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The F-35 thread, Mk II

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The F-35 thread, Mk II

Old 5th Jun 2022, 07:37
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Originally Posted by tdracer
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.
What do you know about the RCS of the RCS reduced Station? including the AIM-9xII and other short range missiles. That made you come to this conclusion? "it's RCS goes way, way up" You need to elaborate on this. It is inconsistent with the UK for example. They see it as viable and they have the real data. How did you arrive at your assessment?

Why is the F-35 using mark1 eyeballs as CAS sensors? Did you read about the Rafale needing to use binoculars?
Why is the F-35 in range of small arms gunfire?
As to the A-10, Manpads make strafing runs obsolete in the modern, peer battle space. The F-111 was obsolete last century, but we kept it till 2010. When it was replaced by Super Hornets

The B-52 did CAS missions in Astan, I think you need to widen your view.

This video has been downgrade in pixels since it was first put up. It still makes a bit of sense

F-35 JSF Distributed Aperture System (DAS) Sensors Demonstrate Hostile Fire Detection Capability

Last edited by golder; 5th Jun 2022 at 08:45.
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Old 5th Jun 2022, 07:51
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td, #498, your point is well made for different aircraft types. However, considering different forms of close air support then aircraft characteristics are less important than the capability of the total weapon system, against that of the opposing defence.

Specific weapon capability can change the game; the humble ‘high’ RCS iron bomb fitted with precision guidance enables ‘stand-off’ tactics, at least above small arms fire and some MANPADs.
Better defence capability requires different weapons and/or guidance, attack options, ultimately long range stand off irrespective of carrier, aircraft or UAV.
F-35 bomb photo; a good sales pitch, public consumption, value for money.

There are good examples in the book ‘Typhoon’ about the continuing ops in Iraq; i.e. bombs above alt ‘x’, range ‘y’; greater defence capability then switch to Brimstone, again depending on target type, value-effectives, etc. The book highlights one surprise, a call to use the gun; special circumstances.
Oh, the UK F-35 doesn't have a gun …

Also see Falklands thread re Vulcan SEAD tactics.

From the above the F-35 might be considered an expensive bomb-truck, but then context is everything; context is information, intelligence, communication, awareness.
F-35 systems weapons technologies in an A-10, not everything, but sufficient in many circumstances; if only hindsight was foresight and doesn't involve very log lead times.

A better, and available mix is to envisage the F-35 as a type of forward air-control, unseen eyes and ears, and/or sniper; used together with the F-15, F-16, Typhoon bomb trucks. The wider the range of simultaneous weapon carriage, range-loiter time, the better.

But then we never fight the war that we train (plan) for.
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Old 5th Jun 2022, 19:42
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Salute!

Some good comments and observations here, lately.

In all fairness to TD, the 'vaark never did "close air support" as TD imagined, but it introduced a direct support tactic ( not real close, but within a km) that was later employed by the B-1. Yep, the Bone! That thing prolly dropped more precision bombs than anything in the 'stan for years, and it wasn't visual parameters within a few hundred meters of the friendlies and they dropped from the stratosphere. JDAM's.

The 'vaark was the only sky-puke plane I saw in the '72-'73 last months of the "first end of the war" that the commanders allowed to drop unguided bombs within 500 or so meters of friendlies. The LORAN F-4's did not drop close to friendlies using radar, just the LORAN. The friendlies had radar beacons and would provide the "offeset" to the 'vaark and it would do a radar drop . They wouldn't let we SLUF's do it as we had 1) not practiced it, and 2) we ere the new guys in town and many grunts had not seen us in action. The 'vaark passes at the speed of stink were not supersonic, but fast and low. They were the ones over the Vee airfields at the outset of Linebacker II. One driver told me they popped up for frag clearance ( even with high drags) and down the runway - the rwy lights were still on and they laid down a dozen MK-82's.

The B-52"s dropped several km's away from the camps at Khe Sahn in '68 and An Loc in '72. Support, but not close support.

So seems we are still trapped in the WW2, Korea and 'nam concept of don't drop until you see the whites of their eyes at low altitude. I personally would like to see the friendly position and exchange of fire if dropping within one or two hundred yards, but that could be with my cosmic E-O sensors or LIDAR or finally, my Mk1 eyeball. There are great videos out there of drone strikes that illustrate the point. Nobody got down in the weeds at the speed of heat and the bad guys had a really bad day. There's also a super video of a Viper using a laser-guided wepon on a bad guy crown coming down the street to the friendly position. Not sure if he was guiding or a wingman, but results were awesome. Trying to find it.

