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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

Old 9th Jul 2015, 19:10
  #6681 (permalink)  
 
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This is some kind of false dichotomy it's not 1 or the other, it's more like the former (WVR-fighting) is a necessary part of of the latter (penetration capabilities).
Really? I flew A-4s and F/A-18 for decades. If on a strike mission an opponent sucked me into a close-in dog fight, he had already won, even if I managed to shoot him down. The LAST thing you want to do when on a strike mission is get sucked into a fur ball. Even when you win the fight, you've lost the mission.

Last edited by KenV; 9th Jul 2015 at 19:23.
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Old 9th Jul 2015, 19:10
  #6682 (permalink)  
 
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Who pushed for concurrency, when and where? I'm aware it's been done before, in fact one could argue that every programme in the last sixty years or more has had some degree of concurrency, if you blur the boundaries between further development and actually producing operational airframes before they even reach IOC. I think you could level that at ADV Tornado, which was a disgraceful introduction. And that may well be where some RAF folks here get our scepticism from - when you know there are problems, the more people tell you it's OK, the more you seek to know how it will be so.
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Old 9th Jul 2015, 19:18
  #6683 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by KenV
Really? I flew A-4s and F/A-18 for decades. If on a strike mission an opponent sucked me into a close-in dog fight, he had already won, even if I managed to shoot him down. The LAST thing you want to do when on a strike mission is get sucked into a fur ball. Even when you win, you've lost the mission.
Dog fighting surely is a last resort scenario but in an all out conflict within contested airspace certainly a likely possibility ,I would think.
Why then be OK with a jet that doesn't give you that last resort option to live and fight another day if it is possible to have a jet that gives you that option?

Like I said, the ability to do....
Originally Posted by myself
the former (WVR-fighting) is a necessary part of of the latter (penetration capabilities).
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Old 9th Jul 2015, 19:45
  #6684 (permalink)  
 
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Just a question but who do you think came up with the one-size-fits-all, one-winner -takes-all concept next gen fighter,
It certainly wasn't the contractors. They were eminently happy to sell one airframe to the Navy for dog fighting, another for strike, another to USAF for dog fighting, another for USAF strike, another to the Marines, another for jamming, another for photo recon, etc etc. When McNamara demanded USAF and USN share a common airframe (F-111) he was laughed into derision, but that mattered not. He required it. And we know how that turned out.

When the Hornet came out there was supposed to be a separate F-18 and A-18. The Navy combined them into a single airframe and the die was cast. If one airframe can be do both missions for the Navy, why can't one airframe do both missions for USAF? And the F-15E was born. But wait. If USAF and USN can have one airframe that does both, why can't they share a common airframe? And let's throw STOVL for the Marines into the mix while we're at it. And JSF was born. JSF was as much government driven as was TFX (which led to the F-111) in the 1960s. The contractors were dragged into by the government.

And if you really think the contractors like the idea of "one winner take all", you might want to reconsider where you obtain that stuff you've been smoking.
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Old 9th Jul 2015, 19:55
  #6685 (permalink)  
 
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Dog fighting surely is a last resort scenario but in an all out conflict within contested airspace certainly a likely possibility ,I would think. Why then be OK with a jet that doesn't give you that last resort option to live and fight another day....
Because when things get to the "last resort in an all out conflict" the point is to COMPLETE THE MISSION, not "live to fight another day". If the mission is really important and intercept is likely, you provide an escort that is optimized for air to air so the strike guys can get in and do their job while the fighter guys get in a fur ball with the defenders.

