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Northrop Grumman FB-23 Condor by bagera3005 Northrop Grumman FB-23 Condor by bagera3005
Northrop Grumman FB-23 Condor

The fifth generation was ushered in by the Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor in late 2005. Currently the cutting edge of fighter design, fifth-generation fighters are characterized by being designed from the start to operate in a network-centric combat environment, and to feature extremely low, all-aspect, multi-spectral signatures employing advanced materials and shaping techniques. They have multifunction AESA radars with high-bandwidth, low-probability of intercept (LPI) data transmission capabilities. The Infra-red search and track sensors incorporated for air-to-air combat as well as for air-to-ground weapons delivery in the 4.5th generation fighters are now fused in with other sensors for Situational Awareness IRST or SAIRST, which constantly tracks all targets of interest around the aircraft so the pilot need not guess when he glances. (Requires software upgrade on the F-22.) These sensors, along with advanced avionics, glass cockpits, helmet-mounted sights (not available on F-22), and improved secure, jamming-resistant LPI datalinks are highly integrated to provide multi-platform, multi-sensor data fusion for vastly improved situational awareness while easing the pilot's workload.[10] Avionics suites rely on extensive use of very high-speed integrated circuit (VHSIC) technology, common modules, and high-speed data buses. Overall, the integration of all these elements is claimed to provide fifth-generation fighters with a "first-look, first-shot, first-kill capability".

The AESA radar offers unique capabilities for fighters (and it is also quickly becoming a sine qua non for Generation 4.5 aircraft designs, as well as being retrofitted onto some fourth-generation aircraft). In addition to its high resistance to ECM and LPI features, it enables the fighter to function as a sort of "mini-AWACS," providing high-gain electronic support measures (ESM) and electronic warfare (EW) jamming functions.

Other technologies common to this latest generation of fighters includes integrated electronic warfare system (INEWS) technology, integrated communications, navigation, and identification (CNI) avionics technology, centralized "vehicle health monitoring" systems for ease of maintenance, fiber optics data transmission, and stealth technology.

Maneuver performance remains important and is enhanced by thrust-vectoring, which also helps reduce takeoff and landing distances. Supercruise may or may not be featured; it permits flight at supersonic speeds without the use of the afterburner – a device that significantly increases IR signature when used in full military power.

A key attribute of fifth-generation fighters is very-low-observables stealth. Great care has been taken in designing its layout and internal structure to minimize RCS over a broad bandwidth of detection and tracking radar frequencies; furthermore, to maintain its VLO signature during combat operations, primary weapons are carried in internal weapon bays that are only briefly opened to permit weapon launch. Furthermore, stealth technology has advanced to the point where it can be employed without a tradeoff with aerodynamics performance. In contrast to previous stealth efforts, attention has also been paid to reducing IR signatures. Detailed information on these signature-reduction techniques is classified, but in general includes special shaping approaches, thermoset and thermoplastic materials, extensive structural use of advanced composites, conformal sensors, heat-resistant coatings, low-observable wire meshes to cover intake and cooling vents, heat ablating tiles on the exhaust troughs (seen on the Northrop YF-23), and coating internal and external metal areas with radar-absorbent materials and paint (RAM/RAP).

