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The F-35 thread, Mk II

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The F-35 thread, Mk II

Old 25th May 2022, 13:45
  #481 (permalink)  
 
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Interesting take on the Lightning II's dogfighting capabilities:

F-35 Aerial Combat Performance

- Ed
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Old 25th May 2022, 15:45
  #482 (permalink)  
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So full of holes it’s confetti.

His basic argument is that the F-35 lost because it wasn’t equipped with a helmet mounted sight and off-bore sight missiles.

But that’s not an argument that makes the F-35 a good dogfighter, it’s an argument it doesn’t need to be.

The main flaw in that argument is what happens when you end up in a turning fight and run out of missiles - in which case the F-35 can’t outturn the enemy, and it’s transonic acceleration is so slow it can’t extend and outrun the enemy to get out of the fight.

The stealth argument is also hollow, once in the dogfight the missiles are going to be IR or multimode - and the range such even a radar missile should get a lock.

Not sy8ng the original verdict was correct - but the arguments made here do nothing to prove it wrong.
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Old 26th May 2022, 12:29
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For the F-35A launch customer the dynamic 'dogfighting' performance of the aircraft was baselined to meet or exceed that of the F-16 at the upper part of the envelope and the F/A-18 at the slower/high-alpha range. They got the latter (and a fair bit more) but not the former. This is all in the Program of Record.

Even in the BVR fight, getting missiles out at extended range remains an obvious priority. So the slow acceleration and extensive use of burner required on the F-35A to achieve a suitable above-mach launch speed is disappointing too. Lighting burners at night is not a good idea as in clear conditions you suddenly become WVR - IRST systems have become ubiquitous and IR missiles can now reach out and touch you at a considerable distance when compared to the days of old.

Nobody want a less agile fighter and counter-tactics, RoE, engagement windows can push you to WVR when you least want it.

Tactical development of the F-35 reflects the aircraft strengths as much as possible as you fight with what you have and not with a LM promise from years ago.
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Old 2nd Jun 2022, 21:55
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Only 800 F-35s Delivered so far - this one 27 May 2022. Is it fighting dogs? https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FULH2bpWQAEjI_-?format=jpg
27 May 2022 Entering the Fleet: the 800th F-35

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Old 3rd Jun 2022, 04:28
  #485 (permalink)  
 
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I really want to love it, but it's just not beautiful.
The Eagle? The Tomcat? Beautiful birds.
The A-5 Vigilante? Good looking, but a handful.
(Reminds me of a certain girlfriend back in the 80's, yes)
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Old 3rd Jun 2022, 13:11
  #486 (permalink)  

 
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DefenseNews has a piece by Stephen Losey saying
A hiring wave, process overhauls, and new tools and equipment have helped a U.S. Air Force base cut by more than half the time it takes to repair and overhaul F-35 engines, from an average 244 days to 106
The piece is at https://www.defensenews.com/air/2022...mpaign=dfn-ebb - but you may have to register to read it.

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Old 3rd Jun 2022, 13:37
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Originally Posted by SpazSinbad
Only 800 F-35s Delivered so far - this one 27 May 2022. Is it fighting dogs? https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FULH2bpWQAEjI_-?format=jpg
“27 May 2022 Entering the Fleet: the 800th F-35”
Not judging aesthetics but that means we are nearing 1000 Stealth Fighters on the Western side of things. Good.
Should give Mad Vlad some food for thought what would be left of his conventional forces within a quite short timeframe should he venture to do stoopid things.
The fighting of Dogs just for the fun of it can be left to other platforms...
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Old 3rd Jun 2022, 16:12
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Fugly comin' to pound some li'l ole barkin' caravan doggies: 7240745.jpg (67204480) (alert5.com) (1.1Mb) "A U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 225, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, departs a Forward Arming and Refueling Point with ordnance at Yuma Proving Grounds, Yuma, Arizona, May 25, 2022. The weapons configuration consists of six guided bombs, with four mounted onto the wings and two loaded into the weapons bay, as well as a Air Intercept Missile 9X. MAG-13 squadrons are capable of conducting offensive air support, anti-aircraft warfare, and aviation reconnaissance from expeditionary sites in any clime and place. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Samuel Ruiz)" #FighterFriday – Alert 5

Last edited by SpazSinbad; 3rd Jun 2022 at 16:15. Reason: I dunno
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Old 3rd Jun 2022, 17:39
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Close air support at $100MM/unit, makes tactical ground to ground missiles at $1MM apiece look relatively affordable.