....if it is possible to have a jet that gives you that option?
You haven't been following this thread long have you? It is NOT possible to be a superlative strike aircraft AND a superlative air superiority fighter. If it were possible, we'd have F/A-22s. And they are a bigger fantasy than a close-in dog fighting F-35.
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Old 9th Jul 2015, 20:31
  #6686 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by KenV
Because when things get to the "last resort in an all out conflict" the point is to COMPLETE THE MISSION, not "live to fight another day". If the mission is really important and intercept is likely, you provide an escort that is optimized for air to air so the strike guys can get in and do their job while the fighter guys get in a fur ball with the defenders.
So basically the whole JSF concept is wrong if not supported with F22's and/or Typhoons as it in itself is no Air Dominance fighter, we're basically buying an A iso an F35.
Or you have such fiduction in Stealth + sensor fusion that you don't need the AD fighter support in which case the F35 concept is wrong again as it could just as well have been a stealthified GULFSTREAM with an even better intenal weaponsload, lower IR profile, quieter, more economical and carrying an even more elaborate sensor package.
Both of these option where not what was originally sold to both the US and its partners.

Originally Posted by KenV
It is NOT possible to be a superlative strike aircraft AND a superlative air superiority fighter. If it were possible, we'd have F/A-22s. And they are a bigger fantasy than a close-in dog fighting F-35.
There are those that say that the RAFALE and lately also the TYPHOON are exactly that, both sublime attackers and fighters with sensor fusion and advanced latest gen weapons (METEOR,BRIMSTONE,....).
The F16 became exactly that for us in the 90's after the MLU program.

It certainly wasn't the contractors. They were eminently happy to sell one airframe to the Navy for dog fighting, another for strike, another to USAF for dog fighting, another for USAF strike, another to the Marines, another for jamming, another for photo recon, etc etc. When McNamara demanded USAF and USN share a common airframe (F-111) he was laughed into derision, but that mattered not. He required it. And we know how that turned out.

When the Hornet came out there was supposed to be a separate F-18 and A-18. The Navy combined them into a single airframe and the die was cast. If one airframe can be do both missions for the Navy, why can't one airframe do both missions for USAF? And the F-15E was born. But wait. If USAF and USN can have one airframe that does both, why can't they share a common airframe? And let's throw STOVL for the Marines into the mix while we're at it. And JSF was born. JSF was as much government driven as was TFX (which led to the F-111) in the 1960s. The contractors were dragged into by the government.
Sure Politicians ultimately (rightfully) take the decision and if you feed them ridiculous info and let them get away with it they make dumb decisions , Les Aspin and the JSF and as you said Mc Namara before are a case in point.
But they get their ideas from somewhere and someone (LM in case of the JSF) certainly put them on track for said stupidity, enough blame to go around.
The Military seem to be the biggest real opposers (Gen McPeak in case of JSF) but have the smallest voice it seems.(sorry to say).

Originally Posted by KenV
And if you really think the contractors like the idea of "one winner take all", you might want to reconsider where you obtain that stuff you've been smoking.
They might not like it before but LM sure likes their position now.
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Old 9th Jul 2015, 21:45
  #6687 (permalink)  
 
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So basically the whole JSF concept is wrong if not supported with F22's and/or Typhoons as it in itself is no Air Dominance fighter, we're basically buying an A iso an F35.
The F-35 is a big "A" and a little "F" fighter. If it has to go up against big F fighters to do its job, it should probably have a stealthy big F escort fighter go along.

Or you have such fiduction in Stealth + sensor fusion that you don't need the AD fighter support in which case the F35 concept is wrong again as it could just as well have been a stealthified GULFSTREAM with an even better intenal weaponsload, lower IR profile, quieter, more economical and carrying an even more elaborate sensor package.
If you really believe that fantasy, you're welcome to try and sell it to anyone who will listen. I'll wager you will get few takers.

Both of these option where not what was originally sold to both the US and its partners.
You appear to be clueless about "what was originally sold to both the US and its partners."

There are those that say that the RAFALE and lately also the TYPHOON are exactly that, both sublime attackers and fighters with sensor fusion and advanced latest gen weapons (METEOR,BRIMSTONE,....).
Indeed, just as there are those who say an F-35 is inferior to a Stealthified Gulfstream. But folks like that have little credibility. And by the way, for a "sublime attacker" to survive a near peer fight on the first day of war, it pretty much has to have stealth. Good luck stealthifying Typhoon and Rafale.

