F-35 Joint Strike Fighter News, Videos and pics Thread


gelgoog

Senior Member
Registered Member
I like the work produced by Bryan Clark because he focusses on strategic matters on the chess board. However in the story mentioned in Aviation week, I think he is off course. The premise of the story is based off Clark's research article published in CSBA in December of last year titled "REGAINING THE HIGH GROUND AT SEA: Transforming the U.S. Navy’s Carrier Air Wing for Great Power Competition".
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IMO, Clark is conflating two issues, viz : range and the need for a naval air superiority fighter through a remodeled F-35C. First off, the air superiority role was to be an outcome of the F/A XX program and not from the JSF program. Secondly, the issue of range in the Western Pacific is a geographical reality and the solution is not necessarily going for greater range in the airframe. It is an asymmetrical cost equation that cannot be won. The A2D2 bubble will continue to grow with ever increasing missile range and will easily outpace economically whatever increasing range that can be put on a plane. All you end up is ever increasing cost and a degrading sortie generation rate. The solution is not conventional but outside the box.
Agreed. But I still think a longer range fighter airframe will need to happen. However upgrading the F-35 won't cut it since the airframe is at its limits as it is. Even if you redesign it the engine it does not have enough power for the air superiority role. That will require a twin engine aircraft. Hence the F/A XX.

What they can do is to reduce the requirements on the engines to use technology close to the F-35 engine's technology level. That would speed up the program. It also might mean they could pool resources with the USAF or foreign partners for their long range fighter requirement to replace the F-15.

If they share as much of the F-35 avionics as possible, plus the engines, the design cost shouldn't be that high.
One of the defense contractors could probably design it with their own budget.

This is basically what happened with the F-14 program which basically reused sensors and weapon systems from a cancelled aircraft together with existing engines on a whole new airframe for the naval task.

If I was designing this stop-gap F/A XX I would make it have long internal bays similar to the Su-57. Long and large enough to carry at least 4x Meteor missiles in them.
Or to carry at least two air launched cruise missiles internally.
 
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Brumby

Major
If I was designing this stop-gap F/A XX .
Strategic policy sets the program and not the other way around. The policy path has already laid out the development pathway. If there are pressing drivers that warrant a change in the development path and consequently a new program then a compelling case needs to be presented. I don't believe Clark is able to make a strong enough case to divert funds from the F-35 program to accelerate some sort of F/A XX timeline. Short dated range and the lack of a navalised air superiority fighter was always part of the known calculus. The question is what has changed that is so compelling that warrants a change in policy direction.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
Agreed. But I still think a longer range fighter airframe will need to happen. However upgrading the F-35 won't cut it since the airframe is at its limits as it is. Even if you redesign it the engine it does not have enough power for the air superiority role. That will require a twin engine aircraft. Hence the F/A XX
The problem then is size becomes more of a factor. Range increases from changing engines is a small degree but massive changes in rage demand changes in the form of internal fuel load. That demands larger ships. And in this case the need is less than the want.
What they can do is to reduce the requirements on the engines to use technology close to the F-35 engine's technology level. That would speed up the program. It also might mean they could pool resources with the USAF or foreign partners for their long range fighter requirement to replace the F-15.
F/A-XX is the USN not the USAF. To replace F/A18E-F not F15. Also for the record entries for engines in both the F22 and F35 programs involved Variable cycle types. For the moment F/A18E-F are getting upgrades to fill the gap.
If they share as much of the F-35 avionics as possible, plus the engines, the design cost shouldn't be that high.
One of the defense contractors could probably design it with their own budget.
Which would be fine if we were talking about a F22/35 hybrid. Because the programs are two fold the F/A-XX and F-X and targeting the next decade and Sixth generation. Ergo the fighters would be demanded to have beyond current generation avionics and systems.
This is basically what happened with the F-14 program which basically reused sensors and weapon systems from a cancelled aircraft together with existing engines on a whole new airframe for the naval task.
The F14 program model was rushed and troubled also the type of build would be so drastically done as to cause more problems then cure.
If I was designing this stop-gap F/A XX I would make it have long internal bays similar to the Su-57. Long and large enough to carry at least 4x Meteor missiles in them.
Or to carry at least two air launched cruise missiles internally.
A missile not in US service with no signs of licensing or adoption in sight.
And a capability already in the F35C.
 

