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Showing posts from September, 2018

BOEING (AND SAAB) WINS USAF'S T-X

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After more than 50 years, the USAF's aging T-38 is finally getting a replacement.

On September 27, Boeing was announced as the winner of the T-X trainer competition.  Being the only real clean sheet design entered, many saw it as Boeing's to lose.

Victory was no assured, however.  Submitting a clean-sheet design was a risky proposition when it comes to affordability and risk.  So much so that Northrop Grumman (maker of the T-38) abandoned the competition after going so far as to building a prototype.

As the competition came to a close, Boeing faced the Leonardo T-100 and Lockheed Martin/KAI T-50 Golden Eagle.  Both of these aircraft had the advantage of being mature, proven designs.   The T-50 had the extra advantage of being represented by the juggernaut that is Lockheed Martin.  Without a Stateside sponsor, the T-100 was certainly a political dark horse.

While other designs, like the Textron AirLand Scorpion were submitted, none of them really had a chance going against…

F-22/F-35 HYBRID FOR CANADA?

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Lately, the idea of a "hybrid" between the F-22 and F-35 seems to be gaining steam.  First proposed to Japan when its self-designed F-3 project fell through, Lockheed is now pitching the idea to The Pentagon.

This (sort of) new fighter would take the more modern sensors, avionics, and other newer technology found in the F-35 and modify them to fit the F-22 Raptor.  This new enhanced Raptor would also sport a more modern stealth coating that promises to require maintenance.

It is not a bad idea.  Such a beast would not only offer improved capabilities for the F-22, but could actually result in lower flying costs.

This new fighter (F-22B?  F-22E?  F-22X?  F-28.5?) would improve on the Raptor's exceptional air-to-air capabilities.  One of the F-22's current weak spots is the absence of any sort of IRST.  The addition of DAS (Distributed Aperture System), combined with a helmet-mounted display (HMD) would give the F-22 true 360 degree situational awareness.  "Ra…