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Do Pilots Prefer the F-35A in Dogfights?

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posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 04:44 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58



So it's better to stick with what we have no matter how old they are because they're cheaper?


In a word, yes.



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.


More like later. When was the last time the US was engaged in actual air to air combat...against an even remotely advanced opponent? Viet Nam?




posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 04:47 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

The F-117 skin was losing effectiveness before Yugoslavia. It was effective against older systems but not against the newer systems that were in development at the time. The skin on the F-117 when it was retired was completely different than the skin that was on it in 1999. Every time they replaced it they completely changed it.

The F-117 also used older off the shelf technology for a lot of its systems, such as a B-52 INS. The cost of replacing those was included in the cost of keeping them flying. Losing that aircraft had nothing to do with the decision to retire them.

Those F-15s and F-16s that have such a long life are also in crappy shape. In 2008 they canceled a Top Gun class because 25% of all F-16s in the US inventory had wing or bulkhead cracks. The F-15s all have substandard longerons and cracks. They can't go near their rated top speed or pull 9Gs anymore because of age.

In 2008-2009, 95% of the F-15 fleet was within 5% of, or had exceeded the rated life cycle of the aircraft. The Air Force and Boeing decided the best plan of action was to extend the life cycle.



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 04:49 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I'm damn glad you aren't in charge of procurement then.

You think air to air is the only combat? Surface to air missiles have advanced far beyond the Vietnam days and a modem SAM system used correctly will swat legacy aircraft from the air.



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 04:51 PM
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a reply to: introvert

Desert Storm was the last time. And that was mostly because in 2003 the Iraqi air force decided they weren't even going to fly.



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 04:51 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I will say this again...I am NOT advocating (in any way shape or form) keeping antiquated airframes in the air past their useful lifespan. I don't know any other way to say this!

Those aircraft are falling out of the sky because the military brass is trying to force the new technology into production. It's orchestrated obsolescence. That doesn't justify new technology, it justifies replacement.



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 04:52 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

May I remind you once again the title of this thread is about dogfighting...is it not?




You think air to air is the only combat? Surface to air missiles have advanced far beyond the Vietnam days and a modem SAM system used correctly will swat legacy aircraft from the air.


And they will do the exact same with the F-35.



ETA...BTW, the modern combat aircraft is hardly Viet Nam era technology.
edit on 8/5/2016 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 04:52 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: introvert

Desert Storm was the last time. And that was mostly because in 2003 the Iraqi air force decided they weren't even going to fly.


Thanks again.

I'll have to look in to that.



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 05:02 PM
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a reply to: introvert

It's going to take bad luck to get into a dogfight with the current sensor suite that's in play now and coming into play. But far better to be in an aircraft that can if you need to rather than going with "dogfights are dead" and getting an aircraft that's not very good at it.



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 08:46 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk


a.) "dogfights" are obsolete. We already have numerous aircraft capable of dogfighting to the limits of the pilots who fly them.

The F-35 is primarily a BVR aircraft, and unlike other aircraft it is not designed for extreme maneuverability like the F-22, PAK FA, Eurofighter, or Su-35S. The F-35 actually has inferior thrust-to-weight and wing-loading, even in combat configuration, than all of those. That's why it is much cheaper than the F-22 despite retaining most advantages (stealth, sensors).

That's why the General was stating that the pilot has made a mistake if he or she ends up Within Visual Range (WVR) in an F-35. That's why in the original post in this thread, all pilots interviewed would rather be in an F-35 in a Beyond Visual Range (BVR) fight, yet less so in a WVR fight. It just so happens that in combat configuration, the F-35A is mostly similar or better than the aircraft it is replacing in terms of energy-maneuverability.

The F-35 is actually primarily an air-to-ground fighter, not for "dogfighting", BUT the F-35 can do that too. The fact that this thread is about dogfighting, does not mean the F-35 is only designed for, only used for, or only good at dogfighting. If you want to discuss how capable the F-35 is or whether it's worth the money, then we are forced to discuss everything other than dogfighting. Since you brought that up, you are forcing us to talk about things that aren't dogfighting.

By the way General Hostage was head of Air Combat Command. Not sure if it was him or his replacement General Carlisle, but the head has stated that the F-35 is actually the best value fighter available.


b.) The F-35 is not necessary for "dogfights" and prohibitively expensive for the role it is to serve.

Similar in cost to 4.5th generation aircraft, so no. It also is more capable and requires less support from e.g. AWACS and JSTARS.


c.) Other already developed aircraft can address any threat we are likely to face for the foreseeable future.

Not according to RAND.


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)

The F-22 is an air-superiority fighter. In air-to-air combat it literally has the all the advantages the F-35 has, except that it's designed for extreme energy-maneuverability and has a greater air-to-air payload. In terms of other roles, it's literally is an air-to-air fighter with minimal air-to-ground capability tacked on, is far more expensive than the F-35 to buy and operate, is now out of production, there are also less than 200 of them. The F-35 whoops the F-22 in terms of air-to-ground.

The F-22 is literally designed for dogfighting. The F-35 isn't.

You're also forgetting about the F-35B, which is replacing the Harrier. F-35C has far greater range than the F/A-18 E/F and is far more capable. The F/A-18 E/F was originally devised as an interim fighter.
edit on 5/8/16 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 08:54 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk


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

1999, not 1991.


