How have your opinions of the JSF changed over the years?

Unread postPosted: 10 Aug 2011, 15:41
by battleshipagincourt
Okay, I'm convinced that the F-35 is proving to be a remarkable fighter. Like so many, I looked at its meager mach 1.6 maximum speed, gawked at how such a heavy fighter could match an F-16's agility, and had a larger RCS than the F-22. Right off the back, it looks unimpressive for what I'd expect from a generation five fighter, especially compared to the F-22.

However after hearing the opinions of many pilots who've flown the F-35 (or been in simulators) and after comparing it to high-end fighters like the F-15, Typhoon, and Rafale... I've come to respect the Lightning II in many ways. It's clearly not intended as a stunt plane like the F-22 or the Su-35, but as a mission-oriented fighter. I am quite convinced of its value in a modern battlefield, especially in terms of performance and range with a warload, but I still remain skeptical of its viability as an affordable aircraft. As its upkeep and unit cost are expected to climb considerably higher than legacy fighters, this an opinion I'm not likely to alter unless something drastic should change within the program.

I'm just wondering if anyone else had similar changes of heart over the life of this program. I know that some are deeply biased towards the F-35 for the most absurd reasons, some who I believe share my skepticism on its affordability, as well as some who seem to embrace this fighter no matter how much the damned thing is expected to cost. How do you stand on the F-35 today, as compared to your initial expectations? How has its development and program management so far influenced your opinion?

RE: How have your opinions of the JSF changed over the years

Unread postPosted: 10 Aug 2011, 18:08
by sprstdlyscottsmn
Back when I was first watching to NOVA special all I could think was "Lockheed had better win, that Boeing plane is ugly as sin." Lockheed won. Timelines slipped, costs increased, STOVL ability questioned...

I re-watched the special and noticed some things.
Boeing design changed because Navy altered requirements after the build started
Boeing tried a revolutionary wing building process, and when that failed they still had time to build it the old fashioned way
Boeing produced two test articles and had them flying before Lockheed had built one
Boeing removed all the panels during VTOL testing to simulate the REDUCED WEIGHT of the NAVY MANDATED REDESIGN.

The Lightning II is going to be the best overall warplane in the world when it makes IOC, but sometimes I think "maybe it SHOULD have gone to Boeing?"

Re: How have your opinions of the JSF changed over the years

Unread postPosted: 10 Aug 2011, 18:21
by wrightwing
battleshipagincourt wrote:Okay, I'm convinced that the F-35 is proving to be a remarkable fighter. Like so many, I looked at its meager mach 1.6 maximum speed, gawked at how such a heavy fighter could match an F-16's agility, and had a larger RCS than the F-22. Right off the back, it looks unimpressive for what I'd expect from a generation five fighter, especially compared to the F-22.

However after hearing the opinions of many pilots who've flown the F-35 (or been in simulators) and after comparing it to high-end fighters like the F-15, Typhoon, and Rafale... I've come to respect the Lightning II in many ways. It's clearly not intended as a stunt plane like the F-22 or the Su-35, but as a mission-oriented fighter. I am quite convinced of its value in a modern battlefield, especially in terms of performance and range with a warload, but I still remain skeptical of its viability as an affordable aircraft. As its upkeep and unit cost are expected to climb considerably higher than legacy fighters, this an opinion I'm not likely to alter unless something drastic should change within the program.

I'm just wondering if anyone else had similar changes of heart over the life of this program. I know that some are deeply biased towards the F-35 for the most absurd reasons, some who I believe share my skepticism on its affordability, as well as some who seem to embrace this fighter no matter how much the damned thing is expected to cost. How do you stand on the F-35 today, as compared to your initial expectations? How has its development and program management so far influenced your opinion?


It's always frustrating to see growing pains, delays, and cost increases, but there are more than enough success stories, to maintain a positive outlook on the program. Most of the cost complaints, are due to a different metric being used, than for legacy aircraft(maintenance over 50yrs vs. 30yrs). When you compare legacy aircraft using the same metric, then the value becomes more apparent. The revolutionary capabilities are game changing though, and the synergy that they bring is far better than just slightly improved over current aircraft.

As for performance, it's important to note the distinction between the M1.6 speed given for the F-35, versus some of the higher speeds attributed to other aircraft. M1.6 is an real world combat speed(not the hypothetical top speed), that the F-35 can operate at, with 5000lbs of weapons. This is a significant improvement over legacy aircraft(i.e. the fastest an F-15 has ever flown in combat is M1.4)

Now add agility levels that are comparable/better than F-16s, F-18s, M2000s, Fulcrums/Flankers, etc... but with first look/shoot/kill and situational awareness advantages.

When all of these things are factored, much of the gloom and doom fades away, and a more realistic perspective remains.

Re: How have your opinions of the JSF changed over the years

Unread postPosted: 10 Aug 2011, 19:55
by sewerrat
During the mid 90s when the concepts were starting to be released through contractor artist renderings, I thought they were all pulling a fast one on all of the outside observers by releasing planes that were all ugly ducklings.

Lockheed's design looked extremely conservative, and yet also looked pudgy.

Boeings design was so unappealing that I thought it had to be a joke to throw everyone off on their real design.

Northrop's design looked more like small single engined 5th gen stealth fighter *should* look like. But it still had its aesthic shortcomings, galore.

Then when the prototypes were released for the public consumption, I was floored by how much they actually resembled the artist illustrations, and I thought for sure that the DoD had on purpose dictated a plane that couldn't step on the toes of the F-22.

Now, as far as I can tell, the only thing missing from the F-35 is supercruise. If it were not for that one shortfall, then I'd sleep a little better at night knowing we didn't throw away what it was when we purchased the F-22. After all, each successive fighter should be better than the next, which I'm sure the F-35 is, except in terms of cruise speed.

RE: Re: How have your opinions of the JSF changed over the y

Unread postPosted: 10 Aug 2011, 20:10
by battleshipagincourt
Quite frankly I think agility to overrated in any event. I tend to compare the F-35 with the F-22 when it comes to transitioning from one generation to the next, and I think the F-35 was deliberately set to put electronic warfare capabilities above performance. The F-22 was built to excel in both, but proved very expensive in any event. The F-35's performance isn't the greatest, but it's at least good enough to match most of its competitors... its electronic warfare capabilities are what they focused on, as that was the F-22's major innovation.

Unfortunately that added complexity and cost to every single airframe. Stealth was its key benefit, so adding all the other survival features was simply going over the top. They talked about building an affordable airframe for three services, yet they seemed to abandon that in favor of building something set to beat the F-22. And as a result, it's not likely to be any less expensive than its air superiority counterpart. Wasn't the NOVA figure of the JSF supposed to be around a third of an F-22?

Re: How have your opinions of the JSF changed over the years

Unread postPosted: 10 Aug 2011, 20:19
by battleshipagincourt
sewerrat wrote:Now, as far as I can tell, the only thing missing from the F-35 is supercruise. If it were not for that one shortfall, then I'd sleep a little better at night knowing we didn't throw away what it was when we purchased the F-22. After all, each successive fighter should be better than the next, which I'm sure the F-35 is, except in terms of cruise speed.


Certainly it would be a nifty feature, but unfortunately not a very useful one in most cases. The F-22's mission pretty much demanded supersonic cruise, whereas the F-35's multi-role function demanded something with range taking priority over maximum speed. Its acceleration is pretty decent regardless... mainly above the transonic region is where the F119 shows its luster.

Also I don't think they really put a high priority on performance, as the F-22 demonstrated its electronic capabilities almost rendered its other attributes pointless. Although thrust vectoring is pretty cool, you really don't need them for a high-speed air superiority fighter. Dogfighting has almost become a last measure in the last generation fighters, so they might as well abandon old tactics if they aren't needed... they make the airframe that much more expensive.

Re: How have your opinions of the JSF changed over the years

Unread postPosted: 10 Aug 2011, 22:53
by neptune
[quote="battleshipagincourt]Dogfighting has almost become a last measure in the last generation fighters, so they might as well abandon old tactics ...[/quote]

The white silk scarf and the leather googles are rapidly fading from memory (less the "Air Shows) and with it the tactics that can't escape Mach 4+ speed and 12g+ turns. Even these incredible missle performance numbers are paling in comparison to the ranges and sensing techonolgies, not even including stealth. The F-22 is an incredible and awesome performing a/c but even it will have difficulty evading these evolving missle technologies.... and No, I'm not forgetting 'Nam and the gunless Phantom lesson.

The F-35 has a large bag of tricks to be developed and each one of those tricks will have to be cost effective or deleted from the program. I am anxiously awaiting the Admirals review for O&S and the debunking? (I hope) of the $Trillion and a modern cost matrix that will give the new owners sound numbers for purchase and budgets.

The F-35 is is our new "hunting dog" and see how "purty she is" but watch her bite.

Re: RE: How have your opinions of the JSF changed over the y

Unread postPosted: 11 Aug 2011, 01:19
by quicksilver
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:Back when I was first watching to NOVA special all I could think was "Lockheed had better win, that Boeing plane is ugly as sin." Lockheed won. Timelines slipped, costs increased, STOVL ability questioned...

I re-watched the special and noticed some things.
Boeing design changed because Navy altered requirements after the build started
Boeing tried a revolutionary wing building process, and when that failed they still had time to build it the old fashioned way
Boeing produced two test articles and had them flying before Lockheed had built one
Boeing removed all the panels during VTOL testing to simulate the REDUCED WEIGHT of the NAVY MANDATED REDESIGN.

The Lightning II is going to be the best overall warplane in the world when it makes IOC, but sometimes I think "maybe it SHOULD have gone to Boeing?"


They took all the 'stuff' off the Boeing X-jet so it could demonstrate that it could hover -- it was too heavy.

Navy requirements (principally ship launch and recovery) drove the planform/layout changes between the X-jet and their unsuccessful contract proposal.

RE: Re: RE: How have your opinions of the JSF changed over t

Unread postPosted: 11 Aug 2011, 01:39
by cynical175
Are all you guys working for Lockheed?

Never seen such a onside debate

Unread postPosted: 11 Aug 2011, 02:22
by battleshipagincourt
cynical175 wrote:Are all you guys working for Lockheed?

Never seen such a onside debate


I'm not, and certainly I've no love for the JSF. If people have their criticisms for the F-35, they're welcome to present whatever they wish. My primary concern is in regards to production and upkeep, otherwise I'm quite satisfied with the product we're giving our pilots.

If you've got something to debate, then you're welcome to add your input.

Unread postPosted: 11 Aug 2011, 03:02
by spazsinbad
Perhaps this 'upkeep' article has been missed from an earlier thread:

F-35 and Cost Effective Performance The Missing Element from the “Sustainment” Debate
By Dr. Robbin Laird | Aug/01/2011

http://www.sldinfo.com/f-35-and-cost-ef ... rformance/

Summary:
"There are several key elements of the game-changing approach to maintenance and sustainability literally built into the aircraft.

First, there is a common configuration for avionics and mission systems across the fleet. Rather than having to train and supply maintainers for multiple configurations of F-16s training and supply can focus on the common F-35A configuration. This is true of the other variants of the F-35 as well.

Second, the aircraft will provide real time operational data, which will allow maintenance to need rather than maintenance, based on paper determined schedules. The real time operational data will be used as well to determine parts reliability, which in turn can lead to improved design and production of parts, which is another cost reducer.

Third, rather than constantly rewriting and reprinting of manuals, digital systems resident in the computer can be upgraded in real time. Retraining of staff is reduced by the software upgrades in the maintenance systems and data upgrades. One can leverage software upgrades and use the computer’s capabilities rather than constant re-training of maintenance staff.

Fourth, parts ownership is local in the current system. There is a very difficult and arduous process to move parts from locale A to locale B as aircraft need parts. A global sustainability approach is inherent in the technology built into parts management in the F-35 program whereby transparency of parts can facilitate system ownership of parts rather than local ownership. This leads to reduce time to replace parts, which is another cost savings.

Fifth, the aircraft as a system, it is not simply a platform, provides for significant enhanced ops time versus training time. This means there are cost savings as measured in terms of real time on station for each platform. A classic example is the shift from the Harrier to the F-35B. The Harrier is a difficult plane to fly and requires significant requalification time for its pilots; much of this time is replaced by the ease of flight of the F-35B, which means more time on mission.

Sixth, significant savings come from how the mission systems are to be upgraded. Rather than a piece by piece upgrade and much time spent on aircraft reconfiguration, the missions systems architecture permits rapid swap out of new sensors and systems.

Seventh, the aircraft as a system has eliminated many parts that simply no longer need to be maintained. For example, with regard to hydraulic systems, 80% of the systems have been eliminated, and the use of actuators will facilitate the speed of maintaining what remains.

Eighth, the F-35 is the first field reparable stealth aircraft ever built. The advantages of stealth built into the aircraft will be sustainable in the field, and costly returns to the plant for touch labor repairs will be significantly reduced.

Not only will one gain significant savings from manpower touch labor time on the aircraft, but also the operational tempo will be enhanced. The result will be a significant shift in the use of manpower from rear touch labor support to tip of the spear operations.

All of this is bypassed by the trillion-dollar sustainability assertion. Reality may be harsh, but no need to make it harder by making up analytical numbers and using hypothetical 2065 costs as a basis for 2011 decisions. This reminds one of John Stuart Mill’s wonderful characterizations of Bentham’s philosophy: “Nonsense on Stilts.”
___________________

Beginning of article:
In the wake of the headlines about the trillion-dollar airplane, F-35 sustainment costs have been tossed into the political fray. According to a single line in an unreleased SAR report, the F-35 fleet is projected to cost more than a trillion dollars to operate over the span of the life of the entire fleet for more than 30 years.

Less amazing than the number is the assumption about the assumption – that it reflects anything remotely relevant to reality. But in the current political climate of financial populism, the F-35 has become the poster child of the desire of many to withdraw from global engagement or more to the point from the modernization of the power projection force.

The F-35 B has been put on probation rather than lionized as a system which doubles the number of capital ships available to the USN from the Gator navy. Rather than emphasizing how the F-35B and the newly enabled ARG provide strategic relevance to the Littoral Combat Ship, the Administration and the Congress pursue every platform fights alone strategy and highlights IOC costs of platforms versus their operation as a fleet and their synergy with the force.

It is particularly ironic that the sustainment costs of the F-35 have entered a policy debate, hitherto never informed by logistics or sustainment issues. The Afghan war is the logistics and sustainment war par excellence, and can any of the “new” experts on aircraft sustainment, tell us the cost per year of logs and sustainment in the far away to reach war?

This is clearly simply a new tactic to eviscerate Air Force, USN, and USMC modernization, rather than a serious debate. As Adam Hebert, Editor in Chief of Air Force Magazine has recently argued:

Take a deep breath, everybody. The trillion-dollar operation and maintenance cost everyone is hyperventilating about is hardly worth the paper it is printed on. It counts every possible cost to operate and modernize the F-35 during a 25-year production run, followed by a 30-year operational life. It represents a half-century’s worth of fuel, parts, upgrades, and even related construction costs.

This time horizon extends until 2065. What makes the estimate particularly worthless is that it is computed in “then-year” dollars—an estimate that measures cost not by 2011 standards, but by what they will cost in the year they are spent. This includes 55 years of inflation at the tail end of the computation, an enormous multiplier that is especially damaging because all of these costs are still, psychologically, perceived as 2011 dollars.

All one has to do is think about the references to what a gallon of gas or a loaf of bread cost in some long-past year to appreciate the effect of decades’ worth of inflation. Just as 2065 is 54 years in the future, 1957 is 54 years in the past. The iconic 1957 Chevrolet cost roughly $2,500 at the time, while the average paid for a new car today is more than $28,000. Decades of compound inflation do amazing things, and anyone who claims to know what inflation rates or fuel prices will be 25 and 50 years hence is a fool.

And one could add that the current obsession with projected life cycle costs rather than real analysis is also part of the problem. Trying to predict the costs of future parts and of fuel and other variables is difficult because precisely they are variables. Using such indicators confuse decision making; they do not inform it.

Closer at hand are ways to understand how new platforms provide ways for enhanced maintainability. New platforms are built with a significant amount of attention to how to enhance their ability to be maintained over time. When platforms were built thirty years ago, logistics support was an afterthought. No it is a core element of determining successful outcomes to the manufacturing process.

