Air superiority fighter proposal 6 overview

Due to the excessive length of the original article, I have decided to post the overview. For those interested in entire design process and thinking behind the FLX, full article can be found here.

FLXinternal

Crew: 1

Payload:

Length: 13,1 m

Wingspan: 8,5 m

Height: 3,44 m

Wing area: 32,4 m2

Canard area: 1,01 m2

Empty weight: 5.418 kg

Loaded weight: 10.481,3 kg

Combat weight: 8.404,65 kg

Maximum takeoff weight: 15.468 kg

Fuel fraction: 0,43

Powerplant: 1xE230 afterburning turbofan

  • dry thrust: 72 kN (16.200 lbf / 7.348 kgf)
  • wet thrust: 103 kN (23.100 lbf / 10.478 kgf)

Maximum speed: Mach 1,8

Cruise speed: Mach 1,55 with 8 missiles, Mach 1,65 with 4 missiles

Combat radius:

  • 352 km supersonic mission profile
  • 748 km subsonic mission profile
  • 983 km maximum

Service ceilling: 18.462 m (60.570 ft)

Wing loading:

323,5 kg/m2 combat takeoff

259,4 kg/m2 combat

Thrust-to-weight ratio:

0,9997 combat takeoff

1,2467 combat

G load:

Standard: +9/-3

Limit: +11/-3,2

Override: +13/-3,2

Ultimate: 16,5

AoA limit:

32* operational

110* aerodynamic

Armament:

Guns: 1xGIAT-30 with 120 rounds

8 hardpoints

*IRIS-T

*MICA IR

*MBDA Meteor

Sensors:

2 * Skyward IRST (150 km range)

1 * Type 158 laser transciever

6 * RWS-300 RWR (100-300 km engagement range)

4 * LWS-310 LWR

4 * MAW-300 IR MAWS

Countermeasures:

internal DRFM jammer

disposable jammers / decoys

flares

Unit flyaway cost: 38.246.000 USD

Operating cost per FH: 4.450 USD

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21 thoughts on “Air superiority fighter proposal 6 overview

  1. Hi great blog I’m impressed.
    But Picard have you know that ultraviolet based MAW has one big drawback opposed to IR one? I’m talking about that UV can’t track target which engine propellant burned out so in the worst part of evading missile. I would rather took IR based french DDM system for FLX.
    I have nice passive system comparison document done by SAAB(unfortunately link don’t exist anymore but i can send it by e-mail if you are interested.

  2. So here’s a question that would go against your doctrine of single role only, “not a pound for air to ground”.

    If you were running a multirole fighter program, how would you go about it?
    – Would you do it like the French, start with a naval fighter for air superiority and E-War, then sell a stripped down one to the Air Force?
    – Would you do it like the English/Germans/Italians; start with an air superiority/interceptor fighter, then try to cobble on A2G?
    – Would you do it like the Americans with the F-35? Or the Americans with their F-5?
    – Would you do it like the Swedes, emphasising iteration, low logistical impact, but nevertheless provisioning for A2G weight growth?
    – With new technology like the pulse detonation engine that offers high efficiency in all speeds from takeoff to mach 5, what does the prospect of multirole look like then? Planforms like the Oblique wing? Tiltjet/Tiltwings?

    Why is that in the the procurement for an air force, that multirole aircraft have such an appeal that every country in the world has adopted this doctrine? Is it cultural, monetary, logistical?

    • “If you were running a multirole fighter program, how would you go about it?”

      I would design an air superiority fighter optimized for carrier and dirt strip/road base ops, and then see what changes are necessary for ground attack. And then sell the stripped down version to the Air Force. So about a halfway between Gripen and Rafale.

      And then I’d push for a dedicated CAS aircraft. 🙂

      “Why is that in the the procurement for an air force, that multirole aircraft have such an appeal that every country in the world has adopted this doctrine? Is it cultural, monetary, logistical?”

      All of it. Cultural because multirole fighters mean that they get to do both of their preferred missions – air superiority and strategic bombardment – with the same platform, and it also gets them out of the hated close air support mission. Monetary because multirole fighters, while more expensive, are cheaper than maintaining fleets of single-role fighters (you’ll notice that even my designs are actually multirole, though all the roles in question are of the same “family” as opposed to widely divergent roles of modern multirole aircraft). And logistical because it is easier to transport supplies and train people for one type of aircraft. That being said, I’m not sure wether these gains really exist versus my proposal since multirole fighters are far more complex than my concepts would be. Going to an extreme in either direction is not good.

    • Conformal fuel tanks would probably make it too fat and restrict vision. Besides, they are typically used by multirole fighters, as bombs cut flight range a lot and fuel tank hardpoints are needed for bombs due to their heavy load. So it is possible, if necessary, but I don’t see much need for it.

    • I was thinking for very long range operations or for extended supercruise operations. The effective fuel fraction would be higher, perhaps well over 0.45, allowing for a very long range or more time spent at supersonic speeds.

      They don’t add as much drag as a drop tank would, but on the downside of course, they cannot be dropped (unless someone invents a drop conformal fuel tank).

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