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Do Pilots Prefer the F-35A in Dogfights?

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posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 09:02 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

And meanwhile potential defenses you may face are growing at exponential rates. As it stands now, most of our current inventory won't survive the first few days of war if they're thrown against a modern air defense system.

They're not building F-35s just because of the gee whiz factor. They're building them because counter air is getting that damn good and our aircraft are getting to the point they simply can't be improved much anymore.

posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 09:03 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Why do we need this airplane?

What specific threat, current or future, is it required for to address...that the F-15, F-16 and F-18 cannot already address?

Anti-Access / Area Denial, commonly appreciated as A2AD in Europe and South China Sea.


- The United States should reduce the effect of Chinese A2AD by investing in more-survivable force platforms (e.g., submarines) and in counter-A2AD (e.g., theater missiles).

War with China -- Thinking the Unthinkable, a study by RAND

You can read more in the full report, but for a 2015 severe scenario it states:

Significant aircraft losses to Chinese surface-to-air missiles until suppressed.

The 2025 case is even worse for the US with China acquiring fifth generation fighters, and that's with the current plan of acquiring the F-35. Russia is also highly opportunistic. Now, if you don't think the US should be involved in this kind of conflict, then what you're really saying is you don't agree with the goals of the US Military and foreign policy in general, not directly the F-35.

How many F-15, F-16 and F-18 aircraft were shot down in combat over the past 4 decades...FORTY years???

Not many, thankfully. Partly because a severe war did not occur during that period, and because the F-15, F-16, and F/A-18 were technologically superior, better piloted, and better supported than the forces they were used against.

The best money is spent on target acquisition and stand-off weapons systems, not stealth and ultra-performance.

The F-35 is actually commonly criticized for being a poor-dog-fighter, that's why I posted this article. It was interesting and against what is commonly perceived to be true.

The F-35 actually has the best systems of any fighter aircraft, by far, for target acquisition. For example - AESA, DAS, Barracuda. It also has an optical targeting system (though it is less impressive as the others), innovative and unique Human-Machine-Interface (HMI), and is loaded with datalinks to transmit this information to the rest of the force. That's why in the original post in this thread, the biggest advantage the F-35 had was in Beyond Visual Range (BVR) combat. Stealth denies the very advantage F-35 brings to the operator, from the enemy.

In addition, at stand-off ranges, sensor performance is degraded, therefore, you could state that stealth actually improves target acquisition by allowing the aircraft to get closer.

There are currently two schools of tactical thought within the Lightning II community in the British military. The first sees the F-35 as an advanced aircraft which will be able to perform the traditional role of a tactical strike fighter more effectively than ever before.5 This view is particularly strong in the Royal Navy and is in line with current US Marine Corps (USMC) doctrine for the F-35B.6 It holds that with its unprecedented situational-awareness capabilities, the F-35 will be less reliant on traditional support enablers and direct links with intelligence reach-back and targeting facilities such as a Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC).7


The second school of thought, however, sees the F-35 as a combat-ISR asset first and a strike asset second. This is in line with the US Navy’s projected concept of operations (ConOps) for the F-35C, which gives primacy to its ‘ability to detect and fuse information from many sources, and link that fused picture to other CSG [carrier strike group] aircraft, ships and decision-makers.’9

Maximum Value from the F-35
Harnessing Transformational Fifth-Generation Capabilities for the UK Military

The US Military is also investing in stand-off weapons, such as JASSM and LRASM.

Face it, aircraft performance technology has already eclipsed the human body's ability to deal with it. You can already turn modern aircraft faster than a human can take.

This is only true for lightly loaded aircraft at low altitudes. Either way, the F-35 is not designed for extreme maneuverability.

With the exception of the B-2 (which is not a subject of this discussion), stealth technology in fighter/bomber aircraft has already proven to be a misguided effort. Look at the F-117. Lose one plane and you lose the whole program...what a colossal waste (thanks, Bill).

I really don't understand what you're trying to say.

The F-117 first flew in 1981. The last F-117 produced was in 1990. The F-117 was shot down in 1999. The F-117 was retired in 2008. Note that the F-22 reached Full-Operational-Capability (FOC) in late 2007 which included the ability to drop 1,000 lb JDAMs. The F-117 is also being stored in such a way that they can be reintroduced to operations if the ability to drop 2,000 lb laser guided bombs is necessary - though I suspect this will be lost given the F-35A has now reached Initial-Operational-Capability (FOC) and can perform the same role.

So in conclusion the U.S has had the ability for stealth aircraft to drop guided munitions continuously since 1983 - the F-117 shootdown event did not change this.

The B-2 was a waste, the original plan was for 132 aircraft but that was cut due to the end of the Cold War when the B-2 was seen as a unnecessary relic. Now, since they don't have enough, they want to 80-100 LRS-Bs. You know, maybe the need for the LRS-B wouldn't be so high if the US stuck with the original plan and built the B-2 in greater numbers. If you create a plan, stick to it.

So, when you lose one F-35 what's to say the same won't hold true? Lose a F-15, 16 or 18 and aside from the pilot himself you don't suffer a staggering strategic loss.