Additionally, one needs to buy Fleetwide. Savings will come from pooling resources, something that cannot happen if you buy a gaggle of aircraft, rather than operating a common fleet. Just ask Fed Ex what commonality for their fleet delivers in terms of performance and savings.

The F-35 is strong on both points. The plane has been designed to optimize maintainability and to reduce the amount of touch labor on the plane by at least 30%. And the fleet commonality will lead to significant ability to operate, deploy and sustain fleets of aircraft.

Recently retired head of Marine Corps Aviation General Trautman hammered the first point home.

Affordability is the balance of cost and capabilities required to accomplish assigned missions. For over a decade the Marine Corps has avoided the cost of new procurement during a time when the service lives of our legacy aircraft were sufficient to meet the missions assigned. However, in the near future, our investment in the capabilities of the F-35B will outweigh the unavoidable legacy aircraft operations and sustainment (O&S) cost increases we will incur with the F/A-18, AV-8B, and EA-6B.

The O&S costs of legacy aircraft across DoD have been increasing at an average rate of 7.8% per year since 2000. The operational lifetimes of legacy aircraft are being extended well beyond their original design limits. As a result, we have been continually engaged in a struggle to maintain operational readiness of our legacy aircraft due largely to the increasing age of the aircraft fleet. Early in an aircraft’s life cycle, the principal challenge is primarily attributed to the aging proprietary avionics systems upon which the user depends for warfighting relevance; later it is maintenance of the airframe and hardware components that are become the O&S cost drivers.

The Marine Corps strategy for the last eleven years has been to forego the procurement new variants of legacy aircraft and continuing a process of trying to sustain old designs that inherit the obsolescence and fatigue life issues of their predecessors. Instead, we opted to transition to a new 5th generation aircraft that takes advantage of technology improvements which generate substantial savings in ownership cost. The capabilities of the F-35B enable the Marine Corps to replace three legacy aircraft types and retain the capability of executing all our missions. This results in tangible O&S cost savings.

A common platform produces a common support and sustainment base. By necking down to one type of aircraft we eliminate a threefold redundancy in manpower, operating materiel, support services, training, maintenance competencies, technical systems management, tools, and aircraft upgrades. For example:

Direct military manpower will be reduced by 30%; approximately 340 officers and 2600 enlisted.
Within the Naval Aviation Enterprise we will reduce the technical management requirements the systems requiring support by 60%.
Peculiar Support Equipment will be reduced by 60%; down from 1,400 to 400 line items.
Simulators and training support systems will be reduced by 80%; five different training systems will neck down to one.
Electronic Attack WRA’s will be reduced by 40% and replaced with easier to support state of the art digital electronics.
The Performance Based Logistics construct will nearly eliminate macro and micro avionics repair, and intermediate propulsion support functions.
Airborne Armament Equipment (AAE) will be reduced by over 80% with the incorporation of a multi-use bomb rack.
Compared to historical parametrics we expect our overall O&S costs to decrease by 30%.
The key to enabling these reductions is to evolve our supportability concepts, processes and procedures instead of shackling ourselves to a support infrastructure built for legacy aircraft. We need to be innovative and ensure our sustainment posture keeps pace with technology advancements and global partnering synergies. Working together with industry, the Marine Corps is intently focused on the future as we seek innovative cost effective sustainment strategies that match the game changing operational capabilities resident in the F-35 Lightning II.

The impact of fleet operations was highlighted by retired General Cameron, now working on the F-35 program with Lockheed Martin. Cameron as a retired USAF general in charge of maintenance highlighted the fleet consequences of shifting form F-16s to F-35As for the USAF.

The real beauty of the F-35 program is the fact that you can look out across the entire fleet, all the international partners, all the domestic partners, and tell immediately if there are systemic fleet wide issues. The program can share assets to ensure a surge capability to wherever it’s needed and can share the robust supply chain that’s already established on the F-35 production line. Our experiences with the F-16 highlight another major advantage of the F-35 approach. The F-16 has been a highly successful program. However, configuration management has been a challenge because it has been handled at the individual service level. Therefore, there are roughly 130 configurations of the F-16. The operators, when prosecuting the air battle, have to know the precise configuration of each F-16 in order to know what capabilities it brings to the fight. The sustainment of the F-16 is even more challenging with spares not being interchangeable among F-16 variants. The F-35 is a common configuration so interoperability is the key in both operations and sustainment.

One could simply note that the views of such warfighters are simply bypassed in making wild assumptions about future life-cycle costs. An alternative approach would be to examine how the F-35 as manufactured leads to significant REDUCTIONS in touch labor time and to ENHANCED operational tempo which in turn lead to COMBINED reduction in maintenance costs with enhanced combat efficiencies."
http://www.sldinfo.com/wp-content/uploa ... -block.jpg
http://www.sldinfo.com/wp-content/uploa ... lock-2.jpg
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Unread postPosted: 11 Aug 2011, 04:24
by battleshipagincourt
Really? I can't help wondering how Lockheed Martin could possibly be having such budget delays and financial trouble with the JSF, given as it keeps hyping about the same cost-saving measures again and again and again... only to end up underselling and overpricing their brainchild. Added R&D erases all the cost savings that could have been had with buying F-22's. Higher unit upkeep costs estimated from most sources directly contrasting those of anyone directly associated with Lockheed Martin.

Yeah, I'm convinced.

So when exactly are these cost savings supposed to happen? After all the higher-than-expected units have been bought and Lockheed had since milked the F-35 for all they could get? It's quite unfortunate that customers lost interest in the F-22, because Lockheed Martin had already gotten everything they could out of that program... and the major program development problems had since been addressed.

Unread postPosted: 11 Aug 2011, 04:37
by spazsinbad
bsac said: "...It's quite unfortunate that customers lost interest in the F-22." Only one customer allowed by Congress AFAIK. USAF?

Unread postPosted: 11 Aug 2011, 04:55
by geogen
Haven't really changed my original assessments, I must say. I recall posting on the old MSNBC msg boards back in 2001, upon first hearing of these 3,000 cheap F-35s being the future game plan, something along the lines of; 'omg... it will likely be a $billion dollar per unit fighter if/when it's canceled, but one of if not the most flawed acquisition Program in history.'

I will say I got a few dissenting replies from the earliest fan boys. :doh:

Unread postPosted: 11 Aug 2011, 05:14
by spazsinbad
Recent training news article outlines some more 'near future' savings: http://www.f-16.net/news_article4393.html

"...A student pilot at Eglin will receive approximately 200 hours of academics, 14 simulators, a high-speed taxi and six flights in the airplane before deemed qualified. Technological advances in virtual reality pilot and maintenance training is the biggest difference 33rd FW students will experience with the military's latest weapons system.

"I've got 80 hours in the simulator and only logged nine actual flying hours," Smith said. "That is a testament to how good the simulator is. Everything is digital...."
__________________________

Builder admits concerns over JSF's costs BY DAVID ELLERY 10 Aug, 2011

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/na ... 53592.aspx

"Claims it will cost a trillion dollars to maintain the United States' Joint Strike Fighter fleet over its lifetime are incorrect, a senior Lockheed Martin official said in Canberra yesterday.

F-35 program integration general manager Tom Burbage said if similar costings were applied to the existing US fighter fleet, the total would come to $4 trillion over the same period...."

Unread postPosted: 11 Aug 2011, 05:29
by alloycowboy
The F-35 is a good fighter but the US goverment is going to have to hold Lockheed Martin's feet to fire in order to get the airplane at a better price. One of the reasons the YF-23 lost to the YF-22 was because Northrop was having cost problems with the B-2 Bomber. Northrop really under estimated how much time and labour it would require to build each composite B2 bomber. This has long been thought to be one of the main reasons why that the YF-23 didn't win the ATF fly off. Well now the shoe is on other foot and I can see Lockheed Martin now being over looked on US Goverment Contracts until it gets F-35 costs under control.

Unread postPosted: 11 Aug 2011, 11:32
by discofishing
My opinions have indeed changed over the years. I have more disdain for politicians and main stream media. Additionally, I no longer support the F-35B. I do not think it will operate well from austere field environments. The Marines should stick with the F-35C. I'm for significant expansion of the US Navy carrier fleet to support this.

Unread postPosted: 11 Aug 2011, 13:25
by munny
I no longer believe that its a fighter capable of penetrating deep into modern air defenses as sometimes portrayed, thats the job of flat, flying wings and cruise missiles. The F-35 will be the number one aircraft for kicking in the enemy's front door though and will be absolutely devastating in war once air superiority is achieved.

Combined with future aircraft (NGB, UCLASS) the F-22 and other support assets it will fill its role nicely for the US.

Lets hope Australia doesn't forget to buy some drones.

Unread postPosted: 11 Aug 2011, 14:01
by battleshipagincourt
spazsinbad wrote:Recent training news article outlines some more 'near future' savings: http://www.f-16.net/news_article4393.html

"I've got 80 hours in the simulator and only logged nine actual flying hours," Smith said. "That is a testament to how good the simulator is. Everything is digital...."


????

Where are the cost savings in the F-35 from this? Simulators are cheaper than actual flying, which applies to ALL fighters. One might as well justify that simulators make the B-2 a more affordable bomber.

spazsinbad wrote:"Claims it will cost a trillion dollars to maintain the United States' Joint Strike Fighter fleet over its lifetime are incorrect, a senior Lockheed Martin official said in Canberra yesterday.

F-35 program integration general manager Tom Burbage said if similar costings were applied to the existing US fighter fleet, the total would come to $4 trillion over the same period...."


So to cover up for the F-35's own cost overruns, he just invents some $4 trillion figure? Is there even a fighter program which vaguely approaches the scale of half a trillion dollars? (inflation taken into consideration)

Even the entire F-16 program, with some 4450 units built, cost along the lines of $267 billion over thirty years of service. This figure is based on an average unit cost of $20 million + upkeep = $60 million. For the sake of argument, let's double this figure to take inflation, attrition, and other expenses into consideration.

That comes to a generous figure of ~$550 billion or so for some 4500 F-16's.

Now compare that to the F-35, in which some 3000 are presently under order, a lifetime figure of about $650 billion doesn't seem an unreasonable low-end estimate. Certainly numbers are not on the JSF's side.

http://www.jsfnieuws.nl/?p=596

"Because of the predictive parts monitoring built into the JSF, it should need significantly fewer people to maintain it. The much older F-16 requires many more people to perform maintenance than should the JSF, this source argues. And those people are very expensive, especially over time. So the new model’s costs are much higher...”

"Recently DoD sharply increased its projection of JSF operating and support costs compared to previous estimates. The December 2006 SAR projected life-cycle operating and support costs for all three variants at $ 650.3 billion, almost double the $346.7 billion amount shown in the December 2005 SAR and similar estimates. The operating cost per flying hour for the JSF CTOL is now estimated to be greater than current flying hour cost for the F-16, one of the legacy aircraft to be replaced. Officials explained that the amounts reported in 2005 and before were early estimates based on very little data, whereas the new estimate is of higher fidelity, informed by more information as JSF development progresses and more knowledge is obtained..."

"Recent Selected Acquisition Reports (31-dec-2009) show a cost per flight hour (in Base Year 2002 US$ and excluding indirect costs, health care, etc.) of US$ 15.190/flght hr, compared with the earlier estimates from 2002 of US$ 7.844/flght hr. This a 90% increase in what was being promised back in 2002 (i.e. 80% of F-16C O&S costs or better) when Lockheed Martin and JSF Program Office convinced the JSF partner countries persuaded to join the SDD Phase of the JSF Program."


http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=6560528

This site merely indicates the average unit price is only about 30% of the lifetime cost of having the fighter. But they also note that with more capability comes a more expensive fighter.

Don't get me wrong... I recognize that having a smaller air force with more capable fighters may be a good idea for the sake of lowering certain overhead costs. My primary concern about the F-35's costs are that they've been estimated significantly higher than legacy fighters in almost every way.

Where it does excel, however, is in not requiring the support aircraft the F-16 needs. Between (F-15/F-22) escorts, AWAC's, jammer aircraft, and tankers... these could ultimately prove significantly more expensive in the long run. Unfortunately the USAF isn't moving in the right direction from my perspective.

If I were in a position of authority, I would have built the 381 F-22's that were required to replace the F-15 entirely. Only I would have changed its role from mere air dominance to acting as dedicated mini-awacs, upgrading them to carry all the sensors and networking capabilities of the F-35.

I would also have extended the life of the F-16 with one last major upgrade, and building 500 new airframes. The purpose of this would mainly have been to test the electronic warfare suite destined for the F-35 in a proven airframe. That way, when the JSF program eventually comes into fruition, many of the technologies would already have been perfected on the F-16 and F-22.

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2011, 10:25
by Atle
Before I thought that the F-35 would be quite in the middle between the totally awesome "mini Raptor" the marketing tried to portray, and the all useless piece of crap the critics claimed it to be. To me it seemed to become quite capable, even not very high raw performance but low RCS and top notch avionics.

Now I think the critics seem more and more right. The delays makes the hi tech gadgets look less and less impressive as they become more contemporary. At the same time the cost blowouts takes away funding for the necessary future upgrades to keep it competetive duringt its life.

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2011, 13:25
by shep1978
Atle wrote:The delays makes the hi tech gadgets look less and less impressive as they become more contemporary.


Contemporary to what though, I mean what else is there flying that is anyway near as advanced in terms of mission systems than the F-35? Add to that what is there out there that is projected to have as advanced mission systems? I'm not aware of anything at all, yes there is plenty of talk of legacy jet upgrades but again non of those come close to the F-35's mission systems.

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2011, 14:02
by battleshipagincourt
Typhoon, Rafale, F-18E, UAE F-16, T-50, J-20... certainly these render older generation fighters obsolete.

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2011, 14:25
by shep1978
battleshipagincourt wrote:Typhoon, Rafale, F-18E, UAE F-16, T-50, J-20... certainly these render older generation fighters obsolete.


I'm not sure if you were replying to my post or not but if you were I don't get your answer, afterall Atle's post was speaking about the hi tech gadgets that in his opinion look less and less impressive as they become more contemporary. \confused\

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2011, 16:19
by southernphantom
I'm no fan of the F-35, believe me. But, it's pretty obvious that it's an improvement over legacy fighters in most ways. Its LO qualities are inferior to those of the F-22, which is why the Raptor is frankly the best-suited deep strike aircraft we'll have until, possibly, the F/A-XX.

I do, however, think the F-35 is stuck in a 'capability hole' between legacy fighters and 'true' fifth-generation airframes like the F-22 and T-50. It's more expensive to operate than the legacy birds, but doesn't have quite the same capability as its larger cousins. We might be better off cutting down on the F-35 buy and buying an F-16 'Block 70', based on the F-16E/F but incorporating avionics lessons from the F-35. Same avionics upgrade program goes for the F-22.

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2011, 16:26
by sewerrat
battleshipagincourt wrote:If I were in a position of authority, I would have built the 381 F-22's that were required to replace the F-15 entirely. Only I would have changed its role from mere air dominance to acting as dedicated mini-awacs, upgrading them to carry all the sensors and networking capabilities of the F-35.

I would also have extended the life of the F-16 with one last major upgrade, and building 500 new airframes. The purpose of this would mainly have been to test the electronic warfare suite destined for the F-35 in a proven airframe. That way, when the JSF program eventually comes into fruition, many of the technologies would already have been perfected on the F-16 and F-22.


Yeah, I'd agree that more F-22s should be obvious to everyone. However, that being said, with the 18x copies of the F-22, it is essentially what the F-117 was during the 1980's and 1990's and that is a highly specialized and highly capable speciality aircraft; whereas the F-117's mission was ground attack to pave the way for convential aircraft, the F-22 is the likewise the same but its mission is to pave the way in the sky by clearing out aerial bogies. That, and we have 3x the number of -22s as we had of the -117s.

The F-35 is quite capable of replacing the F-15 in the air dominance role. And if it were not for lacking supercruise, although I'm quite certain that the -35A will cruise in excess of Mach 1.0 (Mach 1.25'ish maybe in dry power), there is nothing that the Raptor has that the F-35 does not have.