But they get their ideas from somewhere and someone (LM in case of the JSF) certainly put them on track for said stupidity, enough blame to go around.
You're clearly clueless about JSF history. The government came up with the idea and got five contractor teams to submit proposals for their idea. LM did not sell them on the idea. The government demanded contractors come up with ways to build their idea.

They might not like it before but LM sure likes their position now.
So, you're conceding that the contractors, including LM, did not like this "winner take all" project foisted on them by the government?

And does LM really "like" where they are now? LM are masochists who enjoy getting raked over the coals trying to deliver a very very ambitious product, using a very ambitious process, on a very ambitious schedule? If you say so.
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Old 9th Jul 2015, 22:00
  #6688 (permalink)  
 
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LO,

It's not grammar pedantry to point out what words mean. It's a little odd to correct someone because they use words like 'excuse' and 'arguably' within the generally accepted definitions of the words but outside the way you personally like to use them.

I'm envious of your contact list of former LM employees. The people who designed the U-2 weren't the same ones that designed the F-22. Just as BAE Systems (in all its former guises and merged companies) has a long history of coming out with mediocre compromised collaborative projects, arguably (just for your benefit) LM has a pretty distinguished history of making best-in-class airplanes. As a Brit, I would love it to be the other way round, but that's how I see it and judging by the success of F-16 & F-35 in the export market compared to Jaguar, Tornado & Typhoon I'm not the only one.

You have indeed provided chapter and verse for your opinions of LM. I've provided the basis of my opinions of both LM/F-35 and Eurofighter/Typhoon - first hand experience of working the programs and flying the airplanes over several years in both cases. When I was at school I was encouraged to give greater weight to first hand sources rather than second hand ones, but perhaps you were taught differently. My inherent bias is that as an ex-mil pilot, I want the best military capability for my buddies who still have to fly into harms way.

For the sake of everyone else on the forum, let's save the Concorde, TSR-2 and F1-11 vs Tornado etc debates for another thread. Maybe we could debate wotif Concorde had a bomb bay...?

Respectfully,
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Old 9th Jul 2015, 22:41
  #6689 (permalink)  
 
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It's not grammar pedantry to point out what words mean. It's a little odd to correct someone because they use words like 'excuse' and 'arguably' within the generally accepted definitions of the words but outside the way you personally like to use them.

I'm envious of your contact list of former LM employees.
FFS stop it. Move on from personal attacks and just express your views. Please.
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Old 10th Jul 2015, 00:25
  #6690 (permalink)  
 
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KenV and SSSETOWTF - Thank you. To this bear of very little brain, you have established your credentials to speak with authority on the F-35. In the main, you have presented facts clearly and rationally, even though it is obvious to me that they been obfuscated, conflated and deliberately misinterpreted by your detractors in pursuit of their negative 'argument'. I regret there are those who seem to resent your knowledgeable stance and currency and have responded abusively but please do not be deterred and do not stoop to their level. I enjoy being educated by people prepared to present the 'other side' of the argument in such a refreshing and illuminating fashion.

We all know the F-35 has suffered developmental snags and will even have deficiences in certain areas such as dogfighting against a peer enemy (which it should be more than capable of avoiding if its systems are utilised properly) but some seem to have condemned it from the outset for not being the answer to quite every maiden's prayer.
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Old 10th Jul 2015, 00:28
  #6691 (permalink)  
O-P
 
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CM,


Concur, the bickering is getting girlishly silly, nothing against Girls BTW.


O-P
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Old 10th Jul 2015, 02:29
  #6692 (permalink)  
 
