According to `vark pilots the aircraft has a ceiling of 16,000 METERS combat loaded.
Ch you must be making a mistake with your numbers -but thats ok.
No mistake, it's a well known anecdotal part of the F-111's performance limitations reported by AvLeak and others from initial flight tests onwards.
With full fuel and bombload, the F-111A is limited to about 14,000ft. i.e 'It can't clear Pike's Peak' (14,111ft)
As i have said many MANY times - who`s guiding the damn thing? 60nm range is great , but that requires 2 mid course uopdates from either the launch
aircraft or something in the area that can supply the information
So that it`ll be the launch aircraft 99% of the time.
I have more faith in APG-81 and AESA technology in general than you do but keep in mind, what I said was-
OTOH, if AIM-120C8/D does what it's supposed to as an ERAAM type weapon, it's likely that the F-35 doing the shooting from 40-60nm away will have
both picture and MCG provided by another closer to 100nm out.
The public data available to me states that the APG-81 is capable of 80% of the F-22's 120nm detection range _vs. a 1m2 target_. Another comparison
puts direct numbers at 165km vs. 220km. That's 83-89nm respectively for the F-35 which is likely 'close enough' for extended range use against a
5m2 target like the Flanker.
Back to be SARH then - keep your nose pointed at the enemy. Don`t do that and the AIM120-D is only as good as Sparrow and not as good as Sky Flash.
Nonsense. First off TWS may well function with similar threshold strengths as STT on an AESA either because you are dividing up the array into
multiple pinbeam grouped elements and avoiding the time lag between refresh intervals. Or because, with the target volume skip measured in
microseconds for 'virtual dwell' on the whole array, the targets cannot exit the track volume inbetween pings.
More importantly, as we move into quad RFAU vs. 'single string' (multiRF source systems= sequential DCPA vs. full array STAP processing)-
With productionized MP-RTIP. The ability of nominally /surveillance/ (the equivalent of 2D vs. 3D ground radars) assets to provide longrange
firecontrol quality tracking support (X-Band) as an 'ADAAM' equivalent to the ADSAM capabilities shown here-
Goes way, way, up. Because you are no longer operating as effectively a system intended solely for gap filling in high risk areas in E-3 blind zone
or high clutter tracking adjunct 'alerter' role against cruise missiles (the original RQ-4-as-AWACS mission). But as an asset capable of tracking
3m2 target at 300km and probably a 5m2 (Su-27, courtesy of a 65,000ft lookdown advantage) out to LOS horizoning or 500km.
At which point, the question for the threat jet driver becomes "Who do I believe?" because his RWR may be telling him he's getting 'hard tracked'
(STT equivalent 'loud' ERPs loading) from an elevation and powerdensity level that can ONLY be representative of an HALE UAV-acting-as-AWACS,
While he instinctively knows that the shooters are likely much closer in. 'If only they would speak up so that I could hear them'.
This is different from SARH because-
1. You are not relying on a 7, 8 or even 10" seeker diameter to pick up ultralongrange returns from a target in X-Band. Nor even a 27-36" fighter
radar. The RQ-4 antenna being 18"X60" _can do_ as a 300km tracking capable aperture.
2. Even if you DO have limited ability to rangle resolve the absolute target location (detect vs. track), due to jamming or signature treatments or
tactical maneuver; you can run the missile out to a generic 'targets bearing and range average - your bearing and range average (to me) until the
seeker cone collides with a general proximity cube (near/far averaged point) whereafter your principal fire control agency can begin tracking off the
generic big picture.
3. /At/ A-Pole, the weapon can perform as a TVM dual aperture function to reject decoys and advanced terminal jamming techniques. Comparing it's
view of the target to that from the fighter and 'sharing' processing modes. Further easing the range issue.
All of which is just fine, except, due to the F-35s 'baby onboard' delicate condition and the cost of the asset overall; you still have to either
yield signature advantage (making the forward shooter principle less advantageous) with multiple, external carriage, shots. Or go to grouped
formation tactics. Which limits the onset rate and total number of targets engaged, /traditional advantages of LO/. Even with standoff munitions.