Last edited by T28B; 4th Jun 2022 at 14:56. Reason: Not need to replicate the picture
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Old 3rd Jun 2022, 17:59
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Originally Posted by etudiant
Close air support at $100MM/unit, makes tactical ground to ground missiles at $1MM apiece look relatively affordable.
That's what puzzles me a bit as well. It's a high end bit of kit but it's used for the 'agricultural' part of the game. And the one where IR/MANPADs ans AAA that can be optically targeted when radar fails are the dominant A2A weapon to be expected to encounter.
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Old 3rd Jun 2022, 18:08
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it's also not going to be stealthy with all that ordinance hanging off the wings. Might as well send in an A-10 - at least it has survivability for all the ground fire that's going to be coming up.
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Old 3rd Jun 2022, 18:16
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Salute!

I guess the anti-35 folks will keep on pounding on. You know, the thing can go further and deliver four big bombs within 3 meters of a target without being seen, then come home and do it again..... "but, Gums, it can't carry and employ 38 kindsa missiles and smart bombs, and can't use the AIM-9X off-boresight as well as the older fighters that carry them on the wings so their RCS is more like a B-52 than a fighter" Yada yada yada......

I had issues way back about the new guy on the street, but those were solved - they were engineering and not tactical issues. If you see the F-35 demo videos, it does things as well as the Raptor and airshow jets promoted by some other countries. The slow speed nose-pointing is great, and high speed, high gee stuff is as good or better than the Viper I flew. I do not know where this acceleration complaint is coming from. The sucker has a great T/W number and I never fought when I needed to go supersonic to "extend'. So the accel numbers must come from a st and level profile that you don't see in combat. The Viper took forever to get to 1.6M or higher unless you unloaded.

Considering the price of everything now compared to the Raptor and Typhoon in their early years, this thing seems about right for its capability. Oh, and BTW, the F-35 can now employ the AIM-9X off-boresight when the missile is loaded internally. Yeah, yeah I liked the Lima in the Viper when slaved to the radar and heard that distinctive chirp and saw the missile seeker symbol inside the radar target box - ask Mogs.....

Later...

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Old 3rd Jun 2022, 21:58
  #493 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by gums
Salute!
I guess the anti-35 folks will keep on pounding on. You know, the thing can go further and deliver four big bombs within 3 meters of a target without being seen, then come home and do it again.....
At least my post (and as I understood it the post after mine) didn't really contradict the power of this platform for IDS or even DCA missions. I was more commenting that in that config and for that mission the undeniable advantages of the F-35 aren't really exploited and at the same time in exactly that use it may even be a bit more vulnerable than simpler platforms. Your trusty F-16 wouldn't have had sigificant disadvantages in that mission/config (unlike in some other uses).
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Old 3rd Jun 2022, 23:00
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Salute!

No problem, Henra.

It is just that the anti-35 folks keep on keeping on without fielding something as good or better at the same price.

I can't find a friendly attack or fighter that has the same RCS or super radar or legs with internal gas or precision ordnance with or without GPS. Ditto for potential adversaries.

Make no mistake, after initial few days or whatever, the plane will likely use pylons for extra armament, most likely A2A missiles. But the thing will never be a bomb truck like the A-6, or the A-7 I flew over Hanoi. Having stood in front of 200 aviators at Red Flag as the Mission Commander, I had to integrate all the players with their capabilities/limitations to successfully get the job done that HHQ had aasigned. I would have loved to have had in my order of battle a few very low RCS planes with a coupla LGB eggs and Slammers and cosmic radar and be able to fly a 400 n.m. mission and come home without refueling like the Double Uglies and Hornets and.....

