DoD’s 30-Year Aviation Plan

Here you have it, the Pentagon’s annual 30-year aviation plan.

Click through the jump to read all about how the Defense Department plans on buying two new VC-25 presidential transports (Air Force One) by the end of this decade, kicking off an effort to replace the ancient T-38 Talon around 2018, new bombers and a fleet of more than 600 UAVs by 2022. Most interestingly, the plan lists an effort to develop a 6th-generation fighter, dubbed F-X, to replace the Air Force’s F-22 Raptors and another 6th-gen jet called F/A-XX that’s slated to replace the Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. (H/t to Marcus for pointing this out.)

All in all the document shows that the Pentagon’s aviation fleet will grow slightly from 14,340 aircraft today to 14,415 by 2022, with aviation spending totaling about $770 billion during that time.

DoD Aviation Plan

Via Bloomberg.

  • Matt

    OoooO…More tax payer money given wasted…..

    • Michael

      Geez, man.

    • Jacob

      Well we do need to have _a_ military. Whether a specific part of the defense budget constitutes a waste of taxpayer money involves getting into specifics.

  • Rohan

    Awesome pic… is sooo cool. Can anyone please help me in getting knowing who is the engineer of this plane design !!!

    Please Please Please !!!

  • Sgt_Buffy

    So, they are working on developing a 6th gen aircraft. Isn’t that kind of like selling us 2013 model cars in 2012?

    • EJ257

      Try model year 2030 cars in 2012.

      Considering the whole ATF thing (you know F-22 and F-23) was started back in the early 1990s and it took us how long to finally field a fleet of 187 aircraft? If we follow the same time frame by the time we get a 6th gen fighter it will be the 2030s.

    • Riceball

      Actually, that’s standard practice in the auto industry, the model year is almost a year ahead of the actual calendar year. But EJ257’s example is dead on as is his explanation, it takes a while to design a new plane, esp. now a days, Right now the Air Force is probably working on what they want and what qualifies as a 6th generation fighter. Then the aerospace companies have to work on designs, then build prototypes, then the Air Force will hold a flyoff to see which one they like best, and then the winner goes into further development before eventually going into full production.

      • Maxtrue

        In 2002 the Air Force plan was to modify the F-22 and build an FN-22 which is not unlike the rendering above. Pretty close. It was due out with proper funding by 2005. Of course Bush scraped that idea. The FN-22 was to have a fuselage about ten feet longer and delta wings for fuel which would expand the FN-22 range from about 900 miles to 2200 miles. It was to have longer payload bays and was about .2 Mach slower but no vertical tails meant perhaps greater stealth.

        The Chinese obviously bought into the F-22 / FN-22 strategy based on the logic proposed by US planner back in 2002 and even a decade before that. Thus I find this all quite amusing. Now Being is touting an FN-22 design? And the logic of this after closing the production line at 187 not ready for prime time Raptors and dissing the FN-22 program only to float a new fighter bomber is hilarious.

        I would think North Korea, Iran, Syria, Pakistan and other worries involve advanced air defense systems if action is needed. We see a growing Chinese capability with our F-22s out of range. In reading Defense Tech for years I get the feeling our strategy, economics of procurement and honesty is sorely lacking from government and the DOD.

        And the idea we can’t down a North Korean missile clandestinely is also disturbing. Take one of those B-2s. Stick the air borne laser system into it and at least have the capacity to down these kind of singular launches. We all know what the Iranians and North Koreans are up to.

        • blight_

          “Take one of those B-2s. Stick the air borne laser system into it”

  • Mastro

    Well they’d better start work on a cheaper F35 replacement- now that it looks like that will cost $200 million each plus insane maintenance costs.

  • D’Orville

    Wait a second, F/A-XX? Wasn’t that the F-35 supposed to supplant the F/A-18s?

  • Lance

    Looks like Boeing stole the fake plane from the movie STEALTH LOL. Over all just a design studies can be done there is NO money to replace the F-22s and F-15s with another new plane which may or may not be a step ahead. The USAF is getting ahead of itself thinking somehow that budgets cuts will be overturn and the Sequestration will be prevented. I dont see either happening and so I think General Schwartz will have a rude awaking this coming January. Over good ideas yes. But the fiscal situation makes this impossible.

  • Mark

    Ok finished reading it and so I have this comment, “your photo was the most exciting part.”

