Friday, December 19, 2014

A New, "Super" F-35 to Rule the U.S. Military? | The National Int

A New, "Super" F-35 to Rule the U.S. Military? | The National Int: Advanced derivatives of the tri-service Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter could replace the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor, Boeing F-15C Eagle and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, multiple sources told the National Interest. However, they added that the idea of replacing the high flying and fast Raptor with the slower and less agile F-35 was not well received by many within the Air Force.

“No doubt that the F-35 will be doing air dominance missions in the future,” one industry official said. “Especially with more internal air-to-air, and maybe a new engine.”

Both the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and the U.S. Navy (USN) have begun preliminary work on analysis of alternatives (AOA) for the sixth-generations of those aircraft. The Air Force effort, called the F-X, is aimed at recapitalizing its fleet of air superiority fighters while the Navy’s F/A-XX program is expected to produce a replacement for the Super Hornet. The Navy will start its formal AOA in 2015 while the Air Force’s analysis will start a little later—in about a year and a half from now.