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No cats and flaps ...... back to F35B?

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No cats and flaps ...... back to F35B?

Old 16th May 2012, 21:51
  #901 (permalink)  
 
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A10 = simple and cheap !
F35B =expensive and overcomplicated !

Looks simple enough to me LOL

Seriously I doubt the USAF ever had any serious intentions of buying the 'B'
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Old 16th May 2012, 22:06
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No doubt they won't buy it, but why do they feel they need to say so?
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Old 16th May 2012, 22:31
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...Sortie rate smells like a poor reason to knock -B if it can do 6/day - but it perhaps shows the USAF is looking for reasons to knock it.....one wonders why!
Indeed. A strange story. The USAF has never been going to get the B has it, so why go out of their way to criticise it?

The USAF did lose some A10 squadrons in the recent cut backs though, and the F35A is due to take over their role although not the most natural of substitutes methinks. Perhaps, behind the scenes, they have been asked to convert some As to Bs, maybe to help reduce the latter's unit costs and arguing it's more suited to this CAS role? All pure speculation on my part to try and make sense of a curiosity.
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Old 16th May 2012, 23:21
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KB - If you had a USAF and Navy version only, the difference might be less - the 35-foot span limit (a Marine requirement) is a bear, with the wide body and quad tail layout, because you need lots of flap to get Navy-acceptable VApp.

With Rafale, the air force and navy clearly collaborated and (to some extent) compromised, although the AF today is probably happy to have a relatively smaller aircraft. But the canard delta is good for low VApp even with a small span (cf Gripen) and Rafale is MUCH lighter than F-35C.

However, the Frogs also realized that it was quite a complex task to balance two pressures: reduce the scar weight for the AF as much as possible, but maintain commonality. Result: Dassault invented and improved CATIA, the design software that almost everyone uses these days.
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Old 16th May 2012, 23:26
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Surely the key question is - is the capability difference between B and C material when measured against the current SAG scenarios?

I'd be surprised if the answer wasn't "choice of B/C doesn't affect campaign outcome", even if in some cases there are some minor advantages to one over the other (and vice versa perhaps). As such B/C doesn't really matter.

Seems to me the only real weakness with the B option is if it gets cancelled. This would be bad.
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Old 17th May 2012, 04:16
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Originally Posted by JFZ90
...Sortie rate smells like a poor reason to knock -B if it can do 6/day - but it perhaps shows the USAF is looking for reasons to knock it.....one wonders why!
Originally Posted by longer ron
Seriously I doubt the USAF ever had any serious intentions of buying the 'B'
Originally Posted by JFZ90
No doubt they won't buy it, but why do they feel they need to say so?
Originally Posted by Lowe Flieger
Indeed. A strange story. The USAF has never been going to get the B has it, so why go out of their way to criticise it?

The USAF did lose some A10 squadrons in the recent cut backs though, and the F35A is due to take over their role although not the most natural of substitutes methinks. Perhaps, behind the scenes, they have been asked to convert some As to Bs, maybe to help reduce the latter's unit costs and arguing it's more suited to this CAS role? All pure speculation on my part to try and make sense of a curiosity.

Simple... the USAF, flush from its success in first stealing the C-27J from the US Army and then getting it canceled completely, has now turned its attention to something that has annoyed it since 1947... USMC TacAir.

The USAF believes it has a "divine right" to own all land-based fixed-wing aviation, and has always resented that the USMC has its own fighters and tactical transports.

It probably feels that if it can get the -B killed that it can convince Congress to take the Marines' fighter squadrons away... sending the 5 planned USMC -C squadrons to the Navy and taking those planned to receive the -B for itself, equipping them with -As instead.

The USMC KC-130Js would be next, merging into the USAF Air Mobility Command... then the USAF would be much happier.

Last edited by GreenKnight121; 17th May 2012 at 04:18.
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Old 17th May 2012, 07:24
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Backwards,

Hope this helps:

The C isn't really a larger aircraft than the A - it needs larger wings to land more slowly, is all. And larger tails to control itself at lower speeds. The main weight drivers are the hundreds of lumps of extra metal inside the airframe to handle launch and recovery loads. Oh, and the landing gear.