It would also cost billions to build up a fleet of 600 F-16s with pseudo F-35 avionics. There is also a lack of space in the F-16 as well, as far as being able to stuff the airframe full of the sensors, black boxes, and integrating it into the F-16s wiring schematics. That's what specialized planes like the Catbird are for. You don't need a sample size of 600 to find out development issues; a few pre-production models of the real jet will suffice to discovers bugs in the system.

Yeah, the F-35 could have been a little more agressively designed for aerial dominance in tems of cruise speed, and maneuvering, but as has been mentioned many times on this board, that no manned fighter aircraft is ever going to outrun a missile, nor out turn a missile.

What can be done, when technically feasible is to outfit fighters with built-in IR Laser "jammers", and some other types of (perhaps) un-mentionable jammers for missiles with active radar guidance. Effectively negating the need for supercruise which is really quite awesome, but comes with the penalty of yielding a brighter hot spot in the sky to be seen at greater distances.

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2011, 16:37
by battleshipagincourt
southernphantom wrote:I do, however, think the F-35 is stuck in a 'capability hole' between legacy fighters and 'true' fifth-generation airframes like the F-22 and T-50. It's more expensive to operate than the legacy birds, but doesn't have quite the same capability as its larger cousins.


I'm not so sure of that.

'If the F-35 had supercruise, it would be complete.' That's typically the one attribute that everyone seems to want. They want a high-speed drag racer, which is only part of what makes a great fighter.

While I'm somewhat like that, I think they made a good compromise in designing an aircraft to house all the major systems internally. A clean F-35 will perform similar to one loaded with internal weapons, whereas the F-16 only outperforms the F-35 if it turns and runs (don't even try comparing it with a military load). Some may suggest that stealth detracts from an aircraft's other capabilities, but it ironically improves upon them, as it requires a clean airframe. Although somewhat more bulky, stealth planes excel at carrying useful combat loads without detracting from their maximum capabilities.

Although I still gawk at the F-35's meager mach 1.6 and inability to supercriuse, I can at least give credit to its overall performance at low speeds and clean configuration. And although I can't help wondering what they could have had for the JSF (not bothering with the B variant), I still think its overall capabilities are quite impressive. Maybe not as remarkable as the F-22, but still quite impressive compared to even more modern aircraft.

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2011, 17:35
by battleshipagincourt
sewerrat wrote:The F-35 is quite capable of replacing the F-15 in the air dominance role. And if it were not for lacking supercruise, although I'm quite certain that the -35A will cruise in excess of Mach 1.0 (Mach 1.25'ish maybe in dry power), there is nothing that the Raptor has that the F-35 does not have.


The F-22 can carry AIM-9's internally. It has a more sensitive/powerful AESA radar, capable of mounting 'cheek' arrays. EOTS was a feature that was originally intended for the F-22, but deleted due to budget cuts. Aside from that, it's optimized for high altitude and high speed performance, not to mention having better agility and stealth attributes.

This therefore makes it an ideal choice for use as an advanced mini AWAC's. While the F-35's capabilities may be impressive, the F-22's ability to mount cheek AESA arrays and supercruise makes it far more flexible for the air dominance role. It would require upgrades similar to the 'low-end' F-35, but it make a lot of sense.

The F-22 is by far the world's best fighter in most respects, but its potential is greatly underutilized. With critical hardware like EOTS and the ability to network with other fighters, each F-22 could act as a force multiplier beyond a pilot's wildest dreams. Why else do you think they wouldn't allow the Raptor to be exported to international customers?

sewerrat wrote:It would also cost billions to build up a fleet of 600 F-16s with pseudo F-35 avionics. There is also a lack of space in the F-16 as well, as far as being able to stuff the airframe full of the sensors, black boxes, and integrating it into the F-16s wiring schematics.


Considering how little space they had to work with in the F-35, certainly mounting new systems like EOTS into a single-seat F-16 seems physically feasible. I can't speak for the internal wiring or cooling limitations, but the UAE F-16's are quite advanced, even by today's standards. From as far back as 2004, they already had AESA radar, data networking, limited HMD capabilities, and reduced RCS attributes.

Although these weren't bought with US funds, the development costs were significantly lower than what was paid for the F-35... somewhere along the lines of $3 billion. With this, the US could have bought a stopgap generation of F-16's for the primary purpose of retiring older fighters and offering a potential substitute for the F-35 if it fell behind schedule and/or went overbudget.

Don't you think it would have done Lockheed Martin some good to not be given impossible deadlines to meet an ever-growing list of demands for their fighter?

sewerrat wrote:Yeah, the F-35 could have been a little more agressively designed for aerial dominance in tems of cruise speed, and maneuvering, but as has been mentioned many times on this board, that no manned fighter aircraft is ever going to outrun a missile, nor out turn a missile.

What can be done, when technically feasible is to outfit fighters with built-in IR Laser "jammers", and some other types of (perhaps) un-mentionable jammers for missiles with active radar guidance. Effectively negating the need for supercruise which is really quite awesome, but comes with the penalty of yielding a brighter hot spot in the sky to be seen at greater distances.


Fighters don't outrun the missile... they use speed to put as much distance between them and the missile launcher as possible. Air superiority fighters also use speed to give their missiles a kinetic energy boost, increasing their range and reducing the enemy's reaction time. Supercruise is equally valuable because it allows fighter like the F-22 to outrun most fighters without compromising their low IR attributes.

While the F-35 probably can't do this, its performance in military thrust at least matches that of most aircraft carrying external weaponry and in full afterburner.

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2011, 19:23
by sprstdlyscottsmn
And as for the Mach 1.6 limit, this is likely a placard limit, not a thrust limit. As has been said before, testing of high mach is expensive so lesson were taken from the M2.5 capable F-15 that never went over M1.4 and instead designed the plane for a useful speed.

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2011, 20:36
by andreas77
battleshipagincourt wrote:....
Some may suggest that stealth detracts from an aircraft's other capabilities, but it ironically improves upon them, as it requires a clean airframe.
...


Adding stealth to a design always leads to compromises in other regards. What might be a great way to improve flight characteristics can totally mess up the aircrafts radar signature. Just look at the F-22, those straight edges where not to be seen before the stealth-era since that kind of design never was considered the best from an aerodynamic perspective, smooth edges and curvature are often better. I am pretty sure that the designers of the F-35 had to give up some flight performance in order to achieve the required level of stealth.


And regarding the threads subject, I am just as skeptical now towards the F-35 design & business case as I was 5 years ago.

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2011, 21:15
by battleshipagincourt
andreas77 wrote:Adding stealth to a design always leads to compromises in other regards. What might be a great way to improve flight characteristics can totally mess up the aircrafts radar signature. Just look at the F-22, those straight edges where not to be seen before the stealth-era since that kind of design never was considered the best from an aerodynamic perspective, smooth edges and curvature are often better. I am pretty sure that the designers of the F-35 had to give up some flight performance in order to achieve the required level of stealth.


I was referring to the clean airframe configuration. Obviously the F-117 compromised aerodynamics for stealth, whereas the F-22 and F-35 used a much more subtle design principle known as planform alignment. While intended for VLO, their stealth characteristics resulted in dropping external stores... therefore improving their flight characteristics with a war load. I'm not suggesting that LO and aerodynamic characteristics are mutually beneficial, but having all the mission equipment within a clean airframe is better for performance and range than mounting it externally.

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2011, 18:14
by andreas77
battleshipagincourt wrote:...but having all the mission equipment within a clean airframe is better for performance and range than mounting it externally.


Well thats not really true either, an airframe with internal stores and sensors gets larger and adds extra weight (doors, actuators, ejectors etc.) and volume (which tends to be much bigger than the actual volume of the bombs/missiles that you put in there), there are no free lunches.

I mean, just look at the F-35, with the size constraints that was given there could not have been a surprise for anyone that the internal weapons bay and sensors would result in a chubby airframe and relatively small wings, thats not really what you want when you are designing a fighter.

And if internal weapons bay and sensors improves on range, why hasnt there been any non-stealth fighter built this way? The range of the F-35 has more to do with its fuel fraction than the fact that it has internal weapons bays. And if the F-35 is so aerodynamic, why is so heavily punished by external stores (8% extra range from 30% extra fuel)?

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2011, 18:30
by SpudmanWP
The small amount of extra range derived from external tanks has to do with the fact that those external tanks contribute a smaller percentage of the overall fuel carried (thanks to the F-35's MASSIVE internal fuel load) when compared to other 4th gen fighters.

There is very little information about the differences in internal vs external range when it comes to the F-35. Based on your 8% number, I can assume you are referring to the Norway briefing (673 internal vs 728 external). Assuming your numbers are accurate, the one thing that it does prove is that there is a TREMENDOUS drag & range penalty for carrying external loads.

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2011, 19:52
by shingen
I read somewhere that about half of the fuel in external tanks extends range and the other half pays for the drag of the tank and the weight of the tank and fuel. If a plane has a small fuel fraction ET's will extend the range more than if it has a large FF. Also think about what happens to a large FF aircraft if they don't drop the tank. They add a few % of fuel, then carry the weight and drag of the tank long after the fuel is gone.

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2011, 20:02
by andreas77
Yes, those are my sources. If they are correct or not, I dont know.

I do think that there is only so much an aircraft of a given size can carry. Since the F-35 has such a huge internal fuel capacity and internal sensors, quite a bit of that capacity is already consumed. The high wing loading also points in this direction.

Anyhow, I think it is possible to build someting like the F-35A with better performance, but the A seems to suffer from some design constraints given by the B-model.
Two GE414 and more freedom in the design (no lift-fan space, the freedom to chose canards etc.) would result in a much better aircraft IMO.

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2011, 21:12
by SpudmanWP
How would it have been "much better"?

It would have been more expensive (two engines as opposed to one) and wider. Having two engines also means having to feed them with a higher flow of air, which means larger tunnels and less internal fuel (ie lower range).

They dropped canards early for complexity & stealth reasons, not due to -B version.

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2011, 22:45
by battleshipagincourt
andreas77 wrote:Well thats not really true either, an airframe with internal stores and sensors gets larger and adds extra weight (doors, actuators, ejectors etc.) and volume (which tends to be much bigger than the actual volume of the bombs/missiles that you put in there), there are no free lunches.


You do have a point, although you're missing some critical details. While I agree that mounting everything internally adds weight and drag that you wouldn't otherwise have with external weapons and pods, you have to take into consideration what mission you're using the aircraft for.

The F-16 can theoretically carry a ten ton weapon load, but its small fuel fraction means having to load external tanks(reducing the number of hardpoints as well). Mounting weapon pods for precision-targeting adds significant drag compared to a more 'flush' design. The EOTS system of the F-35 does add more drag than designers originally expected, but certainly only a small fraction of what a weapons pod would cause. With a high fuel fraction the F-35 isn't as sleek, but that allows missions to be done without any external fuel.

Seriously compare this to a fully-loaded F-16 with three fuel tanks, two weapons pods, two 2,000 Ib JDAM's, and four AIM-120's. This would be about what you'd get from a clean F-35, and its performance doesn't diminish much unless you start mounting external stores. Unfortunately I'm unsure how well an F-35 does when you start doing this, as I've heard that doubling the weapon load and adding two external tanks only increases range by about 8%. I don't even think they can jettison the pylons after the weapons are spent, making this even less attractive.

andreas77 wrote:I mean, just look at the F-35, with the size constraints that was given there could not have been a surprise for anyone that the internal weapons bay and sensors would result in a chubby airframe and relatively small wings, thats not really what you want when you are designing a fighter.


Supposedly it can match an F-16's agility, but I still doubt it. Regardless, the aircraft is well designed for its mission. It's very hard to pick up on radar or IR, has very impressive sensors and weaponry, and carries all the mission systems internally. While it certainly doesn't have the fighter-like design of the F-16, it certainly has the stealth and strike capabilities all packed into a single airframe.

andreas77 wrote:And if internal weapons bay and sensors improves on range, why hasnt there been any non-stealth fighter built this way? The range of the F-35 has more to do with its fuel fraction than the fact that it has internal weapons bays. And if the F-35 is so aerodynamic, why is so heavily punished by external stores (8% extra range from 30% extra fuel)?


???

Don't external stores punish all fighters in this way? Add just 2 x 2,000 Ib JDAM's to the F-16 and see how well it does compared to a clean configuration. The F-35 flourishes most from its internal weaponry... those two AMRAAM's and JDAM's come with no drag penalty at all. It might have benefitted more to have semi-recessed weapons as well, but bombs and tanks hanging off wings are just terrible where drag is concerned.

At least with internal weapons, the added drag they incur are significantly less than external racks. And conformal fuel tanks are vastly better than external tanks because the penalty throughout the entire mission is minimal. The Eurofighter I believe has the ability to supercruise (mach 1.5) with a weapons load of four semi-recessed AAM's, but not with much else hanging off the wings.

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2011, 23:10
by andreas77
SpudmanWP wrote:How would it have been "much better"?

It would have been more expensive (two engines as opposed to one) and wider. Having two engines also means having to feed them with a higher flow of air, which means larger tunnels and less internal fuel (ie lower range).

They dropped canards early for complexity & stealth reasons, not due to -B version.


The 414 offers equal or more (EPE) thrust with lower weight. Regarding cost I am not so sure one is cheaper than two. What are the manufacturing costs of the two engines respectively? One F-135 costs more than one GE414, thats for sure. And the F-135 development program is now at $8.5 billion (according to flightglobal).

Its true that the fuselage would be wider, but it would also be lower. That could open for dedicated AA-stations under the engines with narrower bomb-bays on the sides compared with the current layout so that might even out?

How can canards add complexity to the design if it has nothing to do with the B-model, just asking?

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2011, 23:10
by grinner68
At some point the cost of the aircraft will exceed it's capabilities.
The F-35 may have hit that mile post before it's even entered service.

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2011, 23:19
by andreas77
battleshipagincourt wrote:...

andreas77 wrote:And if internal weapons bay and sensors improves on range, why hasnt there been any non-stealth fighter built this way? The range of the F-35 has more to do with its fuel fraction than the fact that it has internal weapons bays. And if the F-35 is so aerodynamic, why is so heavily punished by external stores (8% extra range from 30% extra fuel)?


???

Don't external stores punish all fighters in this way?

...


Absolutely not! Remember that 30% extra is quite little, the Gripen NG for example can take almost 100% extra fuel externally and most other 4th gen fighters flies with similar loads regulary (and they would not do that if they did not benefit from it).

Also remember that you gain more from the first extra fuel tank than from the last so if the gain is 8% with 30% extra fuel for the F-35, how much is the gain with 60% extra fuel (4 tanks i guess?)? Its not 16%, thats for sure!

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2011, 23:37
by SpudmanWP
grinner68 wrote:At some point the cost of the aircraft will exceed it's capabilities.
The F-35 may have hit that mile post before it's even entered service.


At FRP the F-35A will cost about 15% more than current 4th gen US jets (F/A-18E). If you think that 6xF-15As can do more and survive longer than 7xF/A-18Es, then it is worth it.

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2011, 23:40
by SpudmanWP
What's the NG's range clean vs combat loaded (with and without external tankage)?

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 01:03
by battleshipagincourt
andreas77 wrote:Absolutely not! Remember that 30% extra is quite little, the Gripen NG for example can take almost 100% extra fuel externally and most other 4th gen fighters flies with similar loads regulary (and they would not do that if they did not benefit from it).


Having a high internal fuel fraction is a positive attribute for any fighter. The fact that the F-35 can only take 30% external fuel because it carries so much within the airframe itself. Definitely it incurs a fixed drag penalty (wider aircraft and thicker wings) but that penalty is vastly less than carrying external weapons/fuel.

Take the F-15E, which introduced the idea of conformal tanks... the tank's drag/fuel penalty was something like 1/10 compared to an external tank's 1/2. That turned out to be so successful that the F-16, F-18E, and even the Eurofighter are all either using CFT's or under consideration for them.

Ever since the F-15 Eagle, fighters were built under the concept that they maximize performance by only equipping them with ample fuel for 20 minutes of combat, favoring external tanks because they can be jettisoned. Experience however showed that tanks take up valuable pylons and incurred significant penalties from the added drag. So when the F-35 came into consideration, they decided that it made a lot more sense to just design it around its primary mission... which meant 2 JDAM's, 2 AIM-120's, internal sensors, and fuel for a 590-mile combat radius.



