Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

Old 28th Sep 2015, 09:42
  #7701 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Midwest
Posts: 8
A pilot in the 115-125lb range which is quite easy for some of our shorter women would have a very hard time doing the high strength, high reps, cardio training necessary for the M1 and other G-runt maneuvers designed to clench neck, trunk and thigh muscles to keep blood in the upper torso.


Since the seat slams you hard enough, even without the woolie cushion that most pilots use, to make 3 ejections (for a 160lb, weight trained, male) a fighter flight qualification ender, the weight of flight gear means likely nothing because body mass is an indication of muscle and bone density to which kit adds nothing but more topical bruising to if you ever have to leave the jet in a hurry.


Bluntly, a small woman could come out of this crippled or with chronic health issues and nobody will do anything about it because...diversity is more important than economic or capability driven metrics.


One does wonder how they managed to reach this astonishing bit of obviousness, given that instrumented dummies have likely been riding the rails since the mid-90s (the Mk.16 is also on the Eurofighter and Rafale for instance).


What is more ominous is that the F-35B, like the Yak-38, has an automatic mode to clear the pilot without any chance to 'assume the position' because if the SDLF goes pair shaped there will not be time to save the biologic stick shaker, if dependent upon 'quick as a cat' fighter pilot reflexes.


Since this is precisely the point where you can expect to find a lot of ejections, you have essentially doubled the injury risk from that alone, even in much higher weight range male pilots.
Glaaar is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2015, 09:46
  #7702 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The sunny South
Posts: 759
Originally Posted by a1bill
Shaping a New Combat Capability for 21st Century Operations: The Coming of the F-35B to the New British Carrier | SLDInfo
Group Captain Townsend: As an airman, I like anything that enhances my ability to deliver air power, and the ship certainly does that. The ship has been tailor-made from first principles to deliver F-35 operational output.
The ship is part of the F35 air system. I think this is the key change to where we were in Joint Force Harrier where the ship was really just a delivery vehicle. The ship was just a runway.
The Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers are much more than that.
To my mind, nothing illustrates the dichotomy between RN and RAF doctrine better than these statements. The RN has always viewed embarked RW and FW aircraft as integrated components of a warship's weapons system like its guns, missiles (including land-attack), torpedoes, CIS, EW, on board and off board sensors, etc. F-35s may well be interchangeable with/complementary to a QE class carrier's embarked SH, AH, UAVs, etc., depending on the role and mission of the ship and usually within a Task Group bringing many more capabilities to the party.
FODPlod is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2015, 11:18
  #7703 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Far West Wessex
Posts: 2,549
Everyone who talks to SLDInfo sounds the same. I swear that those guys could interview Kate Upton and she'd end up talking about renorming operations in the Z-axis battlespace.
LowObservable is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2015, 12:12
  #7704 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: London, New York, Paris, Moscow.
Posts: 3,632
He will be thinking about the battle space in a broader sense, a much different way than a Typhoon operator would be thinking about the battle space."
I would imagine you are bang on there.
glad rag is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2015, 12:56
  #7705 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: aus
Posts: 277
2805662, I see you are new here. Like Axe, Sweetman and co. Some posters here like to twist the quotes and facts, to try and paint the F-35 is a dark light. I was getting into the spirit of the thread. It will become obvious who the players are ^

I hope you found the link worthwhile. I saw value in in it, to post it.
a1bill is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2015, 12:58
  #7706 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The sunny South
Posts: 759
"...He will be thinking about the battle space in a broader sense, a much different way than a Typhoon operator would be thinking about the battle space."
Might even have fought a warship/coordinated a TG's AAW/ASW/ASuW from a floating Ops Rm or be the future CO of a carrier?
FODPlod is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2015, 13:23
  #7707 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Far West Wessex
Posts: 2,549
He certainly has to worry more about the battlespace behind his 9-3 line...
LowObservable is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2015, 13:26
  #7708 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: aus
Posts: 277
further to your point FODplod
Group Captain Townsend: I think this plays very much into the concpet that ‘Aegis is my wingman’.

I think from a U.K. perspective, Type 45 is my wingman.

The importance there is that the F-35 pilot for the U.K. or for any of F-35 operator, the information he has available to him allows him to make decisions for other operators in the battle space. And that is not simply other operators meaning other airplanes; that is, other operators being air, land, or maritime platforms.

The ability for the F-35 pilot to control the battle space in its entirety means that people operating in the surface fleet, for example, need to understand what the F-35 can achieve.

Because if they don’t, they don’t know what the F-35 pilot is going to ask them to do when they ask them to do it.