You are right that naval aircraft (generally) get some benefit from their tougher structure - but it's still a weight penalty whichever way you look at it. In a fast jet combat aircraft, weight is just a bad thing, as the F-35 programme found out to its cost a few years back.

The discussion on weight differentials for F-35 and Rafale is really interesting - it does look as if the French have achieved a near miracle in limiting carrier ops 'scar' weight to 1000 lbs or so. Or, their assumptions for carrier loads are off.

And to respond - properly integrating aircraft ops with ship ops to get best effect is a complex challenge. The RN don't claim it, they state it. That's because it's a fact. Ask the USN, the French, the Chinese, the Indians.......

Best Regards as ever

Engines
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Old 17th May 2012, 07:40
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The USAF believes it has a "divine right" to own all land-based fixed-wing aviation, and has always resented that the USMC has its own fighters and tactical transports.
Nothing new there then! Precisely the behaviour of the RAF over the past few years and copied by the FAF in trying to take over Aeronavale. The difference is in the fact that the USMC is the senior service in the US and has the greatest political lobby base.
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Old 17th May 2012, 08:54
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Right on cue - Panetta effectively counter briefs - 'back in your box USAF'.....!

Panetta reiterates support for F-35B and MV-22
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Old 17th May 2012, 10:39
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GK & JFZ - The AF chief's comments were in response to a direct question as to whether the AF would buy the F-35B. That had been studied and dismissed a few years ago, Schwartz said that the B was fine as air support for the MAGTF. And Panetta's comments would have been scripted before Schwartz had spoken.

Mind you, most people in the AF realize that the idea of the Marines having the second most expensive fighter in history, so that they can put half a dozen of them on their amphibs and do CAS, is plain silly. They just don't say so in public.
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Old 17th May 2012, 13:07
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LO,

The USMC are a highly effective fighting force with a great history. They have a first class ethos, fight hard and play hard. They also have an excellent record of leadership, and spend a lot of time developing their concept of operations with the US Joint Staffs. They also encourage open debate with their young officer corps. Go to an open seminar at Quantico if you don't believe me.

And the considered judgement of the Air Force on the USMC concept of ops for F-35B? Apparently it's 'plain silly'.

I don't think I can add to that.

No, I really can't.

Best regards

Engines
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Old 17th May 2012, 13:25
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Mind you, most people in the AF realize that the idea of the Marines having the second most expensive fighter in history, so that they can put half a dozen of them on their amphibs and do CAS, is plain silly. They just don't say so in public.
Its a revealing mindset if true. The -B is not that much more than the -A the USAF are getting. I assume avionic, EW and stealth is fundamentally the same, extra doors aside.

It almost implies the USAF view is that the USMC aren't worthy of having a decent aircraft. Feels like a sticky wicket.

Last edited by JFZ90; 17th May 2012 at 16:09.
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Old 17th May 2012, 13:45
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Engines,

You are absolutely right as to the Marines as a combat force. And I hold them in great regard for such efforts as their use of ScanEagle UAVs.

However, their record in the driving seat of MDAPs is very different. V-22, EFV and F-35B are classic examples of overloaded and compounding requirements: Fitting a tilt-rotor on a narrow deck; 20-25 knots in an armored vehicle, demanding a hot-rodded tank engine; stealth + STOVL + supersonic.

Have you asked the basic question: What is the scenario in which you require a stealthy, multi-sensor, supersonic fighter, but don't also need the AEW, EA and ISR that the carrier air wing includes? Because that's the only kind of scenario where F-35B (for the US) does more than add a handful of jets to the CV's 50-some.

I asked Amos that, in public, and got no answer except the usual talking points.

Also, the Marines and Navy have never managed to sort out the problem of supporting much heavier and complex aircraft (JSF replaces AV-8B, V-22 replaces CH-46, CH-53K replaces E) on the same size ship. LHA-6/7 dispense with the well deck, with more aviation space and fuel capacity, but that has been ID'd as a mistake and LHA-8 and subsequent will revert.
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Old 17th May 2012, 14:16
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stealth + STOVL + supersonic
All right, so what's the catch? Incredibly short range? Piss-poor handling? Short life? Cost? Because this thing appears to be an everything-to-everyone device. Wikipedia suggests it has vaguely similar specs to Tornado in terms of range and weapons load, although I'm not sure if the stated load would need to be limited for a short takeoff.

