MILAVIA Forum - Military Aviation Discussion Forum

Author Topic: F-16 gets super cruise capability  (Read 7840 times)

Offline tigershark

  • News Editor
  • General of Flight
  • *******
  • Posts: 2025
F-16 gets super cruise capability
« on: January 17, 2008, 04:20:37 AM »
F-16 gets super cruise capability
Agencies
Posted online: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 10:00:39
Updated: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 10:16:05

Fort Worth, (Texas), January 16: As the deadline for India's biggest ever defence deal for purchase of 126 new fighter planes nears, US aviation giant Lockheed Martin on Wednesday unveiled a new upgraded version of its F-16 fighter planes with 'super cruise' capability and Active Electronic Scanned Array (AESA) radars.

So far, the 'super cruise' capability is only seen in 5th generation fighters F-22 Raptors and it’s just unrolling F-35 joint strike fighters.

This capability would impart the fighter with extended range, as it can zoom from take-off to breaking the sound barrier without the use of fuel guzzling after-burners.

Full story
http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/F-16-gets-super-cruise-capability/262072/

Offline valkyrian

  • Fighter Ace
  • *****
  • Posts: 303
  • Country: gr
  • Goodbye my friend Tigershark, R.I.P.
Re: F-16 gets super cruise capability
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2008, 10:23:32 AM »
Well, that's very good news. I see that the watchword for todays fighters is the supercruise.

This is not the first time F-16 has involved in supercruise program.
In the late 70's General Dynamics begun a program called SCAMP, for Supersonic Combat and Maneuvering Prototype. The result was the briliant F-16 XL, which later was refined to compete with the almighty F-15E.

Interesting thing is that the supercruise was to be achieved through a completely new cranked delta wing.

I think that in order to achieve their goal, they have to :

-increase the supersonic L/D*M (thus modifying the wing)
-increase the fuel fraction (lengthen the F-16?)
-use an engine that is capable of delivering high thrust levels at supersonic speeds with out the use of a/b (the F110 has demonstrated 35000 lbs with ab since the late 90's, and Pratt&Whitney has similar performance F100).

but, if Indians buy the aircraft and the project continues,

the F-16 will enter a new era, and with a nice thrust vectoring nozzle, say goodbye to everything that will fly against it!!!!

Offline tigershark

  • News Editor
  • General of Flight
  • *******
  • Posts: 2025
Re: F-16 gets super cruise capability
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2008, 03:02:51 PM »
valkyrian you notice how Boeing isn't letting go of the 4th generation market share.  I've been saying it for months not every country is going to buy the F-35 or even allowed to even think about the F-22, now Boeing gives you a US made option.  Not good news for Typhoon or Rafale sales because why change over to a new type if you can just upgrade?  Why wouldn't Greece want this new Viper?  Why change over your maintenance, some weapons , training, etc, to a new type? 

Offline valkyrian

  • Fighter Ace
  • *****
  • Posts: 303
  • Country: gr
  • Goodbye my friend Tigershark, R.I.P.
Re: F-16 gets super cruise capability
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2008, 06:00:51 PM »
What has Boeing to do with the F-16? i don't get it ???

unless you mean that LM wants to have a similar product with the F/A-18 E/F, so those "unfortune" who won't buy F-35, will not give their money to Boeing, but to LM for a new F-16.

To tell you the truth, i believe the F-16 as a design has reached its developing potential. There is no room for new equipment!!! Thats why they put spines, thats why they use conformal tanks. The weight has grown, the wing area has remain unchanged, the wing loading and fuel fraction is worst than in the F-16A. I believe that unless they change something dramatically, (wing area, fuselage stretch) the new F-16 won't perform as it is being advertised. For example, unless they improve the fuel fraction, the surcruise radius will be poor, with no practical impact. We are infront of a new Super Falcon? who knows????

On the other hand, Rafale, EF are just begin their operational life and thus they can grow in potential much easier. The supercruise ability (well, at least going supersonic with no ab) is already done in the EF. Rafale should do it with the new M88-3 ( i think!!!).

