The Integration and Operational Suitability of Emerging Technologies for Future Fighter Aircraft: A Pilot's Perspective,
AIR FORCE SYSTEMS COMMAND WASHINGTON DC
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The tactical air mission has become extremely challenging and complex due to improvements in ground defenses and sophistication of opposing threat air forces. To fight, survive, and win in this demanding environment, we must ensure we develop the capabilities needed by our tactical pilots to successfully counter the threat. Technological developments have fostered a host of new capabilities for application to future aircraft. This paper provides a pilots perspective on the development, integration, and application of these emerging technologies for the air superiority mission. Of real concern is determining which capabilities will be most useful to the pilot, yet not overload or exceed his capacity to perform. Assessments will be based on personal experiences in combat, in flight testing applications in current fighter aircraft such as the F-15 Eagle, and on plans for incorporation in future fighter aircraft. The pilotvehicle interface and enhanced pilot performance will be the central focus, conditioned by operational suitability. Key factors will include information or task saturation, situational awareness, physiological limitations, and cockpit designs. The concept of Fighter Battle Management will be introduced and discussed as a framework for evaluating and integrating future capabilities. The U.S. Air Forces Advanced Tactical Tighter ATF will serve as the primary example of how this integration is currently being pursued, based on experience with both the F-15 and F-16.
- Attack and Fighter Aircraft