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TERRORISM: Joint Strike Fighter - Not what Australia Wanted

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posted on Feb, 25 2004 @ 05:35 PM
The JSF project in which America is suppling state of the art Jet Fighters to australia is seriously flawed. As well as the project being delayed we now see that the Fighters have a limited ability in which missiles they carry.

Australia's Air Defence Force is primarily a ship sinking task force. The JSF is unable to carry the specific missile needed to perform this operation.

This new development will see our aging F-111's still in service well beyond the 2010 retirement date. story

[Edited on 26-2-2004 by Zion Mainframe]

posted on Feb, 25 2004 @ 05:44 PM
Seems to me that your military isn't too worried about the problem:

"The officer in charge of the project, Air Commodore John Harvey, said that by the time the jet was in operation, other anti-ship missiles, such as the Norwegian NSM and the US JASSM, would be available and the jet could carry them."

posted on Feb, 26 2004 @ 07:30 AM
I think with the development of nano tech for weapon systems the missles and bombs become smaller but remain or get more powerfull as the ones now.

posted on Feb, 26 2004 @ 10:57 AM
Australian concerns as stated by Mr. Borgu of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute over F-35's Air-to-Surface strike capabilities are a non-issue, Here's why:

The F-35 if purchased by Australia is expected to enter service in FY 2008. Full scale production of the Air to Surface missile system in question (JASSM) is expected to begin in spring 2004 (just weeks away).

1 + 1 = 2

2 + 2 = 4

F-35 delivered in 2008 + JASSM delivered in 2004 = Non-Issue

While we are on the subject though, here's a little bit about the F-35 weapon systems...

Use of internal weapons-bay systems naturally keep the plane stealthier, (yes the JSF is a stealth aircraft on par with the early generation F-117's).

Internal weapons-bay systems slated for the F-35 include:

JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition)
CBU-105 WCMD (Wind-Corrected Munitions Dispenser) for the Sensor-Fuzed Weapon
JSOW (Joint StandOff Weapon)
Paveway II guided bombs
AIM-120C AMRAAM air-to-air missile

External weapons systems slated (excluding guns) for the F-35 include the following:

JASSM (Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile)
AIM-9X Sidewinder
Storm Shadow cruise missile

Additionally some of the STOVL versions of the F-35 are planned to receive a direct energy weapons system (DEW), specifically the TRW or Raytheon 100kw solid state laser now under development. The STOVL version has a shaft-driven lift fan, which, if removed, opens up an ideal spot for the laser.

Removal of the lift fan not only provides more than adequate room for the solid state laser it also can make use of the lift fan's drive shaft, which is good for 27,000 horsepower, which is more than adequate to power a 100kw solid state laser.

The laser weapon's function will initially be defensive, destroying any incoming surace to air or air to air munitions as much as 2-3 kilometers before reaching the DEW armed F-35.

I am probably a bit biased, but the Raytheon laser will probably win the competition since the optics are more efficient, thus making the beam effective from a greater distance.

Below: The JASSM is an air to surface weapons
system slated for use with the F-35.
This system is a stealth, sub-sonic cruise
missile that can be used against ships and
can hit within 2.4 meters of it's intended

Below: Australian Minister for Defence
Robert Hill checks out the cockpit of an
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at the Lockheed
Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas.

posted on Feb, 26 2004 @ 11:14 AM
I thought they could also carry the aim-9 internally as well? That would allow them to start off the battle in stealth mode and knock out the enemies aircraft. After that you can mount stuff on the wings for follow on attacks.

posted on Feb, 26 2004 @ 03:43 PM
AIM-120 stows into the weapons bay - AIM-9X does not - at least for now~

posted on Feb, 26 2004 @ 04:30 PM

Originally posted by intelgurl
AIM-120 stows into the weapons bay - AIM-9X does not - at least for now~

Is that just a JSF thing? It can go into the F/A-22 bays.

posted on Feb, 26 2004 @ 06:43 PM
I cannot answer for the designers and development engineers as to why they have chosen to have the AIM-9X only as an externally mounted weapon on the F-35.

The F-22 as you pointed out does carry the AIM-9 internally but here's the catch...

The AIM-9 is a heat seeker and hence requires a seperate side weapons bay, made specifically for it on the F-22. This is so that it can "sniff-out" targets - if it was stored in the main bay in the fuselage the 9X would not be able to do that.