The F-22 and the F-35 benefit greatly by having internal weaponry, as opposed to carrying external stores. Compare a battle-ready F-35 to a similarly-equipped F-16 and ask which one will perform better. As stated before, external tanks constitute only about half their value in fuel, because they also add drag and weight.

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 04:18
by munny
andreas77 wrote:The 414 offers equal or more (EPE) thrust with lower weight. Regarding cost I am not so sure one is cheaper than two.


I thought the f135 had a MUCH better thrust to weight ratio than two f414's. 3800lbs vs 4900lbs for very similar thrust produced.

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 04:46
by 1st503rdsgt
1. Ten years ago (under the assumption that the F-15 would soon be replaced by the F-22), I considered this program to be the next logical step after the Raptor, continuing the proven high/low concept of fighter procurement. I was also excited at the prospect of finally having the front-line STOVL fighter that all the cold-war era books said we should have.

2. Two years ago, I was angry that the F-22 was being canceled in favor of the F-35, which I considered to be a sad substitute (inferior and more vulnerable).

3. Recently, I have quit fretting over APA's panic mongering about the F-35's performance (though I'm still upset over the F-22). I'm no longer worried about F-35s being shot down in their droves by S-300/400s, PAK-FAs, or J-20s. What concerns me today are the costs and LM's continued failures to execute on time. I now fear that the numbers ordered will be cut far short of what was originally planned, leaving our own forces dependent on ageing legacy platforms and hurting our reputation with invested allies to whom we made promises regarding affordability.

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 04:59
by battleshipagincourt
^^

My feelings exactly! Everything you've written is exactly how I felt about the Raptor being taken down by the technically inferior and more expensive Lightning II program. Now I don't doubt its capabilities, but fear it will be too expensive by the time it's ready. Quite upset they cancelled the Raptor over something unproven and as yet a money pit.

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 05:40
by geogen
andreas77 wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:...It would have been more expensive (two engines as opposed to one) and wider. Having two engines also means having to feed them with a higher flow of air, which means larger tunnels and less internal fuel (ie lower range)...


The 414 offers equal or more (EPE) thrust with lower weight. Regarding cost I am not so sure one is cheaper than two. What are the manufacturing costs of the two engines respectively? One F-135 costs more than one GE414, thats for sure. And the F-135 development program is now at $8.5 billion (according to flightglobal).

Its true that the fuselage would be wider, but it would also be lower...


Twin F414 type would be cheaper than a single F135 likely through the end of LRIP (e.g. for 400 or so jets worth) at which point prices would probably level off to about parity. ($9.5-$10m e.g.) It can be taken into consideration that the originally expected economies of scale derived theory will not be on target with regards to the engine component as well. But as noted, the engine Program cost including R&D sorta tips the scale off the table price wise - part of which could in go back into covering added Life cycle cost of twin f414. imho, Better to have sunk that cash into developing a variable cycle F100 or F110 for a woulda been 40k feet altitude super cruising interim F-16XL mod, until the 5.5 gen can begin deliveries by end 2020s ;) Anyhow...

On the twin F414 airframe being wider point, not ncecessarily as the whole rear section fuselage would have been a different design and that could have easily been incorporated into similar fuselage width dimensions. But as was pointed out, width itself isnt really the issue - rather a twin F414 design would have allowed for a less 'chubby', thinner tail section likely giving better aerodynamics. And the shorter engine bays could have allowed for shorter intake tunnel (offsetting other weight) while creating even more interior space for fuel capacity or further lengthened storage bays. imho.

Bottom line; FY13 DoD budget could unfortunately see forced cuts taking it down more than even under the soon to be reduced austerity budget, and FY14 budget will be much less than required to afford the number of F-35 airframes expected to ramp up in production. 'FRP' production rates will be far fewer per year and PUC cost far greater than still apparently expected. In that sense, my long time opinion to be more strategic minded and better calculating when it comes to mid-term/long-term Tacair recapitalization planning is reinforced more than ever. God speed.

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 06:04
by 1st503rdsgt
geogen wrote:The 414 offers equal or more (EPE) thrust with lower weight. Regarding cost I am not so sure one is cheaper than two. What are the manufacturing costs of the two engines respectively? One F-135 costs more than one GE414, thats for sure. And the F-135 development program is now at $8.5 billion (according to flightglobal).


Look geogen, we all get that you have some ideas about how the JSF could have been better and that you saw this mess coming long before most of us did, but you need to accept the fact that it is way to late to change direction now in a way that would cost less than "staying the course." NO ONE IS ABLE TO, OR GOING TO REDESIGN THE JSF OR START A CRASH PROGRAM TO DELIVER AN ALTERNATIVE.

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 06:38
by geogen
I respect that comment 1st503rd and for the record I don''t support unilaterally 'redesigning the F-35 from scratch', or 'starting a crash program for an alternative'... unless perhaps, it is assessed to be more cost-effective and strategic in the end game when coupled with stop gap 4.5gen procurement, e.g..

Additionally I actually support some sort of commidified, potential QE3 F-35-Bond buying approach via a strategic Lease in order to maximize success, maximize force structure and sustainability/viability of the Program. (I've truly not seen any other such similar interventionist proposals to 'save' the F-35 to date, which is quite astonishing - there should be strategic hearings on how to creatively save the Program. I just don't get it).

With regards to the specific quote above, it was merely a rebuttal to the claim above that 1 F135 is cheaper than 2 F414 and such a hypothetical twin-engined do-over jet would have been 'wider' as a negative, when it would have mostly likely been more aerodynamic, thinner, etc. I think that part of the reply is fair in any ongoing discussion. Respects-

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 07:07
by 1st503rdsgt
geogen wrote:Additionally I actually support some sort of commidified, potential QE3 F-35-Bond buying approach via a strategic Lease in order to maximize success, maximize force structure and sustainability/viability of the Program. (I've truly not seen any other such similar interventionist proposals to 'save' the F-35 to date, which is quite astonishing - there should be strategic hearings on how to creatively save the Program. I just don't get it).


That's more like it, but I have another idea. Why doesn't someone (the President, Congress, or DoD [I don't care which]) tell LM to un-fu<k itself now or risk losing all defense contracts for the next 20 years?

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 08:22
by geogen
1st503rd, truly the reality of the situation is that such a complex aircraft integrating entirely new components/systems, using new materials, requiring insane software programming and learn on the fly revolutionary construction techniques by highly expensive workers all on pre-mature SDD aircraft which are still requiring 1,000s of design fixes until reaching block III maturity alone, then onto block 4 fixes, etc, IS NOT AN F-16 PRICED AIRCRAFT! Thus what we have is the harsh reality that original estimates are FLAWED! Well-intended but inaccurate... Ain't gonna see em! What is being witnessed now is simply a result of what one gets from a policy of kicking the can down the road and ultimately having to realise that you are pretty dang far from home. Sadly, no matter how much frustration and protest is exhibited against the price realities, one can't force or intimidate out of manufacturer cheap fighter jets of this class. And whether we like it or not LMT is too vital a vital defense/industrial/economic interest to simply 'not buy from or take bids from' as punishment. What needs to be corrected is core strategic planning and assessment making - building muscle and cutting fat - in this new paradigm of austere budget environments going forward. imho

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 08:47
by shep1978
battleshipagincourt wrote: Quite upset they cancelled the Raptor over something unproven and as yet a money pit.


Money pit, now there is a perfect way to describe the F-22. Afterall its had no end of problems, is extremely maintenance intensive, is limited in overall ability and of course now it's also grounded, seemingly indefinitely. Yes it's fantastic when it actually works but thats a rarity in itself. Just saying.

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 12:56
by delvo
What I think of the JSF hasn't really changed. I first heard of it from someone who tended to put it down, but was suspicious of his claims all along, partially because of his bias, motivation, and mode of presentation; he was a big F-22 fan and was countering claims by people who were against that program that its job could be done cheaper by JSF, and went overboard in the rhetoric with which he did so. Also, his story that the ATF was so awesome and another thing produced by the same people was so not, just didn't make sense, nor did the idea that so many people in both the American government and foreign ones would all be pushing a bad plane. As I've learned more, my suspicions have only been confirmed; the put-downs against it were all either inaccurate, true but distorted and misrepresented to imply inaccuracies, or true but actually positive traits not drawbacks. (An example of the latter that I still sometimes see here is its lower top speed than F-22, but top speed is related to minimum speed in design, and a low minimum is good for its own reasons, separate from the reasons why a high maximum is.)

* * *

About Lock-Mart screwing things up, I have to recommend "Skunk Works", by Ben Rich, who worked there at first as an engineer and later in charge of the whole program, during the era in which they invented the U-2, SR-71, and F-117. (He was also still there at least early in the ATF program but the book says little about it.) The book doesn't have much technical detail but does tell the stories of the people involved and how they worked together, much of it consisting of parts written directly by others and collected by Rich so the book would include the thoughts and experiences of not just himself but also other engineers/mechanics, government officers, and pilots.

He says a crucial part of what made Skunk Works so successful in that era was being left alone, both by the big bosses at Lockheed (which Skunk Works is only a part of) and by the government. He says the entire reason for routine cost overruns and delays in advanced military development now is government (and company executives) sticking its nose in advanced development divisions' business on a day-to-day, on-the-workshop-floor basis, ironically supposedly to prevent the very kinds of problems that their presence creates. A few excerpts...

Northrop's management is in large part to blame for all the delays and cost overruns, but so is the Air Force bureaucracy, which has swarmed over this project from the beginning. When we began testing our stealth fighter, the combined Lockheed and Air Force personnel involved totaled 240 persons. There are more than two thousand Air Force auditors, engineers, and official kibitzers crawling all over that troubled B-2 assembly building in Palmdale. What are they doing? Compiling one million sheets of paper every day--reports and data that no one in the bureaucracy has either the time or the interest to read. The Air Force now has too many commissioned officers with no real mission to perform, so they stand around production lines with clipboards in hand, second-guessing and interfering every step of the way. The Drug Enforcement Agency has 1200 enforcement agents out in the field fighting the drug trafficking problem; the DOD employs 27000 auditors. That kind of discrepancy shows how skewed the impulse for oversight has become both at the Pentagon and in the halls of Congress.


General Electric's jet engine plant at Evendale, Ohio, sells its engines to the commercial airlines for 20% less than to the Air Force. Price gouging? No. But the Air Force insists on having three hundred inspectors working the production line for its engines. The commercial airlines have no outside inspectors slowing down production and escalating costs.


That's right, RS-71 was its official designation, but {President} Johnson accidentally turned it around and called it the "SR-71". Instead of putting out a brief correction, the Air Force decided not to call attention to a very minor mistake by the commander in chief and ordered us to change about 29000 blueprints and drawings at a cost of thousands of dollars so that they would read "SR-71" and not "RS-71". Another frustrating example was the stubborn insistence of the Air Force to have its insignia painted on the wings and fuselage of the SR-71 Blackbird, even though no one would ever see it at 85000 feet; finding a way to keep the enamel from burning off under the enormous surface temperatures and maintain its true red, white, and blue colors took our chief chemist, Mel George, weeks of experimentation and cost the government thousands of unnecessary dollars. After we succeeded, the Air Force decided that the white on the emblem against the all-black fuselage was too easy to spot from the ground, so we repainted it pink. Air Force regulations also forced us to certify that the Blackbird could pass the Arizona road-dust test! Years earlier, low-flying fighters training over Arizona's desert wastes suffered engine damage from sand and grit. We had to demonstrate that our engine was specially coated to escape grit damage--this for an airplane that would overfly Arizona at sixteen miles high.


I was in Boston recently and visited Old Ironsides at its berth, coincidentally at a time when the ship was being painted. I chatted with one of the supervisors and asked him about the length of the government specifications for this particular job. He said it numbered 200 pages and laughed in embarrassment when I told him to take a look at the glass display case showing the original specification to build the ship in 1776, which was all of three pages.


An Air Force general in procurement at the Pentagon once confided to me that his office handled thirty-three million pieces of paper every month... he admitted that there was no way his large office staff could begin to handle that kind of paper volume, much less read it. General Dynamics is forced by regulations to store 92000 boxes of data for the F-16 fighter program alone. They pay rent on a 50000-ft² warehouse, pay the salaries of employees to maintain, guard, and store these unread and useless boxes, and send the bill to the Air Force and you and me. That is just one fighter project.


Back in 1958, we in the Skunk Works built the first Jetstar, a two-engine corporate jet that flew at 0.7 Mach and 40000 feet. We did the job in eight months using 55 engineers. In the late 1960s the Navy came to us to design and build a carrier-based sub-hunter, the S-3, which would fly also at 0.7 Mach and 40000 feet. Same flight requirements as the Jetstar, but this project took us 27 months to complete. One hint as to the reasons why: at the mock-up conference for the Jetstar--which is where the final full-scale model made of wood gets its last once-over before production--we had six people on hand. For the S-3 mock-up the Navy sent 300 people.


Under existing laws if a company actually brings in a project at considerably less cost than called for in the original contract, it faces formidable fines and penalties for overbidding the project."


There was also something about Skunk Works crews putting planes or at least large complex parts of planes together, after which government inspectors would take it apart for inspection and then put it back together again, but I'm not sure where to find the quote for that.

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 13:48
by wrightwing
andreas77 wrote:
battleshipagincourt wrote:...but having all the mission equipment within a clean airframe is better for performance and range than mounting it externally.


Well thats not really true either, an airframe with internal stores and sensors gets larger and adds extra weight (doors, actuators, ejectors etc.) and volume (which tends to be much bigger than the actual volume of the bombs/missiles that you put in there), there are no free lunches.

I mean, just look at the F-35, with the size constraints that was given there could not have been a surprise for anyone that the internal weapons bay and sensors would result in a chubby airframe and relatively small wings, thats not really what you want when you are designing a fighter.

And if internal weapons bay and sensors improves on range, why hasnt there been any non-stealth fighter built this way? The range of the F-35 has more to do with its fuel fraction than the fact that it has internal weapons bays. And if the F-35 is so aerodynamic, why is so heavily punished by external stores (8% extra range from 30% extra fuel)?


Try getting an F-16 to M1.6 carrying a 5000lb load(at any fuel state, much less a high fuel state). You may want to check up on your history, a number of non-stealth tactical aircraft have had internal weapons bays(F-101, F-102, F-105, F-106, F-111, YF-12....). It's all in how the size of the fighter is scaled, as to whether there'll be significant performance degradation. Internal bays are more costly, which is why the majority of legacy fighters were designed with the compromise of draggy combat configurations.

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 13:52
by wrightwing
andreas77 wrote: The 414 offers equal or more (EPE) thrust with lower weight.


Equal or more than what? The F-135 has as much or more thrust dry, as the F-414EPE does in full afterburner.

Regarding cost I am not so sure one is cheaper than two. What are the manufacturing costs of the two engines respectively? One F-135 costs more than one GE414, thats for sure. And the F-135 development program is now at $8.5 billion (according to flightglobal).


It may cost more than one, but it doesn't cost more than two(or the maintenance, and fuel costs, over the life of the aircraft).

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 13:53
by wrightwing
grinner68 wrote:At some point the cost of the aircraft will exceed it's capabilities.
The F-35 may have hit that mile post before it's even entered service.


The fly away cost should be lower than its competitors, so I think it's a bit premature to make this claim.

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 15:33
by andreas77
wrightwing wrote:
andreas77 wrote: The 414 offers equal or more (EPE) thrust with lower weight.


Equal or more than what? The F-135 has as much or more thrust dry, as the F-414EPE does in full afterburner.



Of course I mean 2 x GE414

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 15:49
by wrightwing
andreas77 wrote:
wrightwing wrote:
andreas77 wrote: The 414 offers equal or more (EPE) thrust with lower weight.


Equal or more than what? The F-135 has as much or more thrust dry, as the F-414EPE does in full afterburner.



Of course I mean 2 x GE414


1 F-135 is very similar in thrust to 2 F-414s, in afterburning thrust, and with the advantage of less weight, lower fuel usage, lower maintenance/logistical requirements. The only advantage 2 F-414s have, is if you lose an engine.

