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Thread: USAF T-X

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by bring_it_on View Post
    With New T-X Design, Northrop Shows Its Hand




    http://www.defensenews.com/story/def...sign/22947925/
    IMHO Northrop has to be badly cornered if it has to buy Scaled to get outa trouble.
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  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed View Post
    IMHO Northrop has to be badly cornered if it has to buy Scaled to get outa trouble.
    The bought them many years ago. Companies acquire smaller companies all the time. Its a strategic decision that is taken in order to strengthen your core areas of business (or develop new ones) for the future.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed View Post
    IMHO Northrop has to be badly cornered if it has to buy Scaled to get outa trouble.
    Quote Originally Posted by bring_it_on View Post
    The bought them many years ago. Companies acquire smaller companies all the time. Its a strategic decision that is taken in order to strengthen your core areas of business (or develop new ones) for the future.
    The acquisition of Scaled Composites by Northrop Grumman was completed on August 24, 2007.
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  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bager1968 View Post
    The acquisition of Scaled Composites by Northrop Grumman was completed on August 24, 2007.
    Which is "many years ago" like I said. His comment was somehow trying to imply that Northrop Grumman somehow went into a huddle, bought SC so that they could build the T-X concept.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

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    Quote Originally Posted by hopsalot View Post
    If Boeing(or Scaled Composites) can't do better using modern technology and tailoring their design to the specific requirements they aren't trying very hard.
    Define better. If you accept that a Gripen could do the job already, I can only assume you mean cheaper?

    Well, cutting the R&D cost by building a Gripen C/D derivative already saves up front costs. Knowing the US aerospace industry primes, that'll be several billion saved right there. Having commonality of parts with existing operates helps economy of scale for ongoing parts.

    De-rating the engine further saves maintenance costs. GE/Volvo could even make a long-maintenance variant for the purpose, albeit with some sacrifice of upfront costs. Lack of systems further saves upfront and maintenance costs.


    A trainer/aggressor/ANG reserve does not need the latest CNF infused resin CFRP for PSEs. It doesn't need the latest in distributed arrays for both radar and RWR. It need to be good enough at a price that is affordable.

  6. #66
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    The development cost for the T-X would most likely be a fixed price contract. Therefore it does not matter if the gripen based solution requires a lesser investment. All contractors are aware of the Development award coming their way if they win and they have to demonstrate that their system is possible within that budget. I guess only SAAB and Boeing know why they are going for a clean sheet design, but from what I remember SAAB's executive took objection to the early suggestions that the design would be based on the Gripen so possibly its them that don't want to share the Gripen design.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by bring_it_on View Post
    The development cost for the T-X would most likely be a fixed price contract.
    Yes... and if you can do it cheaper, then your in better shape to get the award. All competitions will contain brownie points for cheaper bidders.

    The USAF don't need any more unnecessary complexity. The DoD have made 6 decades worth of cluster___ks on the back of overly complex.


    I'm not disagreeing that they (Boab) are not going down the Gripen-Lite route -- Its just I disagree with their decision (unless there is a good reason I am as yet unaware of for it).

  8. #68
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    Lets wait and see what they reveal. I think Boeing isn't planning on revealing their design till closer to the RFP while Northrop Grumman would be revealing it and be even flying it by the year end. Lockheed also has something that is proven in the T-50 but given their control of the fifth generation market, I seriously doubt that the Pentagon would award them this contract even though the T-50 is probably the smallest risk given its in-service nature.

    I was also surprised when Boeing chose SAAB and then SAAB said that it would not base the design on the Gripen. The official SAAB statement on the matter is somewhere on the forum. I think there was a bit of confusion because the media at large, reported that it would be based on the Gripen and SAAB came out publicly to deny any such thing.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 9th February 2015 at 17:26.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  9. #69
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    T-X is buying a training capability, not a platform. The air component of the Training System will need the flexibility of open system computing to be adaptable for future training needs. T-X computing requirements drives the need for electrical power generation and cooling, and agnostic touch screen displays which are reconfigurable to emulate current and future operational cockpit configurations. One could also make the argument for a FBW flight/propulsion control system which can emulate current and future operational jets. If these technologies are embraced, it leads to a clean sheet design. IMO, T-50 doesn't stand much of a chance because it lacks flexibility of reconfigurable systems to meet the Training System needs for the next 40 years.