Gums sends...

Last edited by gums; 5th Jun 2022 at 23:11. Reason: typo
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Old 5th Jun 2022, 22:25
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I am going to speak generally based on my limited experience in the 21st century.
CAS (as it has ever been) is very closely coordinated with the ground units - some of whom can lase the target.
Or the other aircraft in a two ship can lase once the target is identified.
Or you can get a grid coordinate from the ground unit and enter it in, and then let loose with one of the smaller GBU's (they were fielding a 250 lb guided one before I left).
The venerable 2.75" rocket now has a guidance package (IR) as of about 2012; if they do, then maybe the Zuni rockets with a smart head are an option. I'd need to do some research as I have lost touch with the latest as regards what ordnance is still available.
I'll offer a thought for the year 2022: the "close" in close air support means "close to own troops" (near to the FEBA/FLOT) more so than it means "close to the ground" - which is where the attack helicopters are with their killing equipment.

Not to mentioned the increased use of armed drones/UAVs.

For gums:
Bones in the Stan. One of the more interesting missions I recall involved about a dozen JDAMs (2000 pounders!) supporting the French or Kiwi Spec Ops folks working with some local friendlies. The Bones were not down in the weeds.

I have full confidence that the F-35 operators will figure out a 'best fit' for their TTPs for when they need to support troops with missions close to the FLOT/FEBA.

And yes, the FLOT/FEBA may be bad terminology, given how dispersed the modern battlefield is.

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Old 6th Jun 2022, 20:31
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Is there any significant air component to the fighting in the Donbas?
From the news reports, it seems mainly artillery and infantry, with air power not a big player in the urban combat.
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Old 6th Jun 2022, 22:31
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Salute!

Only air I have seen is Russian helos beeing shot down, as well as a Sukhoi or two.

This thing is gonna drag out for a long time. Took ten years in the 'stan, but leadership then was a bit different, huh?

Gums sends...
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Old 13th Jun 2022, 17:53
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Not sure if this is the right thread for this, but there's an interesting piece on F-35I (IAF) and extended range adaptations. Open source, so not sure how good the detail is.
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Old 13th Jun 2022, 19:42
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50
Not sure if this is the right thread for this, but there's an interesting piece on F-35I (IAF) and extended range adaptations. Open source, so not sure how good the detail is.
Interesting. Wonder if they did come up with some conformal tanks?

Seems a few users like Israel could use the big wing C version.
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Old 13th Jun 2022, 20:15
  #509 (permalink)  
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From the figures the C is a worse option than the A.

The larger wing, necessary for the carrier, is much higher drag - so whilst it carries more fuel the range is almost identical. Meanwhile extra drag/weight of the wing, undercarriage, hook etc, adversely affects performance, especially acceleration.

On paper it has the advantage for some users of being probe equipped, but LM state the same space was left empty on the A and fitting a probe isn’t an issue.

Plus the C is being bought in very few numbers by one customer, the USN, whilst the A is being bought bought by multiple users in the thousands - driving down price and increasing spares availability etc (commonality, between models, for all the original hype is low).

Last edited by ORAC; 13th Jun 2022 at 22:17.
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Old 13th Jun 2022, 20:27
  #510 (permalink)  
 
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Salute!

Pretty sure the Cee has lots better range from off the deck than the Bug or Super Bug. And it sure as hell carries more precision eggs than the Bug without being detected,

Only two-seat F-35 I see is a weasel mission.

Gums opines....
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Old 13th Jun 2022, 20:56
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Originally Posted by sandiego89
Interesting. Wonder if they did come up with some conformal tanks?

Seems a few users like Israel could use the big wing C version.
The other article I read on that said that it included software mods, no idea as to the details.

