Possibility small STOVL carrier USN/USMC

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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bjr1028

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Unread post31 Jul 2009, 00:38

spazsinbad wrote:bjr1028, 'training levels similar to arrested landings' will be a doddle for the RN FAA pilots. No big deal. There will be a lot of computer help for such landings - there is a huge amount of computer help for vertical landings also as I understand how things work in the JSF-B. See the JSF simulator videos mentioned in other threads.

Rolling landings are an option for circumstances. Otherwise I would imagine that 'STOPping & LANDing' will be a preferred technique.


1) Yeah it is a big deal because Britain's politicians, in there infinite lack of wisdom, gave joint custody to the RAF's CAS squadrons. They'll spend time a lot of time on land based CAS missions. Sure they can have short field training on a runway, but they have yet to make one that moves and pitches.

2) Yes, I did the video and it shows me the F-35B is a much different aircraft than the Harrier. You have to dump all the excess ordnance and all but just enough fuel to make it on board. I think you'll see rolling landings more the norm with vertical landings used in emergencies.
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Unread post31 Jul 2009, 00:50

bjr, not sure you have your point about joint custody of JSF-Bs by RAF & RN FAA correct. Maybe it is still being worked out in the same way the USMC is deciding the mix of JSF aircraft types for their future use. I'll look online for more info but I believe the JSF-B situation (like the two new carrier situation) is still 'up in the air' although obviously things move forward. For Great Britain that does not mean a lot until the ships have been commissioned and the aircraft delivered. A lot can happen between then and now.

Your second point about the difference between JSF-B and Harrier landings vertically is perhaps misconstrued. Harrier pilots prefer to land vertically as has been described before by "STOP & LAND", they stop over water adjacent to deck spot then sidle sideways to land vertically quickly. In most cases (having sufficient training and practice) they prefer to do this in the RN Harrier world anyway with minimum fuel. This condition will always give them the maximum differential of their all up weight to available engine power. They are used to landing in this manner whereas a fixed wing pilot would be 'sweating blue chips' to be at minimum fuel on their final pass to an arrested landing. Not a problem for an experienced Harrier pilot though.

How JSF-B pilots will carrier land is not known at this point, but as we know scenarios are being developed, at least by the smart Brits anyways. :-)
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Unread post31 Jul 2009, 00:56

spazsinbad wrote:thumper, I have owned up to my experience and have stated that I'm in contact with former A4G pilots who went to the RN or exchanged with USMC - all flying Harriers. They have passed on some knowledge to me in a way that makes sense because of our shared experience (on A4G). If you have have downloaded the PDFs mentioned, there is a classic A4G to SHAR comparison report written by a pilot having flown both aircraft. That only goes part way to explain what I have gleaned over the years regarding STOVL ops.

Point taken: we share the same real world ZERO experience of STOVL ops as most forum members (unless they own up).

You can labour your point about CATOBAR ops being better than STOVL ops till the cows come home. I'm not listening - I have heard you. Countries that can afford conventional carrier aviation amount to three. US, France and Brazil. All the others operate Harriers or equivalent in some way (Russian). The RN will soon operate JSF-Bs. Lack of funds compromises every one including apparently the USofA. This is the real world.


Harrier STOVL ops may not completely translate over, especially with the UK moving up a significant notch in the carrier size category. The F-35B is twice the size with twice the ordnance, with twice the range and a completely different propulsion system. In short, its a much better strikefighter, but not quite as capable as the Harrier in STOVL flight.

Also, lets be realistic here, an Invincible with a handful of harriers isn't much of a threat. A QE with F-35s is a big threat and is going to be watched a bit more. The F-35B may be up to the task, but the best heliborne AEW have are maybe 25% as capable as E-2Cs (let alone the Ds), the QEs are slow, have only CWIS mounts, and the British parliament only funded half of the Type 45s.
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Unread post31 Jul 2009, 01:07

bjr, so what you are saying is that the Brits will not have a capable force compared to someone else? All the chest thumping about what might have been (given impossible amounts of money that Britain can not afford) seems to be silly IMHO. Your statement that the JSF-B will not be as capable as a Harrier in STOVL flight is ludicrous. What do you base this on - a different propulsion system? :-)

