Discussion in 'Military Aviation' started by vram, May 4, 2013.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: simply a phenomenal flying machine - Telegraph
IT 'MIGHT' be a phenomenal flying machine compared to the Harrier jump jets . But is it a phenomenal fighter as well compared to the rest ? this is the most critical question that will have to be answered.interesting times ahead
It is when accompanied with all the new technology such as smart bombs and air stratgy that that go with it.
Heres my understanding of US air stratgy for present and future warfare. Missiles Navy has 11000 alone that take out airdefense and communication sites and high priority targets, some of the Missiles with use EMP to take out electronics. The the Drones using antiradiations missiles to further degrade air defense sites. Same time countermeasures willl be used and then along this decoy drones. The the F22 will clean air space up to 500 kilometers from the target, the the USA with go in with the F35 and B1 with powered JDAMs from stand off of about 500 kilometers from the targets. The F35 will deliver the first of the rocket powered JDAMS to further degrade any defenses and the B1 with can carry 180 powered 250 lb Jdams or 80 500 lb Jdams includeing cluster bombs will elimate the target.
After that the B2 and B52 act as bomb trucks with glide JDAMS with ranges of about 50 miles or regulasr JDAMs delivering as many as 20000 in a sortie.
The USA was planning on war with much formidable enemies then we ended up faceing, orignally when all this technology was thought of we were planning on fighting a much superior USSR with more weapons then US forces. Its kind of like the USA planned to fight in the heavy weight division and ended up in fighting in the feathweight division.
The advantage of the F35B is that it will allow US allies to have the advantages of an aircraft carrier with out needing an aircraft carrier, with the F35 B any ship can be an aircraft carrier.
Fair enough. The F-22 combined with the F35 will be a formidable force no matter who the enemy. But in relation to the critical questions here..
F35 and its variants are not only meant for the American strategies of war or even the same kind of enemies. From all the literature that I have till now read up on the F35 it will not serve as a very good multi-role Jet compared to the other upcoming competitors. The main advantage here I suspect will be its better stealth charecterstics as well better sensors and electronics that should have excellent pilot interfaces that will allow Just-In-Time mission deviations if the scenario required . The other legacy jets will be slower to respond. But the price tag for this capability just seems a bit too high for a marginal improvement in capability over the competitors.
The price tag issue is overstated.
Currently prototypes cost as much as a serial production EF-2000. Once the F-35s production line stabilizes costs will go down.
The current cost for Korean F-35s is said to be $10.8 Billion for 60 jets.
LiveLeak.com - South Korea Requests F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft (comments)
That's $180 Million per aircraft including spares, maintenance and training. It could very well be similar to IAF's Rafale deal even though we are ordering twice the number for aircraft.
To top it off,
F-35A Cost Per Flying Hour Exceeds F-16 by 10%
A 10% greater cost is a pretty decent figure in comparison to the capability boost that even exceeds MKI.
No, stealth isn't a "marginal" improvement over 4th gen aircraft.
I forget where I posted that report, but it said F-35 was buggy as hell. It clearly isn't ready for prime time as they constantly degrade its capabilities to meet timelines. When it is finished it is twice the cost of Rafale with less capability. All you get is a marginal decrease in RCS, the same if Rafale underwent a stealth conversion.
more like super featherweight enemy.
The kill ratio of the F15 is 105 to 0, if it had cost 5 times a much would it have been worth it. Would a cheaper plane that only had a 50 / 50 kill ratio , how about 75/25 kill ratio been a better deal.
they never meet any real airforce which was only half as capable as they were. Then this ratio would have been different.
F-35 is still under development.
Explain this. F-35 will have a more capable radar and has far higher volume for avionics than Rafale will even have. So how will it be less capable?
Rafales were offered to Switzerland at $200Million apiece while the Korean order is at $180Million apiece. So what was that about twice the cost?
No chance at all. Meaning Rafale will never undergo a stealth conversion and if it did it will have even lesser capability due to the decreased fuel and avionics bay space.
F-35 has two or three times the avionics space, two times the fuel and is a stealth aircraft compared to Rafale. It is so obvious which is better. Rafale may be a better dog fighter though.
As you said F-35 is still in development so it's too early to say which will be a better dogfighter. Just note that when the F-35 was being designed the Americans and allies already know the specs of all 4 and 4+ gen fighters in the market although I doubt the F-35 was designed by the Americans with the existing threats in mind.
