2 seat Raptor

Message posted by loopbacktest4echo on October 04, 2007 at 11:19:40 PST:

Link to article on the prospect of a 2 seat Raptor below:

Two-seat fighters take on multiple missions as bombing and network-attack combine

David A. Fulghum, Washington

Cyber, Kinetic War Collide: New two-seat strike fighters and electronic-attack aircraft are quickly emerging as a combat necessity.

That need heralds the beginning of a revolution for the military aviation that will likely see the end of large-platform bombers and intelligence-gathering aircraft.

Instead, military aviation will start looking like the Israeli Air Force, which abandoned bombers for fighter-size aircraft that can strike at strategic ranges.

Even hard-core, single-seat fighter pilots who have long considered a back-seater unnecessary and sometimes even a hindrance are changing their minds.

Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula, the U.S. Air Force’s first deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, says that the ability to conduct simultaneous air-to-air and air-to-ground combat in addition to sophisticated electronic attack and, soon, information warfare, will keep two aircrewmen fully occupied.

The threat of cyber attack means, “We have to look at the fragility of the electromagnetic spectrum,” Deptula says. “We have to study the problem. But the manpower crunch is so great that any solution that requires more personnel is going to be a hard sell.” Nonetheless, he contends that there is great need for an airborne, self-regenerating network capability to recover quickly from electronic or computer attack and strike back.

Also on the Israeli model, the U.S. will seek to reduce its acknowledged over-reliance on network-centric warfare. This new generation of aircraft—often based on existing designs such as the F-15, F-16, F-18 and stealthy F-22—will have the ability to survive massive cyber and electromagnetic pulse attack and quickly create local area networks to begin gathering intelligence and generating counterattack missions.

Senior military officials say that new tandem designs, combined with advanced sensor packages and wideband data links, are at least doubling the capabilities of tactical aircraft. But all that will require two crewmen to conduct simultaneous air-to-air, air-to-ground and, possibly, cyber combat.

The shift is already underway. Boeing and Lockheed Martin are each either fielding or designing at least two new two-seat aircraft.

Attached link: http://www.defensetech.org/


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