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Joint Strike FIghter not so stealthy afterall

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posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 11:39 AM
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THE ability of Australia's new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to evade detection and enemy attack has been substantially downgraded by the US Defence Department.

And a Liberal MP and former senior defence analyst, Dennis Jensen, warns that the fighters - at $15 billion the most expensive defence purchase in Australia's history - will be unable to maintain air combat dominance.
Sydney Morning Herald


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Man they're really screwing around with the JSF program. America's reluctance to share technological info has seriously pissed off the British, and several other European nations, and now this!

A Senate Committee will hold hearings this week about the decision to cancel the alternate engine program, another move that frustrated Britain.

Still, they think international demand is so strong, the US Air Force might order less of the F-35A version: Air force official predicts big international demand for F-35 plane


[edit on 3-13-2006 by Zion Mainframe]

[edit on 3-13-2006 by Zion Mainframe]




posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 12:02 PM
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Wait maybe I read the article wrong but... has AU received any F-35 orders. I thought that the first complete arircraft was completed on 2.20.06. How would this guy know anything.

The article mentions David Fawcett and that he was the commander of AU's Defence Force's flight test and evaluation centre. Ok that is great but when did AU receive a F-35 test rig? I say wait and see. LM makes some good kit and once the F-35 hits full swing I am sure there will be quite a few backdoor upgrades that will be under the table.

Sounds like a loaded article to me....but hey been wrong before! LOL



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 12:04 PM
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[edit on 13-3-2006 by justin_barton3]



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 12:42 PM
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Zion is usally good to his word or posts so I do take alot of what he says as close to fact until i can research it. I'm looking into the artical because you can bet if the US screws over Aus then they will do it to Canada too. Damb we help build the things and fund it but still get the shaft and thats when the US gov etc starts pissing me off.


"Foreign air forces are flying about 4,500 old F-4 Phantoms, F-16 Fighting Falcons and other U.S.-built planes that need replacing, Gen. Moseley said. Many will want the F-35.

That demand is "a tremendous opportunity for American aerospace," Gen. Moseley said. "I don't know that we will be able to build that many of them, so I think there will be a discussion over what percentage of our buy do we provide for the international market."

Not if the european countries are as pissed as i think they are and with this new info from Aus about being shafted i dont think it will help the US standing in the minds of the european goverments that are not sure if they want to stick around with the program.

[edit on 13-3-2006 by Canada_EH]



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 12:50 PM
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what are you predicting Zion? you think the countries will stick around or does the US have a major problem on their hands now?



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 01:07 PM
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I predict SAAB stock will soon rise quite a bit

Or USA has to adjust it's attitude from Superpower to Military hardware salesman in order to maintain viable sales numbers for JSF

[edit on 13-3-2006 by northwolf]



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 01:11 PM
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Denmark have pulled out in all but name since they have ordered JAS39 to replace there F-16`s ; Norway are again looking at the JAS39 - this is the second time - they like the JAS39 C/D very much now.

norway to leave

Belgium are testing the Typhoon to replace there F-16`s and Holland are seriously looking the same

Aus - They need something with much better legs to replace the Aadvark - im sorry but the F-35 will not do.

that leaves italy , turkey and the usa.

And turkey are looking at Typhoon as well.

oh and the uk - who only want the F-35B - which will IN MY OPINION get canned - and so they pull out and buy Rafale till Sea Typhoon is ready and use the extra money for a third carrier - France is happy as UK buy there fighters so they pump more nto the new carriers.

uk f-35 update



just my rambling thoughts thats all.

edit to add link about norway AND uk


[edit on 13/3/06 by Harlequin]



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 01:14 PM
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Nobody has ever said that it's 100 % stealthy... Fromt he top and the bottom... No way... it's a semi stealth plane...

[edit on 13-3-2006 by Figher Master FIN]



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 01:19 PM
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Most of this claim is based on



A crucial aspect of the fighter's "stealth capability" - radio frequency signatures - has been downgraded from "very low observable" to "low observable", according to the US Defence Department website.


It might just be me but I cant find any mention of the radar signature size in these Beach ball or marble terms mention in the Herald article on these websites.

www.jsf.mil...

www.lockheedmartin.com... c&ci=11173&rsbci=11173&fti=0&ti=0&sc=400

Not as if these early public claims are always true we were told the B-2 had a signature the size of a bird for a long time when it turned out later it was closer to that of a bee or marble.

Look even the B-2 is called "low observable" on its goverment website

www.is.northropgrumman.com...

and we are not talking about any beachball size radar signature here.



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 01:19 PM
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Originally posted by Canada_EH
what are you predicting Zion? you think the countries will stick around or does the US have a major problem on their hands now?

Gee I don't know. I don't know if the Defense departments of all the countries involved already knew this, but kept it quiet. The article states there were already rumors about this.

