Reflective element about new Skunk Work design and old F19

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Message posted by frenchboy (Member since 07/22/2022) on July 04, 2023 at 2:18:12 PST:

Hello people !
I want to share with you an article about those design we can see about NGAD and FA/XX. You can discover as well a brillant website which produce excellent articles on defense.

In the early 80s, while Lockheed-Martin was secretly developing the F-117 Nighthawk, American counterintelligence specialists undertook one of the most effective disinformation campaigns of the decade, partly masked by the extraordinary success of another concomitant campaign of this type, Project Star Wars.

Indeed, as it became increasingly difficult to hide the F-117's test flights, they began to distill snippets of information about a new aircraft designed for stealth to the specialized press.

To give credibility to this information, they decided to name the aircraft F-19. Until now, American fighters had all experienced an increasing number, while the recent F-20 Tigershark had just been christened in 1982, and the new F-18 had also been christened a few years earlier. But no F-19, either in operational or prototype form, was ever presented.

In fact, for specialists in the subject, the hypothesis of the development of the F-19 was credible especially since it was then necessary to replace the A7 Corsair II of the US Air Force, as well as that of the development of a stealth aircraft while the design work of the B2 Spirit was more documented in the public.
The F-19 as imagined in the late 80s In the novel "Red Storm", it is nicknamed "Frisbee" because of its curves supposedly designed for stealth.

Unable to deny it, American information specialists therefore undertook to build a body of evidence around this fictitious aircraft, the F-19, so as not to inspire Soviet researchers. It was presented as a rounded device supposed to be the key to its stealth, while the hypothesis could seem credible by observing the B2.

In fact, the F-19 became almost a real aircraft in the minds of aviation enthusiasts, the aircraft being the subject of several documented articles in American and Western specialized magazines, and even video games and an appearance in the yet well-documented "Red Storm" by Tom Clancy and Larry Bond. It was even included in the initial repository of the first edition of the famous Harpoon simulation.
The operation appears to have been a success, as the Soviets never announced any significant breakthroughs in stealth until beyond the early 90s and the official presentation of the F-177A Nighthawk during the Gulf War.

However, it may well be that a similar strategy is at work for the two future fighter programs of the US Air Force and the US Navy, both designated Next-Generation Air Dominance, or NGAD.

The takeoff of the Darkstar in Top Gun Maverick the model designed by LM had, according to some sources, led to research by Chinese aircraft manufacturers when they observed the aircraft on satellite images.

Indeed, although the two programs are developed in the greatest secrecy, several visuals have been broadcast here and there by the main American aircraft manufacturers, more specifically Lockheed-Martin, Northrop-Grumman and Boeing-McDonnel-Douglas.

However, all these models are based on a similar approach, namely, again, an aircraft with very futuristic lines, with or without rear tail, with an integrated load-bearing wing close to the flying wing suggesting great stealth.

A model close to this shape even appeared in the Buster Top Gun block: Maverick, supposed to represent a device capable of reaching and maintaining a hypersonic speed of mach 10.
As for the famous LM department called SkunkWork, at the origin of the F117 but also the SR71 or U2, it has also published, on the occasion of its 80th anniversary, a silhouette obviously inspired by this architecture, naturally immediately noticed by the specialized press across the Atlantic.

At the same time, other 6th generation fighter jet programs are being designed, notably in Europe with the SCAF bringing together France, Germany, Spain and Belgium, and with the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) which brings together Great Britain, Italy and Japan.

Like the NGF of the SCAF program, the tempest of the GCAP program has a radically different architecture than that described by the visuals of American aircraft manufacturers as part of the NGAD programs.

However, neither the SCAF nor the GCAP, nor the concepts published in Russia and China on this subject, seem to be inspired by this architecture presented by American aircraft manufacturers, quite the contrary. However, these aircraft will have to evolve in the same environment, perform the same missions, face the same threats and respond to the same aerodynamic and electromagnetic constraints as American aircraft.

There is also no reason to think that the engineers at Dassault Aviation or BAe are not aware of the issues surrounding the development of these aircraft, nor access to radically less advanced technologies than their American counterparts, justifying similar approaches between Europeans and totally different across the Atlantic.

In fact, one can reasonably doubt the relevance of the visuals broadcast by aircraft manufacturers, the Air Force and the US Navy. Not that they are necessarily false or far removed from the realities of the work in progress, but a certain degree of restraint should be maintained as to their interpretation.

Presented in October 2021, the Chinese FH-97 drone is obviously very inspired by the XQ-98A Valkyrie of the American Kratos, used for just a few months then by the Skyborg program of the US Air Force

In these circumstances, while China has demonstrated in recent months its ability to react quickly anddevelop systems that are obviously very much inspired by American research projects,we can anticipate that once again, US counter-intelligence specialists have implemented an operation to mobilize some of the Chinese researchers in stalled research projects, and thus maintain the technological advantage on which the balance of power between the two superpowers will be partly based in the years to come.


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