Brumby

Major
@Jura

A couple of stories from Dutch pilots (not US pilots) in their experiences with the F-35 (source :Combat Aircraft May 2018) as to why the F-35 is simply "incredible".

The F-35 as a force multiplier
‘The initial scenario was that our two F-35s would escort a four-ship of F-16s across a notional border and protect them against another eight-ship of F-16s simulating a modern adversary. A relatively inexperienced flight leader was in charge of the F-16s on our side and Lt Col Joost ‘Niki’ Luijsterburg, the Tucson detachment commander, was responsible for the adversaries. Up to this point we had only practised these scenarios in the simulators and while we had a decent game-plan, we were all anxious to see how the F-35 would perform in real life. We figured that the F-35’s stealth would keep us out of harm’s way for most of the fight, but that we also need to protect the friendly F-16s, maximize the lethality of their missiles and get them to the target.

To make this happen, we planned to initially use electronic attack against the adversary F-16s, see if we could avoid having them detect friendly fighters and datalink the location of the hostile aircraft to our F-16s. This way we could use the F-16s on our side to shoot down the initial wave of enemy fighters and keep our own missiles available once the ‘Blue Air’ F-16s had to focus on their target attack. The plan worked flawlessly.

'In the debrief ‘Niki’ told us it was one of the most memorable sorties he had ever flown. Having previously worked in the F-35 program office he was elated to find out how effective the F-35 was, but at the same time he was frustrated by not getting a single shot off the rail against us, while getting killed multiple times. After that sortie it really hit us that the F-35 was going to make a big difference in how we operate fighters and other assets in the Royal Netherlands Air Force’

@Airforcebrat

Your favourite concerning BFM

While there appears to be little discussion regarding the beyond visual range (BVR) prowess of the F-35, close-in dogfighting has always been an area that’s attracted detractors when it comes to the F-35, with reports of poor performance when it came to turning and burning. Knight offers a very different perspective based on his experiences flying the jet, as opposed to online speculation. ‘The first thing to realize when comparing modern fighter aircraft is that every type has compromises and it’s up to the pilot to get the best performance out of the jet. The F-16 is a relatively small and lightweight fighter; this meant we had great sustained high-speed turning performance and simple handling characteristics. The flight control laws were designed in such a way that the pilot can simply pull back on the stick as hard as he or she wants and the aircraft will give its maximum performance. On the flip side, we’ve always had to make do with limited fuel, limited payload and sluggish slow-speed maneuverability due to flight control limitations. ‘The F-35 is a very different aircraft, and it took pilots a while to adjust and figure out how to max-perform it. What didn’t help is that until about 18 months ago we were restricted in envelope, which meant we couldn’t pull as much g as we wanted to, nor fly with high-alpha. It was an eyeopener for all of us when those restrictions were lifted and we finally got to see the full potential. Actually, it was an eyeopener for a lot of adversary pilots as well.’ The F-35 is far larger than the F-16, and it carries twice as much fuel and three times the payload. ‘Consequently, the F-35 loses energy a bit faster than the F-16 at higher speeds,’ continues Knight. ‘But the slow-speed handling is amazing. The F-35 pilot has the option to continuously point the nose at the adversary, even at ridiculously slow speeds, which is a great capability to have in combination with high off-boresight missiles and a helmet-mounted sight. You need to be careful maneuvering the aircraft at higher speeds, because if you keep pulling back on the stick the aircraft will give you as much alpha as it can, but it will bleed a lot of energy in the process. It’s up to the pilot to recognize when to try to maintain airspeed and energy and when to give that away to prosecute with missiles or guns. I typically tell new pilots that the F-35 sits somewhere in between the F-16 and F/A-18 when it comes to within visual range maneuvering.’ Knight divulged a little more information about flying basic fighter maneuvers (BFM) in an F-35. ‘When our envelope was cleared to practise BFM we got the opportunity to fight some fourth generation fighters. Remember, back then the rumors were that the F-35 was a pig. The first time the opponents showed up [in the training area] they had wing tanks along with a bunch of missiles. I guess they figured that being in a dirty configuration wouldn’t really matter and that they would still easily outmaneuver us. By the end of the week, though, they had dropped their wing tanks, transitioned to a single centerline fuel tank and were still doing everything they could not to get gunned by us. A week later they stripped the jets clean of all external stores, which made the BFM fights interesting, to say the least… ‘High-g maneuvering is fun, but having high fuel capacity and the ability to carry lots of stores is great too. During the weeks when we were flying BFM we also needed to drop a GBU-12 [laser-guided bomb] on the China Lake weapons range. Back in our F-16 days we’d have had to choose, since there is no way you can BFM with a bomb on your wing, let alone having the fuel to fly both missions in a single sortie. With the F-35, however, this isn’t much of an issue. On one of the sorties, my colleague, Maj Pascal ‘Smiley’ Smaal, decided he would fly BFM and still have enough fuel to go to the range afterwards and drop his weapon. During the debrief, the adversary pilot told us he was confused as to why we went to the range after the fight. When ‘Smiley’ told him that he was carrying an inert GBU-12 the entire time and that he then dropped it afterwards during a test event, the silence on the other end of the line was golden.’
 

