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

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

Old 10th Jun 2012, 16:31
  #1061 (permalink)  
 
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Every F-35 comes with an integrated targeting pod called an Electro Optical Targeting System (EOTS). It is built by the same branch of LM that build SNIPER XR.

Does it require it? Depends on what you want to do in the mission but, generally, it is accepted that modern fighter aircraft require a targeting pod for guiding precision, [email protected] weapons; overwatch and other ISR tasks; VID of threat etc

Last edited by ICBM; 10th Jun 2012 at 16:35.
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Old 10th Jun 2012, 16:38
  #1062 (permalink)  
 
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As I suspected. Thanks for confirming.
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Old 10th Jun 2012, 16:43
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EOTS Image Quality Videos

You can see the image quality from EOTS on videos from the manufacturer's site here:

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Electro-optical Targeting System (AN/AAQ-40)
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Old 10th Jun 2012, 19:48
  #1064 (permalink)  
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I think the EOTS [email protected] is British too - from Crewe toll.
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Old 16th Jun 2012, 11:11
  #1065 (permalink)  
 
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GAO raises serious doubts about the F35 and its future funding.
Higher prizes, less frames.
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GAO: DOD Should Draft Plans For Reduced JSF Funding

The Defense Department should draft contingency plans for the Joint Strike Fighter program that anticipate lower annual funding levels and account for how reduced spending will impact the aircraft's cost and the program's development and procurement schedule, according to the Government Accountability Office.
better link
http://www.dodbuzz.com/2012/06/15/f-35-by-the-numbers/
worth the read.

And defense cuts worries because of likely sequestration starting beginning of 2013.
No good news for the future production volumes of the F35, I think.
Additional defense cuts could impact war funding CNN Security Clearance - CNN.com Blogs

And as far as testing goes, all not seems to be going as well as LM is claiming.
GAO'S Latest F-35 Report; 2011 Performance 'Mixed'
"Overall performance in 2011 was mixed as the program achieved 6 of 11 important objectives. Developmental flight testing gained momentum and is now about 21 percent complete with the most challenging tasks still ahead. Performance of the short takeoff and vertical landing variant improved this year and its "probation" period to fix deficiencies was ended after 1 year with several fixes temporary and untested. Developing and integrating the more than 24 million lines of software code continues to be of concern. Late software releases and concurrent work on multiple software blocks have delayed testing and training. Development of critical mission systems providing core combat capabilities remains behind schedule and risky."

Perhaps the most damning statistic about the program: "Since 2002, the total quantity through 2017 has been reduced by three-fourths, from 1,591 to 365."

Last edited by kbrockman; 16th Jun 2012 at 11:20.
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Old 16th Jun 2012, 11:37
  #1066 (permalink)  
 
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To put it into perspective, unless you are getting airborne off the QEC or doing a STO for periodic handling currency at home base (not the hardware store) you wouldn't routinely deploy the doors and engage the lift fan; you'd take off and land conventionally like a Tornado, Typhoon or F/A-18 does day-to-day.
Quite a lot of metal to drag about the sky?

In the end we can all procrastinate as much as we like, it won't change anything, except <hehe> the amount of that gets thrown at the project.

GR.
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Old 16th Jun 2012, 12:02
  #1067 (permalink)  
 
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Guys,

And there's the nub of the issue around this thread, I think.

Quote from Glad: Quite a lot of metal to drag around the sky?

Glad, you don't quite get it. If you want an aircraft to do a STOVL job, you need a STOVL aircraft, with STOVL gear. That's not 'metal', it's essential equipment so that the aircraft performs it's designed function. People don't go on about the 'extra engine Typhoon drags around the sky' so that it has the exceptionally high SEP it needs so that it can do high altitude high G air to air combat. Nor should they. It's what you need to do the job. The requirement drives the solution.

And as for when you might use that 'metal' you are 'dragging around', one might add 'using short runways in expeditionary situations so that you don't need to extend them', or 'operating from other ship decks to support coalition expeditionary operations'. Having spoken just yesterday to a great pilot who sat down with the USMC many years ago and drafted out the original Naval Staff target for the Sea Harrier replacement, and has flown Phantoms, F-14s, Harriers, Sea Harriers and a few more, you could also add 'operating from an aircraft carrier when it's too rough for cat and trap'.