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 15:54
by lamoey
andreas77 wrote:
battleshipagincourt wrote:...

andreas77 wrote:And if internal weapons bay and sensors improves on range, why hasnt there been any non-stealth fighter built this way? The range of the F-35 has more to do with its fuel fraction than the fact that it has internal weapons bays. And if the F-35 is so aerodynamic, why is so heavily punished by external stores (8% extra range from 30% extra fuel)?


???

Don't external stores punish all fighters in this way?

...


Absolutely not! Remember that 30% extra is quite little, the Gripen NG for example can take almost 100% extra fuel externally and most other 4th gen fighters flies with similar loads regulary (and they would not do that if they did not benefit from it).

Also remember that you gain more from the first extra fuel tank than from the last so if the gain is 8% with 30% extra fuel for the F-35, how much is the gain with 60% extra fuel (4 tanks i guess?)? Its not 16%, thats for sure!


The NG and all other 4th generation fighters use external tanks because they have to, not because they want to. Otherwise many of them would not be able to defend anything but their own runway.

Comparing a clean F-35 to a clean 4th generation F-16/15/18/EuroFighter/NG/Mirage/Mig etc. is as useful as comparing it to a Cessna 172, as none of the legacy fighters have any use in a clean configuration, other than for air shows. As soon as they start to hang weapons their useful range goes down dramatically, and external fuel tanks becomes necessary, which again then reduces the war load they can carry at the same time, so it is a vicious circle that also voids any aftermarket applied LO.

The advantages the F-35 brings to support and operational folks was further highlighted in another thread where the flexibility of not having to have two or three different configurations prepared on the line at all times, reducing the number of fighters that needs to be ready at all times, or makes more fighters ready for whatever happens.

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 16:34
by wrightwing
lamoey wrote:
andreas77 wrote:
battleshipagincourt wrote:...

andreas77 wrote:And if internal weapons bay and sensors improves on range, why hasnt there been any non-stealth fighter built this way? The range of the F-35 has more to do with its fuel fraction than the fact that it has internal weapons bays. And if the F-35 is so aerodynamic, why is so heavily punished by external stores (8% extra range from 30% extra fuel)?


???

Don't external stores punish all fighters in this way?

...


Absolutely not! Remember that 30% extra is quite little, the Gripen NG for example can take almost 100% extra fuel externally and most other 4th gen fighters flies with similar loads regulary (and they would not do that if they did not benefit from it).

Also remember that you gain more from the first extra fuel tank than from the last so if the gain is 8% with 30% extra fuel for the F-35, how much is the gain with 60% extra fuel (4 tanks i guess?)? Its not 16%, thats for sure!


The NG and all other 4th generation fighters use external tanks because they have to, not because they want to. Otherwise many of them would not be able to defend anything but their own runway.

Comparing a clean F-35 to a clean 4th generation F-16/15/18/EuroFighter/NG/Mirage/Mig etc. is as useful as comparing it to a Cessna 172, as none of the legacy fighters have any use in a clean configuration, other than for air shows. As soon as they start to hang weapons their useful range goes down dramatically, and external fuel tanks becomes necessary, which again then reduces the war load they can carry at the same time, so it is a vicious circle that also voids any aftermarket applied LO.

The advantages the F-35 brings to support and operational folks was further highlighted in another thread where the flexibility of not having to have two or three different configurations prepared on the line at all times, reducing the number of fighters that needs to be ready at all times, or makes more fighters ready for whatever happens.


What's also curious is the willingness to except a figure like an 8% range increase with EFTs, but ignoring other range claims from the same source. It's the mindset that stops researching, once they find a single source to corroborate the belief they formed before all of the facts were in.

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 20:51
by grinner68
SpudmanWP wrote:
grinner68 wrote:At some point the cost of the aircraft will exceed it's capabilities.
The F-35 may have hit that mile post before it's even entered service.


At FRP the F-35A will cost about 15% more than current 4th gen US jets (F/A-18E). If you think that 6xF-15As can do more and survive longer than 7xF/A-18Es, then it is worth it.


How many F-16's have we lost from 2001-2011?
How many F-16 flight hours were flown during those years.
Now how many F-35's will you need to fly those same flight hours and how much would it cost to purchase those airframes, fly, arm and support them?
I'm thinking it would cost less to fly the F-16's.

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 21:07
by battleshipagincourt
wrightwing wrote:It's all in how the size of the fighter is scaled, as to whether there'll be significant performance degradation. Internal bays are more costly, which is why the majority of legacy fighters were designed with the compromise of draggy combat configurations.


Actually they seriously considered having internal bays for the Eurofighter, but preferred external stores due to the physical limitations weapon bays present in terms of war load. The F-22 is an unfortunate example of this, as it can't carry 2k-class weapons internally. And I marvel at how elegantly they designed the weapon bays of the F-35, making it possible to mount JDAM's and AMRAAM's without constricting the deployment of either kind of weapon. If I were able to redesign the F-22 (say this was the year 1995) I would definitely have extended the bays to allow AIM-120's in the sides and 2k-class weapons in the central compartment. This could have made it a lot more useful.

Otherwise I believe the other primary advantage to using external weapons was in terms of not constricting the kinds of ordinance a fighter could carry. Aircraft like the F-4, F-14, Tornado, Eurofighter, and Rafale compromised with semi-recessed weapons, which allowed a less significant drag penalty than hanging things off pylons.

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 22:02
by lamoey
grinner68 wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:
grinner68 wrote:At some point the cost of the aircraft will exceed it's capabilities.
The F-35 may have hit that mile post before it's even entered service.


At FRP the F-35A will cost about 15% more than current 4th gen US jets (F/A-18E). If you think that 6xF-15As can do more and survive longer than 7xF/A-18Es, then it is worth it.


How many F-16's have we lost from 2001-2011?
How many F-16 flight hours were flown during those years.
Now how many F-35's will you need to fly those same flight hours and how much would it cost to purchase those airframes, fly, arm and support them?
I'm thinking it would cost less to fly the F-16's.


One thing to keep in mind that for the F-35 there is no two seater for training, so the training that previously was done in a two seater may be done in the simulator now, so that will reduce total hours flown compared to the F-16. Nor will there be any other forms of backseat rides for anybody else, but this is probably a very small percentage anyway.

I have not seen any estimates for this, but I would expect attrition to be similar to current/older design. Others may be able to add to this but I would expect the more modern engine design to be more reliable than older designs and the flight control system may be smarter in the way it avoids hitting stationary objects in the absence of input from the pilot.

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 22:13
by spazsinbad
There is a lot of information about the 'health monitoring' that will help ensure not so many preventable losses. Here is one example:

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

"Autonomic Logistics (AL)
Because logistics support accounts for two-thirds of an aircraft's life cycle cost, the F-35 will achieve unprecedented levels of reliability and maintainability, combined with a highly responsive support and training system linked with the latest in information technology. The aircraft will be ready to fight anytime and anyplace. Autonomic Logistics (AL) is a seamless, embedded solution that integrates current performance, operational parameters, current configuration, scheduled upgrades and maintenance, component history, predictive diagnostics (prognostics) and health management, and service support for the F-35. Essentially, AL does invaluable and efficient behind-the-scenes monitoring, maintenance and prognostics to support the aircraft and ensure its continued good health.

The F-35 is designed to reduce operational and support costs significantly by increasing reliability and reducing required maintenance. Such high reliability will enable rapid deployment with minimum support equipment. The cost to operate and maintain the F-35 is expected to be 50 percent less than that for the aircraft it is designed to replace. For decades, the concept of repairing new aircraft came only after the aircraft was built. Then, it had to conform to an existing logistics structure. But the F-35's logistics system has to be up and running before the first aircraft is flown.

The autonomic logistics system, as the F-35 system is called, will monitor the health of the aircraft systems in flight; downlink that information to the ground; and trigger personnel, equipment, and parts to be pre-positioned for quick turnaround of the aircraft. Ultimately, this automated approach will result in higher sortie-generation rates. Autonomic logistics is also something of a mind reader. Through a system called prognostics and health management, computers use accumulated data to keep track of when a part is predicted to fail. With this aid, maintainers can fix or replace a part before it fails and keep the aircraft ready to fly. Like the rest of the program, the autonomic logistics system is on a fast track. It has to be available to support the air vehicle during operational test and evaluation."

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 22:41
by outlaw162
With this aid, maintainers can fix or replace a part before it fails and keep the aircraft ready to fly.


Does this include the IPP?

(From experience, pilots have always been able to figure out a way to break an airplane.)

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 22:55
by spazsinbad
outlaw162 said: "From experience, pilots have always been able to figure out a way to break an airplane." Yep agree. I can show pictures. Took a year to fix it. :D I guess the data about failed valve in IPP has gone into the database for future reference?

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 23:11
by outlaw162
A year? :D

I was able to put one out of commission permanently.

I assume this "AL" means the ejection system will no longer be required.

That weight savings may solve the 12 NM range shortfall. :D

OL

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 23:20
by andreas77
lamoey wrote:...
The NG and all other 4th generation fighters use external tanks because they have to, not because they want to. Otherwise many of them would not be able to defend anything but their own runway.
...


They do not always have to, but they have more options since they can choose between fuel and weapons to a much greater extent. The high fuel fraction of the F-35 and the impact the huge fuselage seems to have on the flight characteristics when hanging external stores under the wings is kind of limiting. What about those situations where 6 tons of fuel would be enough, then the F-35 still flies around with that huge internal fuel tank which adds extra drag (and weight) that other fighters would avoid by just not adding that extra fuel tank.



lamoey wrote:...
The advantages the F-35 brings to support and operational folks was further highlighted in another thread where the flexibility of not having to have two or three different configurations prepared on the line at all times, reducing the number of fighters that needs to be ready at all times, or makes more fighters ready for whatever happens.
...


I am not really sure what you mean here, but I agree to some extent since the high fuel fraction and limited useful external stores reduces the number of payload configurations, but how is that a good thing?

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 00:34
by sewerrat
andreas77 wrote:
lamoey wrote:

the F-35 still flies around with that huge internal fuel tank which adds extra drag (and weight) that other fighters would avoid by just not adding that extra fuel tank.
lamoey wrote:



Of course there ain't no such thing as a free lunch, and the volumetric size of the F-35 is much greater than the F-16. But, no Falcon's go to war naked; they go dirty full of external tanks, missiles, sensors.

The price you pay in drag is much higher when dirty as compared to clean, which is what the -35 will do. Load 'em the same, 2 sidewinders, 4 amraam, and give the -16 a centerline tank for good measure of range. I doubt the -16s performance (whatever parameters you want to look at) will be as good as the -35s. Certainly the -35s "aerodynamics" will be superior to a "real world" F-16 loaded for a CAP sortie.

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 01:18
by spazsinbad
outlaw162, an interesting point about possibility of flying without an ejection seat. :D Here is one example of 'when things don't work as predicted'.

Test Flying The Joint Strike Fighter Talk by Graham Tomlinson 9th Feb 2011

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/hawkerassoci ... ghter.html

"...In the unlikely event of the lift fan failing catastrophically the aircraft would pitch inverted in 0.6 seconds, and the pilot is protected by auto-ejection signalled by pitch rate and attitude (derived from the YAK 38 & 141 systems)...."

Full article also found on this thread: Many F-35B landings won’t be vertical
http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... t-105.html

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 01:38
by spazsinbad
outlaw mentioned in passing.... :D "A year? :D I was able to put one out of commission permanently." I'm guessing by the smileyface that all was OK?

Mine was just [my own night deck landing] incompetence. Broke it once 'elsewhere' trying to land at night on a bobbing runway and then broke it twice during the full stop landing on a permanent runway but the second landing was deemed cool by onlookers. :D At night empty droptanks substituted for broken undercarriage during arrest with large flames from fuel vapour in empty drop tanks providing some fireworks - no fire though. Fuselage permanently bent from first landing with many popped rivets from both landings and of course lots of other stuff broken. sigh.

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 02:34
by outlaw162
All's well that ends well. We're still here to post. :D

I can hear the F-35 driver talking on the radio to MX control after landing:

"Tell the 'Autonomic Logistics' guy to meet me at MX debrief. The "Check Engine" light is on."

:D

OL

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 02:42
by delvo
battleshipagincourt wrote:The F-22 is an unfortunate example of this, as it can't carry 2k-class weapons internally... I would definitely have extended the bays to allow AIM-120's in the sides and 2k-class weapons in the central compartment.
I've been wondering lately what makes these classes what they are and what makes a given plane able or unable to carry them.

Wikipedia tells me we have two different JDAMs in the 2000-pound class: the 2039-pound Mark 84 (129" long, 18" diameter) and the 1927-pound BLU-109 (95" by 14.6"). The difference in weight isn't much, but in size, the BLU-109 is closer to a 1000-pound JDAM (119.49" by 14.06") than it is to a Mark 84. It's actually almost 25% shorter than the lighter bomb, and thicker by hardly over half of an inch. So when we're told that a plane's internal bays can't carry a 2000-pound weapon but can carry a 1000-pounder, we're apparently being told that either the weight made the difference, or the half-inch did. (...Unless the comments excluding the use of a 2000-pounder referred only to Mark 84, neglecting BLU-109 for whatever reason, as if its size put it in the 1000-pound "class" despite its weight.)

So, why a 1000-pound bomb but not a BLU-109... did they really design F-22's bays in a way that could fit a 14.06" diameter in there but not a 14.6" one, thus refusing to budge a half-inch in order to carry twice as heavy of a bomb?.. and then do the same thing, to the same level of precision, to F-35B but somehow not A or C? That seems unlikely enough to indicate that the issue was weight. But both planes can certainly carry more weight in total, so that indicates that we're dealing with not total load weight but apparently a matter of structural reinforcement of the hardpoint and the area of the plane's frame that the hardpoint hangs from. So, given that they could have built in a hardpoint that could hold 2000 pounds, why did they choose not to? Does that save money and weight in airframe materials, and if so, how much?

Or am I barking up the wrong tree by looking at sizes and weights in the first place because these weapon classes are actually defined by something else?

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 03:01
by spazsinbad
outlaw162 said: "All's well that ends well. We're still here to post." Who knew? :D Very Shakespearian.

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 05:35
by sirsapo
So, given that they could have built in a hardpoint that could hold 2000 pounds, why did they choose not to? Does that save money and weight in airframe materials, and if so, how much?


As people have said before, everything in aircraft design is a tradeoff, and any small change can ripple throughout the entire design. Its probable that by the time they finalized the design there was no requirement for 2000 pound weapons carriage. You have to take into account that not only does the pylon have to support 2000 lbs, but it also has to support that weight at whatever load factor you want to rate the airplane to (ie 12,000 lbs @ 6g). That extra 1000lbs of capability might end up costing you too much in airframe weight to offset the benefit of the larger weapon.

The short answer is that traditional fighter aircraft cost is pretty much directly related to aircraft weight, so any saving in weight will most likely save you money in the long run.

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 05:52
by wrightwing
andreas77 wrote:
lamoey wrote:...
The NG and all other 4th generation fighters use external tanks because they have to, not because they want to. Otherwise many of them would not be able to defend anything but their own runway.
...


They do not always have to, but they have more options since they can choose between fuel and weapons to a much greater extent. The high fuel fraction of the F-35 and the impact the huge fuselage seems to have on the flight characteristics when hanging external stores under the wings is kind of limiting. What about those situations where 6 tons of fuel would be enough, then the F-35 still flies around with that huge internal fuel tank which adds extra drag (and weight) that other fighters would avoid by just not adding that extra fuel tank.



lamoey wrote:...
The advantages the F-35 brings to support and operational folks was further highlighted in another thread where the flexibility of not having to have two or three different configurations prepared on the line at all times, reducing the number of fighters that needs to be ready at all times, or makes more fighters ready for whatever happens.
...


I am not really sure what you mean here, but I agree to some extent since the high fuel fraction and limited useful external stores reduces the number of payload configurations, but how is that a good thing?


So I suppose having a large internal volume of fuel is a design flaw in the Flanker too? I've only seen one source claim an 8% increase in range, with EFTs, so I'll take that claim with a grain of salt. I have on the other hand seen other charts showing a combat radius for the F-35C, with EFTs, at 900+nm.