Many European countries have serious doubts about the project, especially Norway and Britain, but there is also a lot of money involved for their industries. Dutch and Australian companies have got hundreds of millions of dollars worth of orders, so their governments can just quit the project.

It's very likely Norway will quit the program (they're going to decide that before April 1st), but other countries are very eager to join the program, like Turkey for example.
Also, Israel has been kept out of the program, but it wouldn't surprise me when they are allowed to buy some anyway. The USAF cant afford all the fighters they intend to buy, so it's very interesting for the US government to sell them off to other countries.

The US already had a problem on their hands, they have continously frustrated the British by not sharing technical information. Now, the UK MoD is working on a Plan-B that involves more Eurofighters or French Rafale fighters. The Rafale does not have to be modified to land on Britains new aircraft carriers, so it's a very interesting option for Britain.



I predict SAAB stocl will soon rise quite a bit


When Norway (and Denmark possibly too) will bail out, they're most likely going to by the Gripen (which is what my government should have done as well).



[edit on 3-13-2006 by Zion Mainframe]



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 01:25 PM
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I read the article. I think it oversimplifies many of it's arguements.

1st, LO versus VLO could me a lot of things. And its all subjective, anyways, since no one here nows what the DoD's definition of Low Observable and Very Low Observable (in dBsm) is anyways. Maybe the DoD's definition of VLO has changed? Maybe because of this change the F-35 no longer qualifies as VLO? I have always understood that the F-117, F-22, and F-35 were LO aircraft, and the B-2 is the only thing that comes close to VLO. I don't think that you will be able to find too many aerospace engineers that believe you can build a tactical attack aircraft with a high degree of air-to-air capability while simultaneously being VLO. The technology just isn't there yet.

The analogy of a marble and a beach ball is extreme. It indicates a reduction in capability (increase of RCS) of a full factor. I seriously doubt any increase in RCS will be on the order of a full factor.

The arguement of the F-35 not being able to maintain "air dominance" over Flankers is a bit odd, since most people understand that the F-35 is a multi-role strike aircraft, meant to be a jack-of-all-trades, and not a pure air superiority aircraft. If you want that kind of performance, then you will need to order Raptors, Rafales, or Typhoons. But i kinda get the impression that this is exactly what the authory and the man providing the inverview were advocating anyways (prolly Typhoons, being a UK product and all).

All aircraft are less stealthy from the rear aspect. The F-35 is no exception.

There are a dozen other major factors about the F-35 that make it revolutionary, but apparently those do not come into play when you factor them against Australias regional threats. Reliability and ease/number of hardware & software upgrades probably being foremost. And lets not forget to mention the single most important factor - the quality, training, and aggressive determination of the pilot in the cockpit. After all, its not the machine that flies the man.......



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 01:29 PM
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First up, Shadow nailed it.


But to take this in another direction for conspiracy sake:

Maybe the USA wants the other nations to bail on the JSF? Huh, how about that? Maybe you guys were just used to get the program started and approved.

My thinking is the plane will be everything it’s supposed to be and maybe a great deal more, leaving the USA wanting to be the sole operators of it. Think of it for pete's sake, they are talking about putting lasers on it, and radars powerful enough to be used offensively.

That’s my new JSF theory: The USA wants everybody to bail; the plane is turning out to be too good to share.

Prove me wrong, you cant because nobody knows either way.



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by Pyros
I read the article. I think it oversimplifies many of it's arguements.

You could be right, but the guy is a "former senior defence analyst". so I guess he does know what he's talking about...



And lets not forget to mention the single most important factor - the quality, training, and aggressive determination of the pilot in the cockpit. After all, its not the machine that flies the man.......

You are right about the fact that it is a very advanced aircraft, and a hell of a lot better than their current F-111's. But if the US government and Lockheed lied about it's RCS, than that's going to make people think twice about further participating in the project, especially the countries that already were wobbly.



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 04:27 PM
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Hi all,

Just a quick note to add some perspective on the article. There is a real push amongst some sections within Australia that are anti-JSF. Peter Goon is a partner on a web site call Air Power Australia

Air Power Australia

If you have a look, you'll see there is a fairly negative JSF flavour to it. Which is their perogative, and they do mount some interesting arguments, though I disagree with a lot of their analysis and figures.

As to the contention that the JSF will be beaten by Flanker, I really don't want to ignite a "this is better than that" debate, but JSF will be looking for a BVR kill. It simply is not a platform designed to go to the merge. Is this a problem? Only time will tell, but the intention, as I understand it, is to make sure that any threat is negated before the aircraft is put into a position where it has to defend itself.

Hmm, I figure I'm about to cop an earfull, if anyone needs me, I'll be in the fallout shelter



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 06:10 PM
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That demand is "a tremendous opportunity for American aerospace," Gen. Moseley said. "I don't know that we will be able to build that many of them, so I think there will be a discussion over what percentage of our buy do we provide for the international market."


