Kamis, 11 November 2010

5th Generation Fighter Aircraft

The fifth generation was ushered in by the Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor in late 2005. Currently the cutting edge of fighter design, fifth-generation fighters are characterized by being designed from the start to operate in a network-centric combat environment, and to feature extremely low, all-aspect, multi-spectral signatures employing advanced materials and shaping techniques. They have multifunction AESA radars with high-bandwidth, low-probability of intercept (LPI) data transmission capabilities. The Infra-red search and track sensors incorporated for air-to-air combat as well as for air-to-ground weapons delivery in the 4.5th generation fighters are now fused in with other sensors for Situational Awareness IRST or SAIRST, which constantly tracks all targets of interest around the aircraft so the pilot need not guess when he glances. These sensors, along with advanced avionics, glass cockpits, helmet-mounted sights (not currently on F-22), and improved secure, jamming-resistant LPI datalinks are highly integrated to provide multi-platform, multi-sensor data fusion for vastly improved situational awareness while easing the pilot's workload. Avionics suites rely on extensive use of very high-speed integrated circuit (VHSIC) technology, common modules, and high-speed data buses. Overall, the integration of all these elements is claimed to provide fifth-generation fighters with a "first-look, first-shot, first-kill capability".
The AESA radar offers unique capabilities for fighters (and it is also quickly becoming a sine qua non for Generation 4.5 aircraft designs, as well as being retrofitted onto some fourth-generation aircraft). In addition to its high resistance to ECM and LPI features, it enables the fighter to function as a sort of "mini-AWACS," providing high-gain electronic support measures (ESM) and electronic warfare (EW) jamming functions.


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