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 07:46
by andreas77
wrightwing wrote:...
So I suppose having a large internal volume of fuel is a design flaw in the Flanker too? I've only seen one source claim an 8% increase in range, with EFTs, so I'll take that claim with a grain of salt. I have on the other hand seen other charts showing a combat radius for the F-35C, with EFTs, at 900+nm.


I never said it was a design flaw, not for any of the planes. But putting so much fuel inte the fuselage always comes with a cost. The Flanker will have great trouble showing its agility with full internal fuel load, and several sources states that the normal fuel load of a Flanker is about 60% of the full capacity.

You are right regarding the sources, but I actually would expect LM to come forward and correct the numbers if they were completely wrong.

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 12:12
by sewerrat
Ok, so how many turning engagements happen right after wheels up? That's the only way that an F-35 will go into a "knife fight" with full internal fuel. Or...... No, also right after mid air refueling. Otherwise, I dare say that an F-35 will be several thousand pounds short of full internal fuel.

You keep going back to "penalties" for having a lot of internal fuel, but you never look at penalties for hanging weapons and extra fuel tanks under your wings.

For the flanker point you're making: I don't know if thats right or wrong, but how many missions do the Flankers fly where they need full internal fuel?

Look, its like this: when the F-35 needs it, there's a large amount fuel able to be stored inside, and when it doesn't need all that fuel, it doesn't have to carry it.

The specifications for the JSF being a LO strike fighter necessitated the requirement for 2 internal weapon storage bays. That fact then in turn necessitated a larger volumetric size greater than that of a non-LO airplane. So, that being the case, with the large volumetric size being required in order to be a LO fighter, there is a by-product of having extra internal volume.

I’m not even going into the Marines requirements for having enough internal volume to house a giant lift fan that’s basically the size of the A-10s turbofans!

“So, what to do with that extra space? Leave it empty? Why do that? Ok, let’s fill it with fuel and make that extra real estate useful.”

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 12:39
by wrightwing
andreas77 wrote:
wrightwing wrote:...
So I suppose having a large internal volume of fuel is a design flaw in the Flanker too? I've only seen one source claim an 8% increase in range, with EFTs, so I'll take that claim with a grain of salt. I have on the other hand seen other charts showing a combat radius for the F-35C, with EFTs, at 900+nm.


I never said it was a design flaw, not for any of the planes. But putting so much fuel inte the fuselage always comes with a cost. The Flanker will have great trouble showing its agility with full internal fuel load, and several sources states that the normal fuel load of a Flanker is about 60% of the full capacity.

You are right regarding the sources, but I actually would expect LM to come forward and correct the numbers if they were completely wrong.


Everything is a trade off, when designing an aircraft. Carrying everything externally is one too. Nobody is going to be fighting with a full load of fuel, but.....even with a full load, the F-35 is agile. At 50% fuel, it should compare well to pretty much any competitor, AND have the avionics and signature reduction advantages.

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 15:30
by lamoey
spazsinbad: Do you have the link to the tread about the advantages on the flight line I alluded to?

Andreas: You are kicking a dead horse. Your argumentd have been put to death a long time ago in many threads on this site. The F-35 is supposed to be as agile and reach as far as a clean fighter with its huge internal tanks, so from the start it does not fear any worse than the others. On the day a commander can actually order that a fighter is not topped up, but I seem to remember a quote that said something like "The only time lots of fuel is a bad thing is during a fire". There is also a suitable quote from the artillery that is valid here; "If you can hit the enemy, then they can hit you", so having longer legs than the enemy is not a bad thing.

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 16:33
by andreas77
lamoey wrote:...
Andreas: You are kicking a dead horse. Your argumentd have been put to death a long time ago in many threads on this site.
...


Ahhh, there's nothing like the F-16.net group thinking...

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 16:33
by sewerrat
lamoey wrote:spazsinbad: Do you have the link to the tread about the advantages on the flight line I alluded to?

Andreas: You are kicking a dead horse. Your argumentd have been put to death a long time ago in many threads on this site. The F-35 is supposed to be as agile and reach as far as a clean fighter with its huge internal tanks, so from the start it does not fear any worse than the others. On the day a commander can actually order that a fighter is not topped up, but I seem to remember a quote that said something like "The only time lots of fuel is a bad thing is during a fire". There is also a suitable quote from the artillery that is valid here; "If you can hit the enemy, then they can hit you", so having longer legs than the enemy is not a bad thing.


Ever heard the quote, "One fighter, one tanker, one hour."? The F-35 does away with having such a short leash as the legacy fighters have.

Also with that "extra" fuel tucked away inside the airframe, the F-35 will actually be able to engage afterburners way, way longer than a legacy fighter. Not only that, but because its clean, and when in afterburner, the F-35 will actually be able to hit its designed speed limit whereas the legacy planes never go to their max speed because of drag from having all that crap under the wings. The -35 will be able to spend more time supersonic than a -16, -15, 18.

So there you have it... that magical word, "drag". the F-35 has less drag than a legacy -16, -15, -18 when actually loaded for combat and not for just flying over NASCAR events.

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 17:19
by Maks
Hi sewerrat,

As you are obviously in the know: could you please provide drag (i.e. thrust) data for the F-35 for typical conditions as you have described? I was always interested in that kind of numbers. Example: M 0.8 & 1.2, typical A-A & A-G loadout. Fuel burn (range) numbers would be nice as well.
This as a first step to be able to compare it to other platforms.

My opinion has not changed much the last couple of years: the platform will be very capable. Today I just think that the numbers will get more reduced than I did 2-3 years ago. On affordability I would like to include the following statement:

Old news (Feb. 2004), but still interesting to read:
"...
"Affordability is the cornerstone on which the JSF program is built, and we're beginning to see how a continuous moving assembly line could help us meet our commitment to keep costs low," said Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and F-35 JSF program general manager. "We are in the process of weighing the up-front investments against the long-term returns. So far, we like what we see."
..."

Maks

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 18:55
by caux
wrightwing wrote:
andreas77 wrote:
wrightwing wrote:
andreas77 wrote: The 414 offers equal or more (EPE) thrust with lower weight.


Equal or more than what? The F-135 has as much or more thrust dry, as the F-414EPE does in full afterburner.



Of course I mean 2 x GE414


1 F-135 is very similar in thrust to 2 F-414s, in afterburning thrust, and with the advantage of less weight, lower fuel usage, lower maintenance/logistical requirements. The only advantage 2 F-414s have, is if you lose an engine.

The engine seems to be heavier than previously indicated in different tabs.

If P&W reaches its goal, the 250th F135 engine will cost the same as the F119 that powers the Lockheed F-22A Raptor, although the former weighs 680kg (1,500lb) more and produces 20% more thrust, Boley says.


http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/20 ... pment.html

If an F-119 weight is 1767Kg we have:

1767+680=2447Kg!!

If so trust/weight ratio does not seem exceptional.
Is there someone who can confirm that? It's strange for a modern engine.

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 19:28
by wrightwing
caux wrote:http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/20 ... pment.html

If an F-119 weight is 1767Kg we have:

1767+680=2447Kg!!

If so trust/weight ratio does not seem exceptional.
Is there someone who can confirm that? It's strange for a modern engine.


Actually, the F-135 has a similar T/W ratio to the F-119, given that 43,000lbs isn't the true thrust limit of the F-135.

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 19:45
by delvo
wrightwing wrote:Actually, the F-135 has a similar T/W ratio to the F-119, given that 43,000lbs isn't the true thrust limit of the F-135.
What is the limit then, and why is a wrong number usually given?

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 20:00
by wrightwing
delvo wrote:
wrightwing wrote:Actually, the F-135 has a similar T/W ratio to the F-119, given that 43,000lbs isn't the true thrust limit of the F-135.
What is the limit then, and why is a wrong number usually given?


http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... line=Pratt

and the dry weight of the F-135 is considerably less than 2447kg(more like 1701kg).

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 20:27
by caux
That article is 1 year old and it doesn’t say anything about F-135 weight.
Perahaps 2447kg is too much but 1710 is too low…
If trust/weight ratio is the same of F-119, F-135 weight must be higher and not lower, because F-135 has 20%/-30% more power than F-119.
In any case Flightglobal article I have just posted is more recent about weight question and it is written “680Kg” more than F-119.
My question is: is there someone with news about that?
680Kg is “invented” or not?
If not... and if trust/weight ratio is 9-10...the F-135 real trust or the "potential" of this engine is "a little" bit more than 43000lb...
Am I wrong?

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 20:31
by gtg947h
delvo wrote:
wrightwing wrote:Actually, the F-135 has a similar T/W ratio to the F-119, given that 43,000lbs isn't the true thrust limit of the F-135.
What is the limit then, and why is a wrong number usually given?


I don't know the "true" thrust limit (what it can actually do), but the engine could be restricted for several reasons. There may be a mass-flow limit through the intakes, or the engine could just be dialed back because 43k is all that's required for the mission and they want to improve engine life.

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 20:34
by wrightwing
caux wrote:That article is 1 year old and it doesn’t say anything about F-135 weight.
Perahaps 2447kg is too much but 1710 is too low…
If trust/weight ratio is the same of F-119, F-135 weight must be higher and not lower, because F-135 has 20%/-30% more power than F-119.
In any case Flightglobal article I have just posted is more recent about weight question and it is written “680Kg” more than F-119.
My question is: is there someone with news about that?
680Kg is “invented” or not?
If not... and if trust/weight ratio is 9-10...the F-135 real trust or the "potential" of this engine is "a little" bit more than 43000lb...
Am I wrong?


Which means that they achieved that milestone, over a year ago, in other words. As for the engine weights, the discrepancy may be that one weight is the dry weight vs. the weight with all of the oil/lubricants.

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 20:35
by wrightwing
gtg947h wrote:
delvo wrote:
wrightwing wrote:Actually, the F-135 has a similar T/W ratio to the F-119, given that 43,000lbs isn't the true thrust limit of the F-135.
What is the limit then, and why is a wrong number usually given?


I don't know the "true" thrust limit (what it can actually do), but the engine could be restricted for several reasons. There may be a mass-flow limit through the intakes, or the engine could just be dialed back because 43k is all that's required for the mission and they want to improve engine life.


The B model would be limited by the lift fan. The A/C models would only be limited by air flow.

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 20:50
by caux
wrightwing wrote:Which means that they achieved that milestone, over a year ago, in other words. As for the engine weights, the discrepancy may be that one weight is the dry weight vs. the weight with all of the oil/lubricants.


680Kg of oil, lubrificants???!! No, I don’t think so…
I think that probably F-135 is heavier because of single engine installation requirements (it is more reliable!) and probably the actual trust/weight ratio is more or less 8.5.
In that situation the engine respect trust requirements and also has a huge growing potential that could be used in the future...and P&W is working for proposing it. That is in according with both articles.

Unread postPosted: 17 Aug 2011, 02:39
by sewerrat
Unfortunately, (as I've thought many times) the Marines STOVL requirements screwed the CTOL variants. STOVL and affordability necessitated the requirement for one very big powerplant in place of 2 smaller engines along with the built in safety of 2 turbofans.

The JSF couldn't have been designed with 2 engines because of the lift fan required. Actually... it could have been designed with 2 F414 sized powerplants, but then there would have been 2 unique powerplants: one for each side, which would have added a lot of money to ER&D, and unit fly-away price.

And unfortunately that one large powerplant spools slower than would 2 F414 sized engines. You've got all that damned rotational mass, plus the larger diameter, and hence its not going to spool as fast.

Can't quantify the "spool up", obviously, other than to say physics says that 2 smaller engines would spool faster.

Unread postPosted: 17 Aug 2011, 03:25
by SpudmanWP
The USAF only wanted ONE engine too (ala F-16).

Unread postPosted: 17 Aug 2011, 04:00
by battleshipagincourt
Whether the USAF wanted a single engine or not doesn't change the fact the VSTOL feature limited the range of options available for the power plant of either service. If the ideal power plant was a low-bypass turbofan like the F119, that wasn't going to happen. Single engine restricted the navy's desires as well.

While probably cheaper in comparison to two engines, the F135 has been a disaster. They took an F119 engine and mounted an external fan for the X-35. How the **** does this 'derivative' of the same engine cost so many billions MORE to develop?!

Unread postPosted: 17 Aug 2011, 04:45
by SpudmanWP
There are several ways that two engines would have worked for STOVL. They could have mounted a transmission (ala V-22) that allowed both engines to feed the lift fan. If they had gone with a ducted-air lift device (forgot who had that, MD maybe), two engines would have worked also.

The fact is that the USAF (the largest customer by a large margin, IIRC 8x the orders of the USN) was only going to be part of the program on the condition that it only had a single engine.

Unread postPosted: 17 Aug 2011, 11:47
by caux
STOVL requirements heavly influence an aircraft.
A jet configuration does non have the excess power tipical of a 2 engine helicopter (or "similar") and so it is not possible to meet STOVL requirements with an engine out of order (a two engine aircraft not able to land without an engine is a nonsense from reliability point of view).
That is true for all STOVL configuration proposed for JSF program.
MDD proposal was this:

http://www.aerospaceweb.org/aircraft/fi ... mdd_01.jpg

So, a single relatively high BPR engine is the best choice for a “simple” strike fighter both for USAF and Marines.
USN has obviously a different point of view, but we must say that in the past also US Navy used a lot of single engine aircraft and today engine reliability is higher than in the past.
The US Navy preference for 2 engine aircraft was a strong selling point for F-18 concept against a naval F-16, but we but say that US Navy in that period was having a bad experience with F-14/TF-30.

Now the situation is different and probably the F-135 weight is the best confirm that the engine is designed to be reliable.

PS. Sorry for my English: as you can understand that is not my language… ;-)

Unread postPosted: 17 Aug 2011, 16:28
by mave
Surely the F135 has a worse power to weight ratio than the F119 because fundamentally it needs to carry around a higher pressure ratio turbine, and higher torque shaft line to drive the lift fan?

Unread postPosted: 17 Aug 2011, 18:08
by sewerrat
battleshipagincourt wrote:Whether the USAF wanted a single engine or not doesn't change the fact the VSTOL feature limited the range of options available for the power plant of either service. If the ideal power plant was a low-bypass turbofan like the F119, that wasn't going to happen. Single engine restricted the navy's desires as well.

While probably cheaper in comparison to two engines, the F135 has been a disaster. They took an F119 engine and mounted an external fan for the X-35. How the **** does this 'derivative' of the same engine cost so many billions MORE to develop?!


Not only did STOVL limit powerplant options, but it also greatly limited the planform confirguration of the JSF into having "only" 2 large weapons bays on the sides of the fusealage, and NOT having a central bay with 2 smaller side bays. That caused the somewhat portly dimensions of the JSF because without STOVL there could have been a central weapons bay holding 3-4 amraam, while the 2 side bays could have been reduced in volume to hold a single 2000lb "bomb" and either another amraam or a sidewinder. Those 2 large bays are rather bulbous as they are now.

Again, STOVL really yanked in the options on the JSF's configuration/dimensions/weights. Still the F-35 is a good airplane I'll admit, but its not what could have been if were not for the damned STOVL requirements calling for a large lift fan in the fusealage. At least the Maries are getting into the 5th gen fighter business.

Why did the F135 cost more to develop than the F119?

Unread postPosted: 18 Aug 2011, 11:27
by river_otter
battleshipagincourt wrote:While probably cheaper in comparison to two engines, the F135 has been a disaster. They took an F119 engine and mounted an external fan for the X-35. How the **** does this 'derivative' of the same engine cost so many billions MORE to develop?!


Although as I understand it the core including the burners is essentially identical (saving considerable cost over new development), the rest of the turbines and the afterburner are different diameters and had to be designed new. And the afterburner is stealthy, which definitely wasn't cheap to develop new. It is a new engine, derived from but not the same as the F119. Plus it should cost more to develop, because it's a significant improvement over the F119 in many ways:

It's a more powerful engine. The larger diameter and higher bypass ratio gives substantially higher thrust until the larger diameter compressor tips begins to stall from Mach effects at somewhat lower speeds than the F119. It's not designed as a supercruise engine, but below that regime, where nearly all flying activity occurs (unless you're a Concorde, F-22, or SR-71), it's a better engine. Sea level thrust of 43,000 lbs. vs. 35,000 lbs. And that from (remember, identical core...) probably very comparable fuel consumption per hour at most efficient cruise to a single F119. And, although the F119 almost certainly exceeds its rated thrust (at least some quotes put it as high as 39,000 lbs.), so does the F135, and by a much wider margin. The F135 has been tested to 50,000 lbs. while still meeting durability requirements. (Though the F-35 was designed around a 43,000 lbs. thrust F135 and the aircraft can't exceed that without some modification there's no will to fund the development for right now. The lift fan and swivel duct of the B model can't take it at all, and the A model's exhaust duct would need to be redesigned to handle it. Maybe a future air superiority D model based on the A? But I digress...) Nevertheless, that means that at 43,000 lbs., the F135 should greatly exceed durability requirements, and has a future growth potential the F119 does not have. http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/asd/2010/08/27/01.xml&headline=Pratt And although I can't find specific figures, it's nearly a given the larger-diameter F135 has an even greater margin of higher dry thrust compared to the F119.

