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Old 09-25-2020, 09:45 AM
RN7 RN7 is offline
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Default New American Fighter Flies

Seems that America has learnt a thing or two from the F-35 disaster.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/mil...w-fighter-jet/

https://www.defenseone.com/technolog...af-jet/168479/

I think its the USAF F-X 6th generation fighter that DARPA has been working on. No real details yet but this is the successor to the F-22 and its going to be fast and manoeuvrable, and it will give Russia and China something to worry about.
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Old 09-25-2020, 11:41 AM
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The concept of a 6th gen Fighter that could be proposed to the USAF has been around for almost a decade, at least with one major aircraft manufacture.

http://www.defensetech.org/2011/09/2...h-gen-fighter/

I'm glad to see we aren't sitting around on our laurels about F-22 and F-35.

Last edited by Spartan-117; 09-25-2020 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 09-25-2020, 02:52 PM
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Default Rise of the Machines

As someone who was a huge Top Gun fan as a kid, and daydreamed about dogfighting Soviet MiGs in my imaginary F-16 Fighting Falcon, this pains me to say, but I think our next air superiority fighter should be 100% unmanned. I favor a remotely-piloted option w/ AI assist over a purely autonomous fighter. Recently, an AI kicked a human pilot's butt in simulated air-to-air combat. It wasn't a fluke either.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...-fighter-pilot

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...ot-in-dogfight

An unmanned aircraft can sustain more G's than the human body can handle, making it more maneuverable. AI makes decisions quicker and implements them faster than a human can. As the tech matures, it will also more consistently make better decisions than a human would.

I fear the days of the piloted combat aircraft will very soon be behind us. If we're not at the leading edge of emerging aerospace tech, we'll get left in the dust by the Chinese.

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Last edited by Raellus; 09-25-2020 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 09-25-2020, 07:17 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
As someone who was a huge Top Gun fan as a kid, and daydreamed about dogfighting Soviet MiGs in my imaginary F-16 Fighting Falcon, this pains me to say, but I think our next air superiority fighter should be 100% unmanned. I favor a remotely-piloted option w/ AI assist over a purely autonomous fighter. Recently, an AI kicked a human pilot's butt in simulated air-to-air combat. It wasn't a fluke either.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...-fighter-pilot

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...ot-in-dogfight

An unmanned aircraft can sustain more G's than the human body can handle, making it more maneuverable. AI makes decisions quicker and implements them faster than a human can. As the tech matures, it will also more consistently make better decisions than a human would.

I fear the days of the piloted combat aircraft will very soon be behind us. If we're not at the leading edge of emerging aerospace tech, we'll get left in the dust by the Chinese.

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Whoa, there chief...

The AI was given certain advantages that NO FIGHTER (AI or otherwise) would ever have. Check out MOVER'S critic and listen to how the developers gave the AI the advantage of total situational awareness (it knew EVERYTHING about its opponent except the fuel state) and 360-degree vision. Here's MOVER'S video:

https://youtu.be/ziCQqmEllZo

Also, here's a clip of Tesla's "wiz-bang" synthetic aperature radar that can supposedly "see everything," thus making it SUPERIOR to a human driver (according to "Teslaphiles"). This is from June of this year and represents the MOST ADVANCED version of that radar and driving AI.

https://youtu.be/LfmAG4dk-rU

Last edited by swaghauler; 09-25-2020 at 07:21 PM. Reason: added a link
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Old 09-25-2020, 07:41 PM
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Default Advantage AI

If AI somehow gets stuck in 2020, yeah. But that's not going to happen. It'll take, what, at least 10 years from digital design to operational 6th gen airframe? In that time, AI will get even smarter and more capable. Human beings, meanwhile, are currently protesting being asked to wear cloth masks during the worst pandemic since the Spanish Flu. Are human pilots going to get smarter and more capable in the next decade or so? I wouldn't count on it.

Advantage AI.

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Old 09-25-2020, 07:58 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
If AI somehow gets stuck in 2020, yeah. But that's not going to happen. It'll take, what, at least 10 years from digital design to operational 6th gen airframe? In that time, AI will get even smarter and more capable. Human beings, meanwhile, are currently protesting being asked to wear cloth masks during the worst pandemic since the Spanish Flu. Are human pilots going to get smarter and more capable in the next decade or so? I wouldn't count on it.

Advantage AI.