So they have to instinctively understand the capability of the airplane, because every, every platform involved in the battle space now is part of what the F-35 air system can deliver in terms of operational effect.
a1bill is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2015, 13:49
  #7709 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: virginia, USA
Age: 53
Posts: 799
Glaar: What is more ominous is that the F-35B, like the Yak-38, has an automatic mode to clear the pilot without any chance to 'assume the position' because if the SDLF goes pair shaped there will not be time to save the biologic stick shaker, if dependent upon 'quick as a cat' fighter pilot reflexes.
A "surprise" automatic ejection is better than the alternative of riding it in, or waiting too long to pull the handle. I recall the automatic seat in the Yak-38 saved more than one life. The loss of a lift jet or a 60 degree roll in V/STOL mode indicates things have gone south real quick and miliseconds matter. I would imagine a lift fan loss for F-35B in V/STOL mode it would be equally imperative to get out.

This site indicates 18 automatic out of 31 ejections for the Yak.

Civilian test pilot

Last edited by sandiego89; 28th Sep 2015 at 13:59.
sandiego89 is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2015, 13:55
  #7710 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 10,404
The ship is part of the F35 air system. I think this is the key change to where we were in Joint Force Harrier where the ship was really just a delivery vehicle. The ship was just a runway.

The Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers are much more than that.


To my mind, nothing illustrates the dichotomy between RN and RAF doctrine better than these statements. The RN has always viewed embarked RW and FW aircraft as integrated components of a warship's weapons system, like its guns, missiles (including land-attack), torpedoes, CIS, EW, on board and off board sensors, etc.
Source: Defence Select Committee, Session 1999-00, Tenth Report
Date: 6 July 2000

Witnesses: Sir Robert Walmesley (CDP) and Vice Admiral Sir Jeremy Blackham (first Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Equipment Capability).

The Future Carrier and the Future Carrier Borne Aircraft

.......A carrier is not a complicated ship, it is basically a big box with a big hangar inside it and a flat deck and a sufficient degree of command and control arrangements to enable the ship to communicate, as it has to. It is not going to have lots of other weapons. It is not full of systems like a destroyer that is stuffed full of the most complicated electronics, etc.. When you go on board a carrier it is basically empty, it is just a box. What is complicated is the aeroplane. I do not want to allow us to create an impression in your minds that the construction of the ship is an immense technological achievement.....
ORAC is online now  
Old 28th Sep 2015, 13:59
  #7711 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 10,404
A pilot in the 115-125lb range which is quite easy for some of our shorter women would have a very hard time doing the high strength, high reps, cardio training necessary for the M1 and other G-runt maneuvers designed to clench neck, trunk and thigh muscles to keep blood in the upper torso.........

Bluntly, a small woman could come out of this crippled or with chronic health issues and nobody will do anything about it because...diversity is more important than economic or capability driven metrics.
ORAC is online now  
Old 28th Sep 2015, 15:08
  #7712 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: A lot closer to the sea
Posts: 665
First Female F-35 test Pilot: First female F-35 pilot completes initial flight

Having lost a friend and colleague in an ejection, the difference between survival and not can be fractions of a second and frankly the auto eject is a good feature which will save lives. Discussion surrounding better to be dead than disabled can take place elsewhere...

Turbine D - Let people read the article and they'll find that your 'quotes' give a very misleading impression of what Grp Capt Townsend was saying. Also as Jackonsville doesn't have a ramp there is little value in testing the jet there. Weather in Pax in March can be lovely, just not this year.

That said, I disagree with some of the Grp Capts comments about the relevance of the ship to the aircraft, in a similar vein to FODPlod. The point about the mission to Afghan in 2005 misses the role of the CVS and it's fighter controllers in Air Defence, but then that gap was still filled with Sea Harrier, AMRAAM and Blue Vixen in 2005 so he didn't need to worry about it!

As for the comments regarding what an aircraft carrier is, made in Parliament quoted by ORAC, I would suggest that that is the language used when trying to convince politicians that building brand new carriers is easy. The truth is somewhat different as we have discovered in the past 15 years!

Spaz - F-35B wet runway testing was done a couple of years ago, at Edwards, to a very tight spec that could only be done on the special runway section as discussed in the article. There's photos and articles out there on the internet, if they're not already on a page here somewhere.

Last edited by WhiteOvies; 28th Sep 2015 at 15:11. Reason: More info.
WhiteOvies is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2015, 15:32
  #7713 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The sunny South
Posts: 759
@ORAC:
...A carrier is not a complicated ship, it is basically a big box...
Yep, but only when trying to convince members of the influential Defence Committee in 2000 that the two QE Class carriers were simply floating boxes made with steel plate bought from Corus at £65 million plus a few extra quid (ultimately £6 billion) for some metal origami. It was also necessary to correct any mistaken belief that a linear correlation existed between their necessarily large size and any significant extra cost.

