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Lockheed Martin defends JSF's close-in capabilities

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posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 07:38 AM
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Lockheed Martin has defended the air-to-air capabilities of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) while conceding that the aircraft's performance in combat within visual range (WVR) will only be marginally superior to that of its fourth-generation and advanced fourth-generation counterparts.

Briefing Australian journalists at Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth facility on 2 February, Jerry Mazanowski, senior manager of air systems in the company's strategic studies group, compared the air-to-air performance of the F-35 with that of the Eurofighter, Dassault Rafale, Saab Gripen, Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and Sukhoi Su-30MKI. He said that in a typical combat configuration carrying four internally stored AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs), the F-35 was marginally faster than the Su-30MKI carrying eight beyond-visual-range (BVR) missiles and no external fuel tanks; and that it was faster than the Eurofighter, Gripen C, Rafale and F/A-18 carrying four BVR and two WVR missiles and a single external fuel tank (two in the Eurofighter's case).



(From other forums... don't have exact source???... think it's Janes?)


Doesn't exactly tell us anything new.... well, not me, apparently many people liken the F-35 to the Thud.


Janes Subscription Only

See Link for Full Article

[edit on 2/21/2009 by semperfortis]




posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 11:20 AM
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He said that in a typical combat configuration carrying four internally stored AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs)



[Mazanowski acknowledged that these figures did not take account of BVR engagements that might develop into WVR engagements.


They mention a lot about how the F-35 performs similarly or better to other aircraft, but these two sentences really caught my eye. Firstly, they compare the F-35's combat load stats to the combat loads of other aircraft. This, in one sense, makes the comparison more accurate, I guess. But it also allows us to point at one thing: The F-35's combat load is minuscule compared to those of other aicraft!

Okay, yes, you can add external weapons, but that would degrade aerodynamic and stealth performance, and nobody wants that. If they F-35 has only four AIM-120s and no AIM-9 (or other WVR missiles like the IRIS-T or AIM-132), then it may come to pass that a great deal of BVR engagements turn WVR when the F-35s run out of missiles. Of course, without WVR missiles, it's gonna be a problem. And the part where the opposing aircraft will still have missiles, that's a bit of a problem as well. I'm just not sure that four missiles internally as an ideal combat load is a sufficient amount for battles against a competent air forces (although I guess it will be sufficient for liberating third world countries as long as they don't fight back too hard
)

Draw your own conclusions, I suppose.

Pr0


[edit on 2/21/2009 by Darkpr0]



posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 02:18 PM
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you could have added this to the other jsf threads you know



posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 09:51 PM
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There was a really long thread in this famous thread. I feel that they only obtained a comparable long rang as a tellbale advantage from F-35 till 21 pages discussion.



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 06:10 AM
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Yeah.

F-35 needs 6 - 8 internal missiles ASAP. They will fit; hopefully it happens with Block 5.



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 01:38 AM
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Lockheed Martin has defended the air-to-air capabilities of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

the F-35 was marginally faster than the Su-30MKI carrying eight beyond-visual-range (BVR) missiles and no external fuel tanks; and that it was faster than the Eurofighter, Gripen C, Rafale and F/A-18 carrying four BVR and two WVR missiles and a single external fuel tank (two in the Eurofighter's case).



FASTER?!?!

Who gives a sh!t if its "marginally" faster?!?!

If Lockheed are gonna defend it on the basis of a couple of knots extra top end speed - they must be quite worried about the parameters that matter...


What are its roll rates and energy bleed rates? What control authority is retained in pitch in supersonics?

That is the kind of questions they should be answering (even with comparative answers - i.e. "yeah, it rolls quicker than an F-16")



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 04:25 AM
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Each bay contains two weapons stations, as shown above. Air-to-ground stores like JSOW and JDAM are carried on the outboard station. Air-to-air weapons can also be carried in this position but are carried primarily on the inboard station that is specifically dedicated to that purpose. One of the unique features of the design is that the air-to-air station swings out on a hinged rail as the inboard bay door opens


squeezing anymore into those bays won`t be happening in a hurry.

[edit on 23/2/09 by Harlequin]



posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 06:22 AM
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Looks even harder when you look at a pic


[edit on 25-2-2009 by deckard83]



posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 06:13 PM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316
Who gives a sh!t if its "marginally" faster?!?!