All the thought experiments here need reality testing for sure. We have had the first JSF-B test pilot claim that it is easy to fly (but not had enough vertical flight to comment further on that). However simulator pilots are astonished at the 'push button' ease with which they can do vertical landings already. Yes that needs to be translated to the real world but no worries in my book. Rolling landings will have the same computer help for the RN pilots. Remember many computers will control the JSF flight characteristics in real time in flight. The JSF-B controls are modified when it is transitioning and in vertical flight as explained in recent video (mentioned in a thread here). How easy can it be. Not much. :-)

All carrier pilots will fly "manual" but that does not mean so much today in JSF land. Plus all the onboard guidance for the pilot is phenomenal. JPALS is one such system - go read about it.
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Unread post31 Jul 2009, 05:50

Good analysis IMO, bjr. I've been adamantly critical myself to the perceived flawed, inefficient, vulnerable QE/F-35B 'all in one basket' defense concept from inception (no reason to bore in specific proposals and conclusions here). Raw military analysis though will just concede the highly flawed reasoning and decision making. However, it's not too late to change the collective strategic planning IMO... across the board.
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Unread post01 Aug 2009, 21:01

Interesting look here at operating from a TOO SMALL carrier deck in Short TO (with a ski jump) - Arrested Landing scenario:

http://www.neptunuslex.com/2009/08/01/flanker-ops/
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Unread post02 Aug 2009, 08:56

The Influence of Ship Configuration on the Design of the Joint Strike Fighter: (1Mb PDF)
http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA399988
"While the implications of shipboard compatibility have long influenced the design of maritime-based aircraft, the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is unique in that the program is centered on the concurrent development of a family of highly common aircraft variants, two of which are to operate from distinctly different ship types. This procurement strategy poses a formidable challenge to the aircraft designer: How to design an air system that meets the unique needs of its multiple warfighter customers while preserving enough commonality to reap the benefits of the "family" approach to design, manufacture, and operational sustainment. This paper describes how the configurations of the United States Navy's aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships, as well as the United Kingdom Royal Navy's INVINCIBLE-class of carriers, have influenced the basic configurations of the catapult launch / arrested landing (CV) and the short takeoff/ vertical landing (STOVL) variants of the JSF. From these discussions, the designers of future air capable ships can better understand which characteristics of current ship designs impose the most significant constraints for the aircraft based aboard them, and where ship/air interface considerations should play."
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Unread post02 Aug 2009, 09:13

Earlier on page 1 of this thread (which cannot now be edited so it is stuck here) there was reference to a later date re USMC Harrier testing. An even earlier example of testing is here (01jul1979): USMC Harrier jumps for joy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:YAV-8 ... i_jump.jpg

"Operation Ski Jump was the test taking off of a Marine Corps YAV-8B Harrier aircraft, from a specially built ramp was constructed by the Bridge Co., 8th Engineer Support Bn., 2nd Mar. Div., Fleet Marine Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. Location: NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, MARYLAND (MD) UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (USA)"
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Unread post08 Aug 2009, 06:16

Blurb on how the JSF-B will be easy to fly:

http://www.armedforces-int.com/categori ... rottle.asp

"The STOVL variant had already been selected to equip the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier and JSF is now emerging as a potential candidate to meet the manned component of the MOD’s Future Offensive Air System capability to replace the Tornado GR4.

In September 2002, the JSF Program Office announced that a novel integrated flight and propulsion control system – pioneered by QinetiQ – will be implemented in the F-35B STOVL aircraft.

QinetiQ, and its predecessor organisations, have undertaken a long running programme of STOVL research with the MOD. This culminated in a three-year programme for the JSF Program Office using QinetiQ’s Vectored-thrust Aircraft Advanced Control (VAAC) Harrier, which has been configured with an experimental fly-by-wire flight control system.

“The standard Harrier is notoriously challenging to fly, which leads to considerable constraints on pilot recruitment and extra demands on training”, explains Jeremy Howitt, Technical Manager, Air Vehicle Operations at Bedford.