P.S. Did you know the three CVS were simply through-deck cruisers carrying some ASW helos?
FODPlod is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2015, 15:34
  #7714 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: E MIDLANDS
Posts: 284
ORAC re your #7714, context is everything and in 2000 the RN were desperately trying to convince the Treasury that the Carriers were "just" boxes and that steel and air was cheap.

The concept at that time was that the Carriers were just floating runways and that the combat power was in the aircraft and in the Type 45 which would supply the C2.

However, the concept reverted to "normal" when the carriers were ordered ie the C2 was to be invested in the carriers themselves (one of the reasons why the project became so expensive), and partly because we ordered so few Type 45s that we could not guarantee that one would always be with the Carrier.

"Normal" in the context of RN aviation ops is, as observed by others, that the air group and the platform is, together, an integrated weapons system.
andyy is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2015, 16:09
  #7715 (permalink)  

Do a Hover - it avoids G
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Chichester West Sussex UK
Age: 87
Posts: 2,206
F35 seat

Some time ago on this long running thread, when there was much concern expressed by some about the STOVL flight control system in the B model, I explained why I felt they should not worry on that particular account.

Now I would like to attempt the same thing re the ejection seat:

The seat fitted to all versions of the F35 is the Mk16E which is quite different from the earlier 16A to 16D models.

Its spec required it to be tested with a nude pilot weight range from 103lb to 245lb.

It is fitted with a comfort cushion which shows how far things have moved on in dealing with the initial loads on the pilot by tailoring the gun and rocket combination.

A Yak test pilot friend of mine who used the seat fitted to the 38 and the 141 said they had never had a failure of the auto eject system although there had been cases of auto ejection being triggered because the pilot exceeded pitch attitude limits when in the hover.

Because of this when I was on the Red team before the first flight of the X35 I was delighted to be told that L-M had gone to Yak for details of their system rather than re-invent the wheel.

Friends of mine who have used the latest ant-g systems (full torso jacket plus pressure breathing etc) tell me they work best if you relax into them rather than do the old grunting straining stuff. If true that could really help the old fatigue issues of my day.
John Farley is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2015, 17:26
  #7716 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 10,404
FPDplod/andyy,

My post was made as a response to the criticism of the Gp Capt for saying that, "The ship is part of the F35 air system."

As you will note from the comments made from the RN procurement team, that was the promise/brief they gave the government at the time - regardless of their nefarious intentions (God forbid that they should lie!!).

I am equal sure that many of the subsequent, and even more to be discovered, shortcomings in the design will be traceable back to decisions made based on that premise, which subsequent changes way well have mitigated, but not alleviated.*

One wonders if the subsequent cost of the proposed fitting of a catapult system would have been so high if, as you say, the F-35 had been considered just another interchangeable weapons asset.

Hoisting and petards come to mind.........

*And undoubtedly blamed on underhand Machiavellian machinations and counter-briefings against the RN by the RAF within the MOD.

Last edited by ORAC; 28th Sep 2015 at 17:54.
ORAC is online now  
Old 28th Sep 2015, 18:03
  #7717 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 787
Folks,

Perhaps I can contribute here on the ship/aircraft integration issues that have been raised.

On balance, I viewed the comments made by the Group Captain positively. From his 'air power' standpoint, yes, the ship is 'part of the F35 air system'. From the task group commander's point of view, the F35 is 'part of the task force'. I'd suggest that both of these statements can be seen as OK. I was certainly encouraged by the comments about the utility and potential of putting T45 and F35 capabilities together, which shows that the RAF part of the F35 team are approaching the future with a more open mindset. That's all good, I'm generally encouraged.

In my view (and that's all it is) the real test will come when the F35 air group are required to work up with the ship to be able to generate the flexible, reactive and usable 'maritime air power' that the country wants. That will mean building (very probably in deliberate steps) the ability to carry out bad weather day and night ops at high tempo with multiple aircraft, without shore based diversions being available. I'd stress again that this won't be available straight away, but there will need to be a detailed plan to get there. Again, just my view.

On the Walmesley/Blackham evidence to the Select Committee in 2000, I would offer the thought that it may not have been quite as Machiavellian as some would (understandably) think.

The UK went into the CVF project with a quite terrifying lack of knowledge about the details of building very large aircraft carriers. In the early days, a phrase often heard about CVF around the corridors was 'air is free and steel is cheap' - I was told that senior officers had convinced themselves that aircraft carriers were 'basically a big box'. The phrase was used here.This was, I believe, a genuinely held opinion. It was pants.