Priceless! What about when the F-35 was too slow? Not saying you have made such assertions, but I distinctly remember such claims.

Also, Lockheed is not going to release specific figures. Was the Eurofighter consortium required to do so before they had even begun intensive E&T?

If you want to get a feel for just how maneuverable the F-35 is going to be, especially keeping in mind its internal weapon, sensor, & fuel load, try these comments.


In a pure stealth air to air configuration, the F-35 currently carries four AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles internally in its weapons bays, (Maj. Gen.) Davis said. While this configuration gives the jet a significant punch, Davis said studies have been undertaken that would increase the stealth air to air war load to six to possibly as many as eight air to air missiles which would be carried internally. The jet can also carry air to air missiles externally should the need arise and stealth is no longer a concern, Davis said.


The aircraft has not even entered IOC, relax.


In terms of aerodynamic performance, the F-35 is an excellent machine, Beesley said. Having previously been only the second man ever to have flown the F-22 Raptor, Beesley became the first pilot ever to fly the F-35 in late 2006. As such, Beesley is intimately familiar with both programs. According to Beesley, the four current test pilots for F-35 have been most impressed by the aircraft's thrust and acceleration. In the subsonic flight regime, the F-35 very nearly matches the performance of its' larger, more powerful cousin, the F-22 Raptor, Beesley explained. The "subsonic acceleration is about as good as a clean Block 50 F-16 or a Raptor- which is about as good as you can get." Beesley said.


And acceleration is hugely more important than top end speed. As I have always maintained, I expect the F-35 to have supercruise capabilty with specific relevant combat loads and profiles.


What Beesley expects will surprise future F-35 pilots is the jets' superb low speed handling characteristics and post-stall manoeuvrability. While the F-22 with its thrust vectored controls performs better at the slow speeds and high angle of attack (AOA) flight regime, the F-35 will be able match most of the same high AOA manoeuvres as the Raptor, although it will not be able to do so as quickly as the more powerful jet in some cases. Turning at the higher Gs and higher speed portions of the flight envelope, the F-35 will "almost exactly match a clean Block 50 F-16 and comes very close to the Raptor", Beesley said.



Beesley explained that the F-35 is different from legacy fourth generation fighters such as the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, or even more modern aircraft such as the Eurofighter, in that the primary weapons load is stored internally. This arrangement means that there is no added drag to the airframe from externally carried weapons, fuel tanks, or sensor pods as in older aircraft types. The outstanding handling, acceleration, and the maximum speed of the aircraft is useable in a combat configuration unlike in legacy fighters. Beesley said that recently he flew an F-35 test flight with a full internal load of two 2000 lbs JDAMs, and two AIM-120 missiles. The aircraft "felt like it had a few thousand pounds of extra fuel" but otherwise Beesley said there was practically no degradation in the aircrafts' performance.


Missile and bomb load out means squat next to survivability (and the two do not always go hand in hand), and seemingly ignoring how pods, tanks, pylons, and weapons will degrade flight performance is wishful. At this point it would be moot to mention RCS.

Persoanlly I cannot wait until the F-35 enters IOC. At that stage information and capability only clearly now known by those inside the program will be made more or less public. And just like with the F-22, the critics will have to try harder, like Avis.



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 01:34 AM
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westy - they will have to redesign the rntire internal bays to acomadate anymore missiles - i posted the official diagram and we have the offical internal bay photo posted as well - you physically cannot get anymore in there.



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 10:32 AM
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Originally posted by Harlequin
westy - they will have to redesign the rntire internal bays to acomadate anymore missiles


Engineers wouldn't have designed the bays just to later see if, maybe, they could squeeze another AMRAAM in there or hope that no new missiles are developed. If it's designed with that space (and it has been stated by its program manager that it was, most new aircraft are, especially one with internal bays), it's just a matter of designing a suitable tandem launcher and configuration. I don't think it will be too complex of a system either, but assuring clear separation from the internal bays might require a lot of testing which the program doesn't need right now. It is not a priority right now, 4 internal AAM's suffice for current projections. The capability to carry 6, even 8 apparently exists, and if it is that great an issue it will be added later. Let us not also forget when the majority of the F-35 fleet has been delivered the US will likely be very close to fielding the JDRADM (following set schedule). That missile, it is speculated, will have either folding fins or a smaller conventional cross section to allow for more capacity on the F-22 and F-35.