Well this quote kind of alludes to what Skippy was saying, does the US think that if too many JSF’s are sold abroad there will be too few left for the US? Thus maybe we are trying to shorten the list of potential buyers. But I don't see why we couldn’t just produce more JSF’s.



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 06:34 PM
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I think the article is oversimplified, and of course it is loaded, it is a newspaper article and I've posted my views on thse before. However, the problem inherent in Australias JSF buy is covered there.

It IS a piss poor replacement for the F-111 in the strike role, it lacks the range and weapons to replace it effectivelyt so what is the point of it?

Likewise willards point about BVR against the Flanker, no it wont. If it could there would be no need for the F-22. The JSF is an attack aircraft with 'some' A2A capability, not a 'fighter', everyone seems to forget this. It will of course have some degree of capability in this area but it certainly wont be equipped to go out hunting Flankers, thats why the USN will be keeping it s Super Hornets. Stealth is an attribute for survivabilty on attack missions, so that it can get away from the Flanker, not so that it can outfight it. If it isn't actually as stealthy as all that (and I don't know either way) then it has no reason to exist in the RAAF, RAF or FAA at all as there will be much less expensive machines with simlar payload range performance available, of course none of them are suitable replacements for the F-111, but neither is the F-35.



[edit on 13-3-2006 by waynos]



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 07:11 PM
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Originally posted by skippytjc
But to take this in another direction for conspiracy sake:

Maybe the USA wants the other nations to bail on the JSF? Huh, how about that? Maybe you guys were just used to get the program started and approved.

My thinking is the plane will be everything it’s supposed to be and maybe a great deal more, leaving the USA wanting to be the sole operators of it. Think of it for pete's sake, they are talking about putting lasers on it, and radars powerful enough to be used offensively.

That’s my new JSF theory: The USA wants everybody to bail; the plane is turning out to be too good to share.

Prove me wrong, you cant because nobody knows either way.


hmmm my question is why hasn't Canada commented on any of this we are a player in the development and we dont have anything in sight for replacements other then the 35..... what is going on has Canada been leaked some information so that the 35 would be a sole north american defense plane?
Skippy you maybe on to something..... just maybe. very good counter point.



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 07:50 PM
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Zion Mainframe,

>
It's not just low observable, it's /very/ Low Observable...
>

www.lmaeronautics.com...

To be honest, I think there is a cut off point for the two relative to a 'natural' vs. /augmented/ signature reduction capacity.

I think that this latter additional stealth capacity may be represented by modes imbedded in the APG-77 and 'ALR-94++' wingroot antenna systems of the F-22 for instance (i.e. possible active loading/cancellation).

Such that while there is a certain significant threshold before which 'VLO' can be applied, once you get there as a base decibel per square meter (dbsm) absorption vs. scatter vs. specular return fraction, you can further 'adjust' matters electronically. To the point of achieving true RF invisibility.

My personal best guess is that this occurs somewhere between -25 and -35dbsm.

Since the /original/ ATF-22 was a _fourth_ not fifth generation fighter, it may also be simply a matter of semantics as the capabilities of international threat systems increases and thus so must the base definition of the necessary reduction in return be 'marked down' to maintain effective radar invisibility and freedom of operations.

www.aerospaceweb.org...

In any case, I have long maintained that VLO is a non-exportable technology if you truly want to maintain a viable capability for home forces and thus the various theater CINCs screaming for a 'common force' metric in generating viable doctrinal building block approach to airpower is totally bunk because international F-35s will not be as capable as U.S. ones.

Having said that, the notion that the USAF is 'giving away, free' early production block numbers so that it can revest itself in later ATL capable models etc. is equally moronic. Because it is the USAF (bulk inventory) purchase which ensures a 45 million dollar economy of scale threshold price for the A model. And if foreign buys replace rather than /add to/ that number, then Lunchmeats' profit margin, based on secondary sales, is not going to happen because it's NOT-

1,763 + 4,500 jets.

It's 1,100 + (4,500-663) 3,837 jets. BEFORE competition with established Euro Canard Clones and the truly 'bargain basement' UCAVs are applied.

i.e. Without a serious bipolar threat to drive warrior egos beyond the consideration of responsible fisk, most nations will opt for cheapest or most useful which is uniformly going to mean unmanned bombers, not manned fighters. After all, if we only need 1,100 from the original requirement for 2,400...

Taking all this into account, final export sales of JSF may be as little as 250 jets. And probably not more than 500.

Which means that not only will Congress lose home-district pork and a significant fraction of trade imbalance offsets. But the USAF order may have to shrink /again/ as the price of the JSF continues to rise, even for our own services.

Indeed this-

www.fas.org...

