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Will Lockheed ever get another contract to build a fighter?

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F-111 C/C:
Not to be semantic but it WAS a General Dynamics F-16. It's been built by Lockheed/Martin since 1995 ;). I never understood (or cared for) the 'Viper' nickname either. I never worked on them so I guess I wouldn't understand. I asked that question years ago and was told it's due to it's resemblance to a viper snake (which I don't see either) and others have said it's named after the Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper starfighter. I don't recall ever hearing it called a Viper until after I retired in '91.

shawn a:
Try asking a Super Hornet pilot where the "Rhino" nickname came from.  :o
"Designed by General Dynamics, Made by Lockheed"--kinda like my Apple computer--"Designed in California, made in china"
We need another fighter in the pipeline. Lockheed is welcome to apply

Well hopefully another snakename is available for the F-35, because otherwise next gen will be calling it just Lightning (like Phantom, while it's Phantom II), remembering P-38 maybe, but certainly the B.A.C. Lightning will be forgotten...  >:(

As for the original question, I don't know either, will there be another manned fighter after F-35? If so, there's a good chance going up against Boeing only LM will win design again. If unmanned, then there's NG and others to enter, then a no to your question may be more likely. Sometimes I also wonder where Raytheon is going... it's getting bigger and bigger, or is that just my impression? I wouldn't be surprised if in future they'll be main contractor.

shawn a:
As far as I know, Raytheon has not ever built a manned aircraft, right?
I think they should engage in cyberespionage of chinese designs, and come up with a cheaper, and more modern copy of the F-20.
We need new players.

Right, they haven't, and they won't. But we know NG and GD aren't going to, Raytheon comes next on the list of biggest contractors. The rest is far off or doesn't have much to offer and it's not exactly something a start-up can do, hehe.  I'd say Raytheon is best bet if there's going to be a new American player. They probably would need to do a few acquisitions though. Honestly though, don't see it happening in my lifetime, but it's not like we're going to see new startups or the smaller defence companies coming to compete with Boeing. Unless there's real innovation for fighters... but then it's probably not going to be manned, nor big.

So light fighter with single-engine modern equivalent of what was F404 but with AESA radar and true multirole capability including EW and recce... you do know we've already got a modern F-20, right? It's called Gripen NG. Not light enough, then FA-50 comes to mind. A light fighter deriative of the T-50 Golden Eagle. So we've already got it, there are new players, they are just not in the league. So what you need then is a US contractor that will take these and turn them into US offers, ow dang, we know how that's going to work out... ouch: US101, C-27J, KC-30, A-29.

However if with "modern copy" you mean stealth and internal weapon carriage, then I'm pretty sure that it will bloat to become another F-35. Not that an alternative would be bad. But I bet there will be nothing left of the "F-20 inspiration" so to speak.

Other than all that, sounds good to me. There's a lot of countries out there with F-5s on their last legs and cash-strapped F-16 operators, and these are now almost forced to get "exotic" in terms of suppliers or overspend on fighters that are frankly way better than they needed and far too expensive to maintain/sustain. At the end of the day for the majority of countries, all it needs in added capability is to be able take down or scare off a Flanker or two and guide a few bombs. Then it will already be a huge improvement over its predecessor and be good enough. For countries with bigger requirements/ambitions, I really believe in mixed fleets, but clearly mixed fleet of two overly expensive types isn't the way to go (ahum, with a few exceptions, but maybe in those cases a low-med-high mix would be better than low-high capability where low means great and high super capable).

Finally, if you want a cheaper F-20 equivalent, then don't look to China. Their designs are heavy, their only cheap and light fighter is a MiG-21 copy, and it ain't that good. Or did you mean FC-1/JF-17, just ask Pakistan, can swap F-16 for one? It's really overrated in my opinion. It's overall closer to the F-20 probably than anything else, but that doesn't make it a winner. At least that's how I feel.


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