  10. #70
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    And digital engine control, too. One has to emulate the cockpit AND flight controls of the target audience. I don't think it will get a radar, simply it will get an interface that makes it appear to use radar if that is part of the syllabus. I couldn't see the need for any more costs than that.
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  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by bring_it_on View Post
    Lets wait and see what they reveal. I think Boeing isn't planning on revealing their design till closer to the RFP while Northrop Grumman would be revealing it and be even flying it by the year end. Lockheed also has something that is proven in the T-50 but given their control of the fifth generation market, I seriously doubt that the Pentagon would award them this contract even though the T-50 is probably the smallest risk given its in-service nature.

    I was also surprised when Boeing chose SAAB and then SAAB said that it would not base the design on the Gripen. The official SAAB statement on the matter is somewhere on the forum. I think there was a bit of confusion because the media at large, reported that it would be based on the Gripen and SAAB came out publicly to deny any such thing.
    Probably there is something with the Delta and large Canards. There was no point of carrying those draggy items on a light trainer (simulated system/next generation structure etc...). Especially when you don't need short field landing capabilities.

    Think about it, the landing gear gain only will be in the thousand of pounds.

    But perhaps it's only IP related?
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 9th February 2015 at 20:59.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by bring_it_on View Post
    Which is "many years ago" like I said. His comment was somehow trying to imply that Northrop Grumman somehow went into a huddle, bought SC so that they could build the T-X concept.

    I just didn't remember SC was sold to N long ago. Good to know.
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  13. #73
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    Nothing wrong with a canard solution. I wouldn't want large canard wings in front and would prefer the EF layout over the Gripen, Rafale, or J-10 positions. One inlet underbody. If a faceted design is chosen then blend air intakes under the fuselage. (But really, why get overly complex?) Low or mid wing position. Begin thin LERX about even with the cockpit and use lift body principles to keep glide angle optimal in case of a flame out. Avoid the whole unbalanced aerodynamics design that will depend more on control surfaces for agility, but keep the design safer. After all its going to fly ridiculously high numbers of hours compared to frontline fighters. Build it in such a way the same fuselages can be adapted to other wing plans.
    Last edited by MadRat; 9th February 2015 at 21:02.
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  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by djcross View Post
    T-X is buying a training capability, not a platform. The air component of the Training System will need the flexibility of open system computing to be adaptable for future training needs. T-X computing requirements drives the need for electrical power generation and cooling, and agnostic touch screen displays which are reconfigurable to emulate current and future operational cockpit configurations. One could also make the argument for a FBW flight/propulsion control system which can emulate current and future operational jets. If these technologies are embraced, it leads to a clean sheet design. IMO, T-50 doesn't stand much of a chance because it lacks flexibility of reconfigurable systems to meet the Training System needs for the next 40 years.
    A clean sheet design is not necessary. You seem to be describing the M-346, which is already in service. FBW? FADEC? Reconfigurable FCS to simulate different aircraft? Open systems? Reconfigurable cockpit ('at the flick of a switch', supposedly)? All there. Multiple types of combat aircraft are already programmed & selectable for emulation, & others can be added.

    So far it's been bought by countries which operate F-15, F-16, Eurofighter & Tornado & are buying F-35, but it's already programmed to emulate other types, e.g. F-18.
    Last edited by swerve; 10th February 2015 at 11:42.
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  15. #75
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    Screw the M-346, it's too similar to the Yak-130. /sarc
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  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by bring_it_on View Post
    Which is "many years ago" like I said. His comment was somehow trying to imply that Northrop Grumman somehow went into a huddle, bought SC so that they could build the T-X concept.
    No **** Sherlock - that was obvious to everyone who read the two posts.

    I was providing the date for topspeed, quit being so insecure.
    Germany, Austria and Italy are standing together in the middle of the pub, when Serbia bumps into Austria, and spills Austria's pint.

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    It is interesting how the FJ trainer market is such a thing of pride. Clearly (as with all procurement in the US), there was no real mood to invest in a foreign airframe, and the dumping of the Hawk has been met with much joy, by US contributors on threads around the globe. After all the T38 is a rare bird and a hard act to follow.