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

25 years.

2008-1983 = 25.



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 08:57 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

You know, I'm so very disappointed (in you in particular). You worked on one of the most tried and true platforms ever developed (short of the C-47/DC-3), the 707. Never has an airframe performed as well as that one has, on so many different missions. If there was ever a reason to say..."if it ain't broke, don't fix it", the 135 airframe would be that.

It's still flying to this day! Yes, the re-powered it, yes, they've done a lot of things to it, but YOU beyond all others should know the value of staying with what you know. (How very disappointing).

That you would defend this unproven technology in the face of that which is known is unfortunate.

This plane might fly, it might fight...and it might not. It might sit on the ramp, on mechanical. It's 40% ready...at best.

I had a better image of your past, airman!

I truly am sorry we have such a gap in understanding.



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 09:01 PM
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What we need is extremely fast, stealth super long range nuclear weapons. That will keep us safe.



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 09:03 PM
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originally posted by: Xeven
What we need is extremely fast, stealth super long range nuclear weapons. That will keep us safe.



Something like a submarine with underwater afterburners?



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 09:05 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Nope, they won't do the same to the F-35.

Denmark did a comparison on how effective each aircraft is for different roles.

Mission effectiveness (the x-axis is different mission types):


Survivability (the x-axis is different mission types):


www.fmn.dk...

Full Report: www.fmn.dk...



Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) records on the latest F-35A exercise.

Bits in round brackets and in bold are mine.


Gen Carlisle, (General of USAF Air Combat Command)
Sir, apologies for emailing you directly, but I thought you would enjoy a quick DEPEX AAR.

BLUF: Overall, the DEPEX was a huge success! (DEPEX = Deployment Exercise)

DISCUSSION:. We were 88 for 88 on the sortie count, including the deployment flights to and from Mt Home (they were RAP counters). The entire team performed flawlessly, and challenges identified during the cross-ramp exercise were resolved, making for a very smooth DEPEX.. Ops executed OCA-SEAD (Offensive Counter-Air, Suppression of enemy air defenses), AI (air interdiction), DCA (defensive counter air), and CAS (Close air support) missions, employed 16x inert GBU-12s (laser guided bomb), and integrated in LFEs (large force exercises) with F-15Es (with ZERO F-35 losses). The scenarios were robust and one experienced former F-16 pilot stated, "we would never have survived that in a Viper.". Maintenance flawlessly produced the planned 4 to 6 front-lines every day (plus a spare) and they maintained a 92.3% MC (mission capable) rate. As previously mentioned, we had zero lost sorties. Lockheed Martin support was exceptional, with a smooth transfer onto and off of the ALIS (Autonomous Logistics System) SOUv2 (not sure). They also provided timely spare parts when needed. The only real issue we faced was lightning protection and the lack of validated aircraft-inerting procedures. While this was never a show stopper, it complicated operations. I have confidence the Air Force will resolve this issue in short order. I could not be more proud of the efforts of the TFI team and the performance of our F-35s. It was truly an epic display of Airpower.

WAY AHEAD: If possible, I would like to set up a 5-minute IOC (inital operational capability)"way-ahead" phone call next week.

(snip signature details)
Commander, 388 FW (Fighter Wing)


"we would never have survived that in a Viper".



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 09:08 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I also have a far better grasp of the challenges of keeping an airframe that's 60 years old flying than you do apparently. Yes I worked plenty of -135s, and saw all the huge problems they had with fairly minor upgrades, and the times they'd break and spend days on the ground waiting for a part to get shipped in from halfway around the world because that was the only one available.

I've seen missions canceled because the only tanker available crapped out five minutes before departure. I KNOW the challenges faced by the fleet we have. You can berate me all you want, but I've been there first hand and watched the problems grow worse and worse year after year.



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 09:11 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk


This plane might fly, it might fight...and it might not. It might sit on the ramp, on mechanical. It's 40% ready...at best.

In most recent DEPEX it was 92.3% mission capable.



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 09:18 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Again, (over and over), I am NOT advocating keeping old airframes in the sky. What I AM advocating is keeping proven technology flying. We already know how to build it, maintain it; we have crews eager to fly it. We can execute the mission.

Aircrews, pilots and ground crews are not screaming for new technology...they're screaming for spare parts, maintenance and new (replacement) aircraft. To say otherwise would be an un-truth.

I'm sorry, but you are wrong, sir.



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 09:21 PM
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These crews, much like yours, are some of the finest on the planet! They want what they know.

They haven't met a match they cant take...not yet, and not for the foreseeable future. They're proud, they're trained...and they're the BEST!

We don't need the F-35.

I'm sorry, we just disagree.



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 09:30 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I also have a far better grasp of the challenges of keeping an airframe that's 60 years old flying than you do apparently.


Yes, yes you do.

Hence my point.



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 09:59 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I know many of those ground crews and you have no clue how many -135 maintenance guys are looking forward to the arrival of the KC-46. They're practically drooling over the thing and are looking forward to not having to deal with the problems they have had with the -135 recently.

Building new -135s, or F-15s, or whatever is putting lipstick on a pig. It's also going to end up costing far more in the long run than a new aircraft would.
edit on 8/5/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



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