@gums: are you referring to the Hornet as a Bug?
From the figures the C is a worse option than the A.
Unless you want to operate off of aircraft carriers.
I will concur with your point as regards commonality. There's a history to this.
I recall the much ballyhooed 'commonality' between the Blackhawk(A) and Seahawk (B) the practical number was about 'one third' though the official number was a bit higher than that. (And if I understand the lore correctly, the IDGB for the L Blackhawk was the child of the B Seahawk main transmission, but I may be crossing the wires of memory here).
On the other hand, Seahawk/Knighthawk (CH-60S which is now MH-60S) was built off of a then-current production Blackhawk (L) (with a few mods, of course, but my memory wires still have a few frayed ends on that one)
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Old 27th Jun 2022, 01:34
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GoodNESSly FUNNI video explanation about F-35 B/S Shut up about the F-35 About halfway there is a boring ad for GROUNDnews but soldier on for more fun F-35 comments:

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Old 27th Jun 2022, 13:13
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A couple of observations that I’ve picked up in conversation with F35 pilots over the last few years.

The first had flown F/A-18’s in operations in the Middle East. “For a pleasure flight, give me a Hornet. But if I’m going to war, give me a Lightning.”

The second, being uncharacteristically modest after scoring 10 kills over three missions at a Red Flag Alaska without once being targeted himself, “They were only F16’s and they couldn’t see me.”
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Old 27th Jun 2022, 15:34
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Originally Posted by SpazSinbad
GoodNESSly FUNNI video explanation about F-35 B/S Shut up about the F-35 About halfway there is a boring ad for GROUNDnews but soldier on for more fun F-35 comments:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CH8o9DIIXqI
I enjoyed that video, thank you.

For: CoodaShooda:
Some day, the RoE will allow BVR, and when it does the Lightning will come into its own.
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Old 27th Jun 2022, 20:28
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What is the RoE now? I believe the F-35 has 650 parameters from its sensors to identify targets BVR that is acceptable for general use, allowing it to have a good score in various exercises including Red Flags:
Department of Defence annual report 2010-11 FRIDAY, 16 MARCH 2012 CANBERRA BY AUTHORITY OF THE PARLIAMENT page 61-62

http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/...8_Official.pdf

“...Air Vice Marshal Osley: The F-35 will play to its strengths using low observability and using better situational awareness. Its aim would be not to get within visual range. It does not need to be within visual range because of the sensors it has on board. I mentioned before that it has perhaps three times the software and therefore the discrimination of other modern aircraft. Its strength is its ability to recognise and identify an enemy aircraft at beyond visual range well ahead of the other aircraft...
...And so the strength of the joint strike fighter—and I use this as an example — is that it has the ability to have up to 650 parameters by which it will identify a potential threat out there. Other aircraft, such as the F-22 have about a third of that and fourth-generation aircraft have perhaps half a dozen. So if you are in an F-18 or in some of the other Soviet aircraft you only have a very limited understanding of what the threat is and being able to identify it at a distance. If we are able to do as we plan with the F-35, and that is to have good access to the software and to be able to program it appropriately with mission data, it will have the ability to identify hostile aircraft at quite a consider-able distance. Then decisions will be made within the formation, it will play to its strengths and it will defeat it, but not by going within visual range....”
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Old 28th Jun 2022, 07:00
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ROE is theatre dependent, and you will not find it on the internet.
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Old 28th Jun 2022, 09:16
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Originally Posted by SpazSinbad
“...Air Vice Marshal Osley: The F-35 will play to its strengths using low observability and using better situational awareness. Its aim would be not to get within visual range. It does not need to be within visual range because of the sensors it has on board...decisions will be made within the formation, it will play to its strengths and it will defeat it, but not by going within visual range....”
Presumably his budget for AIM-9X and the gun was handed back by the Aus DoD after the AVM's words...?
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Old 28th Jun 2022, 11:55
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Originally Posted by CoodaShooda
A couple of observations that I’ve picked up in conversation with F35 pilots over the last few years.

The first had flown F/A-18’s in operations in the Middle East. “For a pleasure flight, give me a Hornet. But if I’m going to war, give me a Lightning.”

The second, being uncharacteristically modest after scoring 10 kills over three missions at a Red Flag Alaska without once being targeted himself, “They were only F16’s and they couldn’t see me.”
After all the money that has been spent and is still to be spent, I would expect pilots to say what was said about the F35.
After all. It is 5th generation.
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Old 28th Jun 2022, 16:18
  #519 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by LateArmLive
ROE is theatre dependent, and you will not find it on the internet.
You are correct. I was being a little careless there.
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Old 1st Jul 2022, 12:47
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Biden just announced an additional 2 squadrons going into Lakenheath. Sounds permanent, but unclear.
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