to me. Which ones were failures and which ones successes?

Sorry for the digression.

Cheers.
 

SupersonicMax

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The Viper blocks are incremental upgrades as time went. Block 50/52 is known to be the most capable but the heaviest in US service. After Block 25, the last digit represents the engine (0=GE with a big air intake, or « big mouth » and 2=PW). The first digit represents the actual avionics upgrade block. Block 50/52 were known as CJ and those that were upgraded are now called CM. Blocks 60s/70s are export variants. The other blocks are one ofs or concepts.

As for the black fighter project, this is hardly a new thing. Many aircraft (some that saw operational actions, some remained developmental platforms) were developed that way. Generally speaking, non-export platforms are developed under a heavier veil of secrecy than export platforms.
 

tomahawk6

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Three weeks and its still in Norway ? I bet the wing commander may be the next to go !!
 

tomahawk6

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Strategic asset in a foreign land not far from a potential enemy? You bet his bosses arent happy. Load a C17 with mechanics and send them to Norway might have been a good first step. At that point sending spare engines would be step 2 if the original engines could not be repaired ?
 
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