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


Inst

Senior Member
The US is planning to have laser attack pods ready by 2025. This is what this is really about; i.e, if there's a revolution in military equipment that means 4.5th gens with lasers dominate 5th gens, the US wants cheap platforms ready to exploit it. And if the revolution doesn't come, you still have dogfight specialists (potentially dronable) that can provide strike ability once air dominance is achieved.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
The laser pod could just as easily be added to a fifth Gen. that’s not the issue. What this is about is second line forces and sustainment.
The USAF has a huge mix of missions. Generally thought we can break the aircraft types into two categories.
contested airspace and non contested airspace.
F22, F35, B21, B2, RQ170, RQ180, Hypersonic strike are all for contested airspace. They are designed to push into the airspace controlled by a sophisticated air defense system. To do this they use passive, active and structural stealth technologies and techniques.
F15EX, F16, A10, B1, B52, C130, E3, E8, KC135, KC46, C17, C5M, V22, MQ9, RQ4 ecta... these are non contested airspace. They can only operate in airspace that is free of air denial systems or where said systems are allied. The latter are essential to maintain operations and support other allied operations and forces. For example you can’t send an Army division into contested areas without high risk of casualties. A carrier parked in contested airspace is a floating target.
The function of the aircraft for contested airspace is to push the line of non contested airspace forward. Generally homelands are considered for allied non contested airspace. But any adversary would want to turn that into contested airspace so as to break down the ability of the allied forces to maintain operations against them. As such non contested airspace has to be secured by combined force of air denial systems and intercept. Systems like E3 or E7 support such by extending vigilance of the zone. Legacy platforms like F16 are generally well suited to intercept and control of non contested airspace by their capability sets and lower cost of upkeep vs aircraft designed for contested airspace which have higher technical requirements.
If you watch the video I posted, what this is about is pretty much laid out.
What is happening with F35 is a log jam of F135 service orders first as the first batches of F135 engines are being sent to depot for 5 year servicing, but on top of that other engines are being sent for lamination treatment basically doubled demand of the singular depot that was farther hit by COVID. So the depot is working as fast as it can but not enough are coming out to meet optimum demand. Measures are being proposed to increase supply by new capacity.
The USAF is evaluating its reliability of sustainment of systems to the 2040 time span which included F15, F16 and E3. However it has realized that sustainment of F15C is not realistic. This is as the Aircraft is reaching it structural life expectancy far sooner than originally intended. It’s capacity for growth is also limited by the base electronics of the vintage models. With curtailed F22 procurement the USAF had to find an alternative. Fortunately one existed Export versions of the F15E series have continued production long after the DOD stopped buying. This resulted in the F15EX brand new fighters with modern electronics.
Seeing this offices in the USAF looking at sustainment of other legacy systems primarily F16 & E3 Sentry are pointing out that a similar situation exists.
In the case of E3 many point to the limited availability because of the age of the airframe and obsolescence of the engines. They advocate for replacement and point to E7 because of the factors of a warming production line for allied nations like the UK.
F16 fans have in the past pointed out how export blocks like the UAE F16E block 60 were better than their home nations version. Many have advocated buys of such as alternative to the then immature F35A. The activation of the New South Carolina line for F16 export production offers a similar capacity. Why try to patch new systems in to increasingly older aircraft when in the long term it would cost just as much to upgrade and maintain as buy brand new. The Japanese Scrap and build mindset if you will.
However as the F16C have been updated or built new they are still legacy aircraft a hodgepodge of technologies from the last 4 decades.
With F35 one of the reality shifts that happened is apps based upgrades. Whereas when F16 was designed major changes of capability happened by sending the Aircraft back to depot for structural modifications. F35A has gained capacity like your smartphone. A set number of structural changes have happened yes but much of the shifts are at software level.
So load an app on your IPhone now you can shop a supermarket by scanning as you go. Skip the register and check out as you walk out the door. In an F35 an app lets the hardware that worked for the F22s Missiles warning system run the helmets augmented vision systems. An update of the flight control governing software changed the handling aspects. New weapons are added to the systems arsenal by lines of code and not by running new electronics.
This is a capability set that is being advanced as a want for the next buy of aircraft. Allowing the same hardware to operate in new manors by application. So rather than having to hard wire that laser pod for example to work in an F16C could they build a fighter with apps based operations to allow the pod to just be mounted and use the existing hardware to operate off the fighter. They could now in theory take that same pod and plug it into any other fighter on the line Viper, Eagle, Lightning or Raptor? Right now when adding pods one has to use only a pod designed for the end user platform. A Targeting pod for an F16 won’t work on a F15.
The study that was talked about was to see if a new 4.5 Gen fighter would have to be built to get that capability, it’s feasibility.
 
