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F-35 "deploys" for the first time

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posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 01:53 AM
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a reply to: Forensick

Few little details about the Falklands conflict and the use of the Harrier in it:

First Harriers were used for only one reason, we'd scrapped our larger aircraft carriers in favour of small ones with no catapults and ski-jumps and so while we still had operational F4's and Bucaneers, we had no way of operating them 4000+ miles from the nearest base.

The Harrier was an untested platform then, as were the carriers involved. The ability of the Hartier to land vertically really didn't help much, in good weather it's a benefit but in foul south Atlantic conditions many pilots opted for rolling landings (Helicopters included) to lessen the chances of a pitching deck sudden raising and smacking into you.

So apart from fine weather landings almost all Harrier operations were conducted conventionally, the parallel with the F35 today would be interesting, 30+ years on and we're buying an aircraft that is a bit quicker, slight shorter range, is admittedly reasonable stealthy, but at low level the F35 is considered to be inferior to the last mk.9 Harriers and stealth means nothing against effectively ground fire (the only combat method where Harriers have ever been lost) and I doubt very much that the F35's stealth coating would survive too well in such horrendous weather (Harriers had leading edges stripped to bare metal in less than 12 hours flying in some cases)

The UK Armed Forces were forced into the F35 choice by political pandering and some shameless bullying by BAE threatening to shift many UK operations abroad if we didn't buy it. When F35 costs and delays began to get silly the original plan was to change our new carrier design to accomodate French Rafales which is now a proven combat platform for the Navy and the RAF would continue with the Typhoon and it's further development. Instead we jumped through hoops to wait for the F35 and by the time the F35 is even close to combat ready we'll have gone over two decades without naval air power.

I was at BAE Warton a few days ago visiting a former colleague now working on Typhoon updates (Meteor & Brimstone 2) and we discussed the F35 (the two development teams aren't permitted much contact apparently) and it appears apart from the current avionics problems and ejector seat issues, the major worry is survivability of the F35 during any low level ground attack jobs, "she's very smart and sneaky but she's a fragile twitchy bird down low in the dirty air" was the exact quote I got.

So although the F35 has some very nice features, for what the UK needs I think it was a big mistake, hitting old fasioned very mobile targets in the desert and being able to be flexible it's simply not the right platform for the job, too complex and with emphasis on the wrong features. Nice to be able to sneak in through SAM sites etc but when you're trying to hit multiple mobile frisky ground targets, be retasked on station you don't need a fragile bird with short legs and no grunt.




posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 02:54 AM
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a reply to: TheBogmonster


So apart from fine weather landings almost all Harrier operations were conducted conventionally

Where were they landing?



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 03:53 AM
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a reply to: TheBogmonster

A few points:


The Harrier was an untested platform then, as were the carriers involved. The ability of the Hartier to land vertically really didn't help much, in good weather it's a benefit but in foul south Atlantic conditions many pilots opted for rolling landings (Helicopters included) to lessen the chances of a pitching deck sudden raising and smacking into you.

The Harrier (as far as I am aware) operated almost entirely from aircraft carriers during the Falklands. A rolling landing on HMAS Invincible is not the same as a conventional landing on a conventional runway. Thus this distinction that "The ability of the Hartier to land vertically really didn't help much" doesn't matter - it wasn't possible to operate the F-4 in the same way.


So apart from fine weather landings almost all Harrier operations were conducted conventionally, the parallel with the F35 today would be interesting, 30+ years on and we're buying an aircraft that is a bit quicker, slight shorter range, is admittedly reasonable stealthy

The Harrier is a subsonic aircraft, the F-35 can do Mach 1.6. A "bit" quicker is an understatement. As far as range goes - maybe, but I'd like to see more actual evidence. The F-35C has decent range- perhaps the MOD should have gone with the F-35C rather than the F-35B but then they would have required arresting wires on QE Class. If the choice is to not put arresting gear on a carrier, then the F-35B is all you're going to get.

If your argument is about range then it should really be about F-35B versus F-35C or Rafale, taking into consideration changes needed for the QE class.


but at low level the F35 is considered to be inferior to the last mk.9 Harriers and stealth means nothing against effectively ground fire (the only combat method where Harriers have ever been lost)

Considered by whom exactly?