Brumby

Major
can the current F-35 radar receive AND transmit in an EW role?
There are enough public info out there to confirm that the APG-81 can jam from frontal aspect in X-band. The piece that is unknown is how significant is the AN/ASQ 239 capability in EW. We know it is all aspect ES, EW, and EA. Whether it is all band is unknown. In 2016, Gen. Hawk Carlisle, publicly mention the F-35 EW capabilities are “an order of magnitude better than anything we’ve had in the past". Clearly in the Dutch story, the F-35 jammed the opposing F-16 and made them ineffectual.

by the way your interjection "stories from Dutch pilots (not US pilots)" made me laugh
… because I get the impression that every story from the US is some kind of spin to you. LOL.
 
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Anlsvrthng

Senior Member
Registered Member
@Jura

A couple of stories from Dutch pilots (not US pilots) in their experiences with the F-35 (source :Combat Aircraft May 2018) as to why the F-35 is simply "incredible".
Interesting, when was the last time when a pilot (or any other officer of any armed forces) publicly criticised the performance of any piece of actively used equipment?

It can bring three issue:
1. the sharing of issues of the equipment can be considered as share secret information with the public.
2. Every pilot wants to fly fighters, and criticise the aircraft that they trained for is not the best way to stay in the business of fighter piloting.
3. The f-35 program has so much vested interest from military, political and business side to share a negative view will bring a lot of "unofficial" difficulty onto anyone

So, saying anything more than the publicly available positive information from the manufacturer website or from official military statements is a sure way to kill the carrier in good case or to go to the jail in bad.

I don't say that the F-25 is bad( or good) , I just point out that the pilots (or military persons) are not the objective sources of information : D
 

localizer

Senior Member
Registered Member
Interesting, when was the last time when a pilot (or any other officer of any armed forces) publicly criticised the performance of any piece of actively used equipment?

It can bring three issue:
1. the sharing of issues of the equipment can be considered as share secret information with the public.
2. Every pilot wants to fly fighters, and criticise the aircraft that they trained for is not the best way to stay in the business of fighter piloting.
3. The f-35 program has so much vested interest from military, political and business side to share a negative view will bring a lot of "unofficial" difficulty onto anyone

So, saying anything more than the publicly available positive information from the manufacturer website or from official military statements is a sure way to kill the carrier in good case or to go to the jail in bad.

I don't say that the F-25 is bad( or good) , I just point out that the pilots (or military persons) are not the objective sources of information : D
I remember reading:
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It doesn't explain at all how the F35 made a "comeback" and how flying it is different from a regular jet. I wanna learn but seems like it's pointless to read anything written by a journalist unless I actually go fly one of those things.
 

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