85 F-35'S now in service

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GIThruster
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85 F-35'S now in service

Postby GIThruster » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:52 am

" Fully loaded, the F-35 can carry 3,000 pounds of munitions within its internal bomb bays, and a further 15,000 pounds attached to six external hardpoints along its wings. Attaching bombs to those hardpoints, however, clutters up the aircraft's silhouette, making it easier to spot on radar. To achieve its full stealth potential, therefore, the F-35 is limited to whatever weapons it can carry internally -- just 17% of a full weapons load."

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2 ... ter-w.aspx
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

Stubby
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Re: 85 F-35'S now in service

Postby Stubby » Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:06 am

F35 unable to fire main gun until 2019.

Tried too hard to make a plane that is a jack of all trades but master of none.
Everything is bullshit unless proven otherwise. -A.C. Beddoe

D Tibbets
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Re: 85 F-35'S now in service

Postby D Tibbets » Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:30 am

I am sometime appalled by the seeming slowness of developement, especially the software, weapons carriage, etc. The F35 developement seems slow, but consider that the Eurofighter has been in active squadron service for close to 10 years, yet they are still gradually introducing various munitions to service. The Russian T50 is now apparently in initial production, but it will be perhaps 2019, or later before it can be deployed in squadron service and may be 2025 before it flies with the intended engine for it, not the under performing stopgap engine it is now being supplied with. All of the newre aircraft seem to be slow to develop. How much of this is due to complexity, caution, tight budgets, incompetence, skull dugery, c is unknown. Only the Chinese seem to be on a faster pace, but their two newest fighters are still essentialy prototypes, and the Chinese are struggling mightily to develop their own indigenous front line jet engine technology.

The internal weopens carrage of the F35 is mis represented. The A model can carry two 2000 lb bombs and two AMRAAMs. Yhe important point here is that it can carry this bomb load without compromizing stealth or clean wing conditions. No other aircraft can do this. The F117 may have been comparable in this narrow regard, but it is gone (I think the maintainance to maintain stealth qualities was becoming unmanageble= either because they were wearing out, were falling behind in stealth considerations, and/ or did not have the (large) maintainance budgets necessary).
The F35 is advertised as avoiding much of this maintainance headache.

The point is that it can deliver this bomb load without being shot down. An F15E, F16, Su35, A 10, Rafeal, Eurofighter, etc. cannot make this claim. The F 18E and to a lesser extent the Eurofighter have some stealth, but only the F22 can compete for survivability, and this is with less bomb load. Any comparison of bomb load carried externally is an entirely different matter whether you are talking about a F35, F16, B1 (sort of). Stealth is important for various reasons, so is bomb load and range under less dangerous conditions.

Of course if you are talking about maximum survivability, range, and bomb load combined, then the B2 bomber is in a league of it's own. Of course it has it's own limitations- night time or uncontested skies, no air to air capacity at all, and tremendous cost.

The F35 A is purportedly similar to later model F16 for dog fighting, with the additional advantages of high AOA capacity so it can do maneuvers similar to the F18, F22, Su 27- 30 series, etc. Essentially you are either hiding , or desperately trying to outmaneuver other aircraft and missiles, while hoping your countermeasures are ahead of the curve. The Sidwinder X , newest AMRAAM types, and foreign counterparts are becoming so deadly (and yes- reliable), that you need every edge you can get. Then there are the surface to air missile systems...

PS: The studies and war games that have shown vulnerabilities and sometimes trumped in the press as "proof" that stealth does not work, have actually had little to do with stealth or even dogfighting. They have shown the vulnerability of the support elements, especially the refueling tankers and command and control aircraft. If they are shot down you can not forward deploy your fighters and establish air dominance at ranges distant from your bases. This is what they mean when they say area denial is effective against these otherwise dominate aircraft. It is a matter of how far the battlefield is to each sides bases. How this is addressed by US war planners is the issue. More tankers, longer range aircraft, etc. The F18, especially the F18 E at least partially address this with buddy refueling. I suspect the capacities of the B2 Bomber still causes nightmares for any potential adversary. The problem is that even it cannot linger over a battlefield to provide close air support unless the air battle has already been won. An example of this is the B1 bombers that have delivered a large(?) percentage of the close air support bombs in the battle with ISIS. It can only operate in this mode with lack of, or suppression of opponent air defense. The F35, or F22 in the bomber role does not have this limitation, but neither do they have the range or bomb load. The non stealthy fighter bombers like the F16, F15E or even the A10 are not as survivable against modern air defenses. Everything is a compromise balanced against multiple factors.

Dan Tibbets
To error is human... and I'm very human.