The Falklands could be used as an example of why STOVL aircraft are important, but only with appropriate caveats to suit today - 35 years later. By looking only at the sole combat loss of the Sea Harrier in the Falklands, it is easy to paint a picture as if the only threat to the Sea Harrier was ground fire, therefore the F-35 needs to be especially resistant to ground fire. This is not so.

- The F-35 would excel at missions that would be extremely useful during a Falklands-like engagement. Such as strike and maritime strike, while also having the ability to conduct air-to-air and CAS (although perhaps not as effectively as dedicated aircraft).
- The F-35 is designed to operate primarily at medium altitudes, using its stealth to avoid detection, sensors to detect any threats, and datalinks to receive and send information to the rest of the fleet. Thus why is low altitude survivability so important when the aircraft simply won't be operated at low altitude?


Instead we jumped through hoops to wait for the F35 and by the time the F35 is even close to combat ready we'll have gone over two decades without naval air power.

This is hardly only the fault of the F-35.
- The Harriers were retired.
- QE Class Carriers will only be commissioned in 2017, which the Rafale would have had to rely on. Perhaps if the Rafale were chosen then this could have been brought forward somewhat. Also note that the USMC has no such option to operate an aircraft like a Rafale from its LHAs and LHD's.


I doubt very much that the F35's stealth coating would survive too well in such horrendous weather (Harriers had leading edges stripped to bare metal in less than 12 hours flying in some cases)

Given how long the USMC has operated Harriers, I find it unlikely that the F-35 is planned to have fragile stealth coatings that are easily stripped. Then again not everything goes to plan.


Nice to be able to sneak in through SAM sites etc but when you're trying to hit multiple mobile frisky ground targets, be retasked on station you don't need a fragile bird with short legs and no grunt.

Hitting multiple frisky ground targets and operational flexibility are literally the tasks the F-35 is designed to excel at.
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posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 10:51 AM
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a reply to: C0bzz

Ok, the Harriers were only retired because of the fact the government proceeded with an incredibly short sighted defence review based on freeing up money for the 2nd QE carrier and the F35. Indeed a large portion of the Harrier airframes and engines were in very good condition to such a degree whole airframes were sold as spares to the US (other aiframes still in use as deck training aids for the QE crews)

I've personally spoken to one pilot who's flown tornado, harrier, typhoon and F35 (and a few others, he likes F18's too) and he considers the Harrier 9's to be better than the F35 low down.

The F35 isn't optimsed for low level hitting of frisky targets, medium level stealth approach yes but since it's vulnerable to basic VHF detection (it's optimised for X band stealth) then the very small mobile targets will simply scatter after being alerted to incoming aircraft, exactly as they do now and then the F35 is vulnerable, low and visible, it's range on internal fuel being around 450 miles, reduce that when it's ploughing through the thick air, non stealthy platforms just load on external tanks and go hunting, pointless having to pop off and refuel as your target vanishes.

as for fighting a nice high tech data band war against low tech targets it simply doesn't work like that, always ends up as low level stuff, subsonic, up close and personal, NOT the F35's style of fighting which is exsctly why even the US want to keep the A10, simple, dirty and effective.

Like the Typhoon originally the F35 was designed for an opposition which doesn't really exist anymore, Typhoon is a superb dogfighter & interceptor (in visual range a match for the F22 as recently proven) but now in the middle east the Typhoon's ground attack capability is being massively accelerated , the RAF and BAE have development teams actively updating them in the field for Brimstone to help out the overworked old tornados as that weapon is proving to be the most effective (with cannon) as nailing the IS and Al Q mobile targets.

This should have been factored into the F35 program much earlier, to deliver a usable platform rather than a pretty one.

I very much doubt there will be a high tech war in the near future, it'll be small nasty proxy wars like Ukraine and Syria and we need aircraft that can deliver, I think we won't see an F35 hitting dirty targets in the desert for at least 5-10years.

But as I know Zaphod has pointed out, the F35 is more of an infrastructure than a single platform, designed to be too big to fail or be dropped, it was simply the wrong choice for the UK and we'll be regretting that decision for a while as we're now out of money thanks to two consecutive governments screwing up the armed forces.
edit on 2910America/Chicagob201610022016222 by TheBogmonster because: .



posted on Feb, 15 2016 @ 02:55 AM
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originally posted by: TheBogmonster
it was simply the wrong choice for the UK and we'll be regretting that decision for a while as we're now out of money thanks to two consecutive governments screwing up the armed forces.


