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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

Old 4th Jul 2015, 10:34
  #6541 (permalink)  
 
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Mel,

I'm not saying this is new. I'm saying this is a typical insertion of a heated topic in the face of a significant milestone. Other major milestones are nothing to compared to this one - the first military Service declaring Initial Operating Capability? To some it means nothing, to others it really does. It effectively removes any chance the Program will be financially unsupported in future in my opinion. The USMC have fastidiously worked to this goal for years and I really do support and commend their ethic for doing so; I wish them every success and want to learn from them as they achieve it. I'm also fairly well read in many of the claims and counter-claims over 300-odd pages here, but contextualise this in that these really are relatively early days in a Program which will be a focus of countless more pages over the next 35 years.

Sure, you'll always get people who will continuously wheel out the, "it's late" and the, "it's expensive", even when this thing goes on operations and kicks a** like Bruce Lee (which I personally believe it will). You'll also always get those polarised the other way, who won't have a bad word said about their beloved jet. What the media says (JPO vs War is Boring) is simply accusation and rebuttal; to and fro; political tennis if you will. Public spats akin to this recent one rarely ever inform and normally create doubt on both sides; but then you can't really come out and properly inform the masses about the true capabilities of a highly classified and protected jet. What it has done is brought out the childish, puerile nature of certain individuals here and revealed them truly for what they are.

Nope - personally, I prefer to take the stance that F-35 will never silence its critics. Those involved who deservedly get to celebrate their F-35's success over the coming years shouldn't look back, other than to (re)learn some very valid and salient lessons for future acquisition (concurrency, requirements etc).

Happy 4th July to our US brothers and sisters and best of luck to the USMC who IOC with F-35B this month.

SF!
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 10:38
  #6542 (permalink)  
 
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the USMC going IOC this month
The next stage from that should be the 4 year buy of 4-500 aircraft. That would be a deciding factor.
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 11:30
  #6543 (permalink)  
 
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MSOCS

I would not be too sure that the leak was timed for IOC, although it's possible. The test in question took place in January and was first publicized in April, so this could just be slow-boil.

But it does underscore the capabilities that the Marines are getting (or not getting) with IOC, which is another story. This is not a strong IOC, even if the jet performs as advertised, because what a Block 2B can do (fixed target strike against reasonably heavy defenses) has not historically been a big part of the MEU mission. The focus of Marine air has been CAS, undeniably, and the F-35 needs a higher load-out, moving target capability, improved sensors and better comms to start doing that well.

I agree that all these things can be done in time. But the Marine IOC capability would be more accurately called "service test", like we used to do with YF aircraft and the Sovs did with things that had -A reporting names.
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 21:45
  #6544 (permalink)  
 
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Ken,


I am interested in your comments on the Zero.I feel you just have focussed on turn rate exclusively.
I suspect if you look at the energy manoverability spectrum a P-40 would have places where it can dictate the fight - probably by staying fast.
No so sure how the Wildcat would compare though.

I think the F-35 can be more compared to the F-105 or the 104 in European duty than the A-7
I wonder if the 104 was also touted as an Air-Air machine when Lockheed and the US govt decided they were just what Europe needed

Of more relevance I'm interested how you think the F-35 stacks up? Draggy, low power to weight and high wing loading. Where does the F-35 win out on energy manoverability? Or do you assume the opposition is carrying lots of missile, bombs and ferry tanks, while the F-35 is clean?
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 22:21
  #6545 (permalink)  
 
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Typerated,

Maybe chasing the wrong history. A short while ago we were treated to this,

Bill Flynn, Lockheed test pilot responsible for flight envelope expansion activities for the F-35 claimed that all three variants of the Joint Strike Fighter will have better kinematic performance than any fourth-generation fighter plane with combat payload, including the Eurofighter Typhoon (that during last year’s Red Flag Alaska achieved several simulated kills against the F-22 Raptor) and the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

“In terms of instantaneous and sustained turn rates and just about every other performance metric, the F-35 variants match or considerably exceed the capabilities of every fourth-generation fighter,” Flyinn said.

According to the Lockheed pilot, (besides its stealthiness) the F-35 features better transonic acceleration and high AOA (angle-of-attack) flight performance than an armed Typhoon or Super Hornet.
It seems the arguments have moved on and, frankly, I feel more comfortable and familiar with the stance being taken now.