GIThruster
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Re: 85 F-35'S now in service

Postby GIThruster » Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:49 pm

D Tibbets wrote:The point is that it can deliver this bomb load without being shot down.

That's exactly right. Maybe the Chinese or Russians can track it with a difference frequency radar from 300 miles away, but if to launch on them they need to have missiles that can lock and you can't put radar that can track a sparrow at 300 miles in the nose of a missile. To track a stealth fighter you probably need VHF radar. To attack it with a missile you need microwave or millimeter wave radar. Just because you can see a fighter with a ground based VHF radar does not mean you can shoot it down. The whole point behind our stealth craft is they can engage and escape without taking fire and it seems this is still possible despite both China and Russia say they can track those craft.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

D Tibbets
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Re: 85 F-35'S now in service

Postby D Tibbets » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:27 pm

Another point is that the nature of bombs is changing. 500-2000 lb bombs are still the dominate bombs dropped. These are increasingly guided bombs, and as such they are often excessive for the job. As inventories of these older bombs are consumed and newer smaller guided bombs become more prevalent the payload capacity of an aircraft whether in stealth mode or conventional is changed. With the Small Diameter Bomb the F22 can carry 8 bombs, two AMRAAMS and two sidewinders internally. The F35 might carry 8 bombs and two AMRAAMS internally. Any aircraft may carry more than twice this on the wings- but at the penalty of increased drag and vulnerability.

As for arguments that AA missile internal storage is short in the F 22 or F35, consider the CUDA missile. If it is real, it is close to the range capability of the newest AMRAAM (which is much greater than old AMRAAMS) and only ~ 1/2 the length and weight. It is presumably a hit to kill weapon so it can get by with a much lighter warhead. In this case, the F 22 could carry 12 highly capable radar missiles internally and the F 35 could carry 4 or more depending on the bomb load.

These weapon advances are essentially doubling the capacity of any airplane carrying them. Tight limitations on internal storage volumes are thus less restricting. This shifts the balance on priorities even more towards maximum stealth/ survivability considerations.

Note that other attributes attributed to fifth generation aircraft, or alternately equivalent advanced pods such as networking, and sensors are also critical to survivability and war fighting. The problem with pods , or for that matter updates stuffed into older airframes is that they introduce more weight, possibly drag and radar cross section. These issues are already in the baseline configuration of the fifth generation fighter. The F18 G undoubtedly has some very impressive countermeasures, but at the cost of a dedicated aircraft with a lot of stuff hanging off the wings. It can greatly increase the survivability of other aircraft, even the F35. But the F35, with it's stealth and onboard systems, do not need this support (or at least much less) to penetrate highly defended airspace and survive.

Dan Tibbets
To error is human... and I'm very human.

GIThruster
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Re: 85 F-35'S now in service

Postby GIThruster » Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:48 pm

Lock-Mart lobbyists selling the F-35 for yet a new role:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/ ... CC20150601

We should replace the growlers with a stealth EW countermeasures craft, so I can't complain about this application. If we fly a Growler with a Lightning wing, we lose their stealth capability. The alternative is fly the Growler apart from the strike team, but that is far from ideal; and begging to get the Growler in trouble.

So I can agree this is a necessary role for the Lightning II.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

paperburn1
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Re: 85 F-35'S now in service

Postby paperburn1 » Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:44 am

Think drones,everything you can mount on a EA6B can be mounted on the drone.
I am not a nuclear physicist, but play one on the internet.

JoeP
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Re: 85 F-35'S now in service

Postby JoeP » Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:37 am

Just some internal speculation IMHO...as much as I admire the design and engineering of these modern, multi-role fighters, the dominant military air wing of the future probably won't be won by such machines. Massive numbers of cheap, automatic, or remotely piloted aircraft are probably better.

Good lesson, if you haven't read it...wonderful old but relevant story...
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djolds1
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Re: 85 F-35'S now in service

Postby djolds1 » Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:30 am

Stubby wrote:F35 unable to fire main gun until 2019.

Tried too hard to make a plane that is a jack of all trades but master of none.
This thing is the second coming of the F4. It will end up serviceable; it will never be good. It is NOT the second coming of the F16 that it should've been in a second generation high-low combination.

JoeP wrote:Just some internal speculation IMHO...as much as I admire the design and engineering of these modern, multi-role fighters, the dominant military air wing of the future probably won't be won by such machines. Massive numbers of cheap, automatic, or remotely piloted aircraft are probably better.