As with many, the long development time irritates me. I blame the creatures we must avoid for rules of the forum - poly, from the ancient Greeks for many, ticks - blood sucking insects, resulting in "polytickians".

The F-35 may not be the best all-around attack aircraft in 10 years, but this year it will be hard to beat.

Gums sends...




Last edited by gums; 4th Jun 2022 at 00:50. Reason: grammar/spelling
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Old 4th Jun 2022, 01:54
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Originally Posted by gums
Salute!

No problem, Henra.

It is just that the anti-35 folks keep on keeping on without fielding something as good or better at the same price.

I can't find a friendly attack or fighter that has the same RCS or super radar or legs with internal gas or precision ordnance with or without GPS. Ditto for potential adversaries.

Make no mistake, after initial few days or whatever, the plane will likely use pylons for extra armament, most likely A2A missiles. But the thing will never be a bomb truck like the A-6, or the A-7 I flew over Hanoi. Having stood in front of 200 aviators at Red Flag as the Mission Commander, I had to integrate all the players with their capabilities/limitations to successfully get the job done that HHQ had aasigned. I would have loved to have had in my order of battle a few very low RCS planes with a coupla LGB eggs and Slammers and cosmic radar and be able to fly a 400 n.m. mission and come home without refueling like the Double Uglies and Hornets and.....

As with many, the long development time irritates me. I blame the creatures we must avoid for rules of the forum - poly, from the ancient Greeks for many, ticks - blood sucking insects, resulting in "polytickians".

The F-35 may not be the best all-around attack aircraft in 10 years, but this year it will be hard to beat.

Gums sends...
Hanoi is a much nicer place to visit today, definitely more inviting than during Gums star date.

The F-35 is not often describes as pretty, but it is the most plentiful low RCS/stealthy aircraft out there, and it is on our side of the fence. (even Gum's A-7 was purtier) Always wanted to swap rides when adjacent to an F-22, but at outstanding as that aircraft is, it got an oak stake in the heart from congress. Right now, the overly expensive F-22 looks pretty darn cost effective against the L-M "bargain basement, all things to all users" F-35 solution. The F-35 is going to end up with stuff on the wings as a near certainty, to conduct any form of CAS, and the ground guys need that. The biggest concern that it gives is not whether it is able to out accelerate a SU-whatever, or a MIG-yadayada, those are all ROE problems or leakers, in which case, the F-35 still is a better ride than the oppo, the concern is when a 2nd Louie is in deep doo doo and calls up for CAS, MANPADS still make it an expensive proposition for the state. The A-10 was a good idea, is a good idea, and will be a good idea into the future, IMHO. If you can get rid of the driver, then all the better, but the guy calling in the support will be a lot happier with a friendly voice than calling up "Dave from ATT, from the friendly call centre in Bangalore..."

The next weeks will indicate whether the MQ-1/-9s etc can survive in a more intense airspace than they have operated (AFAIAA... ) previously. MQ's are not stealthy...

The A-10 still provides a possible solution for being able to give CAS and to survive the effort. MQ with stealth would be better yet, but, 1. haven't seen much of that and 2. that may just mean that it is already very effective. Survivability of the F-35 and A-10 would appear to lean heavily to the A-10 for CAS. In the absence of that type of platform, the mini drones offer a means to give targeting, but that needs the position to be determined and provided to an in range ordnance system... works for bits of Ukraine, not going to work so well out around the spratleys.

For airspace denial at the upper levels, the F-35 is the hammer that is in the tool belt now, and without encumbrance by ROE lunacy has a fair chance of being reusable. Down in the weeds, carrying external ordnance, it would appear to be an expensive way for J.O.'s to get promotion.

The only good news to come from Ukraine is that the Russians are going to have a hard time selling their "battle proven" hardware to anyone outside of Ouagadougou as a gift that keeps giving, and as the majority of tech components come from outside of Russia, and within the former RF, it was Ukraine that did the smart tech stuff, not Moscow.... , well, global arms are going to start changing character.