Therefore I would conclude that excluding a side bay for the 9X's is more of a cost cutting issue on the F-35 that is supposed to a more affordable aircraft than the F-22 air superiority fighter.

Believe me, if an AIM-120 is onboard and an AIM-9X is not, the F-35 will still be well protected.

Below: F-35 Weapons for Internal Weapons Bays


Below: F-35 Weapons for External Mounting on Wings

Here is a good resource for further information:

posted on Feb, 26 2004 @ 07:43 PM
In Intelgurl's photo I noticed the "FMXU-648/CNU-88 baggage pod" which I had never seen or heard of before. I guess nobody will be complaining about the pilots being limited to two pieces of carry-on luggage!

I wasn't aware that it couldn't use the existing Harpoon and Sea Eagle missiles currently in the NATO inventory. It makes sense as their technology is as old as the airframes the F-35 are due to replace.
How many navies are looking at the STVOL F-35?

posted on May, 11 2005 @ 12:16 AM
The JSF project in which America is suppling state of the art Jet Fighters to australia is seriously flawed.

Gee, do ya think? 245 BILLION dollars for a fighter that will be conceptually obsolescent before the first production prototype even flies. Indeed, a 'fighter' which was obsolescent when they thought up the whole '3 planes, 1 name' moronic JASTian idea back in 1994.

For, in the F-35, we have a jet which the GAO and select analysts from the Beltway have ALWAYS (1997) said will run 65-77 million each but whose 1994 cost estimates 'on their word of honor before Congress' were supposed to be 28 million for the CTOL, 32 for the STOVL and 35 for the CVTOL.

A jet which, at the DOD contract award announcement in 2001, Pete Aldridge, SECAF Roche and General Hough (JSF program chief) admitted had a price raised to 40-50 million dollars.

A jet which now 'will cost' 100 million each, at a time when the last F/A-22 we bought (twice everything, including engines) was only 117 million.

A jet which is only going to be produced (for U.S. service, the driving price guarantee) to about half the original 3,000 airframes promised. Starting 18 months later than promised. Meaning that the idiots who jumped onto the pyramid scheme of 'tier 1 industrial participation' will be crying in their beers when nobody on earth wants a de-LO'd bomber that costs them 120+ million to own.

As well as the project being delayed we now see that the Fighters have a limited ability in which missiles they carry.

Nonsense. This is not a 'suddenly we discover' thing. It has ALWAYS been the case. Because you cannot stuff a quart into a pint container. That weight growth problems and structural carrythru and packaging issues at the wingroot have further restricted the 'longstore' items (like AGM-154 JSOW) from even the CTOL/CVTOL models while making the STOVL model a 1,000lb munition carrier (internally) should come as no surprise because these were 'not technically proven' Key Performance Parameters at the time the Concept Demonstration Aircraft flew the year before. KPPs which the GAO had warned THREE YEARS EARLIER were 'technically optimistic' (read Pentagon Lies). Issues which the CDA airframes never even TRIED to verify before the check cleared because no production weapons bay, no production landing gear, no wing folds, no mission systems means you don't have to lie about coming in under weight and on target for capability.

With jets now 2,750 to 3,250lbs (by variant) overweight, I myself am particularly worried about the 'thinner wing skins and redesigned wing roots' effecting external stores carriage the same way they did the F-16A's after Desert Storm (broken their wing spars mandating early retirement).

Of course the initial export models will be delivered (in 2012 or so) to 'full Lot II standards' which means external fuel and AAM, given Lot III to follow within five years with multirole clearance of air to mud stores. Whether this is yet more clever obfuscation to hide absent structural capabilities or simply 'wired but not Seek Eagle cleared' avionics interfacing remains to be seen. Of course once you see it, you will own it and it will be too late to fix it, either way.

In terms of AShM (Anti Shipping Missiles) what people fail to realize however is that if I put a BRU-61 smart rack into each weapons bay, I can carry a total of 8 GBU-39 and, with an AMSTE tail package, glide out a JDAM type munition which will hit a moving naval target as much as 35nm dowrange. The same as Harpoon or Exocet (all three being decidedly subsonic but the former weapon having a stealth-approach option that the external carriage mode restricts from the latter).

You don't need a 500lb warhead to destroy a pirate junk messing with merchant shipping. A fishing boat intruding on national fisheries or a frigate trying to keep you out of Indonesian Internal Affairs. 100-150lbs will gut the ship just fine.