  • asdf

    why are the intake nozzles on every other aircraft (including stealthy) on the bottom or sides, but on top here?
    i know that isn’t an optimal place for it on a fighter, but why?

  • Roland

    If we have this tech and money already why not roll it in for mass production.

    • fromage

      Because we don’t have either already, at least with the minimum fidelity required to build it. Powerpoint engineering =/= actual engineering.

  • What is 6th gen? What attributes seperate a 6th generation fighter from a 5th?

    • DGR

      That is what these plans help decide. We dont know yet, but im guessing 3-D thrust vectoring will be a big one. But to me the biggest will most likely be new radar system that can detect current gen stealth aircraft with an accompanying missle suite. Or who knows, maybe we will see an unmanned plane that can take high sustained Gs allowing manuverability at greater speeds. At this point its being talked about in the think tanks as they figure out what the 5th gen planes cant do, and what we can realistically expect a 6th gen to do. But I really hope they dont skip 5.5 gens, a F-22 Super Raptor would be nice to see.

    • Roland

      It means it can fly faster than 5th gen.

    • Mastro

      A trillion $$$$

    • Mark

      I remember an article that covered this in a flamboyant way which spawned a lot of Star Trek jokes as a result. They were very funny.

  • F-X is intended to replace the F-15s that were not replaced by F-22s, these F-15s will now be upgraded to serve to about 2025.

  • Rob

    Manned flight is endangered species. Unmanned planes are cheaper because pilots (including training, healthcare, etc) adds to cost plane. I’m all for manned flight, its sounds like its major struggle in halls of Congress. Anyways, costs developing them seems to kill the design before it actually gets produced. I’ll be amazed that Air Force still thinks a F-35 like fighter can replace the A-10 after all those years of the Thunderbolt II proving itself over the years.

    • Maxtrue

      Manned fighter bombers can do more than what unmanned ones can for some time to come. Speed will increase in unmanned craft, but the tactics needed in a hostile environment requires manned air craft.

      Yes, the F-35 cannot do what the A-10 can do.

    • Roland

      That maybe but on the other hand good choices should be manned and unmanned capable per unit. What if the enemy have universal remote?

    • An aircraft needs to be flown whether it’s manned or unmanned, you can’t store a plane like you store a main battle tank, it wouldn’t remain airworthy if you did. So the costs involved wouldn’t be much less. Of course you might need fewer flight hours with an unmanned aircraft, but then you could also reduce flight hours with manned planes by increasing use of flight simulators, Norway intends to reduce flight hours this way to 175 per year per F-35.

  • Chuck

    I wouldn’t say “6th-generation fighter, dubbed F-X, to replace the Air Force’s F-22 Raptors”, I would say “”6th-generation fighter, dubbed F-X, to replace the Air Force’s, Navy and Marines F-35”

  • PolicyWonk

    From reading this, it is clear that The Fighter Mafia is still in control – the projected balances of airframes to tasks do not seem to reflect ‘practicality’. Maybe its time for the USAF to be re-integrated with the Army. The C-27’s should be given to the Army (’cause the Army likes them and the AF does not), and the transport fleet should probably not be reduced given the Pacific leaning strategy put forward (meaning – more capacity is better than less). And of course they’re still trying to kill the A-10, despite its overwhelming success and the fear it imposes on the enemy.

    • Dave

      A few years back I had the good fortune to speak with a couple of Marine CAS Cobras at the JSOH at Andrews AFB a few years back. And I asked them about their mission and what they thought of the AF A-10 Thunderbolt/Warthog. Did they get excited or what. They indicated that if there was a way to redesign the A-10 to have folding wings, stiffen its landing gear and equip with an arresting hook Marine CAS would love to have it. Since the AF is still fighting the cold war and is run by the fighter and bomber Mafia and they have so little regard for the wonderfully effective A-10 why not do some re-engineering and give the Thunderbolt to the Marines?

  • Tribulationtime

    I glance quickly but Navy will be operating F/A-18 and AV-8B to 2030!!! 60 years main design of aircraft!!!. Sorry I dont belive that decepcion tactics sure.

  • Ben

    Seriously. The B-2’s big, but it’s no 747. You think it can power a laser capable of downing an ICBM? And Imagine that huge swivel mount focusing lens sticking out the top! You’d utterly destroy the stealth of a billion dollar bomber. Brilliance.

  • Morty

    Isn’t 6th gen. scram jets

  • Cellarman

    Silly money making millions for arms manufacturers, as ever, the only real winners in warfare.