In your opinion.

The 2015 SDSR gave a full complement of F-35B to the UK (and Maritime patrol).

So what is the alternative? Rafale would mean a carrier redesign, if Rafale was chosen and carriers designed it would still be 4th Gen vs. 5th Gen. I would rather we spent the money on the next generation STOVL than on Rafale, with the large workshare it is a good deal for the UK (I lived near Warton and Samlesbury when I worked at BAE) - fantastic for the local community and the UK eg. jobs that we wouldnt have got with Rafale.

Im failing to see a better option.

Not calling you a liar but this guys service mus be as rare as rocking horse sh1t:




I've personally spoken to one pilot who's flown tornado, harrier, typhoon and F35 (and a few others, he likes F18's too) and he considers the Harrier 9's to be better than the F35 low down.


edit on 15 2 2016 by Forensick because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 15 2016 @ 05:06 AM
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a reply to: TheBogmonster


The F35 isn't optimsed for low level hitting of frisky targets, medium level stealth approach yes but since it's vulnerable to basic VHF detection (it's optimised for X band stealth) then the very small mobile targets will simply scatter after being alerted to incoming aircraft, exactly as they do now and then the F35 is vulnerable, low and visible, it's range on internal fuel being around 450 miles, reduce that when it's ploughing through the thick air, non stealthy platforms just load on external tanks and go hunting, pointless having to pop off and refuel as your target vanishes.

VHF Radar has its own issues - poor accuracy and large size. Hence why fire control radars tend to be X-Band. Large size means they tend of be immobile, operating at high power from long distances, and relying on datalinks to send information. This presents multiple vulnerabilities that can be exploited, for example, easy detection, stand-off munitions, and jamming.

An air defense system that is capable of downing the F-35 is certainly more capable of destruction of 4th generation aircraft. Moreover, if aircraft are deployed like you are proposing, then what's stopping the enemy from simply building missiles with larger warheads and automated fire control? It's far harder to counter stealthy aircraft with phenomenal sensors, than it is for low-level penetrators.


as for fighting a nice high tech data band war against low tech targets it simply doesn't work like that, always ends up as low level stuff, subsonic, up close and personal, NOT the F35's style of fighting which is exsctly why even the US want to keep the A10, simple, dirty and effective.


Even if the A-10 is more effective than the F-35 at CAS, does it matter?

Unless you propose developing multiple carrier borne aircraft (which by the way, decreases operational flexibility) or optimizing the aircraft developed for CAS (which decreases operational flexibility, and limits the aircraft in non-CAS missions), then the end result is always going to be multi-role (fast jet) fighter that will also perform the CAS mission. Like the existing F/A-18, Rafale. Or the F-35.

B-1 can conduct CAS from high altitudes.

Replace A-10 with Harrier, same result.


I very much doubt there will be a high tech war in the near future, it'll be small nasty proxy wars like Ukraine and Syria and we need aircraft that can deliver, I think we won't see an F35 hitting dirty targets in the desert for at least 5-10years.

Is that what you think the RN should prepare for?


I've personally spoken to one pilot who's flown tornado, harrier, typhoon and F35 (and a few others, he likes F18's too) and he considers the Harrier 9's to be better than the F35 low down.

Better in what way? And even if you're telling the truth, how do we know you're interpreting what he said correctly? Also the F-35 is in development, the FLCS is likely to change.


t, exactly as they do now and then the F35 is vulnerable, low and visible, it's range on internal fuel being around 450 miles, reduce that when it's ploughi

The combat radius of the F-35B is indeed about 450 miles, the combat radius of the F-35C is closer to 700 miles, external fuel tanks can be added on top of that although obviously that limits stealth.
edit on 15/2/16 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 15 2016 @ 12:39 PM
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a reply to: TheBogmonster


The Typhoon is no where near a match against the F-22, the F-22 wasn't using anywhere near it's full suite of sensors and tricks when in those red flag events. The harrier has extremely short legs and is very difficult to fly. The F-35B is better in every way: longer legs, bigger payload, stealth, easy to fly, supersonic, stealthy.



posted on Feb, 16 2016 @ 05:02 PM
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originally posted by: Caughtlurking
a reply to: TheBogmonster


The Typhoon is no where near a match against the F-22, the F-22 wasn't using anywhere near it's full suite of sensors and tricks when in those red flag events. The harrier has extremely short legs and is very difficult to fly. The F-35B is better in every way: longer legs, bigger payload, stealth, easy to fly, supersonic, stealthy.