States that the operating PAUC (Program Acquistion Unit Cost) is already 104 million (it was 73-79 million as long ago as 1997) and as I have stated elsewhere, if you continue to slide-right on service dates and dollar values while we bleed green in Iraq and red on the cost:quantity issue, the likely numbers are going to be between 154 million (todays values) and 210 million (inflationary scaleup) -as an export factored price increase-.

Which makes the F-35 not only worthless as a physical platform but as a 'cheap' fighter as well.

Largely because the technical innovations it represents are too few in number (it is basically an F-16 with non jettisonable fuel tanks) vs. the necessary changes in ops tempo and peacetime maintenance/training rates needed to make it truly competitive. i.e. It's still manned.

There are other factors-

Titanium Goes Up
www.janes.com...

Everybody Wants A Piece
www.nationaldefensemagazine.org...

But the basic scalars remain the same, 1,600 planes and up is a constant. Anything below that and you're talking diminishing returns-

www.codeonemagazine.com...

And AGAIN, as I have long said, people are kidding themselves if they think the ROW wants to play the pride-of-place nationalism game when war for profit is illegal and they can let us do the policing while /they get rich/.

As with all 'nice' Empires, if you don't conquer and demand tribute to constantly weaken your colonial holdings economies while maintaining flat resource access values, you eventually are outdone by the vitality of your protectorates. Trying to apply a Pax Americana rule to the world order without asking to be paid for it, outright and openly, is /stupid/.

CONCLUSION:
The notion that stealth has to be absolute is bogus. SWAKs or Swing Wing Adapter Kits largely remove the threat from weapons in the MANPADS to SA-2/6 class. While cruise systems can saturate limited stocks of advanced SAMs vastly more cheaply than manned airpower can be applied to roll back or penetrate their coverage.

Once you realize this. Once you UNDERSTAND that 'better bullets win', _all the time_, you start to see the platform as it should be: a bus whose sole value is it's ability to fly a profile efficiently. As a robotic weapons pylon.

In terms of who-gets-what, and the notion that the U.S. asked for co sponsorship to develop a weapons system which they never intended to sell, /puhleeze/. Even Tier 1 partners were only putting in 2 billion, the rest are in the 800 million and 150 million category which is not even a drop in the bucket of 'three airframes, one name' development effort which will likely top 50 billion and /probably/ come close to 70 billion (i.e. the entirety of the F-22 R&D + Acquisition cost) BEFORE production starts.

The U.S. needs to sell it's death machines because that is all we have left at which we are without doubt superior at (and the effort to smash through the ITAR process promises to sell off even this). The problem is that the JSF is not all that it's cracked up to be. And the notional 'order of things' (knights of the sky paradigm) by which wars are fought but never won is itself largely a redundant psychology based on changing technologic capabilities (less Meteor vs. Ks-172 than the interaction between DEWs and Cheap Precision Missiles).

I personally hope Lunchmeat chokes on their greed. And the U.S. Armed Farces are brought low by their narcissistic 'subservience' to a bully politick foreign policy that they enforce solely to maintain their precious percentage of the budgetary dole. Maybe once we ruin the best military force on the planet with corrupt use and self interest, we can start to move away from 'war as an independent variable' and towards a global rule of law in which idiots like UBL can be chased down by every police force instead of just our own incompetent muzzle mutts.


KPl.



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 08:04 PM
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Well ch, as you've said over and over in your post "in my opinion" and "I believe".



And It's spelt "Forces" not "Farces". If I can fix my spelling error with "Phoenix" you can fix yours with "Farces".

Shattered OUt...



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 08:16 PM
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Ok, I guess the question is why does Australia need the strike range of the F-111? Are we really operating in a 1960's mindset of needing to drop bombs on any unfriendly communists who might be gradually moving south, domino style? Or are we happy protecting our sea-air gap with a platform which, qualitatively, is better than anything our immediate neighbours are going to have anytime in the next 20 years? And also gives us a capability that can integrate into a Coalition environment similar to what our Hornets did for Iraqi Freedom? The needs of yesterday do not necessarily reflect the needs of today and tomorrow. The problem people have with replacing platforms is that there is often a "need" to either replace one for one, both in terms of platform numbers, but also capability (ie the F-111 can fly thousands of miles, so we need a platform that can also do that). There are other platforms that can meet Australian needs other than JSF, but saying that we need to replace the strike capabilility of the F-111 is short-sighted. As for the Flanker vs JSF debate, I agreed that merging with a Flanker means it is unlikely a JSF would win. But with a Flanker RCS being what it is, JSF will get FLO before an AA-12 equipped Flanker. And with our platform numbers (100 or so), some good NCW enhancements, including AEW&C, AAR and JORN, and within an Australian context of our expected threat environment, JSF will probably be an adequate solution.



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