Myself? I prefer the speed and avoidance to just _not go near_ a target that I don't need to. And six + two (bomber and bodyguard section loadouts)
max out my AIM-120 shot:target loading factor on those threats which I do 'deem necessary' to kill. Never wait for little Olie Twist to ask if he
may have another. Send him 2-3 at a time.
In this manner, with just a few F-22 teams cycling in and out of the target area (on a 3 vice 7 hour cycle) /all the time/, I can quickly wear down a
threat DCA effort with BOBian 'anticipation stress' (constant CAP/QRA). Even as I roll in the UCAV main force to start pounding the crap out of
transport and military targets once a major break in the enemy IADS is achieved.
A UCAV which, not having a pilot to lose if it is not configured to fight off an air threat, nobody will cry over it's 'excessive exposure'.
A UCAV which, because it's ONE FIFTH the cost of a JSF, even though it has roughly similar (internal) payload options, is present in such numbers as
to actually -increase- the number of shots and shot types available to a force commander.
A UCAV which, because of it's loiter, doesn't have to be regenerated as often, even though it shares the same basic sub-cruise lag in RTB. Thus
allowing said AAM-configured robot to provide coverage for potentially multiple raids irrespective of whether there is an active threat up or not.
Finally, a UCAV whose _superior_ LO, when coupled to the ADAAM system, means that it can be further forward to /take/ the best shots, relying on the
HALE platform to send the missiles into the seeker cube without adding cost to it's basic XTRA radar functions.
All of which together means I can keep my individual hunting pairs well distributed and penetrative (forcing the bad guys to come some considerable
distance to engage each) without having to waste most of Stealth's advantages on package tactics and 'here we ALL are' collateralization of intent
with just those two internal weapons available on each individual (manned) JSF.
Under these conditions, the JSF's lesser-LO factor (which has been stated since the program began folks) reflects more on lane commitments of jamming
assets and predictable (ground) target coverages (to which a defense can shift airborne fire brigade assets) more than anything specifically important
to the A2A game (S2A is another matter).
Yet even worst case, what the F-22 can do directly, the F-35 may be able to achieve (at least for our forces with their deeper AOD munitions
purchasing pockets) simply by shifting to longrange weapons like FRSW or JASSM as external weapons for the first few missions.
Pushing and Pushing until eventually a combination of higher effective raid numbers (X4 cruise vs. X2 internal JDAM), deferred maintenance under
constant combat turns and simple fuel and munition exhaustion catch the Flanker Team on the ground. Where they and/or their logistics are blown to
itty bits 'anyway' because their weapons systems are not designed to deal with Mach 6-8 aeroballistic or -35dbsm stealth penetrators deliberately
routed to achieve 'compass point' simultaneous surround sound attacks.
This last is critical because the false imperative (grabbing crotch) inherent to 'measuring an Air Force by it's fighter performances' is and
always will be proven false _By The Numbers_ of /threat jets/ Flankers likely to be encountered in any given campaign setting (even one maximizing own
force projection and persistence problems at long range). So that it is better to spend a day or three hunting them individually with very a high
capability, limited, force. Before or even /as/ you bring in the Brand-X generic bus platforms to absolutely level the place with the cheapest, most
efficient, _bomber_ that there is.
Right now, the individual aimpoint and standoff edge represented by the EIGHT, 64,000 dollar, GBU-39; marginally favors the return on deposit of a
conventional airframe over the aeroballistic or cruise weapon. But _Only If_ you dump all pretense of currency training in peacetime which
effectively gobbles up EIGHT BILLION dollars a year for our forces. As soon as you add UPT, fastjet pipe, squadron qualification and
continuation/exercise/deployment prep, it becomes cheaper to do your entire high intensity war effort with 730,000 dollar Cruise Missiles.
The difference being that, through such a choice, you deny the 'other 70% of all war conditions' WHERE THERE IS NO AIR THREAT AT ALL. And instead
you are acting as airborne artillery in support of ground forces. Or as surveillance assets helping to enforce remote border interdiction effort.
UCAVs being better than JSF at that too. As they are in all other 'real' (high intensity=fantasy) conflict conditions where you emphasize the
bullet over the gun. And especially the shooter.
I despise the JSF _for a reason_, beyond it's tremendous fiscal waste. I just don't believe it represents the best airpower modal for the jobs we
need to do these days. Or the DEWS vulnerability we will face all too soon, tomorrow.