Ok let's get something straight, during the red flag the only option banned amongst the Typhoons and F22's was max BVR, everything else was allowed (and used), great stock has always been placed in the F22's agility, Thrust Vectoring and quite simply that is a massive double edged sword, it is only useful in a very narrow combat window when an immediate change of angle can be instantly followed by a shot opportunity, any fully capable "energy" aircraft like Typhoon well piloted will counter the TV by using it's effect as a weapon, vectoring thrust immediately loses energy for that aircraft and that is usually the one thing a pilot never wants to do. The Red Flag exercises proved that in close range dogfighting both aircraft have benefits and weaknesses, F22's can be detected and locked using the Typhoon's IR lock and track and off boresight helmet aiming, the F22 can't TV it's way around the Typhoon because like the F22 the Typhoon is a very powerful airframe and can power away from the potential of a TV based move & lock from the F22.

Of course I'm assuming an equal level of skill from both pilots here as I think is fair.

And as for the doubt of the pilot I spoke withs operational history, a majority of RAF pilots now flying Typhoons and F35 started in Harriers and Tornados, many front line fast jet pilots have operationl hours on all current RAF jets, the top 2 dozen RAF pilots also have hours on Rafale, Gripen and somw with F18 hours too. The Harrier is known as an easy aircraft to fly conventionally, just a little difficult to hover EXACTLY the same criticism has been levelled at the F35.

As for the note about VHF, it's not intented to be ble to track and lock a atealth aircraft, it's far too imprecise for that but it does make a cheap and nasty early warning method, remember the current enemies have no need or ability and fight back against advanced 5th Gen aircraft, simply hiding renders all that high tech impotent.

The QE carriers were always designed to be capable of operating Rafale, it was only the uncertainty of the choice of F35 B or C that caused the last delay after it was found to be unworkable to spend £300m + on a new design of Electromgnetic catapult rather than atick with Ski-Jump - VSTOL

Plans are still ongoing at the MoD for the French to have access to the 2nd QE carrier for operating Rafales as the RN will never have the funds to operate it alone.

I'm not anti-5th Gen aircraft, but current there is an awful lot of crap talked about their abilities, there's no combat proven 5th gen fighter aircraft in service (don't bother mentioned the F22 raids, that could've be achieved with other aircraft) and so what's the point currently, trillions of dollars will be spent on 5th platforms that have no real prospect of being utilised in combat anytime soon, and as this forum shows, 6th Gen is now the focus, manned and unmanned and hybrid

All of the conflicts around the world, airpower in use and there is no use for 5th Gen at the moment, relatively cheap and reliable aircraft are what's needed, having been infantry personally, I can tell you with certainty and in the # experience that I'd rather have a Harrier or an A10 at low level rather than some F35 at mid level trying to give me air support, danger close is a concept that gets riskier the more altitude you introduce, a good pilot close in (fixed wing or rotary) with a cannon or a brimstone can do the job more flexibly than asking guys on the ground in a contact to paint a moving target for a high flyer, experience in Iraq and Afghan for coalition infantry proves that beyond doubt.
edit on 2905America/Chicagob20165022016213 by TheBogmonster because: .



posted on Feb, 17 2016 @ 02:32 PM
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a reply to: TheBogmonster

That's just all not true. Cheaper aircraft, 4.5 gen, nothing survives in well defended airspace. The s400 is a game changer, the only countries with the tech to beat it are the USA and partner nations for the f-35. Otherwise you need a ton of electronic warfare aircraft which again are few and far between and the acceptance that to take out the s300 or s400 you will incur losses. The Typhoons, Rafale, Harrier, etc, etc all can't do what even the f-35B can, penetrate and strike in those defended airspace. This pretending that the cold war is not back on/still on and that the only thing we need to rely on are 20-40 year old aircraft is just silly.



posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 02:06 PM
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originally posted by: Caughtlurking
a reply to: TheBogmonster

That's just all not true. Cheaper aircraft, 4.5 gen, nothing survives in well defended airspace. The s400 is a game changer, the only countries with the tech to beat it are the USA and partner nations for the f-35. Otherwise you need a ton of electronic warfare aircraft which again are few and far between and the acceptance that to take out the s300 or s400 you will incur losses. The Typhoons, Rafale, Harrier, etc, etc all can't do what even the f-35B can, penetrate and strike in those defended airspace. This pretending that the cold war is not back on/still on and that the only thing we need to rely on are 20-40 year old aircraft is just silly.


