Design for air combat

Air combat manoeuvring
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Imagine the Starling: Peak Fighter, the Swarm, and the Future of Air Combat

Our projects Back to Our projects. English Portuguese. In highly contested environments, an air component commander might use only fifth generation aircraft to bypass an IADS and neutralize the objective. Alternatively, fifth generation aircraft can destroy or degrade enemy defences to create a temporary or localized permissive or semi-permissive environment where legacy aircraft can operate with relative freedom of action. This often requires fifth generation aircraft to operate on the leading edge of the force package, allowing legacy aircraft to ingress and destroy priority targets.

Once combat begins, however, adversaries may adjust tactics, as well as the operating parameters of their systems. Thus, leaders will need to ensure that appropriate intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance ISR assets report this information quickly to the mission data enterprise supporting fifth generation aircraft and other elements of joint force operations. There must be a robust processing exploitation dissemination PED -like process for analysing the data fifth generation aircraft collect. Commanders need to proactively ensure operations data is linked properly with the intelligence enterprise.


Design for Air Combat [Ray Whitford] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Discusses the shape and aerodynamic design of combat aircraft . Design for Air Combat explains the rationale behind the aerodynamic design process, from the first outline of a requirement for a new type to the subtle.

This linkage will allow for the proper analysis of information, and more importantly, the proper application of learned information. This kind of seamless information sharing must be achieved to enable rapid reprogramming and re-release of mission data files for optimum employment of all allied assets.

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In order to make this employment concept a reality, collaboration is critical. USAF units must be able to share lessons with other US military services and, as required, select allied and coalition partners. Sharing with international partners while balancing security concerns will be paramount to successful future fifth generation aircraft employment.

In addition, it is necessary to ensure fifth generation pilots, as well as maintenance and logistics personnel, fill key billets on major command, headquarters, and joint staff positions to inform senior leaders, and enable appropriate enterprise-wide resource planning and decision making. Maintenance of fifth generation aircraft also requires careful planning to keep the force ready for combat operations. While fifth generation aircraft require the same maintenance considerations as legacy aircraft, such as maintaining flight systems and engines, there are additional requirements to maintain their low observable LO characteristics.


This adds another level of complexity USAF leadership must proactively manage. The Air Force must understand how the logistics enterprise can support the unique capabilities of fifth generation aircraft both in garrison and during deployed operations. While deployed, leaders and commanders must understand how to leverage in-theatre fifth generation assets, along with sister US military service or partner nation logistics networks. When the answers to these sustainment challenges are discovered, they should be analysed rapidly with respect to the changing phases of a given campaign, training exercise, or other engagement involving fifth generation aircraft.

Maintaining the Joint Force Advantage

Employing these aircraft in future combat requires careful attention across several phases and aspects of employment beyond the aircraft themselves. These aspects include advanced planning, preparation, ensuring effective use and dissemination of mission data, how deployment of fifth generation aircraft is conducted, actual combat employment design, and supporting operations with appropriate logistics and sustainment practices.

While fifth generation aircraft do not provide decision makers with a single-point solution, their demonstrated ability as valued contributors to strategic deterrence, capacity as advanced airborne echelons, and operational utility as enduring force multipliers make them indispensable to future joint force operations. In addition to the elements of fifth generation airpower described in this paper, future concepts of employment should aim to focus on several integration priorities. These areas include refining connectivity between legacy and fifth generation aircraft, improving connections between fifth generation airborne platforms, improving integration with space and cyber capabilities, and integrating fifth generation platforms with other components of joint and combined force operations.

Integration advances in these areas will aid progress towards the goal of creating a cloud-based architecture where every element of air, space, and cyber power contribute to conducting disaggregated, distributed operations over a wide area. The complementary employment of capabilities from all domains will enhance the effectiveness of future combat operations, and help compensate for vulnerabilities. The need to explore these concepts will only increase.

In the coming decade, fifth generation aircraft will grow and mature in sufficient numbers to give the US and our allies a definitive strategic advantage to counter the advancement of modern weapon systems used by potential adversaries.

  1. Modern Air Combat.
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These potential adversary weapon systems, from aircraft to cruise missiles to advanced SAMs and cyber capabilities, are currently contributing factors to the destabilization of contested regions around the world. Fifth generation aircraft are critical to returning the military balance to our favor. Along with thoughtful integration and investment in select legacy aircraft, the maturation of fifth generation aircraft capabilities in sufficient numbers will better enable joint force operations that will provide the US and its allies a wider range of options to secure our interests in a scenario which could emerge in the coming years.

Lieutenant General Jeffrey L. It is important to look at the impact of the F operations on the total force. We do not wish, nor do the allies wish to send aircraft into a contested areas, without the presence of the F They change the dynamic with respect to what the other airplanes are able to do because of what they can do with regard to speed, range, and flexibility. It is the situational awareness they provide for the entire fleet which raises the level of the entire combat fleet to make everybody better. He argued that rather than thinking in terms of the integration of fourth with fifth generation aircraft, it is much more accurate to focus upon the concepts of operations being shaped by fifth generation aircraft, notably with the coming of the 5th generation fleet of Fs.

What we teach right now is fifth generation con-ops. That includes the Raptors and what they bring to the fight, and the Fs and what they bring to the fight, and what the cyber systems bring to the fight. How does C2 operate inside of an information flow that is inside of anything the adversary can do? How do you put the C2 at the point that it can execute at a rate and with information superiority that is far better greater than an adversary can react to? Here the RAAF has put in motion its Plan Jericho whereby shifting to a fifth generation warfighting approach was the strategic objective, or the shaping of a transformational force built around force integration informed and led by their next wave of new platforms, the Fs.

What the Aussies have in mind is con-ops design driven innovation.

Training AI to Win a Dogfight

It is enabled by new platforms and new technologies but such capabilities are necessary but not sufficient conditions for transformation. Cultural change is envisaged in which the force becomes much more interactive within force packages which can be ground-air-maritime or air-ground-maritime or maritime-air ground.

Successful fighting forces have periods of tremendous innovation sometimes in combat. It requires courage in peacetime to have very realistic training situations because combat aviation even in peacetime tested to the edge of the envelope is inherently dangerous. And once a shooting war breaks out the test can be life and death for a nation. Planning in peacetime for innovation by design and executing it is a crucial element for combat success.

"Air Combat" - GTA 5 Action Film

And here power needs to be given to the professionals to shape a way ahead, rather than overwhelm them with testers, critics, and practitioners of the past. The warfighters have a good idea of why they want to add this capability to the mix of evolving 21st century operations.

Indeed, they have had a good idea for some time, but will a greek chorus of critics, and practitioners prevail against the shift to 21st century concepts of operations? As early as an interview with Doug Barrie, then with Aviation Week, in Paris, then Secretary of the Air Force Mike Wynne laid out the appraoch of a bomber which reinforced and interacted with the F and F in shaping a fifth generation led warfare innovation approach. An example of con-ops driven innovation was seen in the RAF leadership preparing for the Battle of Britain.