Offline tigershark

  • News Editor
  • General of Flight
  • *******
  • Posts: 2025
Re: F-16 gets super cruise capability
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2008, 08:10:58 PM »
Not Boeing had a brain lock up.   I agree a larger wing should been designed a long time ago to adjust to the increased weight.   There were test done different F-16s types that never made into production maybe it's time to squeeze in a few more orders.   It's not like American aircraft makers to just throw away a market share even a 60/80 aircraft order means big bucks.   How close is Rafale with the new M88-3?  To me the engine in the Mirage 2000/5 series was one of the downfalls and maybe killers to a fine aircraft type in there sales and future upgrade contracts?   Almost every country that has bought Mirage 2000s in some form still has the fighters there's market for upgrades being wasted.   It's strange I'm becoming a Rafale fan and I didn't know it.  Also taking a liken to the F1-C upgraded with the RC400 radar MICA package seems like a good high/low mix.  Does Greece have a lot of F-1s?

I wonder what the cost would be for:
28 Rafale's - I know this is unknown because no sales have been made.
40 F-1C for light attack, COIN, or ground support missions where you don't want to send a $80/90 million dollar fighter in for?


Offline Webmaster

  • MILAVIA Webmaster
  • Administrator
  • General of Flight
  • *******
  • Posts: 2842
  • Country: nl
Re: F-16 gets super cruise capability
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2008, 01:21:37 AM »
I think this can be just a case of just using the marketing/media-hype supercruise term to describe fitting a new engine. I'm skeptical, but I can see it being achieved if they redesign the wing. Surely the first unstable aircraft can be made even more unstable and maneuvrable. Supercruise is the new hype, but I can actually see more benefit in making the F-16 more maneuvrable at low speed. Making it slower and better handle at slow speeds. Combine this with TVC and you'd have a killer. It's now just to fragile to operate from on anything other than well prepared airfields, plus with the non-traditional warfare it's doing more CAS than air defense missions.

NASA is considering bringing back one F-16XL for supersonic boom research. So the other one could be used for additional wing testing... it'd be interesting... US industry taking the unstable-delta design further, as the Europeans already did.

Rafale, probably at the same rate of the Eurofighter at that number. 100+ and it gets cheaper. But EADS offers probably better offset deals than Dassault can, so Typhoon has the upper hand, despite being more expensive. But with this dollar, you'd be almost crazy to buy European if you can get US hardware, especially when it's thru FMS contracts.

Mirage F1, the Greeks have already retired theirs. Upgrades so far have been aimed primarily at life extension and updating of systems. It's old, heavy, underpowered, it has too few stores, cockpit is cramped and pilot's view poor. This design is really obsolete IMHO. And with Mirage 2000s soon overflowing the market, I can't see it living on for much longer. When current operators are on full strength with their 3+ or 4/4+ gen fighters, it will quickly be gone I think. It is and if seriously upgraded would be good at the low of the two-tier fighter fleet, but there's only a few air forces that can afford two or three-tier fleets, and they've already got alternatives. Maybe I'm missing one or two here?

But to stop dreaming, getting back on topic. I actually think this is purely aimed at India plus any other potential operators that won't be cleared for the F-35. Interestingly, the latter would mean LM has also serious concerns over the US protectiveness of the stealth technology and what this means for export. It's already seeing it's F-22 being cut at 180ish.

Now, I do feel a bit upset for UAE. They funded the development of the E/F with AESA, FLIR, and what not, on the promise that they would get offset on any sales to other countries. Now, India comes along, which needs to be offered a tailored F-16E/F that can compete with European and Russian fighters, and what does LM, it starts developing a new version, and says it's not comparable to the E/F, meaning they would overthrow everything. Come on, of course it is almost the same, and they'll use all the experience from that project for this new one.

Secondly, they are ruining JSF export potential and with it the profit potential that many subcontractors hoped for. For LM it probably doesn't matter much, whether you earn on one or the other, as long as you conquer the market with your products. I guess it's just business, but I can't believe just how eager they are to get this Indian order. Come on, they would have settled for some Block 50 or 52 with a promise for F-35s in the future.