At the end of the day, you either accept that STOVL aircraft might have a use (and around 30 years ago we found out just how useful they could be) or you don't. It's a free forum, and all the better for it.

Best Regards as ever,

Engines
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Old 16th Jun 2012, 12:37
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IMHO, Harrier = design elegance and simpilicity, with no in-flight equipment redundancy. "If it looks right, it is right."

F35 VSTOl is an inelegant "Bomb-Truck" (Can't turn) design pigs-breakfast, with in-flight kit redundancy whose greatest "Fans" are the politicos and which appears to be aimed at maximising middle-class incomes in development rather than doing a job.

If anything proves that unmediated commercialism doesn't work . ... .

Nick

Last edited by NAROBS; 16th Jun 2012 at 12:38.
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Old 16th Jun 2012, 15:33
  #1069 (permalink)  
 
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@ engines

The requirement drives the solution.
And there is the crux of the matter indeed.

atb.

gr.
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Old 16th Jun 2012, 16:23
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"Developmental flight testing gained momentum and is now about 21 percent complete with the most challenging tasks still ahead"

just read that... and re-read it

It was ordered in 1996, took 10 years to fly and now, 16 years after being ordered is still only 20% through the test program

this pig needs an awful lot of lipstick...............

Last edited by Heathrow Harry; 16th Jun 2012 at 16:23.
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Old 16th Jun 2012, 16:54
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HH,

Errr, actually, F-35 was ordered on 26 October 2001. First flight was on 15 December 2006. So, took 5 years to fly and 11 years after being ordered is 21 percent through flight test.

I absolutely agree that the programme has suffered serious delays, and yes, software and mission systems testing is the big 'elephant in the room'. But, let's at least get the pig the right size before choosing the lipstick.

Best Regards

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Old 16th Jun 2012, 17:42
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"IMHO, Harrier = design elegance and simpilicity, with no in-flight equipment redundancy. "If it looks right, it is right."

Erm, do you think that the Harrier would have that ridiculously huge engine/puffer jets/wingtip wheels/ and still be subsonic and low endurance/range/weapon load etc if it were not for the fact that it is also a massive compromise?

And suggesting that the harrier looks right entitles you to a white stick.

Awesome in many ways, the harrier is still probably the most compromised aircraft we have ever had.

The fact that it worked at all just shows how brilliantly the designers did their job.
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Old 16th Jun 2012, 18:07
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low endurance/range/weapon load
Apart from a real world operation: Afghanistan, 2 hour average unrefuelled mission time, rockets, PW4, recce pod and sniper pod. And didn't need a 10000 ft runway. Not bad for an apparently compromised jet.......
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Old 16th Jun 2012, 18:14
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Whereas the USN that didn't need to compromise for small decks and small runways only got F14/F18 etc, and when we had proper carriers we only got Bucaneers and phantoms with their terrible bombload/range/endurance.

I bet they are gutted about their lower capability aircraft.



I am not having a go at the harrier, I think it is an amazing piece of engineering, just querying the idea that it isn't a massive compromise.
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Old 16th Jun 2012, 18:32
  #1075 (permalink)  
 
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Erm, do you think that the Harrier would have that ridiculously huge engine/puffer jets/wingtip wheels/ and still be subsonic and low endurance/range/weapon load etc if it were not for the fact that it is also a massive compromise?

And suggesting that the harrier looks right entitles you to a white stick.

Awesome in many ways, the harrier is still probably the most compromised aircraft we have ever had.

The fact that it worked at all just shows how brilliantly the designers did their job.
Compromised as it might be it still was/is better as a concept than the current F35B.
that massive , mostly useless during its flight, vertical liftfan is a bad solution for an already difficult problem.
Much like in comparison with the Balzac Mirage and the early yak's before, the Harrier was the most elegant solution towards a workeable VTOL fighter which is even useable at higher speeds.

Like you said , a testimony of the brilliance of its engineers.

The fact that the F35B more or less works is also a testimony of the brilliance of the LM engineers but it still remains a bad solution to an already difficult problem.
For the STOVL/VTOL JSF it would've been better if they went with the X32 concept (nozzles iso extra lift-fan), much lighter, more compact with less potential for CoG issues and still with the possibility of loading a very large amount of Fuel and weapons.



