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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

Old 13th Jul 2015, 10:03
  #6741 (permalink)  
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Just to be explicit, to remain stealthy the F-35 cannot use use L16 in combat, which is a bit of a handicap. MADL currently has to use a gateway for communication with other platforms and HQs, and the US is investigating stand-alone airborne platforms, which is less than optimum - and not an option for many other customers.

The F-35 is planned to network MADL through satcom using MUOS. But that slipped to Block 4 (one of the things the Norwegians need at their northerly elevation), but access to non-US customers is not guaranteed.

So, at the moment, non-US customers will have an asset which when stealthy can only talk to other F-35s, and have no guaranteed path to achieve stealthy networked data communications.

Last edited by ORAC; 13th Jul 2015 at 10:55.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 10:24
  #6742 (permalink)  
 
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That is very interesting ORAC, thanks for sharing.





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Old 13th Jul 2015, 10:26
  #6743 (permalink)  
 
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...........

Last edited by Radix; 18th Mar 2016 at 01:46.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 11:08
  #6744 (permalink)  
 
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Agreed, Orac. That was my point entirely.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 11:31
  #6745 (permalink)  
 
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KenV,
I would like to point out a couple of things:
The development of the F-18 E/F did come from the earlier F-18 airframes. But, there were changes. The length increased 4 feet, the height by a 1 foot and the wing span by 4 feet (a new wing). The maximum gross take off weight increased by 14,100 pounds and the range increased by 200 miles.
Indeed. Which was exactly my point. When making changes to an existing mature product that effort is an ideal candidate for concurrent engineering. Yet even when doing a (seemingly) simple thing like scaling up an existing design, not everything scales well and brand new, completely unforeseen problems arise. Like the slots in the upscaled LEX causing transonic drag, and the wing fold mechanism causing stall issues. When the product is all new, there are far too many unforeseens and unknowns to enable concurrent engineering.

The F135 engine is a derivative engine from the F119 engine used on the F-22. The F135 engine is not a completely new from scratch engine.
Indeed. But no one anywhere had ever modified ANY turbo fan engine to extract 15,000+ HP, and mechanically couple it to a lift fan. Nor had anyone anywhere ever built an airplane with a clutch that could reliably engage/disengage that level of power. Nor had anyone anywhere ever built an engine nozzle that could reliably swivel 90+ degrees. Nor had anyone anywhere ever integrated an engine with all the above plus roll control jets into a stealth platform. Nor had anyone anywhere ever built control software that controlled all the above, especially during the extremely critical transition from engine borne to wing borne flight. Not only are these all massive unknowns that do not lend themselves to concurrent engineering, no one anywhere had ever attempted to concurrently engineer all the above into an entirely new airplane with entirely new avionics that were themselves being concurrently engineered. Huge problems were essentially guaranteed.

Last edited by KenV; 13th Jul 2015 at 12:02.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 11:54
  #6746 (permalink)  
 
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Interesting point with regard to the $400,000 or so helmet. The helmet capability of launching high-off-bore-sight missiles is moot, because the F-35 is such an abysmal dogfighter and specifically designed to never be in that situation anyway. And if it carries the weapons for a dogfight (Aim 9X), it can't maneuver for it. Bit of a contradiction in the design.

$400,000 helmet on a F-35 is (partly) like throwing pearls to a pig?
Two comments:

1. The whole point of the helmet is being completely missed. The F-35 is the ONLY fighter that has spherical coverage in the RF and IR spectrum. A conventional HUD does great when all your sensors are optimized/limited to a narrow tunnel in the forward hemisphere. Making a HUD with spherical coverage (including backward and down) is literally impossible. The solution was a helmet that becomes a HUD with totally spherical (4Pi steradian) coverage. This enables the pilot to literally look down through the bottom of the airplane or backward through the engine and tail of the airplane and see (at both long and short range) EVERYthing that his sensors are seeing. That's why the F-35 has no HUD. And the helmet is integral to the ability of the avionics systems to display fused sensor data. That simply cannot be done on flat panels and HUDs in a single crew airplane. And BTW, has anyone priced a conventional holographic HUD lately? No you say? Well a holographic HUD costs only slightly less than the helmet system. So cost wise, its nearly a wash. Knocking the price of a helmet display is about as sensical as knocking the price of stealth. It's the cost of doing business in the modern world of air warfare. And calling it a "contradiction in design" indicates (please excuse my bluntness) a rather gross misunderstanding of the design.