It's all about business, soon we'll see how the politicians feel about this all...  :laugh:
« Last Edit: January 18, 2008, 01:28:08 AM by Webmaster »
  • Interests: Su-15, Su-27, Tu-22, Tornado, RNLAF
Niels Hillebrand
MILAVIA Webmaster

Offline valkyrian

  • Fighter Ace
  • *****
  • Posts: 303
  • Country: gr
  • Goodbye my friend Tigershark, R.I.P.
Re: F-16 gets super cruise capability
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2008, 11:54:57 AM »
It is better to win the market, even if they sell a lower profit-making airplane, than loose the market to another competitor. And we are talking for a big market. With 100+ EF's or Rafales, surely the cost of these plane could be smaller. Yes webby, it's all about bussiness!!!!

For that reason, i don't think LM care if they sell F-22 to another country!!! I am sure, protecting the high tech secrets of the F-22 isn't at their priority!!! We are talking for big money here!!! Let alone, that, with some F-22 around the world, the time to develop a new fighter , better than the F-22 will arise!!!

Remember, the F-14 was saved by Iran, the F-15 was sold to the Israelis. At either case, the US didn't keep it for themselves, to have the monopoly for the top fighter. If the need arises the market will move to that direction. If the X manufacturer won't sell, the Z manufacturer will sell!!! American industry, the most powerful in the world, isn't stupid. they seek profit!!! The law of the market!!!

Offline Raptor

  • General of Flight
  • *******
  • Posts: 1388
  • Country: sg
  • What's the next big thing?
Re: F-16 gets super cruise capability
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2008, 09:05:39 AM »
F-16XL... I thought it looked pretty darn ugly.  ::)

But i agree on the F-16 reaching it's limit. Years ago, when the X-39 was picked over a forward-swept version of the F-16, maybe the person who said we can only learn so much from a single airframe was wrong. But i think now it seriously is aging too much to be a good choice to modernise. The F-18 seems a better choice.

About the "market"  Any idea why they sell the F-35 but keep the F-22 hush hush?
-JCLim

Offline Webmaster

  • MILAVIA Webmaster
  • Administrator
  • General of Flight
  • *******
  • Posts: 2842
  • Country: nl
Re: F-16 gets super cruise capability
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2008, 06:35:13 PM »
 ;D You still think looks are important?

You mean X-29 I suppose, based on the F-5 airframe, an older airframe...

Well in short, F-22 is the best there is, so to ensure US air supremacy you don't sell it. But I believe eventually they'll sell to allies, or they feel they need to offer a downgraded example to these allies for military balance (so when Russia/China have and sell their 5th generation fighter) or when the US itself has something better. The JSF project was started with export in mind from the beginning plus as a less capable/expensive fighter, you can't leave your allies empty-handed/lagging a generation behind. Plus for funding.

Anyway, if this new version will be overly tailored to India only, then either it's gonna be the final variant of the F-16, or there will be another version to follow. I hope LM will just develop a new version which will appeal to all those markets which can't get the F-35 (at all or in time), and only then start customizing it for the Indians. Guess for the latter option they'd need to privately finance it more.
  • Interests: Su-15, Su-27, Tu-22, Tornado, RNLAF
Niels Hillebrand
MILAVIA Webmaster

Offline Raptor

  • General of Flight
  • *******
  • Posts: 1388
  • Country: sg
  • What's the next big thing?
Re: F-16 gets super cruise capability
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2008, 10:01:21 AM »
Of course looks are important! If it looks lousy who'd think twice before going up against it? And that would result in a few being shot down even if it happens to be good...

Ah yes '29. Typo. New keyboard. And pretty small. So...

Hm. Yes is see oin the F-35 and F-22... I do hopw there will be later versions of the F-16, though...
-JCLim

 



AVIATION TOP 100 - www.avitop.com click to vote for MILAVIA