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Old 4th Jun 2022, 07:57
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Originally Posted by gums
Salute!
I can't find a friendly attack or fighter that has the same RCS or super radar or legs with internal gas or precision ordnance with or without GPS. Ditto for potential adversaries.
It's easy: You can't find one beecause there is none ;-)

The F-35 may not be the best all-around attack aircraft in 10 years, but this year it will be hard to beat.
I have a very hard time seeing this change within the next 10 -20 Years:

What's there?
Su-57? Seems even Russia mostly abandoned it. If anything will be produced in atomistic quantities. RCS highly questionable. Avionics questionable. Suitability for long range attack questionable -2 huge engines/small internal volume.
S-75? Paper ware very likely without potent avionics for the next decades.
J-20? Huge, RCS somewhat questionable. Avionics? Agility? Could possibly come close in some areas though. Possibly closest contender.
FC-31: Little known but seems China is ready to market it for export. They wouldn't do that with their absolute secret top- of the line stuff. Could be OKish and getting close in some areas to F-35 but I don't see it being on par as a whole package.
The Euro projects (Tempest/FCAS) will not see Serial planes much before 2040. Probably immensely expensive.
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Old 4th Jun 2022, 16:14
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Salute!

Folks keep harping upon CAS missions and relate to the classic videos and photos from those days of yore. 'Give me a Warthog, not an F-35" is a common theme. I and most of my CAS buddies will tellya that the low and fairly slow planes will get chewed up except in a very few scenarios. In fact, the Hawg would have been chewed up at Fulda in the mid-70's after hitting one or two tanks. Only reason it flew as many missions in the 'stan and during 'raqi II was the adversary training and such was not even a third as good as the Vee I faced and what the Royal Navy experienced at Port Stanley. Ditto for the IAF over the Sinai in 1973 when they were introduced to the SA-6. The A-10's long use in the 'stan was because the scenario was vastly different from those, and resembled what we saw In VietNam early 60's.

So I link to a Hollywood video that is very accurate for the time it portrays. I know because I arrived shortly after the battle it portrays and often flew my little Dragonlfly to drop within yards of the grunts when they were in dire straits. We were 100 knots faster than the A-1 and 100 knots slower than the Scooters and Huns, but were small and had lowest loss rate of the debacle after 5 years. That initial air cavalry unit learned and by the time I flew in their support we hit the LZ before them and had another flight or two overhead when the choppers unloaded. Anyone here not having witnessed the drill, it is an extremely accurate portrayal of what I saw more than just a few times and was impressed by the U.S. Army choppers' timing, skill and formation.

So this is what folks think of when you mention CAS, but the F-35 will never use such tactics because it doesn't need to be right on top of the bad guys, and Reapers or other plarforms can put a Hellfire or that Brit thing, which is even better, right on top and more accurate than I ever could hope for. Gotta admit, tho, that the nape is impressive and scary, I loved it.


Gums sends...

Last edited by gums; 5th Jun 2022 at 14:15. Reason: spell check
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Old 5th Jun 2022, 04:35
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Gums, if the F-35 is carrying any external ordinance, it's RCS goes way, way up. Besides, for close air support, stealth doesn't mean much when targeting is being done by the Mark 1 eyeball. Being single engine, one lucky, relatively small caliber shot and it's not making it home. In contrast, the A-10 was designed to be hit by ground fire - nearly everything is redundant.
I just can't see the F-35 being a highly survivable asset in the CAS role. I watched something the other night on the F-111 in 'Nam - they were relatively survivable for ground attack because they'd be going well over Mach 1 at a couple hundred feet, so they were literally gone before the ground fire could react. But I don't think the F-35 has the power to do that.
Tell me why I'm wrong (serious question - not trying to sound smartass). I respect your opinion, plus you've been there and done that, I haven't.
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Old 5th Jun 2022, 06:00
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they'd be going well over Mach 1 at a couple hundred feet
Limit clean is 1.2M with a time limit of five minutes above total temperature of 153 and do not exceed 214C, loaded with bombs as they would be for a mission in the .8 to .9 range. (an enthusiast looking at the Flight Manual)
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Old 5th Jun 2022, 07:28
  #500 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by gums
Salute!