There was certainly a time, not very long ago when F-35 was being hawked as the wonder jet. I have no doubt it will do a good job, but it will only fulfil the RN's requirements if they are not severely tested in their defence of the fleet role. Suggestions here about the current state of potential enemy orbats need to take account of the timeframe involved for the FAA's IOC, let alone any meaningful capability.

How times have changed.
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Old 4th Jul 2015, 22:43
  #6546 (permalink)  
 
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CM,


I don't understand how his statement can be true? Unless it has far better power to weight and less wing loading than we thought?


Still, it seems from LM"s latest spin that it does not need to manoeuvre to win. Phew! I wonder though why they bothered putting thrust vectoring on the F-22?


For the USAF, with a (small) fleet of F-22's clearing the skies first the F-35 will do a job. For other nations the F-35's limited Air-Air capability will surely become problematic - if not now certainly in 20-30 years time.


If Canada does drop the F-35 go for Rafale or Gripen I wonder if many more nations will follow.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 01:59
  #6547 (permalink)  
 
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What the hell has happened to this thread?
After going back and reviewing the first 30 pages, it was both full of debated points (the F-35 is the best thing since sex and sliced bread or is an absolute expensive pile of sh$$). But then what bridged the gap between the two opinions was humor and it struck me, that is what is now missing. Back then, 2010, the Navy version was questionable at best but humor dissipated the furor of conflicting opinions:

Originally posted by:Ian Corrigible
U.S. Navy testing back-up alternative for F-35 from latest Nimitz-class carrier


Certainly looks lightweight and somewhat stealthy with a simplified magic helmet, the weapons are neatly tucked away in his pockets (my attempt at humor).

And then there was the suggestion by:Finningley Boy
Perhaps someone might start an F35 fund?! You know, like they had thins like Spitfire funds back in the Second World War. For example, ppruners could get together with people on Fighter Control and UKAR in order to co-ordinate a fund raising campaign in order to buy a F35. That way the R.A.F./R.N. would be sure of getting at least one!

Furthermore, we could have the right to have personalized messages carried on the airframe or something.
We should have taken his suggestion, by now the various PPRuNe experts would have been able to disassemble the purchased F-35 and fixed all the problems producing the best damn plane, ever. Or, it could have resulted upon reassembly in a one hump, two hump or three hump camel instead of a race horse without some intervening humor. Oh well, carry on…
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 08:34
  #6548 (permalink)  
 
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I don't understand how his statement can be true?
It was quite obviously not and never could be based on the published figures as it would defy the laws of physics. CM has been saying the same thing for years.

but it will only fulfil the RN's requirements if they are not severely tested in their defence of the fleet role. Suggestions here about the current state of potential enemy orbats need to take account of the timeframe involved for the FAA's IOC, let alone any meaningful capability.
There isn't any other aircraft that fulfil that role, is there? Presumably you are talking defence from land based aircraft.

Potential enemies are subject to the economic, time and design issues but more so. Not something to depend upon, admittedly.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 10:25
  #6549 (permalink)  
 
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Agreed, Peter. There is no plan B. The B will work, as you say. I just hope the carriers have some good air defence stuff on board.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 11:37
  #6550 (permalink)  
 
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It would be a pain to list all the carriers with an integrated, organic and layered air defence system.

A lot easier to list the 2 in build that do not.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 11:55
  #6551 (permalink)  
 
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Easy enough to list I guess - F35B (with whatever limitations/shortcomings it has when fully operational), Type 45 / Aster, T26 / FLAADS, CIWS and softkill.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 12:22
  #6552 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by frost chamber
Easy enough to list I guess - F35B (with whatever limitations/shortcomings it has when fully operational), Type 45 / Aster, T26 / FLAADS, CIWS and softkill.
So now it looks like we didn't want/need an air superiority fighter on a capital ship. Strange choice.

Last edited by Courtney Mil; 5th Jul 2015 at 12:35.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 12:23
  #6553 (permalink)  

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“In terms of instantaneous and sustained turn rates and just about every other performance metric, the F-35 variants match or considerably exceed the capabilities of every fourth-generation fighter,” Flynn said.
I must say I would hesitate to suggest there is any inaccuracy in this statement as I believe the words were very carefully chosen (as one would expect!)

Firstly instantaneous turn rate is a no brainer. It is determined mainly by the AoA you can snatch without loss of attitude control. Given the alpha they have been to with the F35 I would not doubt the snatch capability is considerably more than many earlier aircraft.