I do love this argument for the F35, you're claiming a platform that is not even combat operational yet can penetrate airspace and destroy defensive systems that have never been attacked yet?

So let's be clear, your F35 which is claimed (again not proven and much doubted) to be stealthy, optimised to a narrow band of radar is going to be able to, at some point in the future penetrate airspace defended by CURRENT radar systems - remember you're using double levels of hypotheticals here!

You're assuming two big factors, 1: The F35 performs as advertised (which is a HUGE 'if') and 2: that the S400's (and successors) are a static system which won't be upgraded!

Those are big big BIG gambles, relying on stealth alone for infil and exfil is asking for fiery death, multiple VHF/UHF linked radar defences alone will ping the F35's - roving fighter patrols will undoubtedly pick off many F35's before they get chance to hit anything of worth and F35 cannot turn tail and outrun anything or even fight it's way out due to short legs and being underpowered.

BAE are hedging their bets for deep airspace penetration on multiband stealthy armed UAV's - basically the full sized version of Taranis to hit the precision radars, one 10th the price of costly F35's and no cost in pilots.

Narrow band stealth is/will be a thing of the past, single type radar arrays are a thing of the past, different sized radar nets will overlap, all communicating to catch the dated 5th gen stealth airframes. The best you can hope for is a few F35's will get through and hit targets but you will lose a good percentage of your aircraft, this isn't 1991 anymore and stealth isn't the possession of the US alone now, the cat is well and truly out of it's RCS bag.



posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 03:18 PM
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a reply to: TheBogmonster

And how will your UCAVs be flown into theatre, survive a persistent air to air threat, or find the target? So you're going to have some kind of high-speed secure data link that is undetectable as well? What exactly is the vision of your future battlefield?

The f-35 will work, it already is as stealthy if not the most stealthy of public aircraft. It has the most powerful engine ever put in a single engine fighter, a world class and class leading electronics suite, unparalleled awareness, and enough in the tank to add all the weapons of tomorrow. What more do you want from a 5th gen multi-role?

There is no cat outof the bag. If stealth is a farce than why is every modern player trying to catch up and build stealth aircraft?



posted on Feb, 19 2016 @ 01:00 AM
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a reply to: TheBogmonster


Ok let's get something straight, during the red flag the only option banned amongst the Typhoons and F22's was max BVR, everything else was allowed (and used), great stock has always been placed in the F22's agility, Thrust Vectoring and quite simply that is a massive double edged sword, it is only useful in a very narrow combat window when an immediate change of angle can be instantly followed by a shot opportunity, any fully capable "energy" aircraft like Typhoon well piloted will counter the TV by using it's effect as a weapon, vectoring thrust immediately loses energy for that aircraft and that is usually the one thing a pilot never wants to do. The Red Flag exercises proved that in close range dogfighting both aircraft have benefits and weaknesses, F22's can be detected and locked using the Typhoon's IR lock and track and off boresight helmet aiming, the F22 can't TV it's way around the Typhoon because like the F22 the Typhoon is a very powerful airframe and can power away from the potential of a TV based move & lock from the F22.


Agree mostly, but my understanding is TVC can potentially improve supersonic performance by lowering trim-drag.


The Harrier is known as an easy aircraft to fly conventionally, just a little difficult to hover EXACTLY the same criticism has been levelled at the F35.



Given the sophistication of computer technology these days (as well as avionics) I find this extremely difficult to believe. Therefore I conducted a search:


The F-35B is “easy to learn to fly from a pilot’s perspective,” Bardo said, even for pilots with only conventional fixed-wing experience like Walsh, an F-18 Hornet pilot.
“He was one of the first guys checked out to fly the airplane in STOVL mode,” Bardo said of Walsh. “The plane is so easy to fly in that STOVL configuration that you didn’t have to have a background of an AV-8 guy, or a whole career flying in a hover or the VSTOL regime, that a guy who had flown Hornets his whole career was able to assimilate to fly the F-35 and that airplane and how easy it is to fly.

