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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

Old 7th Aug 2015, 09:47
  #7301 (permalink)  
 
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Royalistflyer,

I'm confused

I'm sure I've missed something there, but you seem to have answered your own question. If your premis is If you see first, you can shoot first, that is the point of stealth - to stop the bad guys seeing you first, if at all. If stealth achieves that, then yes it is worth it. Even if the enemy has a bigger stick it's no use to him if he can't use it.

As for close combat, you are right that it isn't a place you ever want to be in a real shooting war, even if your aircraft is really good at manoeuvring. You may win the close fight, but while you're doing it you are very vulnerable to his mates and so you want to kill the enemy at range or run away before it's too late.

That said, you may not always be able to avoid the merge and if that happens you better be able to fight WVR (and have weapons left). Clearly if you have good HOBS and enough weapons, manoeuvre isn't everything, but its importance does not go away. At that stage, stealth becomes less significant, but again its importance does not go away. All the above is what makes F-22 (for example) so effective - good stealth, good manoeuvrability and plenty of weapons.

As I have said many times before, the same agility (turn, accel and altitude) is also important pre-merge both for chucking your spears further and for making the other guy's work harder.

If your point is that good enemy sensors could defeat your stealth then, yes, you are exactly right. But he needs to have an effective way of doing that, which may rely on external systems and, therefore, significantly complicate his situation and create other vulnerabilities to attack.
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 09:50
  #7302 (permalink)  
 
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Royalistflyer,

Which is all good and well if you are considering that both forces are airborne and hurtling towards each other at altitude. "I'm a stealthy Gen 5, I'll see him first..

There are a thousand scenarios where this may not be the case. WVR combat is as necessary as BVR. This thing needs a redesignation to A-35 tbh.

p.s CM beat me to it
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 10:05
  #7303 (permalink)  
 
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Humpy,

If you want to rename in such a fashion, you still can't lose the "F" even if that just refers to a pretty effective self-escort capability. After procuring AIM-120, the first time we stuck even just a couple of guys toting slammers into a bomber package, Red Air had to completely change its game plan and the results were very different from sending in just a bunch of bombers. That difference is amplified many times if Red can't even see them at range and the whole package can shoot. Ah, happy days of low level COMAO!

The same would be true (hopefully for the RN) using F-35 as fleet defence. It may not be the best fighter in the world (no, I'm not getting into that argument at the moment), but having it there with A-A mx as a hard to see part of an integrated AD system is still going to make a very big difference. Dare I say it, better than Sea Harrier and infinitely better than the thing that followed it, i.e. nothing.

So, if you really feel strongly about it, F/A-35 might be more appropriate.
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 10:17
  #7304 (permalink)  
 
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OMG! My previous post just made me realise THE WORST THING ABOUT F-35. And this is seriously bad.

All this stealth and stuff means that our packages will no longer be forced to low level! Imagine spending all your airborne time being a medium level bomber! No more Death Star Valley or Mach Loop! Unthinkable! Still, the Welsh will be happy.
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 10:17
  #7305 (permalink)  
 
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Hempy,

Remember the old USAF doctrine is that anything that isn't Bomber is a Fighter. (e.g. F105, F-111). There are some old soaks at the bar that still think the A-10 should have had an 'F' designation.

Courtney,

Isn't that what the mud movers have spent the last 25 years on operations doing? :-)
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 10:28
  #7306 (permalink)  
 
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True, Dave, but this could be the final nail in the coffin of licensed ism.
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 12:44
  #7307 (permalink)  
 
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KenV, I am not sure why you think that the Phoenix is such a great missile and should have been retained? Yes, you could fire it at great range but it was VERY slow. I understand that if fired at long range and the Tomcat then followed in and fired an AIM7 at 8 miles, the AIM7 got to the target first?
The Phoenix climbed to 80,000 to 100,000 ft and then cruised there at around Mach 5. I personally don't see that as slow. And once in the terminal area it dived down to increase its speed for the final intercept.

OK for fleet defense 30 years ago but not a missile for the 2020s?
Let's accept that the Phoenix is old and was designed specifically for the fleet defense mission. My point was, nothing has replaced it (certainly not the AMRAAM), so now there is no fleet defense missile system at all, other than the ship mounted Aegis/SM-2/3. Apparently USN is no longer worried about Bears or other large aircraft launching volleys of supersonic anti-ship missiles. I'm not convinced that threat no longer exists. Especially since India has developed the Brahmos anti-ship missile. It has awfully impressive performance and while not yet exported, its probably just a matter of time before it is.
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 13:19
  #7308 (permalink)  
 
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India has developed the Brahmos anti-ship missile.

//Cue uncontrollable laughter in Russian
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 13:21
  #7309 (permalink)  
 
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There are a thousand scenarios where this may not be the case. WVR combat is as necessary as BVR. This thing needs a redesignation to A-35 tbh.
Agreed. But compromises in air-to air performance must be made. Do the designers compromise the BVR or the WVR? If the platform is primarily intended for the air-to-ground role, yet more compromises need to be made. Do the designers compromise air-to-ground capability (as the F-22 did), or do they compromise some aspect of air-to-air to keep the air-to-ground optimized?

