Last month, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown admits that F-35 failed to replace F-16 as planned.
The United States Air Force announced the need for a new multi-use fighter jet to replace its aging F-16 fleet, while stressing that it would not feature the same high-price tag and technological prowess of the F-35.
The announcement, made by Air Force Chief of Staff General Charles Brown came as a surprise to defence analysts, given that the F-35 was pegged as the modern fifth generation aircraft that would replace the F-16.
Instead, Air Force Chief Brown suggested they would develop a “fifth-generation-minus” fighter jet.
Now, the alternative aviation magazine Hush-Kit has brought experts together to design that potential F-16 replacement. The result: the F-36 Kingsnake lightweight fighter.
Hush-Kit huddled with aviation authorities Stephen Mcparlin and James Smith, who helped bring aircraft like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Eurofighter Typhoon to life. Then, illustrator Andy Godfrey from the Teasel Studio took their ideas and created this concept art for the F-36:
Hush-Kit used Gen. Brown’s specifications—a lightweight, inexpensive fighter jet that doesn’t emphasize stealth (making it a “fifth-gen-minus” design)—to design the F-36.
The average age of the Air Force’s 783 F-16C fighter jets is 28.7 years, making a 20-year development period for a new jet out of the question. Instead, experts wanted a fast design process that froze the plane’s specs within one year and relied on simple construction techniques, but also utilized advanced technologies such as 3D printing if it could get the fighter off assembly lines faster.
Re-using existing technologies would speed up the process. For example, the F-36 uses the F-22 Raptor’s F119 afterburning turbofan engine to achieve a top speed of Mach 2. The Kingsnake is equipped with an AN/APG-83 advanced electronically scanned array radar— the same one used in the latest version of the F-16—and an infrared sensor system derived from the Legion electro-optical targeting pod.
A “Luddite Czar” would prevent new technologies from creeping into the jet, drawing out the jet’s development time and increasing the likelihood Kingsnake would fall behind.
Like the F-16 it would replace, the Kingsnake would be a multi-role fighter jet capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. The jet would carry missiles and guided bombs in internal bays, but as a non-stealthy plane, it would pack both on wing-mounted external hard points. The Kingsnake would also a gun, making it capable of strafing attacks against enemy ground forces.
The guiding principles behind the F-36 are speed of development, affordability, and the ability to incorporate new tech at a later date. “The F-35 is a Ferrari, the F-22 a Bugatti Chiron—the United States Air Force needs a Nissan 300ZX,” Hush-Kit’s Joe Coles tells Pop Mech.
A similar concept of F-36 Sterik Stealth-Fighter jet is also under development. It’s just a Fictional Aircraft featured in one of video of Raytheon based on Cyber Threats in Aviation. Seemed to be A Hybrid of F-22 and F-35.
Here are details about of F-36 Sterik Stealth-Fighter jet Concept.