    If you ask me, BAE has missed the boat on a Hawk replacement and will not replace the type now.

  18. #78
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    If you read BAE's literature, it looks as if their main emphasis is the training system, not the aircraft. It (including the cockpit) could be slotted into a different airframe - & it looks as if that's what's planned with the new Northrop (with BAE co-operation) airframe. Northrop is out of the aircraft manufacturing business if it doesn't get a contract soon, & BAE doesn't need the Hawk airframe business to stay in aircraft, so BAE can sell its training system in a new airframe which someone else has paid for. That includes features carried over from the current Hawk such as simulation of different aircraft types, via software.

    I think the Hawk has the disadvantage of being thought of as an old aircraft. It seems to be assumed (including by some here) that the systems aboard it are of the same vintage as the basic design of the airframe. For example, it's been said that a new trainer needs FADEC, & doesn't need a radar as long as it can simulate one. Well, yes - & Hawk does that (& has been doing it in service for some time), just as M-346 does. These are modern trainers embedded in modern training systems, not T-38s.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadRat View Post
    Screw the M-346, it's too similar to the Yak-130. /sarc
    Only externally. There's not much similarity under the skin.

    And anyway, so what?
    Last edited by swerve; 10th February 2015 at 12:07.
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  19. #79
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    swerve, I agree with you. I think the Hawk training system will be the product that BAE will sell and the T-X competition coverage has been very US centric (for obvious reasons) so will not really cover BAE's view of the NG decision.

  20. #80
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    Northrop is out of the aircraft manufacturing business if it doesn't get a contract soon, & BAE doesn't need the Hawk airframe business to stay in aircraft, so BAE can sell its training system in a new airframe which someone else has paid for.
    They are very much in that business and would remain strong players in the unmanned sector for the foreseeable future. . Their portfolio of products includes other manned and unmanned assets. In addition to the Triton's (and other unmanned aircraft) , E-2's they are also the incumbents in the JSTARS recap program, and are rumoured to be producing the RQ-180 under an LRIP setup.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  21. #81
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    Sorry, I should have said manned aircraft manufacturing.

    How long will E-2 production continue? JSTARS recapitalisation looks certain to be based on an existing airframe, bought in from Bombardier, Boeing, Gulfstream or the like.
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    Is there an official strategy of spreading the award of big contracts across the 3 main manufacturers? I mean if LM wins the F35 does that mean that NG or Boeing will get the trainer and then the remaining airframer gets the bomber?

    Or are we likely to see the loser of this fight give up on fast jets (if its not LM and assuming that the LRS-B isn't a "fast Jet")?

    Convoluted, but do you see what I mean?

  23. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by swerve View Post
    .

    I think the Hawk has the disadvantage of being thought of as an old aircraft. It seems to be assumed (including by some here) that the systems aboard it are of the same vintage as the basic design of the airframe. For example, it's been said that a new trainer needs FADEC, & doesn't need a radar as long as it can simulate one. Well, yes - & Hawk does that (& has been doing it in service for some time), just as M-346 does. These are modern trainers embedded in modern training systems, not T-38s.

    Gee why would anyone think of the Hawk as old? Preliminary thought of in 1964 as a Gnat replacement, design really kicked off in 1968, selected 1971....

    I get that it has been extensively upgraded, and you are talking about avionics, but it IS old, and not surprising than some see it that way. Yes it has many great traits as a LIFT and can emmulate some things, but it lacks the performance now required for T-X.

    IF the requirement was just for a LIFT then a warmed over Hawk, -346, or similar would be just fine, but remember the the T-X requirement has evolved and a "red air" agressor replacement is now part of the mix.

    Reading the below, it seems they looked hard at the evolving requirements and it soon became clear the Hawk was not up to snuff. "But it has become increasingly evident that the Hawk is unsuited for the mission due to shortfalls in the fast-jet trainer’s ability to sustain Gs, perform high angle-of-attack maneuvering and execute tight turn rate and radius."