2. Characterizing the F-35 as "such an abysmal dogfighter" is in my opinion both utterly false and hugely irresponsible. It's ONLY short coming is in close-in dogfight maneuverability which while not stellar, is far far far from "abysmal". And in every other realm of the dog fight it is stellar and if flown and fought properly, should enable the pilot to avoid the knife fight in a phone booth. Because no matter how stellar a close quarters knife fighter you are, such a fight is immensely dangerous and much better avoided in the first place. This is a lesson learned the hard way by the pilots of zero fighters well over half a century ago and a lesson many on this forum have apparently never learned.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 12:10
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The F-35 is planned to network MADL through satcom using MUOS. But that slipped to Block 4
Indeed. But a formation of F-35s does not need a satcom link to fight (and win) at all. The satcom link is only needed to get the data the F-35 generates and pipe it to the headquarters guys. If I were in that cockpit, I'd prefer to leave the headquarters guys in the dark until I had completed my mission, lest the desk jockeys be tempted to micro manage my fight from afar.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 12:39
  #6748 (permalink)  
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Really KenV?

You should tell the USN who accept that the F-35 is not stealthy enough in all aspects to penetrate enemy defences without a F-18G EW escort.

With which they cannot share enemy threat data without turning on their L16 and exposing themselves to threats such as the DWL002.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 12:53
  #6749 (permalink)  
 
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Engines,

Interesting point about MADL's data rate. When I heard a (very rare) brief on Swedish fighter datalinks in 2003, a key point was that the system was designed to minimize the volume of data. (The speaker used the analogy of identical twins who understand one another almost without speaking.)

CM - I don't know how well MUOS is expected to work at high latitudes, being geosynchronous. Conformal antennas don't make life easier (envision standing in an open manhole with your eyes just below pavement level - you can't see the other side of the street). The B-2 was supposed to get a system with two big conformal antennas, one on each side of the dorsal hump, but it was cancelled. The last I heard, Saab was going to put DRS' Face III (which uses Iridium) on Gripen.

And Ken - There are multiple video-capable HMDs on the market (BAE Striker, Elbit Targo, Thales Scorpion to name but three) that are simpler and less costly than HMDS, which was designed using older technology for very specific requirements. And your citing of the F-35's "stellar" performance in "every other part of the dogfight regime" is of course completely unsupported by data. As far as most of the world is concerned, it's marketing puffery.

Last edited by LowObservable; 13th Jul 2015 at 14:04.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 13:56
  #6750 (permalink)  
 
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LO,
I'm not arguing the processing power of PC or the game code itself, but as CourtneyM (IMO correctly) noted, level of detail and the value of input alone.
Maybe I'm too conservative, but ID-ing fighter's radar at 290nm in the cluster**** of EW going on all over the place while the guy is just pinging the space in RWS, is a bit SciFi to me.
But as I said, I may be completely wrong here and modern RWRs are indeed sensitive and powerful enough (as in PRF/modulation separation) to do that.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 14:25
  #6751 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by KenV View Post
Two comments:

1. The whole point of the helmet is being completely missed. The F-35 is the ONLY fighter that has spherical coverage in the RF and IR spectrum. A conventional HUD does great when all your sensors are optimized/limited to a narrow tunnel in the forward hemisphere. Making a HUD with spherical coverage (including backward and down) is literally impossible. The solution was a helmet that becomes a HUD with totally spherical (4Pi steradian) coverage. This enables the pilot to literally look down through the bottom of the airplane or backward through the engine and tail of the airplane and see (at both long and short range) EVERYthing that his sensors are seeing. That's why the F-35 has no HUD. And the helmet is integral to the ability of the avionics systems to display fused sensor data. That simply cannot be done on flat panels and HUDs in a single crew airplane. And BTW, has anyone priced a conventional holographic HUD lately? No you say? Well a holographic HUD costs only slightly less than the helmet system. So cost wise, its nearly a wash. Knocking the price of a helmet display is about as sensical as knocking the price of stealth. It's the cost of doing business in the modern world of air warfare. And calling it a "contradiction in design" indicates (please excuse my bluntness) a rather gross misunderstanding of the design.