Last edited by Phil_R; 17th May 2012 at 14:16.
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Old 17th May 2012, 16:04
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LO,

Thanks for coming back, and I appreciate your sentiments.

No, I haven't asked the basic question about the scenario because I'm not sighted in the details of the USMC's concept of operations here - it's out there on the Web, just haven't had time to go and read it through.

But I can take a very good bet that the USMC have worked out their CONOPS, and argued it through the Joint Chiefs, and got it underwritten by Congress, and have sold it to their officer corps from top to bottom.

As I remember it from a few years ago., their basic position was that they wanted the ability to deliver survivable CAS to their Marines, without recourse to a CVN. They forecast that CVN numbers would drop (dead right) and that the position could arise where a MAG was the USA's 'first responder' on the scene. They also forecast that advancing technology, plus political instability post collapse of the USSR would cause the spread of highly capable air defence systems to 'third world' countries. (Not so far off there).

Of course, it's a free world, a free thread, and anyone can criticise their doctrine and CONOPs. But for my part, I like the way that they stick with their programmes and don't try to get them by shafting the other Services. Yes, they've reached high, and have come unstuck on occasions. That's the American way, and it doesn't always deliver.

Your point about larger and heavier aircraft on L class ships is a very good one, and the arguments about 'well deck, no well deck' are alive and 'well'. But again, contrasts with the UK process are instructive. They've had an open, well informed and courteous debate, often in the pages of their professional journals. They have maintained a good relationship with the USN, and have moved a long way to integrate their FW aviation more with the 'black shoe' fleet.

You've probably worked out that I have a great deal of time for the USMC. They are honest, open and also very effective. A very good RAF friend of mine once said that the UK should look to recast its Armed Forces along the lines of the USMC. I think he had something there.

Hope this helps the thread,

Best Regards

Engines
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Old 17th May 2012, 16:29
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A very good RAF friend of mine once said that the UK should look to recast its Armed Forces along the lines of the USMC. I think he had something there.
With circa 200K active it's about the same size. If nothing else the UK could cull a whole p1ss-pot load of chiseling senior officers and as a result improve, let alone retain, capability.
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Old 17th May 2012, 19:10
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Engines

Frankly I'm a little disappointed. That wasn't just a bite but a big gulp! And I even put a wink there! I expected better.
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Old 18th May 2012, 06:02
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There are several reasons the USMC wants to have fighters it can fly off LHD/LHAs... providing dedicated CAS for an amphib landing is only one.


In the late 1990s and early 2000s there were 3 incidents where a USN amphibious group responded to a political crisis in Africa where US and Europeans were threatened, and where there was no CVN available (due to Operation Southern Watch off Iraq, or ongoing combat ops). While the Marines were able to evacuate embassies and other "foreigners" without having to shoot their way in or out that cannot be guaranteed in the future.

The USMC wants to have strike aircraft (preferably with some A-A capability) available in case one side of the local fighting tries to block such evacuations (AH-1Zs wouldn't do well against even a short handful of jet fighters).

While the AV-8B is fine for that, they won't be around past the mid-late 2020s... the F-35B is the only option available.


In addition, the F-35B would allow the USMC to be able to forward-base fighters near a combat area without needing a very long stretch of asphalt or concrete... being able to land & take off in 1,000' or less would help greatly.


Having spent 1981-1989 in the Aviation part of the USMC, I am familiar with exactly what USMC headquarters is thinking, and have paid attention to the real-world incidents which created the perception of need that drove their specs and operational plans for F-35B.

Last edited by GreenKnight121; 18th May 2012 at 06:03.
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Old 18th May 2012, 06:19
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Rafale

Dumb question - whilst the Rafale M is not much heavier than the land based version, does this suggest that the land-based Rafale is heavy versus an optimal land-based only Rafale?

No idea, a genuine question. If not, then bravo to Dassault for achieving the improbable!

S41
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Old 18th May 2012, 07:17
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Squirrel...probably. I'd suggest the land based Rafale was slightly over-engineered in order to retain as much commonality as possible with the M.

In a similar vein, the F-35A's aerodynamic/kinetic abilities are compromised by the STOVL requirement of the B and the CV recovery abilities of the C.
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