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A pilot's point of view on F-35 in the CAS role

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posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 05:00 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: bobs_uruncle

The F-104 wasn't even particularly good at anything but going straight ahead, really fast. Even in the US which only used it as a fighter it had the highest loss rate of the Century series, at somewhere around 30%. Of all the nations that used it, only Spain could claim no losses. The average loss rate was over 16%.

We're beyond the "one mission, one platform" mentality and have moved into the multirole age. No one can afford to have one platform to do one mission anymore, because as we get more advanced, we get more expensive.


Apropos of nothing in particular (I'm not trying to start a fight
), I'd be hard pressed to come up with any fighter, on any side, in WWII which wasn't at some point, also drafted for the ground attack role, and many were also modified for photo recon. A few P-38s even had plexiglass noses for a bombardier's station, which would lead a formation of bomb-laden Lightnings to the target. (That last one, IIRC, wasn't exactly a raging success.) We've been there before, and it worked for many reasons, one of which was a lack of really accurate close-in AA (i.e., missiles). And we still lost a lot of planes and pilots. We won because arsenal of democracy, etc. We could build ''em faster than the Axis could shoot 'em down.

I guess my point is, in many respects the more things change, the more they stay the same. Or, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." -- George Santayana

Or something.

edit on 4 24 2016 by Cohen the Barbarian because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 06:08 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58


The pilot's last comment was spot on, as were your responses.


As you have posted previously, 186 F-22s aren't enough to cover 1,000s of F-35s. There's no getting around it. We NEED those extra 22s no matter what they're going to cost.



posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 11:31 AM
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originally posted by: bobs_uruncle
a reply to: Zaphod58

The German starfighters were referred to as "the widowmaker."

Cheers - Dave


One reason for that was that from the F-104 you eject downward, which is not a good thing if you are flying just above the dirt doing CAS.The ejection seats of that time (the Stanley C-1 in the 104) weren't good enough to assure clearing the tail of the 104 which stuck up quite a bit above the fuselage. In later models, the seats were upgraded to an upward firing Martin-Baker design that was called the Lockheed C-2.



posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 12:10 PM
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Essentially, the F-35 is an upgraded version of the Super Hornet. It can possibly do all roles, but does nothing exceptionally well. The F-35 should be slightly cheaper to maintain, due to the smaller size and one motor, but choosing stealth over brute structural force also means they will be more disposable. In that way, they're similar to an F-16.

This is really the SUV of fighter attack aircraft. It will be merely OK at many tasks.



posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 02:23 PM
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The only real issue I have with the F35 is the initial requirement for one basic airframe for multiple services. It should do OK replacing the A-6, F/A 18, F-16 in the CAS role but not the A2A environment WVR. It, to me, is a tactical missile and bomb truck that can be stealthy when needed at the cost of weapon load. Could it be better? Sure. I think engine, sensor and cockpit commonality would have been better then trying to do a basic airframe with a lift fan in one, larger wings on another...

Years ago we had a workhorse that would do the recon, CAP, escort, bomb runs, BDA, wild weasel and so forth. It wasn't perfect but we made do with it and it actually held its own in several roles.

As far as replacing the A-10, the Warthog is just a bomb truck most of the time and in cases where they are down in the weeds they do well where nothing else can but those situations are less common than they used to be.



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 11:12 PM
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The F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet are actually known to be pretty good dog fighters and can do the air superiority role fairly well. Their radars have been among the best for a long time. The new AN/APG-79 radar is supposedly even better and can track multiple targets at extreme ranges. It will have IRST soon. What is not to like about the Super Hornet? It doesn't have the speed but it's more maneuverable and is more likely to get the first shot. It's utterly ridiculous; Zaphod, to call it a bomb truck with a2a missiles. It's a glowing example of what a successful multi-role fighter should be. The F-35 is well on track to do so with added stealth. Pilot who has flown both F-16 and F-18. Like this pilot says, it's more about being able to get the first shot. The F-35 will get the first shot more often than any other fighter that's ever been made.



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 11:35 PM
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a reply to: Caughtlurking

The Super Hornet has the same problem the Hornet has. Short legs and no loiter time. Any of the Hornet family will pass everything but a tanker. Depending on the configuration they have about a 300 nm range. Their longest loiter time is in the BARCAP mission, within 250 miles of home.

