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 -
. 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
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)