What you DO need to do is make sure that both weapon and parent survive the engagement and that the munition in particular doesn't get shot down by an innerzone CIWS or mixed gun/missile VSHORADS system. Numbers count here, a lot, and better a cheap pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey inertially corrected glide bomb than a 'brilliant' $elfhoming mi$$ile which costs upwards of 10 times as much and /weighs/ almost five times more.

Australia's Air Defence Force is primarily a ship sinking task force. The JSF is unable to carry the specific missile needed to perform this operation.

Blather. The principle reason the F-111s (nearly usele$$ maintenance 'pigs' of the first order all their own) are being hung onto is to maintain a Oz's grandiose illusions of being able to project force as a local regional superpower. Namely via an ability to 'leverage' Jakarta as the nearest pseudo-red threat left over from the Cold War, some 800nm away.

The JSF will do this just as well, albeit with two fewer bombs if it goes in sneakily.

The difference being that you may only be able to replace half of each (Hornet and Aardvark) existing force which would otherwise support each other with AAM and ARM to reach the target area. This in turn means you will be hard pressed to generate enough sorties per day to do any real damage given the 10-15hrs it may well take to fly out, bomb, come back and regenerate the airframe.

Again, is this 'terribly important' to Aussies on a day to day basis? I doubt it. Not unless you count playing nanny in SWAPR for an absent USN as some kind of 'great privelege'.

This new development will see our aging F-111's still in service well beyond the 2010 retirement date.

What this really means is that Oz may have to wait so long to replace both their HUG'd bugs and AUP'd pigs that avoiding /yet another/ major maintainabiltiy and DMS upgrade will be hard to do.

And given the rising price of the JSF itself, they are thus stuck between a rock an a hard spot of saving their pennies for the new toy while maintaining not one but both of the old.

And the latter is not something to be underestimated as a fiscal influence. For once one 'lets a capability slip' which is budgeteze for admitting you don't really need it, you have to fight like hell to justify bringing it when the next great wonder weapon is 'just around the corner' as an alternative for porkbarrel political spending in the civil sector (things which reelect representative governments every year rather than every war).

The JSF is one of the biggest wastes on the planet. Mostly because 99.999% of all missions involve flying a pylon to point X and dropping a munition on target Y before returning home without _ever having seen_ an enemy S2A or A2A system. Just like an airliner. Or a cruise missile with landing gear.

As such, fitting in all the 'pilot survival gear' (multirole job security justification of complexity at infinite co$t) is worthless. Particularly when you consider that THE ONE THING which drives about 30% of all single engine fighter losses is engine failure. You have 69% of pilot-screwup attributable failures ranging from Fox Four to CFIT to GLC to procedurals. 1% due to 'other mechanical failures'. And the rest all directly related to the one-glowing-hole-gone-dark syndrome.

Indeed, to put this in perspective we had lost about 380 F-16s as of 1994. Of those SIX had been combat attrituded losses. At 27 million each for a fairly sophisticated CG or CJ model, that's 10.26 BILLION WITH A B dollars.

Take that kind of idiocy overwater where you cannot even deadstick it in and your man is in the water for up to 15-20hrs before rescue and the F-35 is indeed a cash cow searching for a spot to leave a paddie in the Ozzian mission environment.

By 2015 we will be facing the first generation of DEWs (Directed Energy Weapons). Less than 5 years into the JSF's expected 40 year life cycle. These devices, using ground power to simplify the packaging problems we are attempting to 'solve' by stuffing into a 747 or an AC-130, will rewrite the nature of aerial warfare. Making survival a matter of 50:50 dice toss based on encounter mode. Under those conditions, I would MUCH rather pay for a 10-20 million dollar UCAV I can afford to 'road recce' throw away.
Than the 100 million that it will take to put a new F-35 into the air. Or the 2 million his family's life insurance will additionally cost me.

Oz is in a similar if not worse position given that 'netcentric warfare' requires 24:7:365 _surveillance coverage_ of some pretty wide bodies of blue water. JORN and Wedgetail can only do a part of this. UCAVs and dedicated (RQ-4) recce robots could achieve similar (more day to day useful) overlaps of sensor watch for about 1/20th the cost of the JSF program and all the 'support mission' assets you are (AEW and Tanking) building up to make it work.

THAT (I assume) is a waste that the Aussie Dollar could well do without.

Kurt Plummer

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