Future Growth Potential
Previous military aircraft designs laid the foundation for future designs. Even a radically new design extracts information and, if possible, salvageable component commonalities from older designs. Figure 11.7 is a conceptual example showing how far newer designs can benefit from older designs through their systematic exploitation. The figure summarizes designs from the AJT to the light air superiority aircraft. It could be debated about how effective the last two designs could be (without the stealth consideration); however, at this stage, it only reflects a scheme.
The designs of the AJT and CAS are sized in detail. The advanced CAS (ACAS) is an AB version of the CAS with a new wing for high-subsonic flight. Missions for these aircraft are more suited to the counterinsurgency-type role, where the 1960s and 1970s designs are still creating havoc. The 6,900-lb thrust can reach
10,000 lb with AB that should enable the ACAS to carry a high weapon load («5,000 lb) (this design has not been properly checked).
The ultimate extension can be toward the air superiority role (two possibilities are shown in Figure 11.7). In this case, it is unlikely that the baseline engine can be further extended; therefore, re-engine work with a more powerful turbofan (i. e., an AB producing around 18,000 lb) and a totally new wing (i. e., SW « 22 m2) are required. A clean aircraft weight would reach approximately 5,700 kg, pushing the supersonic speed to approximately Mach 1.8, but with a very tight turning capability at subsonic speed. However, such a design may be controversial because its viability in combat would be questioned. A new combat aircraft design should have a stealth factor, which is not discussed herein due to having few backup data. However, there may be substantial commonalities in the forward fuselage and the systems design.