Power take-off (35,000 shp/20,000 lbs. lift thrust) for the lift fan, ducting for the roll posts (3,900 lbs. thrust), and different cycles to allow it to generate more aft thrust dry for STOVL lift. The F119 can't do that, period. Basic economy of scale, the F-35A and B use the exact same engine, so the engine has to be able to do that. The B's engine just has a lift fan drive bolted onto the front, and air bleed open for the roll posts, but is the same engine otherwise. You don't like the STOVL, but still it was a requirement that the engine could do it, and that's not free to develop. It's not a disaster, it's still far cheaper than developing two entirely new engines. And remember, the F119 has less thrust, and worse low-speed performance, so it was not suitable for the F-35A either. It would be two new different engines, or one new engine that could do both.

Navalized version. The F-35C uses an entirely different engine from the A and B models. It's essentially identical to the others in an aerodynamic sense, saving a fortune in designing the basic shape, but it's made of different materials with more resistance to corrosion in a sea environment. (The C's engine actually can't much exceed the rated 43,000 lbs. thrust due to the reduced thermal resistance of its different alloys.) There is no navalized F119. Those changes took metallurgical, engineering, and testing work in addition to the work on the A/B engine, and that's not free. The F119's development cost would've been considerably higher if they also had to develop a navalized F119.

Variable afterburner. Although little discussed (and I don't know why; it's a major development), Jeff Knowles has said this is the first engine with a progressively variable afterburner rather than strict wet/dry thrust transition, or a tiny handful of discrete stages lighting off. So maybe the F-35 can't supercruise (I personally think it can based on extrapolation from other performance measures released to the public, but certainly not in the Mach 1.5+ range of the F-22), but even if it can't, it may be able to cruise supersonic quite efficiently in a minimum afterburner setting that no other engine including the F119 has available to it. It also would improve reliability/safety if the afterburner can better adapt to differences in the dry engine state with altitude, speed, etc. vs. an on/off afterburner that's more dependent on having a specific set of start conditions. And think about what that would mean against other fighters that have to keep going to full afterburner to keep up with an F-35 burning just a few percent extra fuel. And what it means in terms of infrared signature management to go to partial (and variable) afterburner. I'm sure that brand new technology, including new hardware and new control software, was definitely not cheap to develop from scratch.

Unread postPosted: 18 Aug 2011, 14:11
by caux
mave wrote:Surely the F135 has a worse power to weight ratio than the F119 because fundamentally it needs to carry around a higher pressure ratio turbine, and higher torque shaft line to drive the lift fan?

Yes, and not only that, I suppose.
It has also a bigger fan and consequently a bigger casing.
So, F-135 volume is more or less 35% bigger than F-119 one and that could justify the increase of weight.
Yes, not all the 680kg because F-135 is not simply bigger but it has similar core and BPR bigger and the conventional axisymmetric nozzle probably is a lighter solution than a 2D vectored nozzle used by F-22, but I think that the rest could be explained by a request of more reliability and big growing potential that are vital, especially for STOVL variant that must increase trust every time weight increases (Harrier docet).

Unread postPosted: 18 Aug 2011, 14:37
by spazsinbad
'river_otter' thanks for your explanations about F-135 engine differences. One of the stories about the JBD testing of the F-35C talk about the inbuilt variable afterburner on the catapult. Due to experience with the Super Hornet family (which uses a different 'after market' solution apparently) through that experience with heat effects on the JBD - or whatever - the F-35C engine (and I guess all engines) were developed with this function from the start. I'll look for reference again. To me that backs up the vairable afterburner of the F-135 function you mention. Thanks again for bringing that to our attention.
_______________

F-35C Lands at Lakehurst For Testing

From this thread: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-15767.html

F-35C completes first jet blast deflector testing

http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fu ... ry&id=4691

"...Each Nimitz-class aircraft carrier has a JBD for each of its four catapults. The size, cooling configuration and angle to the catapult vary slightly between the four, so the test team had to repeat various tests – military and limited afterburner power takeoffs – for the various JBD configurations...."
____________________

Amy Butler had a story with more detail also on same thread page (scroll down).

JBD Testing A Key Step For Joint Strike Fighter Aviation Week & Space Technology Jul 18, 2011 p. 84 by Amy Butler | Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

http://www.navair.navy.mil/lakehurst/nl ... esting.pdf (125Kb)

"...Lockheed Martin test pilot Dan Canin commanded different levels of engine power for various intervals. One example of a cycle is 10 sec. of standard military power, 30 sec. of limited afterburner and another 60 sec. at idle...."
&
"...Even without the more extensive data provided by today’s sensor array, Super Hornet engineers gained valuable experience during JBD trials that led to a change in how the aircraft is launched. During testing, hot air was inadvertently recirculated into the air intake of the Super Hornet, prompting a “pop stall,” or hiccup in the airflow for the propulsion system. The result was a dangerous fireball coughing from the back of the Super Hornet, says Briggs.

The design fix was the creation of a limited afterburner setting for launch. Engineers crafted software such that the engine is at 122% of military power when a pilot sets it to afterburner. By the time the jet reaches the edge of the deck, the system automatically opens the throttle to full afterburner at 150% of power without intervention by the pilot, says Briggs.

Having completed the first phase of JBD trials with a single F-35C, engineers are eager to test a more realistic scenario with one aircraft in front of the deflector and one behind.

Because of this lesson, the limited afterburner setting was designed into the F-35 in its infancy...."

Unread postPosted: 18 Aug 2011, 19:40
by southernphantom
First impression: awesome stealthy SHornet. Second impression: expensive, semi-LO F-16 with tiny payload before becoming a more-expensive Desert Falcon.

Unread postPosted: 18 Aug 2011, 20:09
by wrightwing
southernphantom wrote:First impression: awesome stealthy SHornet. Second impression: expensive, semi-LO F-16 with tiny payload before becoming a more-expensive Desert Falcon.


Care to elaborate?

Unread postPosted: 18 Aug 2011, 20:16
by shep1978
southernphantom wrote: Second impression: expensive, semi-LO F-16 with tiny payload before becoming a more-expensive Desert Falcon.


Semi-LO? How can you claim that when it has 'all aspect' stealth?

Tiny payload? I take it you're not aware that it can carry munitions externally as well as internally and is actually capable of carrying more than an F-16 of any block.

Unread postPosted: 19 Aug 2011, 17:59
by sprstdlyscottsmn
If an F-16 wants to carry the same payload as an F-35 does internally and keep the same fuel fraction it has to carry two 370 gal bags on the wings and a jammer on centerline increasing its drag by over 50%.

in short, the F-16 will have less range, less SA, and a worse RCS on the way in. And assuming it punches tanks after dropping bombs it still has to drag that ECM pod everywhere which still increases drag by 10%

Then of course paperwork must be done on why the pilot felt the need to ditch a few thousand dollars of equipment.

Unread postPosted: 20 Aug 2011, 01:15
by spazsinbad
Another clue about variable afterburner:

The New Front Office By John Kent Posted 15 June 2006

http://www.codeonemagazine.com/article.html?item_id=35

"...“The throttle uses the active controls to a greater degree,” Beesley continues. “The internal motors allow the throttle to be moved back automatically when the pilot has an auto throttle connected or in some of the STOVL modes allows the option to input soft stop detents and afterburner detents at will.”

One unique feature of this active throttle is that it does not have an engine cutoff position. It has, instead, a single toggle switch to cut the engine. The use of the active stick and throttle and a cutoff switch was introduced on the JSF demonstrator, the X-35...."

Unread postPosted: 21 Aug 2011, 07:45
by shep1978
So what's so neat about the variable arfterburner? Less wear and tear and better efficiency? Have to say i'm completely clueless on this as it's the first i've heard of it. And is it 100% accurate to cliam this is a first thats never been done before?

Unread postPosted: 21 Aug 2011, 09:41
by spazsinbad
For starters (as indicated in preceding info) it is useful to have the variable afterburner on the catapult.

Unread postPosted: 21 Aug 2011, 10:48
by shep1978
Yeah I noticed that but surely they didn't implement this new tech just to ease the heat load on the jet blast deflectors so i'm just curious as to what other benefits it might bring.

Unread postPosted: 21 Aug 2011, 17:51
by sprstdlyscottsmn
increase of exhaust velocity for higher dynamic thrust (relative to full mil) with a 2X increase in fuel flow instead of a 4X increase to engage (current) minimum burner?

Unread postPosted: 21 Aug 2011, 19:56
by southernphantom
shep1978 wrote:
southernphantom wrote: Second impression: expensive, semi-LO F-16 with tiny payload before becoming a more-expensive Desert Falcon.


Semi-LO? How can you claim that when it has 'all aspect' stealth?

Tiny payload? I take it you're not aware that it can carry munitions externally as well as internally and is actually capable of carrying more than an F-16 of any block.


All-aspect? To quote an old Weasel pilot, YGBSM. It's better than a SHornet or a Rafale, sure, but it's nowhere near the F-22 level, and the size of the F-135's IR exhaust plume is probably going to guarantee a hit by an AA-11.

I mean tiny payload by its internal bays (until the GBU-39 comes online :twisted: ). If it begins to use its external hardpoints, the increase in radar cross-section means that the F-35 is effectively a really fancy F-16, since it loses its major advantage (LO).

Unread postPosted: 21 Aug 2011, 20:05
by pissflaps
southernphantom wrote:If it begins to use its external hardpoints, the increase in radar cross-section means that the F-35 is effectively a really fancy F-16, since it loses its major advantage (LO).


are you insisting that F16 + external stores will have the same RCS as F35 + external stores?

Unread postPosted: 21 Aug 2011, 20:08
by southernphantom
pissflaps wrote:
southernphantom wrote:If it begins to use its external hardpoints, the increase in radar cross-section means that the F-35 is effectively a really fancy F-16, since it loses its major advantage (LO).


are you insisting that F16 + external stores will have the same RCS as F35 + external stores?


Not quite, but there's a reason the F-35 will fly internal-only for the first stages of a war: external just ain't survivable against a good IADS.

Unread postPosted: 21 Aug 2011, 20:45
by SpudmanWP
The same goes for the F-22, T-50, and J-20. No VLO airframe is going to risk itself by needlessly strapping on external stores in a high threat IADS environment.

Unread postPosted: 21 Aug 2011, 21:24
by battleshipagincourt
southernphantom wrote:All-aspect? To quote an old Weasel pilot, YGBSM. It's better than a SHornet or a Rafale, sure, but it's nowhere near the F-22 level, and the size of the F-135's IR exhaust plume is probably going to guarantee a hit by an AA-11.


So what if it's not on par with the F-22? Even something ten times its RCS is orders of magnitude smaller than most jets flying today. Even if it can't get through a dense electronic fortress without detection (in a worse cases scenario) it's still a very difficult aircraft to locate or bring down with missiles. At least compared to LO targets, something which appears no larger than a golf ball can very seriously make your life hell if you're flying something with a less powerful radar and larger RCS.

I could say more about its AESA radar not being as good as an F-22's for airborne targets, but it's at least good enough for its overarching mission. Unlike the F-22, which was intended to be the best at everything in terms of performance, they compromised for something practical. The F-35 is not a showpiece, but a war bird. Even without its vaunted VLO defense, it's still comparable to most fighters flying today.

southernphantom wrote:I mean tiny payload by its internal bays (until the GBU-39 comes online :twisted: ). If it begins to use its external hardpoints, the increase in radar cross-section means that the F-35 is effectively a really fancy F-16, since it loses its major advantage (LO).


At least the F-35 HAS a VLO capability. Even the F-16, F-18E, and Typhoon can't match the F-35's LO characteristics without a warload. The F-35 is optimized for carrying two smart weapons and two AIM-120's internally... external stores come at a cost, just as for any fighter. They might even have the option to jettison those stores and pylons if it must quickly revert to the VLO configuration.

Can any other fighter do that?

Unread postPosted: 21 Aug 2011, 21:29
by Prinz_Eugn
pissflaps wrote:
southernphantom wrote:If it begins to use its external hardpoints, the increase in radar cross-section means that the F-35 is effectively a really fancy F-16, since it loses its major advantage (LO).


are you insisting that F16 + external stores will have the same RCS as F35 + external stores?


Because God forbid the real world be more complicated than Completely OMG Super Stealth or B-52-size.

Unread postPosted: 23 Aug 2011, 16:38
by river_otter
shep1978 wrote:So what's so neat about the variable arfterburner? Less wear and tear and better efficiency? Have to say i'm completely clueless on this as it's the first i've heard of it. And is it 100% accurate to cliam this is a first thats never been done before?


First, thanks spazsinbad for the info; I wasn't even aware of the catapult requirements.

As far as I know, it's accurate to claim it's never been done before (at least on a production aircraft). If it has, on what plane? I'm not even aware of a one-off X-plane that had it. It doesn't prove nothing else has had it, but...

Now, this is all speculation on my part, but as to the advantages, for one thing, it may be better than supercruise. A supercruise engine has to be designed entirely to supercruise, leading to a lot of compromises. It's kind of amazing the F119 is as good as it is in so many other ways, considering. But remember, even though the F119 can supercruise, it still has/needs an afterburner. The main purpose of an afterburner (except on an SR-71) has generally been for acceleration/energy recovery, not speed. The Concorde cruised without afterburner but needed the burners to get up to speed. However, an engine that can pick an afterburner setting anywhere between 0% and 400% extra fuel consumption (I'm not sure the F135 is quite that fine-tunable, but even in 5% increments) can be designed to cruise very efficiently under almost any flight conditions you want. And then you can go to high burner to accelerate, dial back the burner once you're out of the very high drag of the transonic regime, and for a few % extra fuel over subsonic cruise, you can cruise supersonic. And without the low-speed/low-altitude compromises inherent in a true supercruise (or even burner-accelerated/supersonic cruise optimized) engine. There may also be safety/reliability advantages in an afterburner that can adjust itself automatically to differences in altitude, temperature, engine state, etc. And service life advantages to an engine that can replace some heat on the expensive turbines with a lower turbine power setting augmented with a little more heat in the afterburner where there are no moving parts to wear or be difficult to cool. Plus everything everyone else has suggested.

Unread postPosted: 23 Aug 2011, 20:44
by wrightwing
southernphantom wrote: All-aspect? To quote an old Weasel pilot, YGBSM. It's better than a SHornet or a Rafale, sure, but it's nowhere near the F-22 level, and the size of the F-135's IR exhaust plume is probably going to guarantee a hit by an AA-11.

I mean tiny payload by its internal bays (until the GBU-39 comes online :twisted: ). If it begins to use its external hardpoints, the increase in radar cross-section means that the F-35 is effectively a really fancy F-16, since it loses its major advantage (LO).


Mmm, actually it's much closer to the F-22 than Super Hornet/Rafale(~-30 to -40 dbSM), and any fighter would provide an attractive IR signature if the missile were in a tail chase. The SDB is already online(it would seem that there are a number of topics that you haven't been following too closely). The ability to carry 5000lbs of munitions stealthily, is hardly a tiny load, and the RCS of an F-35 with externals, would still be well below an F-16.

Unread postPosted: 23 Aug 2011, 21:57
by SpudmanWP
Don't forget that the F-35 can carry the big 5k bunker busters (1 per inboard external hardpoint) which the F-16 can NEVER carry and the F-15E can only carry one (centerline).