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KenV,

“The program has not yet completed the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase, and is not due to enter full rate production until 2019, 17 years after its inception,” the committee’s question starts. “Do you believe the nation can afford to procure these aircraft at a cost of $12B to $15B per year for nearly the next 20 years for an aircraft design that will be 30 years old at the completion of the program procurement phase?” Then the committee asks Dunford if he supports the requirement for 2,443 Joint Strike Fighters.
Is the reevaluation of the 2,443 buy quantity because of the cost per copy, or because it is becoming more recognized the F-35 is incapable of accomplishing its mission?
Hmmmm. The customer is the one who demanded industry produce a single airframe that could do CTOL, CATOBAR, and STOVL. Industry had no choice but to try to meet the customer's demands.
Really! The customer asked for these attributes in the early stages of the program definition, demands only come later when you are in deep s**t having accepted the order when you haven't produced what you promised, product, cost and timing combined. It is usually a result of a disconnect between the sales department and those who have to come through with the goods.
Concurrent engineering was another requirement imposed by the customer.
The absolute prerequisite to run a successful Concurrent Engineering program is that you not only must have a properly staffed organization setup that differs from traditional program organizations, but one where the designated participants know more about what they are developing than they don't know. For L-M, the scales tipped to more of what they didn't know having the most weight.
Really? And you know this how? Your years and years of experience running a concurrent engineering program? And LtGen Bogdan can complain all he wants about Lockheed's approach to concurrent engineering, but what actual experience is that based on? None you say? Concurrent engineering is inherently risky.
Too bad you stopped fly fast jets so soon, those like the F/A-18E/F. Had you stayed longer you would have flown on two engines that were designed developed and produced using the risky process of Concurrent Engineering. The time for design and procurement cycles were reduced by 20-60% in the development phase and cycle times for key components were reduced from 22 week to 3 weeks by the design and manufacturing team members working together from the onset of the program. I might add that the CF6-80C and the GE90 engine programs used the same Concurrent Engineering process. Yes there was some risks, but more was known what wasn't known for each of these programs. Since my engineering experience goes all the way back to the TF-30 and SST engines, while you were busy learning how to and then flying fast jets, I was busy making things to help you to fly (safely).
Developing AND concurrently integrating all sorts of other new technology is very risky.
Only if you don't know as much as you need to know, then Concurrent Engineering is not right for you.

Now that you are on the other side of the fence at Boeing (assuming that is true), I wish you well. I had some really good engineering experiences with both MD on the military side and Boeing on the commercial side helping them with items we were doing that they could do to reduce costs, lead times and improve performance. Should you ever get into a position dealing with the US DoD, as the famous C&W song goes "Know when to hold them and know when to fold them", don't try to BS them as L-M did on the F-35 program…
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Old 10th Jul 2015, 02:37
  #6693 (permalink)  
 
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Courtney & O-P - valid point. Apologies.

Here's a thought then, and run with me on this. Perhaps the flight report that was leaked was but one of a number about the same subject? For something as qualitative as BFM performance in offensive/defensive/neutral sets there was almost certainly a Lockheed pilot flying the exact same points and giving his opinion. I'd be surprised if they didn't let a bunch of pilots have a go at the exercise. But we didn't get leaked those reports - perhaps because they wouldn't have made such dramatic headlines? It goes against the AvWeek and PPRuNe narrative to have anything remotely positive written about the program.

Now what about the pilots involved? I would guess that the F-16 pilot was one of the other test pilots from the ITF, flying one of the chase airplanes. It's an educated guess, but it's highly likely the pilot of that F-16 had a bucket-load of hours flying a Block 40 F-16 doing BFM manoeuvres. He probably knows that F-16 inside out and can fly it to its best advantage in his sleep. The guy in AF-2 was probably flying his first ever BFM sortie in an F-35. He might still have a bunch of Aircraft Operating Limitations to observe - I don't know. But anyone with a fighter background will know that they didn't max perform their jet or fight very intelligently on their first ever BFM sortie in it.

I could go on and bore you all senseless (again). My point is that there are entirely understandable and rational reasons for that leaked report that don't necessarily mean the F-35 isn't as good as an F-16 in a WVR fight. It's a valid data point and shouldn't be ignored, but context and the bigger picture shouldn't be ignored either - and we don't have that in this case.

And even if, in the end, the fact of the matter were to be that the F-35 can't fight on even terms with a Block 40, I'm afraid I'm firmly in KenV's school of thought. BFM capability is right up there with 'capability as a 2-seat trainer' and 'air-air tanker capability' for the F-35 in terms of relevance. That's not why you buy an F-35.