Good lesson, if you haven't read it...wonderful old but relevant story...
http://www.mayofamily.com/RLM/txt_Clark ... ority.html
Need a stealthed analogue of the C-2 Greyhound for drone control, an equivalent to the E-2 Hawkeye.
Vae Victis

D Tibbets
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Re: 85 F-35'S now in service

Postby D Tibbets » Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:35 pm

Stealth is not invisibility. I am no radar expert, but the complexities boil down to essentially the signal to noise ratio. At 5 it is easy to determine the difference, at 1.0 it is almost impossible and at 1.5 it is still very difficult. Stealth is used to reduce the signal, jamming increases the noise. Even more so, jamming can spoof the enemy radar into seeing false or multiple targets. It renders detection and targeting much more difficult. It both limits and dilutes the enemy efforts. It seems obvious that starting with a small signal via stealth greatly eases the jamming efforts to avoid destruction. The F35 has this built into the aircraft system. I suspect it is less capable and much less powerful than the electronic warfare suite of the F 18G. As such it is good at protecting the parent aircraft and perhaps some aircraft very near by, but it lacks the range of the F18 G. The F 18G is superior to protecting a flight of non stealthy fighter/ bombers out to a range that covers perhaps an entire squadron or strike package. For the F35 to have this jamming range, you would probably have to hang just as many self powered pods off of it. The stealth is mostly lost. The question then becomes which platform is the most cost effective for the mission. Stealth becomes secondary.

Stealth with or without secondary jamming reduces the effective detection/ engagment rang perhaps up to the pratical range of visual detection. IR detectors are getting very good so at ranges within ~30 KM, the radar detection and tracking becomes less important. IR is passive, there is no timed signal bouncing back to determine range, so determining a vector to a target is good via IR, but distance is problamatic. Imaging IR may allow for some ranging based on perceived target size, or triangulation can be used if multiple IR senser locations are used. This is an area where the F35 should excell with its advanced IR sensers and networking ability. My impression is that the F22 has such good radar stealth, that detection and targeting is best accomplished with IR sensers. The radars on aircraft cannot detect or target it at any greater range. Of course, with it's radar capabilities, the F22 has had had at least several opportunities to to fire before this merge occurs. Large ground low frequency radars can detect the stealth aircraft at greater ranges, but are limited in targeting capability. You have to get an intercepting missile or aircraft within the under 30 km range- probably much closer for the small radars on missiles to lock on. And, the large low frequency radars are attractive and probably easy targets for anti radar missiles.

Now the radar contribution (except for the intercepting radar missile that manages to get within several km of the F22 for lock on) become at best an early warning system. It tells you that you are under threat. IR and even visual stealth and jamming now becomes the more important aspect for the F22 or other aircraft that through a combination of radar stealth and radar jamming closes with an enemy. Maneuverability doesn't hurt either.

A drone swarm is attractive for multiple reasons. But to control them with a high degree of communication stealth and jamming resistance, you are probably going to need line of sight communication, which means the controlling aircraft needs to be nearby. Survivability of a non stealthy aircraft is a problem. The F 35 may excel in this role due to it's combination of stealth and extensive communication/ networking abilities. An AWACS or other large commercial derived aircraft, or even ground station with communication through a satellite link is reasonable, the US has done this for years, but against a capable opponent, it will probably be jammed.

If you face a capable opponent , you need corresponding capable aircraft. In a situation like bombing ISIS, A-10s are overkill. A C 130 gunship or even turboprop attack aircraft like the Tucano (?) will serve, and at significantly lower costs per mission. Precision weapons, even as simple as the RB70 guided rockets allows for much smaller throw weight requirements. A high velocity rapid fire 30 mm cannon is useful, but so is a 70 mm rocket or Brimstone missile. The weapons delivery side of the equation is considerably reduced, so the survivability side of the equation becomes more profound.

Again, I am no expert, but lacking any credible air defense, I think I might be most frightened if I knew an AC 130 gunship was overhead. With precision cannon, Griffin missiles , Hellfire or Brimstone missiles and even small diameter bombs, it can decimate anything other than deep bunkers. And it can linger over the battlefield for long times. Add to that MOABs ...

PS: Having the sensors and communication tools to use these weapons in an effective and timely manner are just as important.

Dan Tibbets
To error is human... and I'm very human.

Skipjack
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Re: 85 F-35'S now in service

Postby Skipjack » Sat Jun 06, 2015 1:11 am

From what I have seen on drone warfare strategy is to use a swarm of small autonomous drone decoys that keep enemy radar and defenses busy while at the same time discovering their positions. Then you use missiles, drones and manned fighters to take out the enemy defenses that are now completely open and known, with very little risk of losing your own pilots and expensive aircraft.


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