So I was getting caught up on youtube aviation videos and I came across this Lockheed Martin Skunk Works promo video. They show multiple systems in development or in the conceptual phase, including my personal favorite, the VARIOUS UCAV. Then up pops “Tomorrow’s Fighter” and what do you know, it’s a YF-23 with some wing and intake mods. Well I guess I am right, the USAF picked the wrong jet when it comes to the Advanced Tactical Fighter program! It is kind-of embarrassing when you throw a glitzy promo video like this together and pitch a variation of you competitor’s competing product from some two decades earlier! Yesterday’s losing fighter and an unnecessary replacement for the SR-71 Blackbird a decade and a half after its final retirement, what will America’s premier bleeding edge aerospace design house publicize next?!?!

lockheedF23 copy

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  1. esmoore5 says:

    I thought Boeing’s concept looked rather cool:*uZKtLfEJEBwMfABv5kohiQ.jpeg

    Note that the Picture includes a manned, and an unmanned version.

    Northrop Grumman’s design looks interesting too:

    Whichever design is picked may be equipped with a laser weapon:

    But considering the trouble the Pentagon had with the 747-based airborne
    laser, I wonder if they’ll be able to stuff a sufficiently effective
    laser weapon into a fighter-sized airframe.

    I hope they manage to work something out, since the other countries
    aren’t exactly standing still in this area:

    • says:

      There will be ZERO money for a manned 6th generation fighter pipe dream. This is all just mental masturbation from the “fighter mafia” in the Pentagon and industry.

      • esmoore5 says:

        After the loss of the RQ-170 over Iran, I wonder if
        future unmanned fighters & other aircraft will have
        a self-destruct system to keep their technology from
        being compromised when they crash.

  2. aerodawg says:

    The only way a 6th gen concept gets a shot is if it’s relatively simple, cheap and can be fielded in large numbers. Even then, it’s main claim to fame should be the ability to interface with and control multiple unmanned aircraft to act as bomb/missile magazines for it.

    The Navy’s concept of manned aircraft controlling unammed aircraft that act as a missile carrier. The best concept might even be with older less stealthy aircraft like the Super Hornet. Imagine a stealthy UCAV deployed 15-20NM ahead of a Super Hornet in an engagement. The Hornet is basically shouting at the world “HERE I AM!” while the UCAV is covering the approach just waiting for another plane to reveal itself. Imagine the shock of an enemy pilot when he goes after the hornet only to find missiles coming from an area there shouldn’t be an aircraft….

    • says:

      Right I have written about “tethering” at length. It will also be featured in Netcentric 2.0 piece.

      • aerodawg says:

        I found this blog based on your RQ-170 articles. I kept reading based on your analysis of unmanned platform uses up to and including tethering. Your thoughts paralled discussions that I had with fellow unmanned enthusiasts when I was in college, what was nearly 10 years ago now.

        As aviation enthusiasts we collectively hated the idea that a bleeding edge whiz bang manned fighter might not be necessary anymore. At the same time, the deeper we dug into conceptualizing the operation of manned/unmanned teams, the more effective a technology and tactic we thought it would be.

        We even toyed with the idea of semi-intelligent semi-autonomous swarms, controlled by a host platform. A group of unmanned aircraft that could independently track and maneuver against enemy aircraft in a coordinated fashion, just waiting on attack orders from the manned platform would be a powerful weapon. Skynet lives almost if you will lol

        • says:

          Right, we discussed this in Tyler’s Ten Thoughts On The Future Of Drone Warfare. More in netcentric 2.0. Why compete with the enemy when you can leapfrog them and present an entirely new game?

  3. Todd Frohwirth says:

    “It will also be featured in Netcentric 2.0 piece”

    ETA late 2019.

  4. AspenTwoZero says:

    Netcentric 2.0 is the Chinese Democracy of aviation journalism.

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