But I still do not see how 4 internal AAM's as baseline IOC configuration is non acceptable. What do you expect? That one of the F-35 users is going to suddenly face hundreds of advanced enemy fighters in the air, simultaneously, on day one of procuring their F-35's? And that no other capability but those F-35's and their 4 missiles a piece cannot be brought to bare?


Originally posted by Harlequin
...you physically cannot get anymore in there.


With all due respect I don't know how you can claim to say that. Have you physically tried to fit 6 AIM-120C/D in there? Have you ever measured the cubic and physical volume of the F-35's (A&C) bays? Do you have information on what type of launch system or configuration might be available or developed down the road? I don't think simply looking at a visual representation, or even an actual photo from a non production
F-35 allows you to make such an assertion. Especially when the program manager (Maj. Gen. Davis) specifically states that indeed capacity and for more exists.

More pictures to ponder over.

Link



And I still want someone to address the issue of which is more importantm survivability (completing mission intact) or combat load, given that the two are not mutually inclusive.

[edit on 26-2-2009 by WestPoint23]



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:50 AM
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folding fin missiles - i do believe this was allready discussed - then veto`d for the raptor, as i remember it was said that the missile with folding fins wasn`t suitable for the rest of the fleet , something about stresses when carried externally- and to make 1 missile for internal carraige and 1 for everyone else was far too expensive and totally not suitable in war time, hence why the AIM-120C was born with smaller fins.

edit:

look at the raptor - currently it can carry 1 AIM-9M in its side bay , whcih is why the AIM-9X had to have much smaller fins - so 2 can fit:

upload.wikimedia.org...

^^ AIM-9M and

blogimg.ohmynews.com...

AIM-9X

compare the size diffenece to the fins , not only are they much smaller in height , but in length and width , the whole thing has been shunk to fit.

readlly until the newest missiles came along teh raptors weapon load was 4xAIM-120 and 2x AIM-9 , now its 6xAIM-120 and will soon be 4xAIM-9

[edit on 26/2/09 by Harlequin]



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 01:21 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23

Originally posted by kilcoo316
Who gives a sh!t if its "marginally" faster?!?!


Priceless! What about when the F-35 was too slow? Not saying you have made such assertions, but I distinctly remember such claims.


There is a world of difference between a few kts for the F-35 and a full Mach number for the -18 E/F.


Thats where your getting my speed comments from.


(Oh, and the E/F loses energy quicker than me running! So maneuvering is a weak point of it too)



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 04:36 PM
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Westy, your diagram seems to make no allowance for depth. Although you have pointed out '2.5 x 14.6' you cannot seriously be expecting to fit another AAM in that space? Not only is there a rather thick pipe running there but the door with the AMRAAM already on it needs to be able to close.

The only way I can see additional AAM's going in there is instead of the red 'bomb' in the photo, not alongside it. Even then the most I can imagine in that bay is 6 AAM's, with the 'bomb' making way for two in each bay plus the one on the door, and even that looks like a very awkward fit with no allowance made for actually launching them.



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 05:49 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Especially when the program manager (Maj. Gen. Davis) specifically states that indeed capacity and for more exists.


You'd throw our own arguments back at us if we were talking about PAK-FA's combat load
Someone states a claim and assumes true, someone else says false, it goes back and forth. The eternal cycle of ATS.




More pictures to ponder over.


Quick note on the pictures: Check out this view on what appears to be a mockup.



Looking at that picture, I'd actually agree with you, Westy. 6 or maybe 8 AIM-120s could probably squeeze their fat asses in there. Look at the empty space on top of the inner bay door! Now look at your picture. The empty space is taken up by various cables, tubes, doodads, whatjits, and thingamabobs. Not only that, but you have to close the bay doors as well , so you've got to keep that in mind as well. I'd say that 6 AIM-120s is a good estimate for what you can fit in there if you take out the orange beast sitting in there. 8, what with the little space you've got in there, is probably a stretch.

Oh, and I think you're measurements are off there. MBDA Meteor is 7 inches, AIM-120 C is about 17.6 inches across.



And I still want someone to address the issue of which is more importantm survivability (completing mission intact) or combat load, given that the two are not mutually inclusive.


