Northrop Aerospace Systems has released a new artistic concept of a sixth-generation fighter that will combine new technology present in the Lockheed Martin F-22 and B-2 with new thermal management technology.
According to FlightGlobal.com, Northrop president Tom Vice is putting new focus on the quality of managing the heat generated by future weapons and sensors as it has been overlooked in the past.
“Northrop’s sixth-generation fighter concept shows the stealthy, swept-wing fighter using a powerful laser weapon to engage multiple targets. Even the best high-power lasers are only 32-33% efficient, meaning 2MW of heat is generated for every 1MW of energy that can be formed into a laser beam,” said Vice to FlightGlobal.com.
Vice adds that “Northrop is pursuing a concept instead that does not rely on accumulators or offboard venting to manage the heat.” Such options invite problems like raising the aircraft’s visibility and weapon limitations.
Although Northrop is not revealing exactly what their thermal management plan is, FlightGlobal.com reports that “Northrop’s concept shows a tailless, possibly supersonic vehicle, promising a new breakthrough in manoeuvrability, speed and stealth for a combat aircraft,” as well as a swept wing.
To see the concept picture and read more, click here.
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