“The big difference between the F-35 and the AV-8 is the AV-8 is all controlled manually by the pilot input into stick and rudder plane controls, whereas the F-35 flight control system is all controlled by the computer. The pilot puts in input and then the plane computer puts the plane in the position that the pilot wanted it in. It’s much more forgiving. It’s much easier to fly in the STOVL configuration than the AV-8. It’s a tremendous airplane to fly. It’s very user friendly. It’s a very fun airplane to fly.”


www.havenews.com...



The QE carriers were always designed to be capable of operating Rafale, it was only the uncertainty of the choice of F35 B or C that caused the last delay after it was found to be unworkable to spend £300m + on a new design of Electromgnetic catapult rather than atick with Ski-Jump - VSTOL


This is a bizarre statement. The QE carriers are not designed to be capable of operating Rafale.


I'm not anti-5th Gen aircraft, but current there is an awful lot of crap talked about their abilities, there's no combat proven 5th gen fighter aircraft in service (don't bother mentioned the F22 raids, that could've be achieved with other aircraft) and so what's the point currently, trillions of dollars will be spent on 5th platforms that have no real prospect of being utilised in combat anytime soon, and

Are you saying things should only be purchased based if they're combat proven? How exactly then, would any technology advance? If the F-22 isn't combat proven then surely the Rafale or Eurofighter isn't either.

Maybe we should just go back to the F-15C and F-16? Without AESA, because AESA isn't combat proven. By the way, the F-35 has now been built in greater numbers than the Rafale.


as this forum shows, 6th Gen is now the focus, manned and unmanned and hybrid

F-35 is almost certainly going to be procured in large numbers, the F-22 is already in service. China, Russia, and Japan are all developing their own indigenous 5th generation fighters. The focus is and should be on 5th generation aircraft. 5th generation aircraft (the F-22) have been in service for over a decade so it's no wonder why a website called AboveTopSecret is focusing on next generation aircraft that are well over a decade (perhaps more) away.

It seems bizarre that your argument is about being "combat proven" and about money, then you turn around and state that the focus is now 6th generation aircraft? Surely you're joking.

Your argument can be summarized in one statement - "Anything but the F-35".





All of the conflicts around the world, airpower in use and there is no use for 5th Gen at the moment, relatively cheap and reliable aircraft are what's needed, having been infantry personally, I can tell you with certainty and in the # experience that I'd rather have a Harrier or an A10 at low level rather than some F35 at mid level trying to give me air support, danger close is a concept that gets riskier the more altitude you introduce, a good pilot close in (fixed wing or rotary) with a cannon or a brimstone can do the job more flexibly than asking guys on the ground in a contact to paint a moving target for a high flyer, experience in Iraq and Afghan for coalition infantry proves that beyond doubt.



Usually the way things work is that requirements flow down from the top. If countries are aiming to spend large amounts of money on 5th generation platforms, then that tells you that there concept of operations dictates that highly capable 5th generation aircraft are required. Again, the MOD is not planning for fighting ISIS in Iraq, they are perhaps planning for something a little more high end. Nor is the F-35 purely for CAS, it is designed to be multirole. In addition, the 4th generation aircraft of many Air Forces are becoming too old to fly anymore therefore new aircraft are needed anyway and the F-35 is designed to be somewhat similar in cost to 4th generation aircraft.
edit on 19/2/16 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 19 2016 @ 01:23 AM
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a reply to: TheBogmonster


I do love this argument for the F35, you're claiming a platform that is not even combat operational yet can penetrate airspace and destroy defensive systems that have never been attacked yet?

You're not making any sense. The F-35B, as judged by the USMC, is now combat capable (including SEAD). The F-35A will follow this year, and the F-35C later. Moreover, even if these aircraft are not fully operational yet, it's not as if the S300 or S400 have ever attacked actual 5th generation platforms (thankfully) hence this discussion will only and can only be theoretical.


So let's be clear, your F35 which is claimed (again not proven and much doubted) to be stealthy, optimised to a narrow band of radar is going to be able to, at some point in the future penetrate airspace defended by CURRENT radar systems - remember you're using double levels of hypotheticals here!