The Harrier flies like a conventional aircraft at high speed with the pilot controlling the throttle and the aerodynamic control surfaces. As the aircraft decelerates, the pilot must engage a third control lever that rotates the engine nozzles down and enables the transition from wing-borne to jet-borne flight. This requires simultaneous input on all three control sticks – which creates a high workload situation.

“There is also a significantly higher risk of cognitive failure”, explains Jeremy. “Pilots can accidentally operate the throttle when trying to engage the nozzle control and vice-versa –a problem that has caused crashes in the past.

“Recent research has focused on how to make STOVL aircraft as easy to fly as any other aircraft and that ’s where we came in.”

Advanced solutions

Using QinetiQ’s ‘Unified’ control concept, the VAAC cockpit controls are linked, via the experimental flight control computer, to the engine power throttle, nozzle controls and tail surface.

The flight control software automatically modulates all three controls simultaneously to maintain the speed and flight path commanded by the pilot.

This removes the need for a separate thrust-vectoring lever and allows the pilot to maintain a simple right-hand ‘up-down’ and left-hand ‘faster-slower’ control strategy throughout the whole flight envelope.

The new technology could reap huge benefits in terms of improved safety, reduced training costs, ease of operation and greater operational flexibility.

“The technology was proven during a trial aboard HMS Invincible in 2000”, says Jeremy. “The demonstration in a representative operational environment played a major role in the US decision to accept the new control laws.”

The JSF Program Office is keen to use the VAAC Harrier to further refine and optimise the control laws for the JSF requirement. QinetiQ has been asked to provide support through to the F-35B ’s debut flight in 2006. It is planned that two QinetiQ staff will spend four years working with the project team at Lockheed Martin ’s facility in Fort Worth, Texas and it is likely that other QinetiQ experts will be brought onboard as the programme progresses.

QinetiQ is also developing a system for automatic landing on an aircraft carrier, regardless of weather conditions. This autoland capability – which uses differential GPS to bring the aircraft alongside the ship – will again be developed jointly with the US with a view to incorporating it into the production F-35B.

The first land-based demonstrations have already taken place at QinetiQ’s Boscombe Down site while the first demonstration at sea is planned to take place on a Royal Navy aircraft carrier in Spring 2004.

Core expertise

The delivery of a new generation of aircraft will also demand training for the JSF pilots and maintainers. Lockheed Martin is looking to develop a ‘one size fits all’ training programme with the aim of 80 per cent commonality to help reduce long-term costs.

“The Centre for Human Sciences has unrivalled expertise in the development and assessment of training programmes and could have a vital role to play in this work”, says Jon Saltmarsh, who is leading QinetiQ’s commercial input into the JSF programme.

Apart from cost and capability, there is also the issue of interoperability, which is the third key driver for JSF.

“Interoperability issues concerned with communications, command and control and the integration of legacy processes and equipment will need to be addressed”, says Jon.

“There is no company better placed than QinetiQ to undertake this work. Our underpinning expertise and knowledge of how defence systems link together is one of our key strengths.”

Niche areas

There is also potential for QinetiQ to play into niche areas such as data fusion, pilot systems, survivability, noise reduction, materials and modelling and simulation. QinetiQ’s aerodynamics experts have already provided valuable advice to Lockheed Martin during tests carried out in wind tunnels around Europe.

QinetiQ is also looking to provide support during the aircraft acceptance process. Traditionally, the acceptance route has involved test and evaluation at Boscombe Down prior to formal military aircraft release. The JSF aircraft, by contrast, will undergo a continuous acceptance process as it is developed and the results will allow the US and UK to certify the aircraft following a joint test programme.

“This is a significant change as we’ve never accepted an aircraft in this way before and we hope to be closely involved in the US work”, says Fiona.