Aircraft carriers are, by some margin, one of the most complex and difficult weapon systems to design, build and bring into service. There's a reason that only a few countries have ever been able to pull it off effectively, and it's not money. You need a highly professional, experienced and well organised team of ship and aircraft engineers. Sadly, by 2000, the MoD was completing the final demolition of the last vestiges of what used to be called the Air Department (Navy) - AD(N). The science areas that used to support AD(N) had gone many years before that. Here's thought - the last time the MoD tried to build a carrier of this size was the mid 1960s. A 40 year gap will hurt, and it did.

The CVF team were left with almost no direct experience of what was 'right' or 'wrong', which gave the competing teams huge latitude to sell their concepts. That's not a criticism - the people I knew in the team were working damned hard and extremely well to plug the gaps and keep the programme on track. In the event, I think the MoD have done well to get the two ships to where they are today - the biggest delays and cost overruns were caused by overt political interference. The originally quoted price was a political 'fix', and like so many other defence programmes, wholly unrealistic.

Hope these musings help,

Best Regards as ever to all those putting the bits together

Engines
Engines is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2015, 20:59
  #7718 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 10,404
The UK went into the CVF project with a quite terrifying lack of knowledge about the details of building very large aircraft carriers. In the early days, a phrase often heard about CVF around the corridors was 'air is free and steel is cheap' - I was told that senior officers had convinced themselves that aircraft carriers were 'basically a big box'. The phrase was used here.This was, I believe, a genuinely held opinion. It was pants.
Ahhh bless, diddums.......
ORAC is online now  
Old 29th Sep 2015, 01:34
  #7719 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Montréal
Posts: 2
Lightweight pilots

Being myself a lightweight (civil) pilot, I wonder what would be wrong in simply ballasting the ejection seat...
(genuine question)
Petit-Lion is offline  
Old 29th Sep 2015, 10:24
  #7720 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Portsmouth
Posts: 2
A bit more context on the Select Ctte evidence session might be useful here.

At that stage, the costings for the programme were almost entirely based on the original concept designs for the ships - the famed 40000 tonners - done in 1997. Those concept designs were just that - concepts to assist in sizing the budget for the programme, they did not represent definitive designs and if memory serves, the original programme cost back then was £2.8Bn. There were some assumptions in there - including absence of a 1 or 2* command facility (or indeed AAWC function) which were assumed to be covered by an accompanying T45 or similar. Nor was there to be any significant self-defence capability - some had suggested fitting PAAMS which goes against all lessons learned with US and UK carriers over the years. So, for some VSO the idea that the ship was just a big box with aircraft in it was what stuck. When you think about designing and installing combat systems, those VSO were thinking steel is cheap and air is free compared to electronics - and by and large, that is correct.

Round about the same time, the two competing Prime teams were beginning to design the real ships, based on proposed flypros with real consideration of sortie numbers, package sizes and deck management. These included STOVL and CTOL (and even STOBAR) variants, at which point it started to become clear that the concept 40000 tonners would not meet the requirement and would have to get bigger - even the STOVL ships - to the point that the difference between STOVL and CTOL in size, long seen as a big discriminator, actually became much less important. Which ultimately led to the "adaptable" carrier concept as a hedge against the failure of the STOVL F35 variant. The unfortunate part during this element was that the programme cost was never revised up to reflect the bigger ships, which led to an unfortunate impasse in 2001/2002 when the Primes presented their initial prices, which exceeded the budget by around £600M - for the programme - if memory serves. Thus began an extended series of prevarications where MoD tried to get the cost designed down, while not paying the primes to keep their teams together, all against the backdrop of various brown jobs loudly asking why the ships couldn't just be CVS repeats, because obviously they were much bigger than CVS. At which point the political deferrals and the real cost growth began.

In one sense carriers are less complex than destroyers and frigates, in that if you've designed your flight and hangar deck correctly, you are generally not constrained in fitting all the other elements required into the ship. Surface combatants tend to have much greater competition and conflict between systems and features and much smaller margins and envelopes in which to work. On a carrier, vertical routes for munitions are a particular pain, EMI topsides can cause issues and trying to deconflict accommodation from flight and hangar deck working space noise can be tricky, but in general you have enough room to fit them in. It's just a long list of things to remember, which as Engines alludes to, we hadn't done in decades. The teams (and MoD) did get plenty of help from NAVSEA and NAVAIR and plenty of ship visits to US ships (and CdG), but it's one thing seeing an arrangement, quite another understanding how and why it works. The aviation arrangements on the ships will eventually turn out to be a real eye-opener for both UK (and possibly USN) aircrew and engineers, compared to what they've been used to. Much of that will be the result of designing around a large multi-type TAG from the start.

Last edited by Not_a_boffin; 29th Sep 2015 at 11:29.
Not_a_boffin is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.