Unread postPosted: 23 Aug 2011, 21:59
by neptune
wrightwing wrote:
southernphantom wrote:.... tiny payload by its internal bays ..
..The ability to carry 5000lbs of munitions stealthily, is hardly a tiny load, ...


The average B-17 bomb load dropped in World War II was between 4,000 lb and 5,000 lb....a bomber!

The 5,000lbs represents 8 SDB. Each SDB can destroy a tank similar to the M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank. No "Tiny" feat.

Unread postPosted: 24 Aug 2011, 09:39
by munny
APA (yes I said it, and feel dirty) posted an analysis recently .....

http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-2011-03.html

..... where they used a commonly used RCS simulator to create 3 dimensional diagrams of the Chinese J-20's RCS. From the front, the J-20 is a much larger aircraft with a lot larger and more leading edges than the F-35. The diagrams would be a good sample to estimate the F-35's RCS from all aspects.

Their simulator doesn't yet take into account reflecting surface waves, but also doesn't factor in RAM, so they'd cancel each other out to a degree.

The charts show that the frontal RCS of the J-20 against higher frequency radars at long to medium range is VERY good. You could only expect the F-35's to be better all the way out to about 40 degrees either side of the nose due to less clutter on the frontal aspect and same, but smaller intake design.

While Kopp has been spouting for the last 7 or so years that the F-35's side RCS is abysmal and everything that has been built since by other nations is "far superior" from the side aspect, his charts show that the even the great J-20, with its superior F-22-like wing/body join is spotted from maximum range by most early warning radars.

The chart also shows that all a pilot has to do to hide the more reflective underwing/side of the aircraft is dip his wing towards the enemy radar by about 4 degrees to make himself LO again (is this what they learn in stealth tactics?). Of course in true APA fashion, there's no mention "anywhere on their site" of heavily matured and proven US RWR technology which helps stealth fighter pilots put their aircraft at the optimum aspect to maintain low RCS to enemy radars.

His analysis also shows theat the rear RCS of the J-20, although nowehere near as good as the front, is still not too bad and implies that the F-35 would be better from this angle.

But....you've actually gotta give it to em, the method they use to present the data (something Kopp and his friend created themselves) is VERY good.

Bet we won't see a similar RCS simulation done of the F-35 so people can compare. Maybe Carlo should post something in this thread

Unread postPosted: 24 Aug 2011, 11:16
by shep1978
Kopp sees what he wants to see. Its really not worth wasting your time with his so called analysis.

Unread postPosted: 24 Aug 2011, 12:23
by delvo
The last time I saw an Australian Air Power article, it was not merely biased but just playing lying.

Unread postPosted: 24 Aug 2011, 15:10
by shingen
From the article by Kopp:

"The chined J-20 nose section and canopy are close in appearance to the F-22, yielding similar specular RCS performance in a mature design."

When you come across this sentence you have two choices. Stop or keep going. What you choose to do says a lot about your level of education and how you judge claims.

Unread postPosted: 25 Aug 2011, 00:06
by munny
His stupid commentary aside, the application (PO Facets rewritten in C++) they used to generate the RCS charts is valid and is used by educational institutions. If you skip around the words and look at the charts, you can get a pretty decent insight into how the vlo designs work and what their weaknesses/strengths are. You can also make conclusions about the F-35 that Mr Kopp failed to mention (deliberately) as well.

The fact he has access to this software now is probably the reason he has been very quiet about the F-35's RCS for more than a year.



"The chined J-20 nose section and canopy are close in appearance to the F-22, yielding similar specular RCS performance in a mature design."

BTW that comment isn't so absurd. Similar to the F-22, yes, matured design, yes ...... but not by the Chinese. :)

Unread postPosted: 25 Aug 2011, 00:51
by southernphantom
wrightwing wrote:
The SDB is already online(it would seem that there are a number of topics that you haven't been following too closely). .


Sorry, I mixed up the designations. I meant the GBU-53 SDB-II. Its IOC is guessed at the 2017 range. The SDB-II is IMHO the first SDB increment with a truly useful capability (uncooled IR guidance) besides hitting stationary targets. Definitely awesome for tank plinking, especially on the Beagle, which carries 28!!!! :shock: :shock:

Unread postPosted: 25 Aug 2011, 03:53
by SpudmanWP
The F-35 could carry 32 if it REALLY wanted to.

Unread postPosted: 25 Aug 2011, 12:27
by ozzyblizzard
SpudmanWP wrote:The F-35 could carry 32 if it REALLY wanted to.


I don't get the fascination with internal weapons stores for this type of mission. If the F-35 is carrying SDB-II's then its most likely the second day of the war and the high end GBAD and C4ISTAR were taken out by "clean" F-35's on the first day. Once the super duper S-300's are no longer an issue the simply F-35 doesn't need to be a mini B2. With its already very small RCS and EWSP/EA capability, even a dirty F-35 isn't going to have any issues with Buk ect.

Unread postPosted: 25 Aug 2011, 13:40
by shep1978
ozzyblizzard wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:The F-35 could carry 32 if it REALLY wanted to.


I don't get the fascination with internal weapons stores for this type of mission. If the F-35 is carrying SDB-II's then its most likely the second day of the war and the high end GBAD and C4ISTAR were taken out by "clean" F-35's on the first day. Once the super duper S-300's are no longer an issue the simply F-35 doesn't need to be a mini B2. With its already very small RCS and EWSP/EA capability, even a dirty F-35 isn't going to have any issues with Buk ect.


Not aiming this at you but as you mentioned it I thought i'd question the concept of "first day war" for stealthy aircraft. Its just that i'd imagine that any opponent with an ounce of sense would not allow an opponent the luxury of being able to fight an air war in such a manner. I'm fairly certain that many high end threat systems would be kept back, well concealed and switched off only to be rolled out on say day 5 or even day 20 posing obvious problems for external weapon carrying stealth aircraft. Compound this with other air defence units using more frequent shoot and scoot tactics that could see them surviving for weeks or even months and therefore, to me at least, internal carriage seems the wiser option for all but the very lowest threat level theatres.

Unread postPosted: 25 Aug 2011, 19:43
by wrightwing
shep1978 wrote: Not aiming this at you but as you mentioned it I thought i'd question the concept of "first day war" for stealthy aircraft. Its just that i'd imagine that any opponent with an ounce of sense would not allow an opponent the luxury of being able to fight an air war in such a manner. I'm fairly certain that many high end threat systems would be kept back, well concealed and switched off only to be rolled out on say day 5 or even day 20 posing obvious problems for external weapon carrying stealth aircraft. Compound this with other air defence units using more frequent shoot and scoot tactics that could see them surviving for weeks or even months and therefore, to me at least, internal carriage seems the wiser option for all but the very lowest threat level theatres.


First day of war doesn't necessarily refer to a 24hr period. It refers more to the threat conditions one would encounter, until X amount of IADS attrition had occured.

Additionally, the foe wouldn't necessarily have the luxury of knowing when that first day was going to be, in order to move their high end systems to safer locations. My guess though is that they'd rather risk the loss of the high end systems, than the loss of what those high end systems are protecting.

Unread postPosted: 25 Aug 2011, 20:00
by shep1978
wrightwing wrote:First day of war doesn't necessarily refer to a 24hr period.


Then why on earth is it always referred to as the first day of war in the context of external or internal weapons carriage. I see the point your making but I still think future opponents will probably be alot more sneaky than we probably think they will be with their air defence setup.

Anyway best get back on topic I guess...

Unread postPosted: 25 Aug 2011, 20:05
by wrightwing
shep1978 wrote:
wrightwing wrote:First day of war doesn't necessarily refer to a 24hr period.


Then why on earth is it always referred to as the first day of war in the context of external or internal weapons carriage. I see the point your making but I still think future opponents will probably be alot more sneaky than we probably think they will be with their air defence setup.

Anyway best get back on topic I guess...


Well just as an example, we wouldn't start carrying external stores after 24hrs of operations. It's about the conditions/phases of operation that are met, before the next phase begins. The high end systems aren't just randomly roving- they're protecting high value targets. This is why I said I doubt a foe would choose to lose that asset, versus the defensive system protecting it. The more random threats I think would be the shorter range systems.

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2011, 19:59
by muir
wrightwing wrote:
Well just as an example, we wouldn't start carrying external stores after 24hrs of operations. It's about the conditions/phases of operation that are met, before the next phase begins. The high end systems aren't just randomly roving- they're protecting high value targets. This is why I said I doubt a foe would choose to lose that asset, versus the defensive system protecting it. The more random threats I think would be the shorter range systems.


just wanna make sure I got this right. When you say "first day of war" you mean the first phase, which, I presume could last anything from a few hours to a few weeks? When certain targets are met, like a massive takedown of enemy air defences or enough corridors are opened up to more sensitive aircraft you move on to phase two whatever that is?

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2011, 20:54
by wrightwing
muir wrote: just wanna make sure I got this right. When you say "first day of war" you mean the first phase, which, I presume could last anything from a few hours to a few weeks? When certain targets are met, like a massive takedown of enemy air defences or enough corridors are opened up to more sensitive aircraft you move on to phase two whatever that is?


The duration would entirely depend on the foe. For some foes, 24hrs might be enough, but for a more sophisticated opponent, you're not going to start hanging external weapons on the second day of an air campaign.

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2011, 21:22
by hb_pencil
wrightwing wrote:
muir wrote: just wanna make sure I got this right. When you say "first day of war" you mean the first phase, which, I presume could last anything from a few hours to a few weeks? When certain targets are met, like a massive takedown of enemy air defences or enough corridors are opened up to more sensitive aircraft you move on to phase two whatever that is?


The duration would entirely depend on the foe. For some foes, 24hrs might be enough, but for a more sophisticated opponent, you're not going to start hanging external weapons on the second day of an air campaign.


And its quite possible that the second day may never happen, or that an air campaign may require both.

Serbia I think showed a viable political/military strategy for dealing with coalition air campaigns; absorb the body blows as best you can for the first couple of weeks and save your AD until later phases. When the coalition becomes complacent, use the AD to take down a few of their air craft to make a political statement. You are never going to see a lesser opponent stop an air offensive through purely military means. But knock down a dozen or two dozen aircraft and the political effects would be even more devastating.

Its the reason why I think the F-35 is even more vital for our future defense. With the possession of a stealthy reasonably cost multi-role fighter, western states' ability to prosecute such campaigns remains assured. It might be that an F-35 equipped air force will face an environment that remains semi-permissible for the entire campaign because of a elusive foe. Thus it will never carry external stores as the risk is too great.

Unread postPosted: 27 Aug 2011, 05:29
by popcorn
Those are the kinds of scenarios where the C4ISR capabilities of the F-35 will allow it to operate and perform better than any other platform.
It will be continupusly generating an updated SA picture for the pilot from its suite of onboard sensors integrated with offboard data streams.
This translates into more timely and focused responses, successful mission completion and reduced risks to pilot and aircraft.

Unread postPosted: 27 Aug 2011, 14:53
by wrightwing
hb_pencil wrote:
And its quite possible that the second day may never happen, or that an air campaign may require both.

Serbia I think showed a viable political/military strategy for dealing with coalition air campaigns; absorb the body blows as best you can for the first couple of weeks and save your AD until later phases. When the coalition becomes complacent, use the AD to take down a few of their air craft to make a political statement. You are never going to see a lesser opponent stop an air offensive through purely military means. But knock down a dozen or two dozen aircraft and the political effects would be even more devastating.

Its the reason why I think the F-35 is even more vital for our future defense. With the possession of a stealthy reasonably cost multi-role fighter, western states' ability to prosecute such campaigns remains assured. It might be that an F-35 equipped air force will face an environment that remains semi-permissible for the entire campaign because of a elusive foe. Thus it will never carry external stores as the risk is too great.


Against a networked fleet of F-22s, and F-35s, the tactics used in '99 against NATO airpower wouldn't work nearly so well. Their situational awareness would make it a far greater chore to play the shell game, of frequent relocation. The array of weapons that exist now would also make the SAM operator's life expectancy much lower. Lastly, the EA capabilities, combined with VLO signatures, kinematic performance, and situational awareness of incoming threats, would make an F-117(or Scott Grady situation for that matter), far less probable.

Unread postPosted: 27 Aug 2011, 17:57
by muir
WW - As I thought then, thanks for the confirmation

Unread postPosted: 29 Aug 2011, 17:52
by hb_pencil
wrightwing wrote:
Against a networked fleet of F-22s, and F-35s, the tactics used in '99 against NATO airpower wouldn't work nearly so well. Their situational awareness would make it a far greater chore to play the shell game, of frequent relocation. The array of weapons that exist now would also make the SAM operator's life expectancy much lower. Lastly, the EA capabilities, combined with VLO signatures, kinematic performance, and situational awareness of incoming threats, would make an F-117(or Scott Grady situation for that matter), far less probable.



I'm not entirely convinced of that. I'd love nothing more if we could be assured that our air dominance is enhanced because of the F-35. However we've never faced a double digit SAM in an operational environment (and their lethality), and the Russians and the Chinese are investing money into this area (unlike most things in their military.) Furthermore they have had the opportunity to study our operational methods for over two decades. As our technology evolves, so does our opponents. As our tactics evolves, so does theirs.


Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying this because I question the need for the F-35. Actually I think its absolutely vital for the future. And I think the F-35's sensors will offer a major improvement on our current generation of capabilities. I just don't think it will change how we carry out our operations that much because our opponents have been improving as well.

Unread postPosted: 29 Aug 2011, 18:31
by wrightwing
hb_pencil wrote:
wrightwing wrote:
Against a networked fleet of F-22s, and F-35s, the tactics used in '99 against NATO airpower wouldn't work nearly so well. Their situational awareness would make it a far greater chore to play the shell game, of frequent relocation. The array of weapons that exist now would also make the SAM operator's life expectancy much lower. Lastly, the EA capabilities, combined with VLO signatures, kinematic performance, and situational awareness of incoming threats, would make an F-117(or Scott Grady situation for that matter), far less probable.



I'm not entirely convinced of that. I'd love nothing more if we could be assured that our air dominance is enhanced because of the F-35. However we've never faced a double digit SAM in an operational environment (and their lethality), and the Russians and the Chinese are investing money into this area (unlike most things in their military.) Furthermore they have had the opportunity to study our operational methods for over two decades. As our technology evolves, so does our opponents. As our tactics evolves, so does theirs.


Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying this because I question the need for the F-35. Actually I think its absolutely vital for the future. And I think the F-35's sensors will offer a major improvement on our current generation of capabilities. I just don't think it will change how we carry out our operations that much because our opponents have been improving as well.


I'm not suggesting that one would fly around without a care in the world, when double digit SAMs are in the area, but when you combine the situational awareness and greatly reduced WEZs, it certainly tilts the odds considerably.

Unread postPosted: 29 Aug 2011, 19:06
by hb_pencil
wrightwing wrote:
I'm not suggesting that one would fly around without a care in the world, when double digit SAMs are in the area, but when you combine the situational awareness and greatly reduced WEZs, it certainly tilts the odds considerably.


And that's one opinion which I think is well within the realm of possibility. I however differ in my view. There are new technologies on the OPFOR side that make attrition strategies more viable.

One question for me is the survivability of the UAVs we've developed over the past 10 years. Those to me are where the real improvement in situational awareness has come from, but have not been deployed in completely non-permissive environments. If they can be denied a robust defence with MANPADs and other systems then I don't hold out much hope for a new way of war emerging.

Unread postPosted: 30 Aug 2011, 02:21
by southernphantom
hb_pencil wrote:
One question for me is the survivability of the UAVs we've developed over the past 10 years. Those to me are where the real improvement in situational awareness has come from, but have not been deployed in completely non-permissive environments. If they can be denied a robust defence with MANPADs and other systems then I don't hold out much hope for a new way of war emerging.


The current UAVs are, speaking frankly, junk. Their performance is inferior to that of nearly all WWII-era fighters and flying them has been compared to looking through a drinking straw. Expecting the flying snowmobiles to survive versus double-digit SAMs is a prime example of politics over capability. If we must use UAVs, buy a few hundred Phantom Rays and X-47s. Otherwise, start phasing drones out and put the insane planned quantity of F-35As to use defending the USA. Whoever took away the NEW YORK air guard's F-16s had to have been under the influence of something. Fighters for the ANG, snowmobiles for outdoorsmen.