The aim is to resolve any critical safety issues before the aircraft goes through certification, which is expected to contribute to considerable cost savings."
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Unread post08 Aug 2009, 06:19

Go here for some 'rolly landing' lurve:

http://www.pprune.org/military-aircrew/ ... e-b-4.html
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Unread post09 Aug 2009, 20:24

Did you get the blurb where the F-35B has a 1500KG reduction in payload, a 1/3rd reduction in range, and a 70% reduction in associated AEW&C capability. None are insignificant.
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Unread post09 Aug 2009, 20:50

This is the official LockMart set of stats at beginning of August 2009:

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/products/ ... index.html

F-35 Lightning II - F-35B STOVL Variant

The F-35B is the first aircraft in history to combine stealth with short takeoff/vertical landing capability and supersonic speed. This distinction gives the F-35B the unique ability to operate from small ships, roads and austere bases. The F-35B deploys near front-line combat zones, dramatically shrinking the distance from base to target, increasing sortie rates and decreasing the need for logistics support. Internal fuel capacity is seven tons, providing an unrefueled range of more than 900 miles without external tanks. The F-35B standard weapons load is two AIM-120C air-to-air missiles and two 1,000-pound GBU-32 JDAM guided bombs.

Optional internal loads include six GBU-38 small-diameter bombs, as well as a wide variety of air-to-ground missiles, dispensers and guided weapons. The internal weapons bay is reconfigurable for all air-to-ground ordnance, all air-to-air ordnance or a blend of both. A missionized version of the 25 mm GAU-22A cannon is installed or removed as needed. When stealth is not required to execute a mission, the F-35B external pylons are loaded with ordnance, giving the aircraft a weapons payload of more than 15,000 pounds.

Primary customers will be the U.S. Marine Corps, the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, and the Italian Navy.
________________________

F-35 Lightning II -F-35C CV Variant

The U.S. Navy’s first-ever stealth aircraft operates from the service’s large carriers via catapult launch and arrested recovery. Larger wings and control surfaces and the addition of wingtip ailerons allow the F-35C pilot to control the airplane with precision during carrier approaches. The aircraft incorporates larger landing gear and a stronger internal structure to withstand the forces of carrier launches and recoveries. Ruggedized exterior materials mean low maintenance requirements for preserving the aircraft’s Very Low Observable radar signature, even in harsh shipboard conditions. F-35C internal fuel capacity is nearly 10 tons, providing an unrefueled range of well over 1,200 miles without external tanks. The standard internal weapons load is two AIM-120C air-to-air missiles and two 2,000-pound GBU-31 JDAM guided bombs.

Optional internal loads include eight GBU-38 small-diameter bombs, as well as a wide variety of air-to-ground missiles, dispensers and guided weapons. The internal weapons bay is reconfigurable for all air-to-ground ordnance, all airto-air ordnance or a blend of both. A missionized version of the 25 mm GAU-22A cannon is installed or removed as needed. When stealth is not required to execute a mission, the F-35C external pylons are loaded with ordnance, giving the aircraft a weapons payload of more than 18,000 pounds.
___________________________________

F-35 Lightning II - F-35A - CTOL Variant

The conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) F-35A – designed for the U.S. Air Force – is the primary export version of the Lightning II. The F-35A uses standard runways for takeoffs and landings. Internal fuel capacity is nine tons, providing an unrefueled range of more than 1,200 miles without external tanks. The F-35A carries a 25 mm GAU-22/A cannon internally. The standard internal weapons load is two AIM-120C air-to-air missiles and two 2,000-pound GBU-31 JDAM guided bombs. Optional internal loads include eight GBU-38 small-diameter bombs, as well as a wide variety of air-to-ground missiles, dispensers and guided weapons. The internal weapons bay is reconfigurable for all air-to-ground ordnance, all air-to-air ordnance or a blend of both. When stealth is no longer required to execute a mission, the F-35A external pylons are loaded with ordnance, giving the aircraft a weapons payload of more than 18,000 pounds.
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Unread post10 Aug 2009, 00:43

Title: The STOVL Joint Strike Fighter in Support of the 21st Century Marine Corps
Author: Major Ben D. Hancock, United States Marine Corps (1997)

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ ... ancock.htm

Thesis: The potential basing flexibility and firepower that the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) offers the Marine Corps in support of Operational Manuever From the Sea (OMFTS) will not be realized with the doctrine, mindset, and equipment that currently determines how we operate and support STOVL jets on amphibious ships and ashore in an expeditionary environment.