I think the game changer in F-35 as far as WVR fights (dogfights) is its DAS that gives the pilot a 360 degree vision. Coupled with HOBS and LOAL missiles then extreme maneuvering might just have been relegated to airshows... Of course capabilities promised by F-35s DAs can only be fully exploited if LM and its subcontractor can solve the issues on its HMDs integration.
It is confirmed that the F-35 won't be as good as Rafale with the recent specs degrade. The only advantage for the F-35 in this case is the internal weapons carriage which reduces drag. But if you rig a Rafale with the same weapons load as the F-35s internals, the Rafale will still be better as it has greater TWR.
Look, I will say this again. The 360 degree capability is nothing spectacular.
Take the example of PAKFA. It has 360 degree capability and it also has extreme maneuverability. When the lock happens, the missile can head straight to the target. So, instead of forcing the missile to maneuver and waste fuel, the aircraft itself can turn 180 degrees to fire the missile. Even the time to target would be significantly lower.
The biggest criticism of TVC is that the fighter would have lost its energy and it would become an easy target. But there is a small catch here. When the pilot uses TVC, it will most probably be used to get a shot in, so while the aircraft has lost its agility, the enemy pilot will actually try to get away from the energy less fighter simply because there is a missile or two headed straight towards it. Meaning what will the enemy do when there is a high energy missile headed towards it, fired first from the energy less fighter? Will the pilot sacrifice himself to get a shot of his own in or will he try to escape?
Criticism of extreme maneuverability will go up in smoke in such a situation.
The purpose of the 360 degree capability on F-35 is to maintain situational awareness, the purpose of extreme maneuverability is to get the first shot in. Both complement each other.
Anyway Rafale does not yet have extreme maneuverability, but it can bring itself into a firing position faster than F-35 can.
Why would you "turn" just to get a lock when all you need to do is "look"?
If the Russians are now adopting F-35 style DAS in PAKFA then it only validates the projections of the people at LM about the future of fighters.
On the issue of maneuvering in WVR combat (dogfights): Which would you prefer to do the maneuvering, an aircraft with excellent TVC truning capability but limited only to 9Gs (due to human limits) or a 50+G (and Mach 3+) capable missile also with TVCs? I'd chose the latter anytime.
Take a look at the typical engagement envelope of Phyton 4, one of the new generation of HOBS missiles:
And look at this demo of AIM 9x:
Do you think Russian TVC equipped jets can outrun those missiles? So I would put my faith on the first jet that can "look" and "lock" at the opponent.
"Look" for the lock and "turn" to shoot.
It is nice to have such a system in place. Small fighters won't have the size advantage or visual stealth advantage.
Just observe the video I posted above on how the AIM 9x turns after it was fired from the F15, so quick. Besides, with these new generation of IR missiles you don't even need to have a "lock" to shoot the missile since the missiles can lock on the target after it is lunched. So I will disagree with you so vehemently on your insistence on the need of the jet to maneuver to have a good missile shoot in WVR combat. By the time the pilot points his nose on the enemy the enemy with DAS has already fired at him and the HOBS with LOAL missile is already heading straight at you, having just made a 180 degrees turn... KABOOOM!
Think about this. Which of the targets is closer and more reachable?
The same scenario, what do you think the super maneuverable Flanker would have done. With a regular fighter, that is a predictable path. But with the MKI or Su-35 the aircraft simply had to turn a little bit to the left and the Hornet would have died much earlier.
There are 7 Python images, so using that as key let me explain where the Hornet would have been when it died. The first kill probability to take out the MKI is at the 4th Python image. The second kill probability is at the 7th image. But to take down the Hornet, the first kill probability is at the first Python image.
Meaning the Hornet would have died the same time as the Python released. Also the missile does not have enough turn radius for the missile to re-engage a MKI that stopped mid air resulting in an overshoot.
Russian TVC cannot necessarily outrun a missile, but it sure can get first "kill" capability.
You tell me which is better. Look, lock, fire and turn (missile) like the F-35 or turn (aircraft), lock and fire like the MKI. The answer is so obvious. Note that the MKI can turn much faster than the missile can because it is spinning on its axis during the maneuver.
But by the time the super maneuverable Flanker completed its turn the AIM 9x missile is already heading towards it having made a faster turn. Note that I'm referring to F-35 with fully operational DAS not a legacy Hornet.
If the MKI is turning on its axis then it has almost zero airspeed. A sitting duck. And the MKI will begin to fall out form the sky.
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