It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Operational Assessment of the F-35A Argues for Full Program Procurement and Concurrent Development Process
A Direct Comparison. Thirty-one experienced pilots currently flying the F-35A were asked to rate the energy and maneuvering characteristics of their previous fourth-generation fighters in a combat configuration throughout the dogfighting maneuver envelope in a combat configuration after jettisoning their external stores. They were then asked to rate the performance of the F-35A using the same scale, with fuel and internal munition loads associated with a combat loadout under their current G and CLAW restrictions. The F-35A compared well to the four other fighters (F-15C, F-15E, F-16C, and A-10) in most every regime. (For the total results and responses from the pilots of each respective fighter, see Chart 1.)
Each pilot was then asked to select which fighter he would rather fly in combat if he were to face a clone flying the other jet in six different air-to-air situations. (See Chart 2.) If the pilot selected an F-15C in a short-range setup, for example, he felt he could outperform a pilot of equal abilities in the F-35A. Pilots selected the F-35A 100 percent of the time in beyond-visual-range situations and over 80 percent of dogfighting situations where energy and maneuverability are critical to success.
—John Venable, a former F-16C pilot with 3,000 hours of fighter time, is Senior Research Fellow for Defense Policy in the Center for National Defense, of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, at The Heritage Foundation.
 “Combat configuration” refers to an aircraft with stores that remain after pilots drop or jettison everything they can drop or jettison before going to a merge. For the F-16, this would leave the Harm Targeting Pod (HTS), IR Targeting Pod, ECM pod, MAUs, rails, and air-to-air missiles; for the F-15C, the fuel tank racks; for the F-15E, the Targeting Pod, MAUs, rails, and air-to-air missiles; for the A-10, the IR Targeting Pod, ECM pod, and enough racks and rails from which to hang a city’s worth of meat.
 Combat configuration for the F-35A: 13,000 pounds of fuel to replicate retaining internal munitions and roughly half internal fuel. The F-35A will have no external stores during any anti-access, high-threat environment.
originally posted by: crazyewok
From my understanding its not designed for dog fighting.
Its designed to shoot the enemy down from miles away before they even see it.
The LRIP-8 contract lowered the average price of each aircraft by 3.5% from the LRIP-7 award, and 57% from the first batch.
In particular, the cost of the A-model airframe has been reduced to $94.8m, while the average price for F-35 B- and F-35C-models would be $102m and $115.7m respectively.
The following chart shows the cost projections from the past five USAF budget requests, along with a calculated curve that corresponds to industry best practice ‘learning effects‘. The FY 2017 figures clearly show a planning assumption of a flatter cost-versus-time curve than in the past, including a per aircraft increase of around US$7 million in the 2020 purchases compared to last year’s figure.