Respectfully,
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Old 10th Jul 2015, 02:58
  #6694 (permalink)  
 
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KenV,
One thing I forgot to comment on:
And LtGen Bogdan can complain all he wants about Lockheed's approach to concurrent engineering, but what actual experience is that based on? None you say?
Actually, I never commented on Lt. General Bogdan's experience relative to Concurrent Engineering. However, I would suspect that he has a very good feel for a good Concurrent Engineering program and experience and a bad Concurrent Engineering program and experience. From his resumé:

ASSIGNMENTS
17. June 2005 - May 2006, Deputy Director, Directorate of Global Power, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
18. May 2006 - May 2008, Senior Military Assistant to the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.
19. May 2008 - May 2009, Senior Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
May 2006 - May 2009, Senior Military Assistant to Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, and Senior Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.
PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATIONS
Program Management, Level III, Acquisition Professional Development Program
Think his experience is good or bad on the F-35 program?
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Old 10th Jul 2015, 08:57
  #6695 (permalink)  
 
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Interesting contribution on the F-35Bs air-to-air combat potential posted today on the AeroSoc blog using a detailed unclassified air warfare simulation...


Royal Aeronautical Society | Insight Blog | Does the F-35 really suck in air combat?


(Apologies for giant pic - anyone know how to resize images in posts?)

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Old 10th Jul 2015, 10:35
  #6696 (permalink)  
 
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Does the above simulation have any credibility? Was it done by some ammatuer in his bedroom with a computer game? Are all the variables just a guess?
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Old 10th Jul 2015, 10:56
  #6697 (permalink)  
 
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It depends on your assumptions. MBDA will like it, and the next question is whether four Meteor-armed Typhoons or Gripens (with IRST and EW) would do as well.
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Old 10th Jul 2015, 11:18
  #6698 (permalink)  
 
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SS

Lockheed Martin and JSFPO are big kids. If you read the defense media you will find that there are many reporters out there who seldom if ever quote F-35 critics and therefore rely almost exclusively on official sources for information about the program.

So if this is one of a number of conflicting reports, and if the the perceived results in BFM may have been due to a test pilot's familiarity with the F-16, there would be nothing simpler than to call some reporter and say "We feel this has been a bit one-sided and would like to see some balance - would you, personally, like the chance to sit down and talk to the pilots involved? We're just extending this to you right now..."

I can assure you that someone would jump on this in seconds. No major secrets would have to be spilled. The second-wave strike would be from LM's consultants, opining gravely on the way that a single out-of-context report could be so crassly exploited by self-described experts.

This hasn't been done so far.

As for "BFM isn't why you buy an F-35" - whether or not this is true, it begs the question, in that the assumptions underlying it are (1) that the EM deficit doesn't extend into the rest of the A2A arena and (2) that the F-35 weaponry and performance permit the avoidance of BFM.
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Old 10th Jul 2015, 12:01
  #6699 (permalink)  
 
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I see you have your usual thinking head on, LO. Interesting theory with interesting implications.
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Old 10th Jul 2015, 13:33
  #6700 (permalink)  
 
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Oh dear

https://medium.com/war-is-boring/no-...r-5508913252dd


Two dozen Chinese J-11 fighters brought nearly 250 long-range missiles to the mock fight. The same number of F-35s carried fewer than 100 AIM-120s. Beijing’s jets easily overwhelmed the Americans.

From me on 2 July:

China's 400+ J-11s will blow right through the USAF's 184 (ish) F-22s before they know what's what. That's before you even start to take into consideration the J-20, J-31 etc. The same is true for Russia and its Su-27-series aircraft, plus PAK-FA.
From Ken:

You're welcome to believe your wild fantasy. USAF and USN both disagree. And they have some hard data to back up their opinions. You have less than none.

It would appear that my 'fantasy' of the massed ranks of the PLAAF (and others perhaps) blowing through the West's comparatively small number of frontline fighters is shared by others....
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