On the one hand, survivability is a good deal. It's always nice to be able to come home with an intact jet. However by just placing survivability and combat load next to each other and asking for an answer you seem to be belittling the effects of a combat load. For example: It's good to live through a sortie. But what about the less survivability-oriented planes that had to go do the sorties you couldn't because you couldn't carry enough munitions, or ran out early because of unforeseen circumstances? (Go ahead. Tell me there are no unforeseen circumstances.
) Combat load affects the sorties you can do. If you have a bunch of targets and not enough F-35's to do it because they can't carry sufficient bombs, then you have two choices:

1) Get more F-35's to join in the sortie and do it.
2) Get another airplane to do it.

They both work, but both have problems. If you choose Bachelor Number 1 then you have a completed mission, and a period of time in which you have a whole bunch of F-35's not doing what they were supposed to be doing, and therefore likely have other aircraft doing their job for them. If you choose Bachelor Number 2, you just have a whole bunch of aircraft doing their job for them. Either way you run into your own argument against the less survivability-oriented aircraft.

The issue I just described can be solved by having a bunch of F-35's not doing anything but ready to go at all times to deal with junk. But this poses its own issues as well. What if there are a bunch of circumstances which were unforeseen, and still necessitates more F-35's than you have? How long will it take to get them to the place they need to be, time that could be better spent not letting the sortie go unfinished (or the position unguarded)? How long will it take to rearm the F-35's in the event that you require more AAMs, AGMs, or bombs? Important issues, and this is only my input.

Y'all have fun arguing your brains out, now.

Pr0



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:07 PM
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The Joint Strike Fighter could be upgraded to carry up to six internal AIM-120 AMRAAM Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles, according to a Lockheed Martin executive. "Our spiral development program includes the ability to carry up to six internal AMRAAMs", G. Richard Cathers, senior manager of Lockheed Martin's strategic studies group, told the IQPC Fighter Conference in London on Wednesday. "It's a capability second only to the F-22."

Cathers added that the JSF's air-combat capability "has not been advertised as it could or should have been", partly because "at the same time as we are developing the F-35, we and the USAF have wanted to expand the F-22 program." Apparently, the USAF has not wanted to advertise the JSF's air-to-air capability, concerned that it would weaken the case for acquiring more than the 183 F-22s authorized today.

The four added internal AMRAAMs would be carried in place of internal bombs. It's not clear, however, whether the short-take-off, vertical landing F-35B variant, which has smaller weapon bays, would be able to carry the added weapons.

An executive for a competing fighter program, speaking at the conference, said that the six-missile capability would be a major improvement for the JSF. Until now, competitors have criticised the JSF because it carries only two AAMs - supporting only a single engagement - in stealth mode.

Bill Sweetman, Avweek.


There is NOTHING to discuss regarding this.

(1) The F-35 will enter service with the ability to carry 4 AAMs internally plus up to 10 additional missiles externally.

(2) The F-35 weapon bays have room for additional air-to-air missiles and studies have been conducted on advancing launcher technology to capitalize on the additional space to carry more than 4 AAMs.

(3) Currently, there are no US plans, schedules or funding for the implementation of multi-AAM launchers for the internal stations. (Although in Norway JSF briefing it showed 6 AAM's part of Block 5+).

Also, last time I checked, the AMRAAM was 7" in diameter not including fins. Stagger them then.

JDRADM is many years away (2020+), but should have folding fins.

[edit on 27/2/2009 by C0bzz]



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 12:22 AM
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Maybe it can carry a lot more than we are led to believe.




posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 07:11 AM
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Alexandro, that illustrates variety, not quantity.

Also, from Cobzz quote, its to see a Lockheed man concurs with my assessment



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 09:34 AM
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Originally posted by Harlequin



Wonder why they just didn't mount the missile directly onto the door...



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 09:51 AM
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Originally posted by waynos
Also, from Cobzz quote, its to see a Lockheed man concurs with my assessment


Hey, even the much larger F-22 can only carry 4 AAM's with A2G munitions.

Nice article Cobzz, interesting to see the political aspect of it. And the fact that they're coming out now probably means the Raptor wont see much more production.


And Kilcoo, stress/load/separation issues? Maybe a future (long term) possibility?



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