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daifo

New Member
Registered Member
Any news if China will pursue an Stealth SVTOL aircraft? Seems that the F-35B is looking to be a game changer for the US Marines and various navies operating LHDs.
 

Brumby

Major
I am moving this conversation on light vs heavy weight fighter from the J-20 thread as it was cluttering that thread.

When you look at the J-20, the first thing you notice is that it's heavyweight. Roughly 20.4 x 12.9, comparable in size (but not mass) to an F-15 Eagle and slightly smaller than a Flanker, J-11 or Su-27.

Going heavyweight is a choice. A heavyweight fighter, with all other factors being equal, is going to cost more than a middleweight or a light fighter. And fighters aren't like tanks, wherein the heavier your tank, the more survivable your tank is. It only takes a single missile to knock down a F-15, just as much as it takes only a single missile to knock down a F-16.

So when you go heavyweight, you take on drawbacks of cost, but to go heavyweight you also want advantages that justify this cost.

As I've said before, traditionally, a heavyweight fighter, in order to pay for itself, had to achieve good kill-loss ratios versus light and middle-weight fighters. This comes in via the BVR advantages of the heavyweight fighter.compared to the lightweight fighter, although in the 5th generation, differences in IR emissivity can cancel out this factor.

But this is crucial when you look at the J-20. If the J-20 is equal to the F-35 in terms of cost, it becomes viable for the J-20 to counter the F-35 simply by massing the aircraft. A 1:1 kill-loss exchange rate doesn't matter, because eventually the opponent runs out of fighters, or both sides run out of aircraft.

However, if the J-20 is more expensive than the F-35 in terms of cost, it becomes imperative that the J-20 has a qualitative edge over the F-35. There are various dimensions where this is true; i.e, the J-20 will eventually have significantly better dogfighting ability than the F-35 (increased thrust, TVC, canards), and its larger radar and potentially larger IRST system gives it an edge in BVR over the F-35.

In other words, it is DESIRABLE for the J-20 to be more expensive than the F-35. Remember the old design of the J-31? That one incorporated only an EOIRST, and ditched the EODAS to achieve cost savings. If the J-20 is stuck, irredeemably, as more expensive than the F-35, the corner cutting business is NOT a valid strategy for competition. Leave that to the Russians with their Su-57, where the stealth is questionable (i.e, intended to break radar locks by missiles but not to get a detection advantage).

110 million as a target price for the J-20 is actually a very excellent price at this rate. It's 38% more expensive than the current F-35, meaning that it's not wildly more expensive, but neither is it cheap enough to push it into a plane spam category ("I'm going to fly 3,000 J-20s and outnumber your F-35s!).
There are two themes I want to pick up from your overall comments.

First is the whole idea of having to go heavy weight on a fighter. There are a number of reasons but two that come to my mind is endurance/range and weapons load out. If it is a core requirement then cost is simply a fallout from those requirements - not the other way around. It is no doubt that light weight is cheaper because it lacks certain capabilities that I mentioned and typically they are single engine and hence lower cost.

The second idea is related to WVR/BVR. Is the outcome driven by weight class as you seem to allude or capabilities which in essence is independent of weight class?

For example, the F-16 is known to be generally superior against the F-15 in a merge according to an experienced F-16 pilot that had taken on the F-15 on many cross training exercises However the caveat is that the F-16 would not stand a chance getting to a merge against an F-15 in a real fight. The question is why? I would argue it is due to inherent capabilities of the F-15 be it its sensors or ECM suite.
 

kyuryu

Junior Member
Any news if China will pursue an Stealth SVTOL aircraft? Seems that the F-35B is looking to be a game changer for the US Marines and various navies operating LHDs.
Yes, interesting question. There is persistent chatter on various forums regarding Sino-Russian cooperation based on an updated Yak-141M/143, but not prototype or concrete evidence has emerged (yet). It would make sense for the Type 075 and even the Type 001 and Type 001A aircraft carriers
 

AssassinsMace

Brigadier
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So is all that stuff they talk about in the movie Top Gun just for the movie? They said that pilots were too dependent on missiles that the kill ratio between the US and the enemy would be closer. So now in this exercise that supposedly took place around Nov, they're saying if they weren't dogfighting it would be another story. It seems like who has the better missiles is the only thing that counts.
 
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TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
So is all that stuff they talk about in the movie Top Gun just for the movie
Top gun is Hollywood bunk playing by Hollywood rules. That movie has some huge breaches of disbelief. Even in the dialogue. In one sequence Goose says they are “Ballistic” so they should make the kill. In a F14 Ballistic means they are out of control and falling to the earth. In another they confess to only having violated the minimum altitude restrictions for a few seconds. Which is like saying we were a flaming crater for only a few seconds.
 

supersnoop

Junior Member
Registered Member
Question in the wake of the shootdown of the 737.
What do operators actually see on the computer screen? Just a blip like in the movies?

I was once sitting in a classroom of an air defense regiment (for something else) and they had all these nice pictures of planes and something like "Learn to Identify these planes!" posted up. However, the system they used had EO targeting which would mean there is a visual component.

As a humorous aside, on the same day, I remember there was a M113 puttering outside. I was thinking "How do people fit in those things?" It was barely larger than a big van. It looked so stupid to me, lol.
 
Question in the wake of the shootdown of the 737.
What do operators actually see on the computer screen? ...
if you want, go to
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and into the search window cut&paste
Тор внутренность

(in Russian, Тор is the AA system reportedly used, and внутренность is interior in the present context)

maybe you'll see what you seek, just don't quote this to nitpick
 

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