Sustained turn rate is of course quite another matter. This is dependent on the thrust used and the induced drag present at the conditions where it is measured. Since we don’t know those details it is quite possible that there are circumstances where they are in favour of the F35 (and others where they are not!)

The “just about every other performance metric” clearly copes with the acceleration side of life.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 12:50
  #6554 (permalink)  
 
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Well, we do know that the F-35 bleeds energy quickly in the turn, reported many times in the past three years or so. No, we don't have the SEP graphs, John, but we do know the airframe is draggy and the SEP figures not as good as they may have been. We also know that very high aoa manoeuvre bleeds energy very fast, so peak instantaneous turn is likely to be just that, over in an instant.

I think the claims made by Flynn look over-inflated to me. There are quite a few legacy types that were better optimised for rate/radius and the more recent news supports that. Maybe we'll see more results as the USMC start to put their Bs about a bit.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 13:20
  #6555 (permalink)  
 
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I am unworthy to be in the same debate as some of the names on here, but it seems to me that whether the B will be the best dogfighter in the world and whether it will be a capable AD asset for a UK carrier group are different questions; and bearing in mind eg the Flynn comments (even allowing for some over-inflation) coupled with such factors as sensors, sensor fusion etc, to write off the B as a turkey in AD terms strikes me as simplistic and probably wrong. In any polarised debate the truth is usually to be found lurking somewhere in the middle. Given where we are and the niche we've made for ourselves, I suspect the B will to a capable and valuable job for us in the years ahead, including in terms of contribution to layered AD, imperfections notwithstanding.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 13:26
  #6556 (permalink)  
 
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As described a couple of pages ago, Frostchamber, more of a self-escorting bomber.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 14:12
  #6557 (permalink)  
 
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I suspect it will add up to a bit more than that, for the reasons I mentioned, but happy to agree to differ.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 15:08
  #6558 (permalink)  
 
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I was reading in an old article in the Daily Mail that the rotating weapon bays are unable to carry the full specified load, indeed, only half that specified?

This is on the B variant again. Altogether, I've never heard of such an awful predicament in terms of defence procurement. Firstly, the country's broke and daren't spread the misery of belt tightening evenly (i.e. NHS, Overseas Pocket Money) so defence spending will face more financial surgery to remove a vital organ or two. Secondly, We're only hanging on to the Carriers (not criticism per se) because it would cost more money to have gotten rid. Thirdly, the damn things have been designed so that the only fixed wing beast that can operate from them is the F-35B! Fourthly, F-35B is the runt of the litter. Fifthly, The F-35 project has proved to be the very inverse and opposite of what it was intended to address in terms of various allied countries economies and future air defence requirements, a financial disaster and a complete disappointment as an asset....

So I gather!?!?!?!?!

FB
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 15:14
  #6559 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Finningley Boy View Post
I was reading in an old article in the Daily Mail...
I think I may have spotted where you're going wrong.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 15:20
  #6560 (permalink)  
 
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FC - Refer you to this post...

One of the first debates over stealth concerned whether it was indeed possible to build a stealth air-to-air combat platform, because at that point all fighters had one thing in common, to wit, a bloody great RF searchlight in the nose.

The solution for the ATF/F-22 was more reliance on passive RF, low-probability of intercept radar, IRST, sensor fusion and offboard (AWACS), to get first-look, first-shot, first-kill with AMRAAM. Basically this is where Team F-35 still hangs its hat in the BVR regime.

This has been chipped away at, in subsequent years. MAWS, better EW and agility say "you may get the first look but you're going to have to get close for a high-Pk shot." A bit of RAM and much, much better passive and active EW conspire to raise the LPI bar a lot higher - trying to detect, much less track, a fighter without giving your own presence and location away gets much harder.

Dealing with leakers in WVR was another issue. Some said "Stealth rules, win in BVR and that's all" - look at the YF-23. The AF wanted belt and braces, so the F-22 ended up with a complex and heavy AIM-9 installation that gave wide-field-of-regard LOBL. The T-50 and J-20 have basically the same thing. It wouldn't fit on JSF.

However, the idea with JSF is to track everyone all the time in ACM with EO-DAS, and blast through the fight in a straight line while launching LOAL AIM-9X at the threat. But as mentioned, it can't carry AIM-9 in stealth mode - and the task of validating that EO-DAS works as advertised and will stitch its six sensors together while trying to assemble a 3D picture from 2D data sounds... interesting.
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