The Hornet was never an air superiority fighter, nor was it meant to be. It's a bomb truck that's good at air to air. It's better than many in that role, but against a dedicated air to air platform, with equal experience, my money is on the fighter.



posted on Apr, 27 2016 @ 01:20 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58


I respect your stance but I'd rather go with pilot opinion. Also I've been reading information contrary to your loiter time information. First result on google:


By enlarging the wing area and adding a fuselage plug, 3,000 pounds of additional fuel can be carried, which is 33 percent more than the capacity of the standard Hornet. A fleet air defense F/A-18E/F carrying four AMRAAMS, two AIM-9s and external tanks would be able to loiter on station for 71 minutes at a distance of 400 nautical miles from its carrier, as opposed to only 58 minutes for the F-14D.
Source
Also; unlike most 4+ gen fighters, the F/A-18C/D/E/F aren't especially held down by external fuel stores. The G-rating of the fuel tanks isn't an issue because the aircraft is limited electronically to just under 8Gs. The need for 9G capability is lessened by the Hornet's extreme angle of attack and ability to maintain altitude at airspeeds approaching 100kts. My brother was with the Black Aces when they went from the F-14D to the F/A-18F; he has nothing bad to say about the SH from an operational standpoint. Nothing. Ask him about the Tomcat and it was all: broken.. broken.. broken. No way it's a bomb-truck buddy.

On a side note; not trying to war just respectfully disagreeing.



posted on Apr, 27 2016 @ 01:27 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Sounds like a ground force op to me.
We were briefed on possible ADA in our area we were vectored to hit those.



posted on Apr, 27 2016 @ 02:55 AM
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a reply to: Caughtlurking

I AM going with pilot opinion. The Super Hornet looks great on paper, and the numbers are a huge improvement. But every pilot I ever talked to on both versions had the same complaint. The thing just had no legs. It was a huge improvement in the Rhino, but they still had no endurance.

The Tomcat had engine issues from day one, which led to problems until the day it retired. Great for the mission, not so great in reality. The numbers on paper for the Hornets are great, and it's a damn good airplane, but in reality it just doesn't stack up to what it is on paper.
edit on 4/27/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 2 2016 @ 12:06 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

The Tomcat engine issue was just with the TF-30, the F110 was awesome (except for that AB blowup thing, that one time).

The Tomcat guys who transitioned to the Rhino loved it for all the reasons the Tomcat was put to bed. The thing was reliable, it was simple and automated, it did a lot of things. But no Rhino guy talks about how much power they have. No Rhino guy talks about how easy it is to break the number. The SH is a great dogfighter, due mostly to the Beta dot feedback they got on the upgraded FCS. However, it's still a hornet. Short legs, very draggy, needs tanks, but due to releaseability issues, they tanks are yawed out which makes for insane drag.

The F-35 should be better in most aspects than the SH. However, if they are being used like the F-22, with external stores, all bets are off.



posted on May, 2 2016 @ 12:18 PM
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a reply to: cosmania

The F series engines have always been good ones. I'm actually surprised that they didn't upgrade all the Tomcats to those. The TF30 was a horrifying engine, and crapped out at the drop of a hat.



posted on May, 3 2016 @ 06:47 AM
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a reply to: cosmania

I highly doubt that in wartime, F-22's will be used with external stores.

At the moment they often carry external fuel tanks, which can be jettisoned in combat to restore RCS. Not like in peacetime they need to be stealthy either.



posted on May, 3 2016 @ 06:59 PM
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A-10 Vs F35 in REAL wartime scenarios...hope they fixed the software.
www.military.com...



posted on May, 3 2016 @ 07:13 PM
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yessirr, that's just it......the old boy running this show has the worst headache project ever....stupid stuff to overcome in this day and age....he's a 4 star general I think....he's been turned into a babysitter.....props to him



posted on May, 3 2016 @ 07:39 PM
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A-10 doesn't have the ability do CAS like the F-35, period.

I would rather have a F35 up there than an A-10, sensors, a2g radar, IR systems, payload and still has a Gatling gun!



posted on May, 3 2016 @ 07:42 PM
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originally posted by: Forensick
A-10 doesn't have the ability do CAS like the F-35, period.

I would rather have a F35 up there than an A-10, sensors, a2g radar, IR systems, payload and still has a Gatling gun!
yes,,, gotta have a gun....I'm a gunfighter....366th tac....that's when we became the gunfighters...when they let a friggin f4 have a got tam gun on it.....68 or 69 I think....



posted on May, 3 2016 @ 08:05 PM
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Thinking logistics here, having the common F35 fighter as the back bone of your aircraft has got to help with supply lines, downtime, maintenance, repair parts.

Where as if you have 5-6 different planes those lists get bigger and your supply line and maintenance + repair parts gets larger and harder to maintain in order to keep all up and operational.

It's great to have a ton of different planes, however, a multirole craft as the back bone of your air operations and that is decent at it's assigned and designed roles has got to be easier to maintain, supply and keep operational. Commonality of parts....

If you can't maintain it in the field and keep them ready for when they are needed, your aircraft are worthless.

I think the F35 will be a good aircraft.


edit on 3-5-2016 by wdkirk because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 4 2016 @ 12:36 AM
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a reply to: GBP/JPY

Blessed be St.Olds...



posted on May, 4 2016 @ 05:09 AM
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Rip the 40mm and chain gun off an Ah1 and bolt them to the front of a Predator..



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