Folks keep harping upon CAS missions and relate to the classic videos and photos from those days of yore. 'Give me a Warthog, not an F-35" is a common theme. I and most of my CAS buddies will tellya that the low and fairly slow planes will get chewed up except in a very few scenarios. In fact, the Hawg would have been chewed up at Fulda in the mid-70's after hitting one or two tanks. Only reason it flew as many missions in the 'stan and during 'raqi II was the adversary training and such was not even a third as good as the Vee I faced and what the Royal Navy experienced at Port Stanley. Ditto for the IAF over the Sinai in 1973 when they were introduced to the SA-6. The A-10's long use in the 'stan was because the scenario was vastly different from those, and resembled what we saw In VietNam early 60's.

So I link to a Hollywood video that is very accurate for the time it portrays. I know because I arrived shortly after the battle it portrays and often flew my little Dragonlfly to drop within yards of the grunts when they were in dire straits. We were 100 knots faster than the A-1 and 100 knots slower than the Scooters and Huns, but were small and had lowest loss rate of the debacle after 5 years. That initial air cavalry unit learned and by the time I flew in thier support we hit the LZ before them and had another flight or two overhead when the choppers unloaded. Anyone here not having not witnessed the drill, it is an extremely accurate portrayal of what I saw more than just a few times and was impressed by the U.S. Army choppers' timing, skill and formation.

So this is what folks think of when you mention CAS, but the F-35 will never use such tactics because it doesn't need to be right on top of the bad guys, and Reapers or other plarforms can put a Hellfire or that Brit thing, which is even better, right on top and more accurate than I ever could hope for. Gotta admit, tho, that the nape is impressive and scary, I loved it.

Born To Be Wild We Were Soldiers - YouTube

Gums sends...
Great Gum one,

your observations are wise as always, however, the fastest way to settle the annoyance that the A-10 continues to give to the debate within the USAF is to hand over a bunch of them to the UF on lend-lease, and to count noses and holes on any that come back in due course. They have the capability to lift eyewatering levels of stuff, and to make ear-pleasing noises for you-tubers. The Su-25's have survived surprisingly well to date, and they vaguely compare to the A-10. The UF has Su experienced drivers, they need a ride and the best one going begging is the A-10. There are a few Su's still floating around, looked at buying a de-milled one in 2015, and it wasn't in bad condition at all, shy on seats though, not trainers to be had. Most of the Su-25s that remain in service anywhere are not in brilliant shape, apparently maintained with the same rigor as the Reds do for their truck tires. Just under 500 odd A-10s sit outside of the daily grind at present, any of those would be an improvement over limited means to disincentivize Red teams. The A-10 is about as simple an airframe that can be bolted together, the engines are still well supported, and it gives another avenue to send messages to the conscripts sitting in their targets tanks.

Ukraine continues to show heart and headwork in their counter-offensives, today being a good day for the blue/yellow team, not so much for the Reds, they need all the gear that they can reasonably slap into the field pronto, and that seems to suggest the A-10 would have a field trial as to how relevant it is in the world order that now exists. It isn't our boots in harms way, it is the gear that is as often as not considered undesirable, yet may still have some mileage left in it. It seems a win-win for the blue suiters, they can't lose, if the plane is not viable, they get new shiny jets, if the plane is effective, they get to argue a follow-on and major upgrade. This is the opportunity for some field trials while doing good. Pretty sure that the Ukrainians will gratefully receive the hog and turn it into something,

It's not often you get an opportunity to get operational validation of a tactical weapon system without risking US boots n blood. Add gopro max's and sell the footage, ad iMAX, sell tickets, rent the ride, crowdfund, re-allocate Russian central bank funds...whatever, but the UF may just make some good use of the hog, or die trying.

Last edited by fdr; 5th Jun 2022 at 07:40.
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