The expense of developing such sophisticated aircraft is as high as their capabilities. The U.S. Air Force had originally planned to acquire 650 F-22s, but it now appears that only 187 will be built. As a result, its unit flyaway cost (FAC) is reported to be around $140 million. To spread the development costs – and production base – more broadly, the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program enrolls eight other countries as cost- and risk-sharing partners. Altogether, the nine partner nations anticipate procuring over 3000 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighters at an anticipated average FAC of $80–85 million. The F-35, however, is designed to be a family of three aircraft, a conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) fighter, a short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) fighter, and a Catapult Assisted Take Off But Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR) fighter, each of which has a different unit price and slightly varying specifications in terms of fuel capacity (and therefore range), size and payload. Other countries have initiated fifth-generation fighter development projects, with Russia's Sukhoi PAK-FA anticipated to enter service circa 2012–2015. In October 2007, Russia and India signed an agreement for joint participation in a Fifth-Generation Fighter Aircraft Program (FGFA), which will give India responsibility for development of a two-seat model of the PAK-FA. India is also developing its own indigenous fifth generation aircraft named Medium Combat Aircraft. China is reported to be pursuing multiple fifth-generation projects under the western code name; J-XX, while Japan is exploring their technical feasibility to produce fifth-generation fighters.
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:iconaceofaces1941:
AceofAces1941 Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2010
Oh, and if anyone wants to know where Nellis is, it's in NEVADA.
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:iconaceofaces1941:
AceofAces1941 Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2010
That's really the Lockheed Martin YF-23 StealthRay that lost out to the F-22 Raptor. Because The YF-23 Stealth Ray doesn't have the weapon's capabilities of the F-22 Rator.
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:iconblacktailfa:
BlacktailFA Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2010
That's totally awesome, bagera3005.


I would have much preferred to see THIS program funded, instead of that wimpy little JSF (which, despite it's "Strike" Fighter designation, is NOT a Strike Fighter --- it's a TACTICAL Fighter)...
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:iconaceofaces1941:
AceofAces1941 Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2010
I like the YF-23 Stealth RAY too! I would rather have seen this in action, 'cause I says it looks better too!!!!
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:iconblacktailfa:
BlacktailFA Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2010
Well, you know the old saying; "If is looks right, it IS right".
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:iconovni-the-ufo:
Ovni-the-UFO Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2010
Tis a shame stealth technology will be obsolete in twenty or thirty years as better SAMs get designed. >:
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:iconbagera3005:
bagera3005 Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2010  Professional Interface Designer
the engines out there that stop that an there a next gen stealth

Precooled jets / LACE
ntake air is chilled to very low temperatures at inlet in a heat exchanger before passing through a ramjet and/or turbojet and/or rocket engine.
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:iconovni-the-ufo:
Ovni-the-UFO Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2010
I was talking about long-wavelenghth RADAR, which tracks general disturbances in radar returns with modern computers, and despite being less accurate than short-wave radar, they could certainly spot a Stealth aircraft and fire on it.
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:iconbagera3005:
bagera3005 Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2010  Professional Interface Designer
i don't think 3rd worlds getting them any time soon an newer stealth has way around it
aesa can fry the RADAR before it even gets Missie off
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:iconovni-the-ufo:
Ovni-the-UFO Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2010
Well, the problem is, it was a country with an outdated SAM system that figured it out...

Serbia, 1990s, during the Kosovo war, was tracking unknown vague objects on an old outdated radar system from the 1960s or so. They got a computer to provide a solid lock, missile blew a F-117 right out of the sky, first stealth aircraft killed by enemy fire in US history.

As far as AESA goes, it's only a matter of time before someone finds a way around that.

I'm not saying it isn't good, I'm just saying that an arms race is always one countermeasure after another between two sides (in this case, antimissile systems and missiles). Nobody maintains the cutting edge for very long.
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:iconbagera3005:
bagera3005 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2010  Professional Interface Designer
on a slow 117 with spotters i think they bore sighted it on a slow moving target an missile was he probably did whats called a forced lock an now you have to do same thing with nats size radar signature coming in at mach 1+ or faster

Reportedly, several SA-3s were launched from approximately 8 miles out, one of which detonated near the F-117A, forcing the pilot to eject. Though still classified, it is believed that the F-117 has no radar warning indicator, so the pilot's first indication of an incoming missile was likely seeing its flame. At this distance and combined speed the pilot had about six seconds to react before impact. According to an interview, Zoltán Dani kept most of his missile sites intact by frequently moving them, and had spotters looking for F-117s and other NATO aircraft. He oversaw the modification of his targeting radar to improve its detection.[40] The commanders and crews of the SAMs guessed the flight paths of earlier F-117A attacks from rare radar spotting and positioned their SAM launchers and spotters accordingly. It is believed that the SA-3 crews and spotters were able to locate and track F-117A 82-806 visually, probably with infra-red and night vision systems. He claimed that his battery shot down an F-16 as well.

no matter what if you can cross hire even a sam
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:iconovni-the-ufo:
Ovni-the-UFO Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2010
Hmmm...

