posted on Jul, 13 2006 @ 08:50 PM
I'm not sure where you think I am comparing either previous Lightning to the F-35, which is utterly different whether you think it any good or not,
my point was merely to argue that neither of them could be called 'very average' when judged by the standards of the time in which they were
The P-38 was /entirely/ average in it's achieve wartime LER. To the point where we lost nearly as many as we took down. That this was
under-achieved by a 'highly advanced engineering concept', often facing the likes of Me-109G4/5/6 and Ki-43 as much as 190Ds or Hayates (i.e. the
worst of theirs vs. the supposed best of ours) raises the BS flag more not less.
Not least of which SOD bubble popping being because it's optimization for high altitude aerial combat was insufficient for the operational vagaries
of hard use, if not actually _by design_ flawed through all but the last two of seven major variants. A total of some 10,000 airframes only half were
of a model _mechanical competent_ as much as competitive with the extant (developed) threat.
When you say in reference to the BAC Lightning "thats all very well if you are fighting a defensive war", thats just it, that was purely what the
Lightning was about, get up as high as possible as quickly as possible and shoot down incoming bombers, mixing it with enemy fighters or taking the
fight forward to the enemy was never in its make up.
IIRR, the 'EE Lightning' went into service around 1960-61. By 1965, _I know_ they had at least 1 squadron active in Germany. By 1970 they had
four. How many _total_ squadrons were there? 10? 12?
That's 40% of the fleet doing the frontal Air Superiority mission /by default/ with a secondary 'one pass Aden Strafe' A2G assignment as well.
MORE Lightnings woudl have gone over to reinforce RAF-G (probably in France by that time) had the Red Horde come rovering over the thin line.
YOU MEASURE GREATNESS BY WHAT YOU DO.
Yet the Lightning was not a turn and burn platform and it's weapons systems, while competent for intercept were not particularly suited _by numbers
or location_ to multi-combatant dogfighting in a saturated air threat situation.
Which is more or less what you're stuck with when you fail (weather, AIRPASS LDSD, weather, GCI compromise, weather) to make the FQ kill and are
fighting with heat weapons in German clag.
Now add into the mix the positively wretched servicability of the type in the early years and remember /they have more than you do/.
I would have rather have had F-5A's over Germany than Lightnings. Hell, I would prefer Freedom Fighters in the UKADGE too. At least they had
reliable AAR, decent range, small visual signature, MORE WEAPONS, decent field performance and outstanding reliability.
**Do not be in love with brochure performance** is a bylaw of airwar historians and 'just-plane' enthusiasts. Doing so as a function of 'whats in
a name but a rose' followon reputative assignment is thus doubly-dumberer.
I'm not going to try and say that it was the best of planes, of course, but simply thats how it was back then.
The problem is 'optimizing' an airframe to a mission set and then discovering that you are using it in a different role from initial expectation.
For the JSF this is going to be particularly hard to take for the following reasons:
1. Limited PWSC/SDD trials fleet.
The 'real' (weight leveraged) F-35 will not fly until late in 2008, two years after production selection is 'celebrated, not decided'.
2. Questionable production variant optimization.
Having paid a HUGE development cost penalty for 'three planes, one name' split of service features; we are now locking ourselves into a production
run based on ONE (the easiest) variant's SDD capabilities evaluation. If further variant performance optimization is required through upgrades to
aeros and engines, we're pooch-howled for integrating it within an 'expected' export timeframe. Let alone as DEF model changes.
3. Questionable Performance Justification.
With similar radar modes and EOTS, the F-22 will do the same job, twice as well with all but heavy weight munitions. 500 of these airframe would cost
one half the production value of the JSF and has overall superiority when marked against ANY existing air or ground threat.
Comparitively, the JSF is already known to be equal or subpar, aerodynamically, to a lot of previous generation airframe (Flubber, Rafale, Su-30) and
only marginally superior in weapons systems (small radar, limited internal carriage).
Indeed it is 'deoptimized' solely to ensure that the Air Services could maintain massive pilot communities rather than realistic airframe
inventories (8 bombs vs. 2 means you SHOULD need only 1/4 the F-16 purchase, if you obey the same sortie metric).
3. Stealth Means Diddly Dip All.
When you are facing hunting weapons or DEWS. OR when you are facing _no IADS/Air threat at all_. Yet this is the principal penetrating-strike
justification of the F-35 and **we are exporting it like it was water**. A fact made all the more incredulous to me by the realization that 90+% of
the 'real mission' now being flown in Iraq is _NTISR_ for which a man onboard FURTHER deoptimizes the airframe with weight and loiter limitations
unrelated to the principal standoff weapons carrier mission which a _cheap UCAV_ could ALSO achieve. Day 1, Raid 1 or otherwise. i.e. Standoff and
Targeting mean more than 'Fighter + LO'.
Do you not see how deliberate misinformation campaigns can lead to errors of presumption 'back then as now'? How this is a /progressive/
gullibility inherent to man's desire to see things as he wishes them to be rather than as they really are? Do you not understand that WAR is
probably the most dangerous of all man's activities in which to be wasting HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS of _our money_ living out these Red Baron
[edit on 13-7-2006 by ch1466]