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Ananamus

Just Hatched
Registered Member
Shitting on F-35 has been the norm for years. Not doing it would not be normal.
Are we living in the same world? Since day 1 all I've seen is mindless praise of the F-35, to the point where the instant anyone dares to suggest that it's not the absolute panacea of all aircraft or that it is not the best airplane ever designed by anyone ever, they get dogpiled.

If anything, the F-35 (despite likely being a very good fifth-generation aircraft and deserving more than a little bit of praise) is an insanely overrated system.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
The praise is normally in response to reticule. Don’t believe me? Go back to the first page of this thread and read every post.
F35 commentary breaks down into three flavors
Ridicule feed by the claims of boondoggle, flying brick, MIC conspiracy theory.
These are often additionally linked by the so called “reformers” like Pierre Sprey who claims to have designed the F16 and A10 but that the the USAF screwed it up by adding electronics. Often bolstered by reports of problems that are common for new systems and a social media and uneducated journalists.

Second flavor are fan boys who don’t add facts to their opinion. Yet that is the norm for any number of background groups.

Finally we have the educated who admit the problems point to the solved problems and how it works and doesn’t.

F35 is not a Pancreas. But it where excels it excels. It’s an aircraft. Like all others it’s comprises.
 

t2contra

Major
Are we living in the same world? Since day 1 all I've seen is mindless praise of the F-35, to the point where the instant anyone dares to suggest that it's not the absolute panacea of all aircraft or that it is not the best airplane ever designed by anyone ever, they get dogpiled.

If anything, the F-35 (despite likely being a very good fifth-generation aircraft and deserving more than a little bit of praise) is an insanely overrated system.

No other fighter jet in production or service gets as many brickbats.
 

Anlsvrthng

Senior Member
Registered Member
With F35 one of the reality shifts that happened is apps based upgrades. Whereas when F16 was designed major changes of capability happened by sending the Aircraft back to depot for structural modifications. F35A has gained capacity like your smartphone. A set number of structural changes have happened yes but much of the shifts are at software level.
So load an app on your IPhone now you can shop a supermarket by scanning as you go. Skip the register and check out as you walk out the door. In an F35 an app lets the hardware that worked for the F22s Missiles warning system run the helmets augmented vision systems. An update of the flight control governing software changed the handling aspects. New weapons are added to the systems arsenal by lines of code and not by running new electronics.
This is a capability set that is being advanced as a want for the next buy of aircraft. Allowing the same hardware to operate in new manors by application. So rather than having to hard wire that laser pod for example to work in an F16C could they build a fighter with apps based operations to allow the pod to just be mounted and use the existing hardware to operate off the fighter. They could now in theory take that same pod and plug it into any other fighter on the line Viper, Eagle, Lightning or Raptor? Right now when adding pods one has to use only a pod designed for the end user platform. A Targeting pod for an F16 won’t work on a F15.
The study that was talked about was to see if a new 4.5 Gen fighter would have to be built to get that capability, it’s feasibility.
Have you ever tried to develop software that interacted with real world thingy?

The apps on the phones have catastrophic failures time to times with minimal in and next to zero output requirements. example the scanner one is a simple software, using only one passive input feature.

A code change on an aircraft technically just change of one line, but in practice it require countless testing, proving and documentation.

I encountered many times when a function was left out from software and implemented as hardware purposefully to avoid certification/proving/change documentation issues.
 

Inst

Senior Member
Yes, F-35 opinion is very variable, from boosters, bashers, and people in between.

Part of the important thing to consider is that the F-35 is an extremely major US fighter aircraft order, which is basically taking on every role in the US inventory. It will obviously attract bashers, simply because the F-35 got a virtual monopoly on USAF/USN fighter operations; it's a big target.
 

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