Hindsight is always 20/20

Last edited by kbrockman; 16th Jun 2012 at 18:34.
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Old 16th Jun 2012, 18:57
  #1076 (permalink)  
 
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just querying the idea that it isn't a massive compromise
While I understand your point, that "massive compromise" was the only UK fast jet, indeed worldwide fast jet (stand fast A10 , slower jet) that could operate from Kandahar 2004 - 2006, while the airfield was being re-built. It could still take off and recover with a full war load and provided comparible times on station to that currently provided by Tornado.

I agree that f35C would have been the better option but I do not believe the VSTOL decision is as huge a compromise as it is made to be. Figures about fuel/range/endurance are all misleading when comparing VSTOL to conventional operations.

Last edited by Justanopinion; 16th Jun 2012 at 18:59.
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Old 16th Jun 2012, 19:27
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I do wonder if the problems of the F35 are because they didn't compromise.

The designers of the Harrier obviously said something along the lines of "Right boys, to meet the unique requirements we are going to have to give up on supersonic and impressive turning. Never mind", whereas the designers of F35 want it all. "S'up dudes, we want stealth, supersonic, decent missile/bombload and fancy sensors and hovering and bringback and and and and"
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Old 16th Jun 2012, 19:44
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I would venture that the Harrier wasn't a compromise at all. It was built from the wheels up to provide CAS (or BAI in cold war scenarios) operating from small strips and austere bases.

Some would venture that it was and remains one of the finest ML and LL CAS platforms the world has yet created.

Does this mean it has a low top speed...errr, yes...but that's not in the spec for a CAS platform. Ditto radar - although it would have been helpful. Could it carry PW3? Yes with massive limitations but when did a JTAC ever talk us onto 'One times reinforced bunker, in the open'?

That specialisation will, inevitably lead to it being less capable in other situations...but it is (just my opinion) fundementally incorrect to call it a compromise.
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Old 16th Jun 2012, 20:03
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All designs are a compromise, as has already been said here.

Harrier was no exception but the requirement/solution balance was, frankly, one of the most ingenious pieces of British aerospace engineering going. Yes the designers at HS had many issues to contend with, particularly the constant fear of it being a concept that wouldn't get off the ground (no pun intended). The USMC buy (with no small thanks to JF's stunning displays of STOVL derring do) made many sit up and take note and probably saved it.

As a CAS platform the A-10 is hard to beat in role from the pure sense however, I still believe that if you take the A-10 as the perfect CAS aircraft on one end of the scale and something like the F-15E at the other end, Harrier was the perfect hybrid and actually spanned a much wider remit than most aircraft designed in the 1960s. Fast (not supersonic but certainly fast enough), agile, flexible and with eye-watering serviceability compared to pretty much every FL jet we've had in RAF service since the 1970s.

Dave Morgan of Falklands fame once said if he had to go to war again in a jet it'd be a Harrier every time. She's gone now but an F-35B is where I'd be at, given the choice.

Last edited by ICBM; 16th Jun 2012 at 20:04.
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Old 17th Jun 2012, 08:54
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At the end of the day, you either accept that STOVL aircraft might have a use (and around 30 years ago we found out just how useful they could be) or you don't.
The STOVL was not justified 30 years ago. If we still had the real aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL (not a "through deck cruiser") with Phantoms, Buccaneers, Gannets, et al we probably would never have lost SHEFFIELD, COVENTRY, ARDENT, ANTELOPE, SIR GALAHAD and ATLANTIC CONVEYOR. The air power projection of the 60/70s ARK ROYAL would have allowed for a proper AD screen backed up by AEW and a proper strike-attack plan on the Argentine forces - not the "make do" harrassment and patchy air defence provided by the small Harrier force.

Don't get me wrong, for what they were the SHars and GR3s did a magnificent job - but if you ask those on the ships above or involved in the ground campaign what they would rather have had it would not be a STOVL aircraft.

Oh, and as for Kandahar's runway length, there are non-STOVL types out there that could work from the minimum operating strip (MOS) using Pneumatic Arresting Gear (ie. cables) to land and their vast amount of SEP to get airborne. For example, a Super Hornet can get off unassisted on ~400m and then use the arrestor gear for any aborted take offs in the overrun.

The B Word

Last edited by The B Word; 17th Jun 2012 at 08:54.
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