Ah, well, someday someone will find a way to track stealth easily. Then someone will develop new stealth. Then someone will develop a new method. Then an old version of stealth will defeat the new method, or vice versa. It's always the same with Defender vs Attacker.
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:iconpeebo-thulhu:
Peebo-Thulhu Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2010
Um, not that I have any skills or background in such matters, but the idea of an exhaust which is exiting the rear of a plane with enough force to push said airframe not only through the air, but enough "power" to weight to be able to lift said multi tone machine vertically (I am assuming most '5th' generation fighters have a better than 1:1 power ratio) will then be able to cool said plume of accelerated air mass without some how incurring ridiculous drag penalties does boggle my mind.

This is not to mention some how running the extra weight of cooling lines/pipes/something through the air frame to cool it down since the machine's path through the air will generate friction and hence heat in the very surfaces of the machine which will glow in infra-red.

All this talk of 'stealth' is no more than a marketing ploy.

A truly stealthy air frame will NOT have the characteristics of a fighter. The A-10 does not fly fast, nor do many other things, but she is one mean bomb truck and mud mover.

The same with other machines such as the Harrier etc.

Form begets function and the F-22 or whatever is not a machine who's form is for begetting stealth.
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:iconbreandan-ociarrai:
Breandan-OCiarrai Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2010  Professional Writer
The irony is, as wonderful as the F-22 is, the Russians are able to burp out at LEAST ten SU-27s or Mig-29s for every F22, and they are not that far behind in capabilities (some argue they are equal in practice, even if inferior on paper). The US approach is high-tech all the way, damn the price, and then when the price is too high to mass-produce them, ditch the idea and start over. The Russian approach is build what works for a reasonable price, but make sure we can afford to build ten frillion of them to sell to foreign governments. As the Russian Federation slides further and further into hypernationalistic fascism, the likelihood that the US and Russia will go to blows (either in direct confrontation when the Russians invade Ukraine, or indirectly when we wind up at war with Iran or one of their other proxies) increases. It would behoove the Americans to take a lesson or three from the Russians and make effective air superiority fighters that are still relatively inexpensive to produce. Just sayin' :D
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:iconaceofaces1941:
AceofAces1941 Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2010
Russia's ALWAYS been acting up and is always responsible for the East going to hell! We should have just wasted the "so-called" Government and made a Democracy.
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:iconovni-the-ufo:
Ovni-the-UFO Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2010
Mmm, we're learning. You can build 4 F-35s literally for the price of 1 F-22.

There's rumors we may bring back an old feasible design rather than come up with a brand new one, also, to cut down on the cost of supplemental missile-boating.


I think we're still using the F-16 too, which is pretty much built for mass production and export....it's not terribly awesome, but it's capable.

I myself wanna see the stealth upgrade of our F-15s to supplement our forces without diminishing numbers.
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:iconbreandan-ociarrai:
Breandan-OCiarrai Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2010  Professional Writer
the Texas Air National Guard has a butt-tonne of F-16s, and some damned good pilots. I know the federals also have them, but their pilots are... well, let's just say I trust Texas' air force more :D
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:iconovni-the-ufo:
Ovni-the-UFO Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2010
Well, almost everyone uses the F-16. It's like the F-5, only better. Even China uses a variant of the F-16, along with their MiGs and Sukhois and stuff.
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:iconkryptid:
Kryptid Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2010
Very cool. It would have been a nice development.
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