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The F-35 thread, Mk II

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The F-35 thread, Mk II

Old 26th Mar 2020, 18:48
  #81 (permalink)  
 
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Salute!

Yep, Jinda.

If you actually have to go to war without some pissant system that is not essential to deliver ordnance, navigate to a target, takeoff and land, etc., then I don't have a problem with declaring the plane "operational"

We always had to "fess up" about the FMC ( full mission capable) numbers of the Viper when I was the Ops Plans weenie for the first unit in the world. As with all new systems, we had our growing pains. And we identified the weak sisters early, then got help or a new vendor for the system/component.

In the Sluf I flew previously to the Viper, I was also in the first "operational" wing at The Beach. Iit was common to have a blank panel where the projected map display was or the ground map radar CRT ( the pencil beam radar function that gave tgt range in the dive toss mode did not need a steenkeeng CRT display). We also had a backup/aux UHF that didn't matter for most missions. Oh yeah, how about our doppler that helped the inertial? You could fly 99% of your missions without that thing and still have a 15 meter CEP.

My feeling is there are many trying to find anything they can to keep another platform active or in production, or just don't like this new jet. Our U.S. congress had one Warthog stalwart that was very influential. And then the female Hawg driver from the same state. The first was living in a CAS world that existed in the 60's, the one I had 400 missions in. The latter has more current experience, but never flew the types of missions I did or have the same avionics we had before she was even in kindergarden. I respect the combat experience above all, but sooner or later you have to move on to meet the new envisioned threat.

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Old 1st Apr 2020, 20:56
  #82 (permalink)  
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https://breakingdefense.com/2020/03/...of-f-35-fleet/

USMC Debates Size and Future of F-35B Fleet

WASHINGTON: : The Marine Corps’ inability to recruit enough pilots has led the commandant to question the F-35’s place in the already budget-constrained Corps’ future plans, a potentially huge shift for the service that first fielded the Joint Strike Fighter and fought harder than any other service to build it and buy it.

“Our continued inability to build and sustain an adequate inventory of F-35 pilots leads me to conclude that we must be pragmatic regarding our ability to support” the program,” Gen. David Berger says in a blunt new 10-year force design plan. He calls for an external assessment of the aircraft’s place within the service relative to what he’s being asked to do in the National Defense Strategy and the forthcoming Joint Warfighting Concept, a document the Joint Staff is expected to wrap up later this year.

Berger not only singles out pilot shortfalls, but also notes high costs of maintaining and flying the F-35B as factors he’s weighing “in reconciling the growing disparity between numbers of platforms and numbers of aircrew.” The general has been very clear he does not expect his annual budgets to grow at any point in the near future, suggesting the best case scenario is that they remain flat as he wrestles with fleets of aging planes, helicopters and vehicles which grow increasingly costly to maintain........


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Old 2nd Apr 2020, 13:46
  #83 (permalink)  
 
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USMC wants different stuff but their budget is set to remain the same. So they have to trade in things. Picking the most expensive ones to be chopped for new drones and bots.
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Old 2nd Apr 2020, 14:21
  #84 (permalink)  
 
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Having the US Marines operate the C version is the things makes the least sense to me. Seems they wanted the Marines to operate a few C squadrons (and the first just became operational) to make up for gaps in carrier based US Navy squadrons.

Have the Marine focus on the B and get them some Super Hornets for conventional aviation.
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Old 2nd Apr 2020, 17:52
  #85 (permalink)  
 
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Salute!

Hate tellya, sandiego, but the Super Bug doesn't hold a candle to the "C" Stubbie in terms of range or ordnance delivery accuracy or A2A capability, and there's some "interoperability" aspects of the USMC having Stubbies replace their Bugs. Operating from the boats with the same jet as the USN simplifies logistics as well as basic operating procedures.

In WW2 the USMC flew off the USN boats as well as land strips. And that tradition has continued to this day. The Harrier changed things to some extent, because the USMC could operate off of austere fields that were not possible before. In 'nam, they had to install arresting gear on some fields so they could use their Scooters and Double Uglies other than at Da Nang, Cam Rahn, etc.

The USMC still insists on the ability to operate from austere fields to provide the support of their grunts. The F-35 satisfies that requirement.

The agreement to buy some Cee models makes the overall budget to the U.S. Congress more palitable, and is not a major change from using the Super Bug and Harriers.

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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 06:19
  #86 (permalink)  
 
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Frustrating there are less B models planned now. As making a common machine that can VSTOL has (severely) compromised the A and C models.
Think the thick shoulders for the lift fan placement and the induced drag that brings.

Much better in the first place to have designed a Superior conventional and carrier machine - and, designed as a separate machine for the Marines a Harrier 3.

But here we are.

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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 07:14
  #87 (permalink)  
 
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Problem is Type that a "conventional" airframe means every Navy has to buy a conventional carrier...... and they are very very expensive. A "Harrier 3" would either look like the F-35 B (so no savings at all). or like a Harrier - in which case you'd be telling people like the USMC they had to go into action in (say) 2040, with a basic design that's very old and probably very easy to shoot down.
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 07:29
  #88 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
Problem is Type that a "conventional" airframe means every Navy has to buy a conventional carrier...... and they are very very expensive. A "Harrier 3" would either look like the F-35 B (so no savings at all). or like a Harrier - in which case you'd be telling people like the USMC they had to go into action in (say) 2040, with a basic design that's very old and probably very easy to shoot down.
or modify the design to reduce commonality (post SWAT how much commonality is really there anyway ) and keep the mission systems the same.

the mission systems is where it’s going to get expensive over time.
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 07:59
  #89 (permalink)  
 
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Arrow

Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
Problem is Type that a "conventional" airframe means every Navy has to buy a conventional carrier...... and they are very very expensive. A "Harrier 3" would either look like the F-35 B (so no savings at all). or like a Harrier - in which case you'd be telling people like the USMC they had to go into action in (say) 2040, with a basic design that's very old and probably very easy to shoot down.
I disagree.

How many Navy's operate a Harrier at the moment and How many are upgrading to F-35B? 2/5 of bugger all
Apart from the RN - who wanted the C model anyway!!!

And that is worth seriously comprising the 1000s of conventional and carrier airframes so a few B can be built?
Don't think so.

And what makes you think a Harrier 3 would be vulnerable than any other non stealthy airframe? Super Hornet, Typhoon for example?

It was crazy that nobody quashed the Marine's wanting a VSTOL bomb truck as a separate model of a conventional long range, supersonic, stealthy strike fighter.

And now they don't want as many B's - FFS
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 08:52
  #90 (permalink)  
 
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The VTOL seriously compromised the other versions, drove the cost to new heights and still the carrier version had to be redeveloped in many aspects. So the single airframe approach didn't pay off this time.
Maybe just the software (radar, networking, sensors, armament) should be unified but not the airframes themselves for future projects?

Last edited by Less Hair; 3rd Apr 2020 at 09:13.
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 09:59
  #91 (permalink)  
 
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"How many Navy's operate a Harrier at the moment and How many are upgrading to F-35B? 2/5 of bugger all Apart from the RN - who wanted the C model anyway!!!"

I tend to agree - although I'm sure it was the USMC requirement that drove the B version - LM wouldn't build a VSTOL for the RN

THE big mistake IMHO was confusing the "conventional long range (cough cough), supersonic, stealthy strike fighter." with a bomb truck to support littoral campaigns. But history is littered with "we can save money by getting this aircraft to do all these other tasks"
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 10:33
  #92 (permalink)  
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If the RN had asked for conventional large carriers with conventional aircraft they wouldn’t have got them. In the same way they wouldn’t have got conventional carriers in the 1970s rather than “through deck cruisers”.

Ask for new VSTOL carriers to replace the Ark Royal class - but just bigger, because steel is cheap and they’re really just big empty boxes. Ask for JSF to replace the SHar because they’re wearing out - and the USA say they are going to be cheap. Then work up from there. The step to switch to the C and fit EMALS was screwed by BAe.....

Last edited by ORAC; 3rd Apr 2020 at 17:17.
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 16:30
  #93 (permalink)  
 
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yes - got greedy and told the truth about the costs - they should have said "of course we can do it.... " and waited until the only option was the F-35C to 'fess up
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Old 6th Apr 2020, 10:43
  #94 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by gums View Post
Salute!

Yep, Jinda.

If you actually have to go to war without some pissant system that is not essential to deliver ordnance, navigate to a target, takeoff and land, etc., then I don't have a problem with declaring the plane "operational"

.
Hi gums

Of course your pre requisite is that the "pissant systems" were there in the first place....

stay safe.

wm
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Old 7th Apr 2020, 20:18
  #95 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
yes - got greedy and told the truth about the costs - they should have said "of course we can do it.... " and waited until the only option was the F-35C to 'fess up
Perhaps the MRA4 cost overrun and cancellation in 2010 was still fresh in BAEs mind? Better to be paid for a completed pair of carriers, plus through life costs, than low-ball the CATOBAR cost and risk another cancellation when the overruns kick in.

The cost of the carriers remains controversial today, would they have survived in CATOBAR form with F35C?
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 00:56
  #96 (permalink)  
 
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Commandant is busy transforming the Marine Corps to fight the Chinese. He’ll either be spot on or make the Marine Corps irrelevant.

I know you don’t want to fight the last war, but there’s no solid indication the last war, or at least that type of war is over.

I watch with surprise at the speed he is transforming the Corps.
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 09:18
  #97 (permalink)  
 
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"there’s no solid indication the last war, or at least that type of war is over."

The USMC really never needed all those tanks and strike aircraft if they'd been restricted to doing what they were good at and what they were originally designed for - littoral operations, not full time war fighting onshore miles in the interior. .

The Army and Air Force could easily have handled every big fight since Inchon.

It happened because they didn't want to be seen to be sitting out the fight - mainly because they're patriots and aggressive as hell but also because if they weren't in Afghanistan etc some people would claim they were irrelevant and they'd be cut back. So they finished up as a duplicate of the USN and USAF both role & equipment-wise.

Now they're being re-oriented back to what I guess you could call "core values"
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 10:00
  #98 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
If the RN had asked for conventional large carriers with conventional aircraft they wouldn’t have got them. In the same way they wouldn’t have got conventional carriers in the 1970s rather than “through deck cruisers”.

Ask for new VSTOL carriers to replace the Ark Royal class - but just bigger, because steel is cheap and they’re really just big empty boxes. Ask for JSF to replace the SHar because they’re wearing out - and the USA say they are going to be cheap. Then work up from there. The step to switch to the C and fit EMALS was screwed by BAe.....
If only all the independent (ie not RN) force level operational analysis conducted in the mid and late 90s hadn't said that :
1. Carriers were needed and
2. They needed to deliver a decent sortie count, which meant a decent number of aircraft, which meant they had to be of a certain size, which meant that CTOL configuration became an option

STOVL was always the baseline choice for a number of reasons, primarily to do with training burden and force size, together with the perceived risk of EMALS (immaturity) or steam (sustainability) catapults. CTOL was a fallback option because of the perceived performance risk of the B-variant, enabled by the size of the ship which was driven by deck park arrangement for reduced manning. It did have advantages in both variety of potential aircraft and MASC capability. For a brief period when the B looked in real trouble, it was a good option to have, given 1 and 2 above.

The brief CTOL switch and then reversion was made too late (by about 3 or 4 years) to make it affordable, although I'm reasonably sure that the ACA over-egged the conversion costs to make certain.

The total spent and budgetted to date on both QEC and F35B are still significantly less than that on Typhoon - moreso if one considers NPV.

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Old 8th Apr 2020, 10:30
  #99 (permalink)  
 
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typerated,

"​​​​​​And what makes you think a Harrier 3 would be vulnerable than any other non stealthy airframe? Super Hornet, Typhoon for example?"

Because it would be much MUCH slower and much MUCH more non stealthy!
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 12:48
  #100 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Not_a_boffin View Post
If only all the independent (ie not RN) force level operational analysis conducted in the mid and late 90s hadn't said that :
1. Carriers were needed and
2. They needed to deliver a decent sortie count, which meant a decent number of aircraft, which meant they had to be of a certain size, which meant that CTOL configuration became an option

STOVL was always the baseline choice for a number of reasons, primarily to do with training burden and force size, together with the perceived risk of EMALS (immaturity) or steam (sustainability) catapults. CTOL was a fallback option because of the perceived performance risk of the B-variant, enabled by the size of the ship which was driven by deck park arrangement for reduced manning. It did have advantages in both variety of potential aircraft and MASC capability. For a brief period when the B looked in real trouble, it was a good option to have, given 1 and 2 above.

The brief CTOL switch and then reversion was made too late (by about 3 or 4 years) to make it affordable, although I'm reasonably sure that the ACA over-egged the conversion costs to make certain.

The total spent and budgetted to date on both QEC and F35B are still significantly less than that on Typhoon - moreso if one considers NPV.
hopefully the f35b program can drag itself up by the bootlaces then.
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