The cost of an F-35A/B will be cheaper than a Strike Eagle, but more expensive than a F-16 and F/A-18. This is not unreasonable given that it is significantly more capable than either.

We do not need the F-35, certainly not in production anyway.

A production line is a system in itself that needs testing, commissioning, and its operators need to be trained. To fly an aircraft into combat, first operational procedures need to be written, maintainers need to be trained, pilots need to be trained, and aircraft have to be successfully integrated into the force that they are part of before they are used. It also takes time to build up a force, the US Military eventually intends to buy 100 or more F-35s per year starting 2021. At that rate, it would take a decade to replace all F-16's in the USAF. Except the F-35 isn't initially going to just replace the F-16, it's going to be replacing the F/A-18 (Classic), and AV-8B Harrier.

Point is, this stuff takes decades to create. You can't just sit back and build an Air Force when you need it. By the time you actually need it the war will be over. Either the US should change its foreign policy and military goals, or it must procure the F-35.
edit on 5/8/16 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 09:17 AM
I've said this a million times if I've said it once...

When are "we" finally going to 'get it' that conventional warfare is an absolute FANTASY in the shadow of nuclear weapons!!

It just ain't gonna' happen!!

The United States is NEVER going to get into a direct conflict with China, Russia or any other advanced nation. It's just not gonna' happen! It just won't. Never.

We are never going to get into a matchup testing all these advanced technologies against one another before the nuclear option is put squarely on the table. Game over.

We don't need the F-35.

edit on 8/5/2016 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 09:22 AM
a reply to: C0bzz

Either the US should change its foreign policy and military goals, or it must procure the F-35.

You must work for Lockheed Martin.

You make a good pitch man.

edit on 8/5/2016 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 09:36 AM
The Soviet Union is dead, Reagan spent them into history. That was when we as a country had money. It's a different paradigm now.

Sadly, we no longer have enough money left to spend China into oblivion, and they own all our debt anyway, so that's not gonna' happen.

It's the harsh reality of the present.

We just don't have the money. Sorry, but we don't.

posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 09:43 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Your cost figures are outdated and way off. The F-15E figure is from the US Air Force Fact Sheet that is using 1998 dollars. The F-35A is $85 million in 2018 dollars. Inflation from 1998 to 2016 has been an average of 2.2% annually, extended to this to 2018 means that 1 dollar in 1998 will be worth $1.55 dollars in 2018. Further, all legacy aircraft are now being fitted with avionics upgrades such as radar upgrades, and electronic warfare upgrade. None of the figures you included equipment which is integrated directly into the F-35, such as EPAWWS or targeting pods - which are millions each and are purchased separately for legacy fighters.

Next, the materials, engineering, and production of fighter aircraft has actually increased faster than inflation since 1998. So, let's use up-to-date figures here:

- F-15K cost $106 million in 2006 dollars.
- F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet cost 60.9 million in 2013 dollars. The Super Hornet is also a 6,000 hour aircraft whereas the F-35A/B/C are 8,000 hour aircraft.
- Rafale was $93 million in 2013 dollars
- Eurofighter is 90 million euro.
- I can't find any up-to-date F-16 figures.
- F-15SE was $100 million (planned), (2009 dollars).

Obviously the unit cost for the Eurofighter and Rafale would come down towards F-35 and F/A-18 levels if production-rate was increased. iirc, the F-15K deal included FMS fees, I'm not sure how big they were.

Denmark conducted an independent review of the lifecycle cost of the F-35, Eurofighter, and F/A-18F Super Hornet. These are the results:

if I recall correctly, since the F/A-18 E/F is a 6,000 hour aircraft, more were needed. And the Super Hornet also had Foreign Military Sales (FMS) fees tacked on top.

Full Report:

Cost per flight hour of the F-35A is projected to be, if I recall correctly, 30% higher than the F-16C, I can find the link tomorrow.
edit on 5/8/16 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 10:00 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

If I agreed with your assertion of no traditional warfare in the nuclear armed conflict, then I would agree with you.

So, if we assume no conflict with China or Russia, it doesn't mean that those countries aren't selling advanced weapons systems to other countries (Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, etc) so our aircraft, if we want them to come back, need to be able to best defend against those systems in the first few days of the conflict. A combined TLAM, jamming, stealth day 1-2, followed by heavy infrastructure destruction, opens the door for the conventional, cheaper platforms to finish the job.

The F-117 was, for all intents and purposes, a beta test for stealth production aircraft. It was horrible to maintain. They literally had to repaint/reseal the skin after any maintenance. The F-35 (I've been to the assembly line) was designed to maintain stealthiness with maintainability. This is really, really hard to do. They actually had to dig up the concrete floor and re-lay the floor to get the precision machining capability necessary to make these aircraft and NOT have to tape/caulk the skin after swapping out a box. The US has used new programs to push technology for years. No new aircraft gets designed with existing technology. This drives up the price, but opens that technology up to be standard for the next iteration.