    "The so-called T-X will eventually be used to train future F-22 and F-35 pilots with advanced skills. Adding to the requirements is an Air Force decision in the fiscal 2016 budget plan to expand T-X to cover a requirement for a new “red air” aggressor “stores aircraft interface” kit to include adding a radar, datalink and hard points for weapons and a jamming pod. The T-X aggressors will replace F-16Cs used in that role now at the Air Warfare Center at Nellis AFB, Nevada. The Hawk would be unable to meet the demands of an aggressor aircraft."

    The Hawk has had a good run, but it is time to move on....

    I say a clean sheet is the smart way to go. This could be a huge contract down the road, for LIFT/Agressor and a poor man's fighter.

    http://aviationweek.com/defense/nort...et-t-x-trainer
    Last edited by sandiego89; 10th February 2015 at 16:09.

  24. #84
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    now, will it have LO features (like the MAKO)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandiego89 View Post
    Reading the below, it seems they looked hard at the evolving requirements and it soon became clear the Hawk was not up to snuff. "But it has become increasingly evident that the Hawk is unsuited for the mission due to shortfalls in the fast-jet trainer’s ability to sustain Gs, perform high angle-of-attack maneuvering and execute tight turn rate and radius."

    "The so-called T-X will eventually be used to train future F-22 and F-35 pilots with advanced skills. Adding to the requirements is an Air Force decision in the fiscal 2016 budget plan to expand T-X to cover a requirement for a new “red air” aggressor “stores aircraft interface” kit to include adding a radar, datalink and hard points for weapons and a jamming pod. The T-X aggressors will replace F-16Cs used in that role now at the Air Warfare Center at Nellis AFB, Nevada. The Hawk would be unable to meet the demands of an aggressor aircraft."

    The Hawk has had a good run, but it is time to move on....

    I say a clean sheet is the smart way to go. This could be a huge contract down the road, for LIFT/Agressor and a poor man's fighter.

    http://aviationweek.com/defense/nort...et-t-x-trainer
    I can see why the Hawk has been dropped. As you say, it lacks the performance of some of the newer candidates. But your description of what is needed exactly fits the M-346 - unless you insist on it being supersonic (which has not been a T-X requirement up to now), in which case the T-50 is physically closest.

    You want datalink, radar, hardpoints - all either fitted, or fitted for. No need for clean sheet. Why do so many people here seem to be unaware of what current non-US trainers have, & can do?
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    Quote Originally Posted by swerve View Post

    How long will E-2 production continue?
    Looks like the US Navy E-2D production run will run to about 2021, with the goal of @75 aircraft. Ordering around 4-6 a year, which has pretty much been the way things have gone with the Hawkeye for years. Just enough work to keep the line open and continual upgrades to an "old" design. Beyond that who knows, maybe a follow on E-2E. I see few buyers outside of the USN, maybe France to replace 2-3 older E-2's, but most former/current/potential Hawkeye users will likely go for airliner/bizjet/cargo airframes as cheaper and they do not need the aircraft carrier capabilty.

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    Somewhat to my surprise, I've just found out that Japan has selected the E-2D. I thought that when it decided it needed something better than upgraded E-2Cs to complement its E-767s, it would buy something in the class of the (Boeing 737-based) Wedgetail. It'll be land-based, & I thought they'd want the extra aircraft performance: speed, range, endurance & ceiling.
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    USAF will be relied for Fighters with LM in F-22 and F-35, does LM will going to be the 'rightfull' owner of T-X contract with T-50 (which basically LM design)

    Sorry can not help it..This talk about what T-X will be and what merit of each design has been talked over and over again...In the end it will be fight between T-50 and M-346...With what happen with F-35 procurement and lenghty development...no way for T-X USAF will go for a clean sheet and unproven design..Afterall They can not wait more than a decade for T-X to be fully integrated just like F-35...

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    As I understand it, the Northrop proposal is to build a new airframe - only - with everything else being off the shelf. The cockpits & what they call the 'in plane training system' from BAE, same as offered in the Hawk, existing engine, etc. That should make it relatively quick, cheap & low risk.

    But yes, it'd still be higher-risk & likely to be later than M-346 or T-50.

    I wonder if Northrop could revive Mako?
    Last edited by swerve; 11th February 2015 at 11:34.
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    the whole thing smacks of reinventing the wheel, so why not revisit MAKO?

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