2. Characterizing the F-35 as "such an abysmal dogfighter" is in my opinion both utterly false and hugely irresponsible. It's ONLY short coming is in close-in dogfight maneuverability which while not stellar, is far far far from "abysmal". And in every other realm of the dog fight it is stellar and if flown and fought properly, should enable the pilot to avoid the knife fight in a phone booth. Because no matter how stellar a close quarters knife fighter you are, such a fight is immensely dangerous and much better avoided in the first place. This is a lesson learned the hard way by the pilots of zero fighters well over half a century ago and a lesson many on this forum have apparently never learned.
Thanks KenV, it's always good to see the other side of the coin..


..coin-gettit?

gr.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 15:28
  #6752 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Glaaar View Post
Because the Marines want to be a replacement Air Force for the Nuclear Navy
No, they don't. That is a complete misread of the USMC mission statement. The question we were faced with, doctrinally, was the "expeditionary" deployment of Harriers (and later JSF?) to "austere fields" as a concept that was or wasn't even valid. Having a fast jet detachment / VSTOL/STOVL with the MEU/ARG is a concept that was alive and well even when we had 13 carriers.

There is no EW and no kind of "numbers" in the ARG to handle the capability of a CVN.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 15:54
  #6753 (permalink)  
 
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Engines- thanks for soem really well balanced and informative pots

the only thing I'd comment on is your statement

"Affordability was a key metric. F-22's lack of export orders shows they might have been right"

IIRC the Israelis and the Japanese (and possibly the Koreans) tried to buy the F-22 but were turned down as the technology was considered too advanced to be sold on...........................
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 16:22
  #6754 (permalink)  
 
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HH,

I did say 'might' - I certainly wasn't privy to the deliberations of the USAF's export control people. Technology release was most certainly an issue. I did sit in on a conference where Lockheed proposed the idea of a sort of FMS 'lease', where the aircraft would be kept on US bases, controlled and loaded by the USAF, and all sorties to be approved by the USAF, under USAF tasking. Unsurprisingly, this idea got few takers.

However, the GAO reports on the F-22 programme make sobering reading - very long delays, huge production costs, really poor initial availability in service, and simply eye watering bills for getting a very limited air to ground capability. And with some airframe issues. I was reliably told that when the F-22 had its weight crisis (and it had a biggie) a sign went up in the airframe design area that read 'Not a pound for air to ground' - this was as the airframe was being cut back to remove every single piece of metal designed against an air to ground loading spectrum.

For what it's worth,. I see F-22 (and possibly Typhoon) as the last examples of the 'single role performance at any cost' combat aircraft of the 80s and 90s. Both of them are wonderful at their designed role, but both cost a simple fortune and both were (again only my view) too heavily optimised for their primary role. In both cases, affordability became a big issue. Honestly, I see PAK-50 and the Chinese equivalents as going down the same route.

Again, just my views. I know others will differ - I'm not trying to criticise or put any one or any aircraft down - just my view.

Best Regards as ever to those at the front line putting the kit to the best possible use,

Engines
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 17:26
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The "Not a pound for air-to-ground" was the Mac Air mantra about the F-15. From quite early on there were aspirations to include a mud-moving role and the engineers were allowed to include areas for growth into this as long as there was no weight penalty whatsoever.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 17:28
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.............

Last edited by Radix; 18th Mar 2016 at 02:19.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 17:35
  #6757 (permalink)  
 
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How you going to lock the missile to a target if it's in an internal bay?
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 21:25
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Originally Posted by Courtney Mil View Post
How you going to lock the missile to a target if it's in an internal bay?
Isn't that what the $400K, super lid is for?

-RP
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 21:35
  #6759 (permalink)  
 
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I did sit in on a conference where Lockheed proposed the idea of a sort of FMS 'lease', where the aircraft would be kept on US bases, controlled and loaded by the USAF, and all sorties to be approved by the USAF, under USAF tasking.

One of those moments when it's hard to resist putting up your hand and saying "Two questions: What are you smoking, and did you bring enough for everyone?"
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 21:58
  #6760 (permalink)  
 
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How you going to lock the missile to a target if it's in an internal bay?
Electrickery.



And quite frankly a C11 wizard talks as much sense as LM.
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