On F-35 the decision was to compromise air-to-air in favor of air-to-ground. That being said, which air-to-air regime should they compromise, BVR or WVR? The decision was to compromise the least probable air-to-air regime, which was WVR.

As for the redesignation to A-35, as long as USAF controls the program, that will never happen. USAF has a long and proud history of avoiding the "A" designation. At best it would become F/A-35. For a short while the F-22 was F/A-22, so there is a small bit of history there.
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 13:26
  #7310 (permalink)  
 
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All this stealth and stuff means that our packages will no longer be forced to low level! Imagine spending all your airborne time being a medium level bomber! No more Death Star Valley or Mach Loop! Unthinkable! Still, the Welsh will be happy.
I'm guessing that it will be just a matter of time before stealth is compromised and low-level penetration again becomes important. These things seem to have a habit of going around in circles.

Last edited by KenV; 7th Aug 2015 at 13:46.
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 13:47
  #7311 (permalink)  
 
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The Phoenix climbed to 80,000 to 100,000 ft and then cruised there at around Mach 5. I personally don't see that as slow. And once in the terminal area it dived down to increase its speed for the final intercept.
Is that really true Ken (a genuine question)? Mach 5 is where hypersonic officially begins, and I've never heard the Phoenix being classed as a hypersonic weapon before. Indeed, the DoD has only recently got to those kind of speeds with the developmental WaveRider, so I'd be surprised to learn that a comparable missile had been in service decades before.

No more Death Star Valley or Mach Loop! Unthinkable! Still, the Welsh will be happy
Not a bit of it Courtney. The 'Piss-off Biggles' farmer aside, we'd be quite gutted ;-)
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 13:53
  #7312 (permalink)  
O-P
 
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Courtney,


The Welsh happy, really! It's never gonna happen!
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 14:01
  #7313 (permalink)  
 
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The Welsh happy, really! It's never gonna happen!
I don't know, there's a Welshman looking pretty happy here.

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Old 7th Aug 2015, 14:06
  #7314 (permalink)  
 
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Is that really true Ken (a genuine question)? Mach 5 is where hypersonic officially begins, and I've never heard the Phoenix being classed as a hypersonic weapon before.
From Raytheon AIM-54 Phoenix
When an AIM-54A is launched, its Rocketdyne MK 47 or Aerojet MK 60 solid-fueled rocket motor (in an MXU-637/B propulsion section) propels it to a speed of Mach 4+.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIM-54_Phoenix
The Phoenix has several guidance modes and achieves its longest range by using mid-course updates from the F-14A/B AWG-9 radar (APG-71 radar in the F-14D) as it climbs to cruise between 80,000 ft (24,000 m) and 100,000 ft (30,000 m) at close to Mach 5. Phoenix uses this high altitude to gain gravitational potential energy, which is later converted into kinetic energy as the missile dives at high velocity towards its target.
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 14:23
  #7315 (permalink)  
 
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//Cue uncontrollable laughter in Russian
BrahMos Aerospace was formed as a joint venture between Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) of India and Joint Stock Company “Military Industrial Consortium” "NPO Mashinosroyenia" (earlier known as Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPOM of Russia). The company was established in India through an Inter-Governmental Agreement signed on February 12, 1998, between The Republic of India and The Russian Federation.
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 14:26
  #7316 (permalink)  
 
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Hmm....

£££-35

$$$$$$$$$-35

€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€-35

Yeah....
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 14:27
  #7317 (permalink)  
 
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KenV, I think you need to stop and think about LO's post first...
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 14:28
  #7318 (permalink)  
 
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From Raytheon AIM-54 Phoenix
When an AIM-54A is launched, its Rocketdyne MK 47 or Aerojet MK 60 solid-fueled rocket motor (in an MXU-637/B propulsion section) propels it to a speed of Mach 4+.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIM-54_Phoenix
The Phoenix has several guidance modes and achieves its longest range by using mid-course updates from the F-14A/B AWG-9 radar (APG-71 radar in the F-14D) as it climbs to cruise between 80,000 ft (24,000 m) and 100,000 ft (30,000 m) at close to Mach 5. Phoenix uses this high altitude to gain gravitational potential energy, which is later converted into kinetic energy as the missile dives at high velocity towards its target.
Well, everyday's a school day....
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 15:52
  #7319 (permalink)  
 
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Phoenix

The wiki article also notes the wonderful combat effectiveness of the AIM 54. How many dollars per kill? Happily it hardly ever needed to be used in anger, and as the years go by, the need seems to be growing.
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Old 7th Aug 2015, 16:45
  #7320 (permalink)  
 
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Norman Friedman observes in his book Network-Centric Warfare that Phoenix at max range launched into a steep ballistic profile. This created an unmistakable smoke column, from the target's perspective, that cued the target to perform evasive maneuvers or use its jammers and chaff.

According to Friedman, the result was that many people doubted whether the missile's maximum kinematic range was very useful, and this was why the two AAM candidates were the ramjet-powered Macs design and the pulse-motor + booster (three-stage, in effect) rocket from GD-Pomona.
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