Background: In the 21st Century the JSF will replace both the F/A-18 and the AV-8B as the USMC fulfills its goal of an all-STOVL aviation component. STOVL aircraft increase basing flexibility which is fundamental to the expeditionary nature of the Marine Corps and provides the foundation for improved responsiveness. OMFTS seeks to avoid establishing a traditional logistics base ashore and the majority of firepower, to include aviation, will remain afloat and only go ashore if necessary. This means that the JSF will operate primarily from naval ships versus land bases. The JSF will be a far more capable aircraft than the AV-8B, but if the shipboard environment that it operates in is one which remains marginalized and biased against effective fixed-wing operations, we will not fully realize the JSF's firepower and flexibility.

Forward basing tactical aircraft reduces the distance to the battlefield and improves response times and aircraft surge rates. Operating jet aircraft from dispersed sites is a big logistical challenge. The Marine Corps does not have enough equipment to supply significant amounts of fuel and ammo to maneuver units. Relying almost exclusively on aviation to supply forward bases will place an enormous burden on already limited vertical lift capability.

Recommendations: The Navy-Marine Corps team must develop and refine STOVL employment concepts that includes ramps (ski jumps) and smaller EAFs and it must fund the hardware and structural improvements that allow STOVL aircraft to operate in their intended environment. If we envision maintaining a primarily sea-based approach to conducting operations and we require responsive day/night air support in all-weather conditions, then we need to fundamentally change how we operate fixed-wing jets off amphibious ships. The most significant contribution that the Navy could make to STOVL air and helicopter-borne power projection is adding a ramp to all LHA/LHD class amphibious ships. A dedicated " JSF carrier", such as an LHA/LHD with a ramp and updated radars, would serve as the optimum mobile forward base.

Although the most effective means of employing the JSF would be to base it ashore as soon as possible, it should remain sea based for as long as possible where it can be more easily provided with fuel, ordnance, and maintenance without becoming a logistical burden. Seabasing may remain the best means of enhancing sustainability and reducing vulnerability."
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Unread post11 Aug 2009, 08:55

Key Performance Parameters from Norway JSF Brief dated 06 March 2008. Note different takeoff distances for USMC and RN FAA JSF-Bs without and with 'ski jump' respectively.
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Unread post12 Aug 2009, 11:15

http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA407726 [URL for original PDF - very small - attached to this message

V/STOL SHIPBOARD RECOVERY: “IT’S NOT JUST ANOTHER CARRIER LANDING”
AUTHOR: Major Andrew G. Shorter USMC - 12 April 2002
Excerpts:
"The United States Marine Corps operates the only vertical/short take-off and landing (V/STOL) jet aircraft in the United States, the AV-8B Harrier. This aircraft provides the USMC with a unique basing flexibility not found in conventional jet aircraft. The Harrier is the only aircraft that can accomplish shipboard operations (take-offs and landings) using routine procedures that are the same as those for shorebased launch and recovery operations. The USMC Harrier force trains and operates at less than its full potential because of the tendency to unnecessarily apply conventional aircraft carrier training and operating procedures to the Harrier. The current V/STOL shipboard training and currency requirements do not maximize the use of limited manpower and operational flying time with respect to the highly technical, mission oriented, tactical core skills training. There are historical elements that contribute to this situation as well as adherence to perceptions that either were or are now invalid for the current conditions. However logical and sensible these measures may have been or seemed to be up to this point, the current standards can and should be changed to more closely reflect the modern capabilities and requirements of today’s V/STOL force."
&
"Specifically, a V/STOL aircraft’s effectiveness while afloat is a function of its efficiencies generated by the following factors inherent to V/STOL operations at sea:
1. The ability to maintain a continuous ready deck
2. More unconstrained use of available aircraft flight time
3. Better utilization of available deck space
4. The ship’s maneuvers are more independent of wind on deck (WOD)
5. Faster launch and recovery rates
6. Faster aircraft turnarounds due to reduced respot requirements
7. Greater residual capacity to continue flight operations even if the ship receives battle damage
8. Greater freedom to adjust air plans during execution in responding to contingencies These factors, when exploited correctly, produce greater strike effectiveness for V/STOL aircraft at shorter ranges, and remain on par with conventional take-off or landing (CTOL) aircraft at longer ranges."
&
It is a well-known Harrier pilot’s aphorism that it is “far better to stop and land, than land and try to stop.”
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