F-35 is optimized for a radar band which is used by fire-control radars due to physics. Physics do not change. Changing radar bands incurs disadvantage, often in size and mobility. This makes them easier to destroy and attacked by the F-35. Note that before you stated that:


The F35 isn't optimsed for low level hitting of frisky targets, medium level stealth approach yes but since it's vulnerable to basic VHF detection (it's optimised for X band stealth) then the very small mobile targets will simply scatter after being alerted to incoming aircraft, exactly as they do now and then the F35 is vulnerable, low and visible, it's range on internal fuel being around 450 miles, reduce that when it's ploughing through the thick air, non stealthy platforms just load on external tanks and go hunting, pointless having to pop off and refuel as your target vanishes.

Please be aware that by flying at low-altitudes means the line-of-site is greatly reduced, thus any aircraft flying at low-level will have difficulty finding and detecting targets anyway. F-35 flying at medium altitudes could, for example, use stand-off weapons to destroy immobile and large "emitters" and then use its advanced sensors to locate and destroy targets. Using Rafale at low level instead of the F-35 at medium altitude would mean more support is required, for example, an equivalent to JSTARS or EA-18G Growler. Would this have to be flown from QE class or would it follow QE class around via air refueling?


Those are big big BIG gambles, relying on stealth alone for infil and exfil is asking for fiery death, multiple VHF/UHF linked radar defences alone will ping the F35's - roving fighter patrols will undoubtedly pick off many F35's before they get chance to hit anything of worth and F35 cannot turn tail and outrun anything or even fight it's way out due to short legs and being underpowered.

F-35 has similar to better kinematics to 4th generation aircraft loaded in the Strike configuration, further with over 8000 kg of fuel the F-35 does not have "short legs".


BAE are hedging their bets for deep airspace penetration on multiband stealthy armed UAV's - basically the full sized version of Taranis to hit the precision radars, one 10th the price of costly F35's and no cost in pilots.

I don't work on Taranis (or aerospace at all) but I get rather annoyed when people don't understand projects then just start saying nonsense about them. Often it's funny but usually at work we laugh at them and call them morons. Taranis is a prototype. Any successor to Taranis is ages away and not a replacement to the F-35. This is not BAE hedging there bets on 6th generation as opposed to the F-35, or whatever it is you're trying to imply, it's BAE getting a head start on the future. Further, any 6th generation aircraft is far more speculative than the F-35, therefore criticizing the F-35 for being untested and then suggesting 6th generation aircraft, is complete nonsense.

In summary:
- The F-35 is not significantly more expensive to buy than 4th generation aircraft.
- The F-35 tends to have significantly better avionics including sensors than 4th generation aircraft.
- The F-35 has similar kinematics to 4th generation aircraft when all are loaded to Strike Configuration.
- The F-35 is a multirole aircraft and is not designed just for CAS.
- The F-35 is stealthy to high frequency radar.
- Lower frequency radars tend to have significant disadvantages that make them more vulnerable to aircraft.
- 6th generation is well over a decade away, perhaps two or three decades away.
and
- Rafale is significantly more vulnerable than the F-35, especially against higher end threats, and would require much more support.

I'm not doing this to convince you, but hopefully those reading this discussion will not buy into your arguments, that is my only aim. Also note that those making real decisions, are aware of your arguments and have not bought into them.
edit on 19/2/16 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 19 2016 @ 05:11 PM
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To generate the same maneuver supersonically as subsonically, the controls must be deflected further. This, in turn, results in a big increase in supersonic trim drag and a subsequent loss in acceleration and turn performance. The F-22 offsets this trim drag, not with the horizontal tails, which is the classic approach, but with the thrust vectoring. With a negligible change in forward thrust, the F-22 continues to have relatively low drag at supersonic maneuvering speed. . But drag is only part of the advantage gained from thrust vectoring. By using the thrust vector for pitch control during maneuvers the horizontal tails are free to be used to roll the airplane during the slow speed fight. This significantly increases roll performance and, in turn, point-and-shoot capability. This is one of the areas that really jumps out to us when we fly with the F-16 and F-15. The turn capability of the F-22 at high altitudes and high speeds is markedly superior to these older generation aircraft. I would hate to face a Raptor in a dogfight under these conditions.

www.ausairpower.net...


I dislike APA, but this is from an interview with F-22 test pilot.



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