Next-Generation Attack Fighter: Design Tradeoffs and National System Concepts.
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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Current Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps fighterattack aviation aircraft are 1970s-vintage designs that will reach the end of their service lives in the early part of the next century. Although the Air Force is developing the highly advanced F-22, it cannot be used to replace all current assets, especially F-16s, simply because of cost. A low-end complementary design is required, much as the F-16 was the low of a high-low rhix with F-15s. The Navy and Marine Corps have no all-new fighterattack design in development. The F-18 EF will have improved characteristics compared to earlier versions, but it does not fully use newer technologies and specifically it will not have the desired and aftainable levels of stealth and range-payload performance, nor will it offer next-generation short takeoff, vertical landing STOVL capability for the Marine Corps. This report presents the results of research into the tradeoffs in requirements specification for a next-generation attack fighter, answering in depth such critical questions as Is STOVL a viable approach for tri-service capability What is the effect of providing space for a second seat How much range must we give up to carrv two more stores This research was conducted by developing and analyzing a representative notional design concept for a next-generation attack fighter NGAF, then conducting numerous trade studies of range, performance, payload, and technologies. This was followed by study of alternative approaches to attaining tri-service capability.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies