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-   -   The F-35 thread, Mk II (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/630295-f-35-thread-mk-ii.html)

ORAC 29th Apr 2020 11:14

One of the things everyone admits is that the range of current western tactical jets was designed around a war in Central Europe and, looking at China, is inadequate for the Pacific theatre. That is being addressed. To quote Greg Ulmer, vice president and general manager of the F-35 program at Lockheed.

“We talked to several customers about how do we extend the range of the airplane,” Ulmer told reporters during a briefing. “We're looking at conformal fuel tanks as well as external fuel tanks on the airplane to increase the range by about 40 percent”.

Whilst the external tanks can be dropped before ingress 8 presume the conformal tanks will preserve the stealth signature - though what it might do to the drag index and acceleration is unknown. (Doesn’t have to increase, might actually reduce it.).

I doubt either is a real possibility for the F-35B unless you throw the external tanks away every trip and/or every landing is a RVL.

P&W are, of course, offering 2 stages of engine thrust growth and an eventual new higher thrust engine, though where the heat we go is a problem.

Lots more money to throw at the program yet.....

Asturias56 29th Apr 2020 11:29

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/...e-report-says/ suggests its a real issue.

"The committee notes that the aircraft carrier air wing has been optimized for striking power and sortie generation and believes that it may not be configured to support the long-range strike required by current and future threat systems. While the introduction of the F-35C will significantly expand stealth capabilities, the F-35C could require increased range to address necessary targets. "
also:-


https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....cf4922d041.jpg


golder 29th Apr 2020 11:40

That will put his mind at rest. Though it is an idea from a LM spokesman and not from JPO, USFA, USN or any partners or buyers mouths. All options would be on the table. Including the Boeing UAV tanker and what I've previously said on refueling. There is nothing from JPO. There are no plans for CFT at this stage. I would assume the 2X 5k wet points would be first. I think Israel is looking at drop tanks?

https://www.nationaldefensemagazine....ities-for-f-35

Asturias56 29th Apr 2020 11:42

As ORAC says - external tanks make stealth a bit tough - never mind the additional costs

I guess if the F-35 has been under development so long the actual threat has changed significantly. It may change back over the life of it's service or it may not

golder 29th Apr 2020 11:59


Originally Posted by Asturias56 (Post 10767019)
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/...e-report-says/ suggests its a real issue.

"The committee notes that the aircraft carrier air wing has been optimized for striking power and sortie generation and believes that it may not be configured to support the long-range strike required by current and future threat systems. While the introduction of the F-35C will significantly expand stealth capabilities, the F-35C could require increased range to address necessary targets. "
also:-


Relax, you may have missed ORAC's post. As well as tanker and buddy refueling and proposed UAV. As well as the 2X 5k wet points. LM is proposing CFT. It might have too much fuel now and no room for weapons. Gosh, another problem to solve.

Then there is the Super Hornets III with CFT, I mentioned posts ago. That work with the F-35 and with Supers with CFT, will have a similar radius as the f-35C on internal. I think the Super Hornets actually set the mission radius from a boat without refueling.

Asturias56 29th Apr 2020 17:30

"As well as tanker and buddy refueling and proposed UAV"

All well and good but more space used up on deck and down below, more maintenance and more cost

golder 29th Apr 2020 17:37


Originally Posted by Asturias56 (Post 10767433)
"As well as tanker and buddy refueling and proposed UAV"

All well and good but more space used up on deck and down below, more maintenance and more cost

The A2A refueling tankers are a bit big to keep on board, but I take your point. Running a flat top costs money. A real lot of money. I don't know what the budget for Italy and UK will be, but it will be a lot.

flighthappens 29th Apr 2020 18:31


Originally Posted by golder (Post 10766905)
Asturias from Italy, does have the B model. The legs on the f-35c is fine. I think it's something he heard, than what he read from a USN briefing.

Mind you, they do get good range out of this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8HMPMYL19E

more highlighting it seems strange to complain about the range of the C off a boat, when the B is significantly shorter.

gums 29th Apr 2020 18:39

Salute!

It's always easy to add new performance requirements and measures of merit to any system that takes longer than a year ot two to develop and field nowadays, especially in the software/CPU/memory fields. Yeah! We need a better camera on the new laptop, and the speaker sounds tinny, battery life needs to be longer without adding weight or size, and then..........

Changes in military threats are inevitable over the years and ages. And as pointed out, the lengthy deveopment and testing of systems these days can and do encounter changes to the original threat and maybe new threats arise that were not envisioned when the original specs and requirements were laid out. Big deal!

I went to the U.S. budget source document that the "ARSTechnica" blurb referenced, and the quote from the congressional cmte was accurate, additionally, the cmte mentioned the A-12 program from the mid 80's( page 46) . That stealthy plane was supposed to have another 200 miles more range than the F-35 , if I read their numbers right. I took note as I was the guy assigned to develop the armament system controls and displays for one of the competing prime contractor teams ( no kidding). It was basically a subsonic design, for what it's worth, and I was not privy to the A2A performance specs, just the weapon loadouts and general employment parameters - a very compartmentalized program, lemme tellya.

The chart posted by Asturias with "strike ranges" for carrier wings cannot be very accurate for the 60's thru 90's unless the number of Intruders and Slufs dominated the wing composition, or they didn't count Tomcats. As attack planes, the Double Ugly and Bug guzzled gas, whereas the Intruder and Sluf did real well on range, just slower and not much A2A capability. When the two slow, ugly bomb trucks phased out, you can see the dramatic decrease in range. Find a Bug jock and ask them when they have to get gas from a buddy tanker or big one if the target is more than 300 miles away.

This new "strike" fighter will do just fine on range, and not all missions after the first few days will require the full exploitation of the LO capabilities inherent in its design.

I recommend the folks here interested in discussing the F-35 visit the F-16.net forums dedicated to the new jet. It is not dominated by Brits, so be advised only a few will recognize a lotta slang and reference to RAF and RN units/personnel.

Gums sends...

T28B 29th Apr 2020 21:29

If I may follow up on gums' post in part: the day that any of you rely on The Economist for military specific info is a day to reveiw what you are drinking and how much.

gums 29th Apr 2020 23:32

Salute!

For those who "trust" all the hype and claims and critical stuff, but have never reached out and "touched the elephant", I show a graphic from a publication depicting the actual combat capability of my bomb truck back in 1972-1975. The 354th TFW deployed to Korat in October of 1972, and flew CAS, CSAR and strike over Vietnam, Laos and Combodia. Don was one of the infamous C-flight pilots, and later flew strange machines outta Groom Lake, including Shamu.

https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....d0fd0c757a.jpg
re-print of 1973/1974 publication graphic

I flew 80 or 90 missions with that load, and it is a very accurate depiction of our range. It is actually a bit pessimistic about the shorter missions to South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia as we burned a lotta gas climbing for those runs way up north. On those we carried two x 2,000 pounders, 2 x ECM pods, 2 x tanks and 2 x AIM-9E We also came back from the S. Vietnam, Laos and Cambodian missions with less than 2,300 pounds unless WX was really crappy.

For the trips "downtown" during the 1972 Christmas blitz, we took off last and sometimes landed first because we did not refuel going or coming. The Double Uglies and Thuds tanked while we climbed, then escorted or went in for SEAD/CAP

It would be nice to have someone of that era that flew those missions in something other than a Sluf comment here. And a USN aviator out on a boat in the Gulf could add to the stories.

Gums sends...

golder 30th Apr 2020 01:05

Working with the constraints off of a carrier, makes things hard. USN were the driver of the specs. The elevators limited the length, It had to be shortened. A USN requirement was that it carried 2 internal 2k bombs, Originally USAF and USMC were happy with 1k. The USN also wanted a large munition load, which is 18k, I don't recall what the USAF requirements were. The B also put limitations. It had to be single engine. It also needed to have the performance of a F-16 and F-18. So we have performance, load and range. Pick 2 and put up with the 3rd one. I've seen said before. Then add a size limitation.

It's funny that no one complains of the F-22 range, which is shorter on internal fuel. Drop tanks aren't a deal breaker either. The same applies to the eurocanards.

Asturias56 30th Apr 2020 09:01


Originally Posted by T28B (Post 10767607)
If I may follow up on gums' post in part: the day that any of you rely on The Economist for military specific info is a day to reveiw what you are drinking and how much.

"If I may follow up on gums' post in part: the day that any of you rely on The Economist for military specific info is a day to review what you are drinking and how much."

It was a graphic at hand - the numbers come from the CSBA (Center for Strategic & Budgetary Assessments) in Washington - which I think is a reputable source? :ok:

The main Author is Bryan Clark - Non-Resident Senior Fellow - Prior to joining CSBA in 2013, Bryan Clark was Special Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations and Director of his Commander’s Action Group, where he led development of Navy strategy and implemented new initiatives in electromagnetic spectrum operations, undersea warfare, expeditionary operations and personnel and readiness management. Mr. Clark served in the Navy headquarters staff from 2004 to 2011, leading studies in the Assessment Division and participating in the 2006 and 2010 Quadrennial Defense Reviews. His areas of emphasis were modeling and simulation, strategic planning and institutional reform and governance. Prior to retiring from the Navy in 2007, Mr. Clark was an enlisted and officer submariner, serving in afloat and ashore submarine operational and training assignments including tours as Chief Engineer and Operations Officer at the Navy’s nuclear power training unit. He is the recipient of the Department of the Navy Superior Service Medal and the Legion of Merit.

https://csbaonline.org/research/publ...carrier-air-wi


has the report and some decent slides

Lonewolf_50 30th Apr 2020 13:41


Originally Posted by Asturias56 (Post 10768013)
https://csbaonline.org/research/publ...carrier-air-wi
has the report and some decent slides

Interesting breadcrumb trail here on "sources", don't you think?
The graph is labeled "Center for a New American Security" and the attribution was The Economist, but the original link in the post is from arstechnica and you have found its origin at yet another non governmental foundation (think tank?) with a last "analysis" date of 2016 on the graph.
Hooray for the internet.
Something to ponder: hasn't the USN since 2016 settled on a new carrier borne tanker?
(1) There's the UAV Tanker initiative (but I don't think that's IOC (MQ-25) as of this writing) and there is also, I think, a tanking role for the V-22.
(2) I am puzzling over whether the CMV-22B has a tanking capability, but I think that only the USMC V-22B will have that for the F-35B.
I think I need to check on that, what I am seeing about the V-22 has me a little puzzled.

CVW ops for about 40 years included organic tanking. I will suggest that the graph (of whatever source) presented above may reflect a loss of organic tanking in the CVW. That's been (IMO) a running sore for quite a while.
The S-3 sundown happened in .... 2009. And the S-3B tanker capability was not quite as robust as KA-6D tanker IIRC.
They retired the Tomcat in 2006 -; love her or loathe her had a substantial fuel capacity. The Hornet has always been problematic as regards fuel: I remember the F-18As in the 80's being a whole new ball game in fuel management at the BG level. (Granted, the E/F has a bit more gas/range, as did the C/Ds).
But nothing like the A-6.
OK, just ran through 80+ PPT slide. (Which is two years old)

Beyond 700 nm, all available F/A-18 E/Fs or FA-XX are needed for tanking
So they agree with me, and I don't need to be paid millions per year to run a think tank.

Asturias56 30th Apr 2020 15:20

Wolf - someone was sniffy about using the Economist for a source - I was trying to show a relatively decent think tank was involved - and whats a couple of years when the F-35 has been planned for since ..... and a CVN takes 8 years plus to build? And you have to post publicly available documents - posting anything else is likely to bring round the Organs of the State............

As you say the issue goes all the way back to the idea they didn't need organic tanking and retired the S-3 - I never really understood why they thought they could do without them. The USMC have been trialling a V-22B for over a year I think but I've never heard that the USN had plans

" I don't need to be paid millions per year to run a think tank" - but it would be nice wouldn't it????? Sitting in a comfy office, writing what the hell you like, no responsibility, no come-back -even better than being a Consultant !!! :ok:

Archimedes 30th Apr 2020 15:54


Originally Posted by gums (Post 10767704)
Salute!

It would be nice to have someone of that era that flew those missions in something other than a Sluf comment here. And a USN aviator out on a boat in the Gulf could add to the stories.

Although as the SLUF in AF service is woefully under-represented in literature, more SLUF-based comments would be great...

gums 30th Apr 2020 19:13

Salute!

Went the the original document that the think tank fellow used for his presentation. Decent report. Classic RAND, CATO, etc document with many confusing statistics, monte carlo battles, heh heh. He is not a tactician with real world experience, best I could tell, and some of that shows in the report.

He shows a typical CVW for each of the eras in that graphic we are looking at. And as I expected, the long range years existed when the Intruder and Sluf carried the pig iron. And then USN air wings became mostly Bugs and the strike range from our carriers torpedoed!

@ Wolf-man , et al..... He has organic air refueling by various platforms on all his air wing configurations. His F-35C numbers seem low, so maybe the Bug mafia is ruling more than we are aware of.

I do like the idea of the drones for tankers, and as anyone here knows that has hooked up with the drogue, that plane in front just needs to be real stable, smooth for your probe.

Oh well, the naysayers will keep naysaying and pseudo experts like Sprey will continue to amuse us.

Gums sends...

P.S. The F-16.net has several posts about the Sluf, mostly by me ( heh heh) , as well as great comentary about other planes of different eras.

Lyneham Lad 1st May 2020 11:48

Regarding tanking:-
US Navy awards Boeing $84.7m for three more MQ-25A unmanned refuelling tankers

(On Flight Global last month).

Lonewolf_50 1st May 2020 20:05


Originally Posted by Lyneham Lad (Post 10769326)

That's a nice step forward. Thanks for saving me a bit more digging around. :ok:
For Not_a_Boffin:

Tie in a need to do ABMD, spend a shedload of money on comedy destroyers, all three of them, and Bobs your uncle.
ABMD is a valid requirement that also supports "from the sea" maritime ops. (Covering selected ports and "beach heads" with ABMD platforms provides any amphibious operation with longer viability ... but AMBD is hard no matter how you slice it)
The Zumwalt class circus, maybe not as much. :p Quite the money pit, those three.

golder 8th May 2020 11:43

https://www.airforce-technology.com/...deployment-uk/

US Republican senators are reportedly seeking to deter the stationing of 48 F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft in the UK.

The Telegraph reported that the proposed action is being led by Arkansas senator Tom Cotton and tied to the association of Huawei in the UK’s 5G network.

In January, the Chinese firm was allowed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ‘build non-core parts of the UK’s 5G networks’.

According to scheduled plans, the F-35A aircraft are expected to be permanently stationed in the UK from next year.



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