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The Air Force has admitted that a prototype is flying now. From the two grainy photos I've seen, it looks like a flattened YF-23 with a funky "taileron" type arrangement in place of tail rudders.
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Old 09-25-2020, 10:12 PM
RN7 RN7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
As someone who was a huge Top Gun fan as a kid, and daydreamed about dogfighting Soviet MiGs in my imaginary F-16 Fighting Falcon, this pains me to say, but I think our next air superiority fighter should be 100% unmanned. I favor a remotely-piloted option w/ AI assist over a purely autonomous fighter. Recently, an AI kicked a human pilot's butt in simulated air-to-air combat. It wasn't a fluke either.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...-fighter-pilot

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...ot-in-dogfight

An unmanned aircraft can sustain more G's than the human body can handle, making it more maneuverable. AI makes decisions quicker and implements them faster than a human can. As the tech matures, it will also more consistently make better decisions than a human would.

I fear the days of the piloted combat aircraft will very soon be behind us. If we're not at the leading edge of emerging aerospace tech, we'll get left in the dust by the Chinese.

-

Although I would agree with the advantages of an AI over human pilots to a degree, in my mind the fact that an AI is electronic would point to a flaw that could be exploited. Cyber-warfare software has advanced at an incredible rate since 1990, some cyber programmes used by the NSA for example can actually take over a computer or a machine even if its not connected to anything. If the F-X is unmanned and flown by an AI it is certain that countries like Russia and China will try and find a way of compromising it by any means. But certainly developing an aircraft that can fly both unmanned or with a pilot is likely.

What type of aircraft will the F-X actually be?

Its hard to exactly say but I doubt it will be of the classic F-16 dog fighter variety. More likely it will be a larger multi-role aircraft like an F-15 for BVR air combat. Fast and long ranged with a heavier weapons load than either an F-22 or F-35. The fact that a prototype is already flying means the engine unit has already been chosen, while the USAF seem to know exactly what type of airframe they want. I would be certain it will be a twin engine fighter like the F-22, and it will be capable of flying in the high Mach 2 range. If it also has an unmanned capability then I think its possible it could easily exceed Mach 3.

I could see some of the stealth technology of the B-21 Raider being incorporated into the F-X, along with any advances in radar, sensor and missile technology that will be developed in the 2020's. Escorting a B-21 may also be one of priority missions. If for example the B-21 were to be used against a target in Russia or China, or a country under their protection, an aircraft like the F-X would be necessary to eliminate enemy aircraft and land based SAM and radars.

It may be the late 2020's or even early 2030's before this fighter/strike fighter enters frontline service, but the fact that a prototype (or three) is already flying I would say is causing shockwaves in Russia, China and some of the bogey states like Iran and North Korea. Russia cant even get its 5th Generation Su-57 in frontline service after a decade, while China needs Russian engines for all of its fighters to even fly.

Basically over the next decade a squadron of F-X fighters could appear in anyone's airspace without them even knowing about it, and when they do know its up their it will overwhelm and swamp their fighter and ground based air defence network and leave them wide open to an air strike by a B-21.
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Old 09-25-2020, 10:40 PM
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There is something of a middle-ground here as well.
One of the first concepts I saw for future combat aircraft was of a manned fighter that would oversee several drone fighters.
With the advancements that AI could offer for unmanned aircraft, some of that tech could be used to remove some of the management that a human pilot normally does thus making a human pilot more effective than at current.

Yet another proposal was for drone fighters being piloted by someone in a command shack much like drones are used at present. This would keep human oversight of the aircraft but remove the problems of having a human in the aircraft.

Personally, I don't see human pilots going away anytime soon. Whether they will be sitting in the plane or sitting in a command module on the ground remains to be seen but I don't think humans will be entirely eliminated from the decision making process for combat aircraft for some time yet.
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Old 09-26-2020, 10:47 AM
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Default Compromise: Cyborgs

Please note:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
I favor a remotely-piloted option w/ AI assist over a purely autonomous fighter.
Any aircraft with networked systems (which is pretty much every current gen and future model) is going to be vulnerable to cyber attacks and, presumably, jamming, so I don't see that as a non-starter for an autonomous aircraft.

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Old 09-26-2020, 12:09 PM
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I tend to think the "middle ground" option makes the most sense as well. Manned "fighters" of the future will be more like forward controllers for UCAVs.

Modern aircraft sensors, sensor fusion, and networked aircraft I think have obviated the essential need for every fighter to be a capable dog fighter. UCAVs can be spear carriers, missile trucks, while manned buddies can handle dog fights.

Stealth is more important than ever so loading down a singular fighter with external stores turns them into targets. A manned plane with only internal stores plus a couple UCAV buddies also with internal stores lets them all remain stealthy while keeping them heavily armed.
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