I'd prefer my butt to be in a newer aircraft when Mr. Pres decides to project power ashore in some God-forsaken hamlet across the globe. $100 million sounds Ok to me, if she'll last 30-40 years.

posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 10:08 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Nuclear weapons are usually for deterrence from existential threats. Numerous countries are trying to spread influence in South-East Asia, especially in the South China Sea. A nuclear war is unlikely to break out over the South China Sea - that sort of thing isn't what nuclear strategy covers, even if a severe conventional war does occur.

Believe it or not the US Military is actually gearing up to fight wars such as this. It's why the US has thousands of 4th generation fighters, the F-22, and in the future the F-35 and LRS-B. It's why the US has so many super-carriers and nuclear-powered attack submarines. If you don't want your country to play that role then you'll be able to spend less on defence (of course, there's of other ways to save money by improving efficiency).

You must work for Lockheed Martin.

You make a good pitch man.

I wish I did. EDIT: Actually no I don't, they don't do enough cool stuff in my country.

I actually used to own stock in a certain European defence company...

edit on 5/8/16 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)

edit on 5/8/16 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 10:15 AM

edit on 8/5/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 01:52 PM
a reply to: dragonridr

If you look below, there were only two F-15C pilots surveyed.

I note no superhornet.

posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 01:56 PM

The issue of how effective the F-35 would be in a classic dogfight often arises. Gen. Hostage noted during our interview that the F-35 pilot who engages in a dogfight has either made a mistake or been very unlucky.

- Air Force Gen. Mike Hostage, who will command the largest group of F-35s in the world


posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 02:21 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Which is both true and proves nothing. With their sensors both the F-22 and F-35 should be able to see and kill any opponent before they get near them.

But at some point that opponent is going to get near them. And the aircraft is proving that it can and does dogfight very well, even against smaller, more maneuverable opponents.

posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 02:43 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

That does only mean it´s not developed for dogfighting. Not stating it is not capable. Because you can totally shave your beard with a japan santoku knife but why then do most people use a shaving knife?

The days of the red baron are counted, if the need for dogfight arises, it´s still very good at it. What is your agility doing if your weapon systems can´t get a lock or even radar contact. There have been interesting articles about the current developments. If you are interested, they are in the other current threads about the F35.

But I think we could write what we want to you, you´re still going to neglect it. That´s why you can search for the links on your own, not wasting time with that. If you´re so concerned about your countries military, that would be a wise thing to do: Research.

The article you posted is over two years old.

posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 04:11 PM

If I'm not mistaken, the title of this thread is...

Do Pilots Prefer the F-35A in Dogfights?


And my point is...

a.) "dogfights" are obsolete. We already have numerous aircraft capable of dogfighting to the limits of the pilots who fly them.
b.) The F-35 is not necessary for "dogfights" and prohibitively expensive for the role it is to serve.
c.) Other already developed aircraft can address any threat we are likely to face for the foreseeable future.

ETA...Plus, the F-22 is far superior to the F-35, and the only role it cannot fill is the naval role, which the F-18E/F Super Hornet can (and does)

edit on 8/5/2016 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 04:28 PM

originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
Look at the F-117. Lose one plane and you lose the whole program...what a colossal waste (thanks, Bill).

Where the hell did you come up with that idea from? It was 10 years after that loss and the F-117 being retired. It had nothing to do with that and everything to do with cost. The skin for the F-117 was nasty, extremely difficult to replace, and expensive as hell. It was getting less effective against new radar systems so costing more to develop entirely new skins that were effective. It made sense to retire it when they did.

posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 04:32 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I was wondering if dogfights were still a 'thing'.

Seems to me that our aircraft are mostly used for precision strikes in which they get it and get out.

Perhaps someone can educate me more on the issue.

posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 04:33 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

And those aircraft you're talking about are 30 years old, G limited, and are starting to be outclassed. Of course the F-22 is better, it's an air superiority fighter. There are also less than 200 of them.

So it's better to stick with what we have no matter how old they are because they're cheaper? Even if they built brand new F-15s and F-16s, it wouldn't solve the problem that potential opponents are improving rapidly and willing to sell just about anything they're developing. Sooner or later your legacy fleet would come up against something that would kick the crap out of it.

posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 04:37 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58

It was getting less effective against radar systems because the technology was lost to the Russians in Yugoslavia in 1991.

That's where the "hell" I came up with that. It was nasty, difficult and expensive, yes, but it was also loosing effectiveness.

The operational life of the F-117 was 17 years.

The operational lifespan of the F-15,16 and 18 has been what? About 25-30 years on average and counting.

edit on 8/5/2016 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 04:38 PM
a reply to: introvert

Our strike aircraft are built to get in and out, but the lessons from Vietnam are still just as relevant today as they were then. Going into the 1960s, everyone knew dogfights were a thing of the past. Missiles were the future so aircraft, such as the F-4 were built without even a gun.

Then Vietnam happened, and they found out our air to air missiles sucked. Sparrows would drop off the rails to launch and the motor wouldn't fire. Sidewinders would track the sun. And without a gun our fighter crews would have to run.

So now we have strike aircraft capable of defending themselves when they need to.

posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 04:43 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58


Considering that, how often to we engage in 'dogfights' with other nations...currently?

I cannot think of an instance.

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