AvWeek: Explore other options beyond F-35

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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neptune

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Unread post21 Oct 2012, 18:56

[quote="neurotech... in suggesting the F/A-18E/F could actually be an alternative to a F-35C carrier strike aircraft :D
...[/quote]

:2c:

As a commander of a strike group, no one would be in that position if they didn't use "ALL" of the tools available. The E-2D with active aesa radar. link 16, sensor integration and command and control; the EA-18G with active aesa, link 16, and EA/ EW; the F/A-18s with active radars, link 16 and multiple weapons attack capability, the F/A-18E/F with more sophisticated mission systems, active aesa radar, link 16, multiple weapons attack capability and buddy tanking; the F-35s with stealth, passive sensor integration, ISR sensor integration, madl, link 16, BDA and multiple weapons attack capability; and lastly the B-2 with stealth, passive systems, link 16, ?madl? and incredibly long range......(IRAN) :wink:

...to answer your one question, ...Yes, if....the F-35 was not available.
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Unread post21 Oct 2012, 21:27

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:Super Hornet International Roadmap: EOTS/DAS-like system, conformal fuel tanks, up to 3xLO/LD(low drag) weapons pods (that can hold 1x2,000# class weapon, 2x500# class weapons, or 4XAIM-120 AMRAAM), new F-35esq cockpit, 26K# thrust class engines. So yes, there are plans to give the "Rhino" not only "EODAS" but a host of other upgrades.

EOTS is not EODAS. They are two separate systems on the F-35.

Internal EOTS is on the roadmap, but not full EODAS. The cameras used for the F-35 EODAS and Fiber Channel avionics bus are compatible with the F/A-18E/F Block II avionics. What they are planning is improved missile warning system, with 360 detection, and not the enhanced vision DAS that the F-35 has.
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Unread post21 Oct 2012, 23:54

popcorn wrote:
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:Super Hornet International Roadmap: EOTS/DAS-like system, conformal fuel tanks, up to 3xLO/LD(low drag) weapons pods (that can hold 1x2,000# class weapon, 2x500# class weapons, or 4XAIM-120 AMRAAM), new F-35esq cockpit, 26K# thrust class engines. So yes, there are plans to give the "Rhino" not only "EODAS" but a host of other upgrades.


No bucks, no Buck Rogers.. :D


Well, I said their are plans, didn't say they were going to be implemented

neurotech, I also never claimed it was DAS or that it was HMD related. that was the point of saying EOTS/DAS-like and "EODAS", to imply that while it is similar, it is not the same.
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Unread post22 Oct 2012, 03:22

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
Well, I said their are plans, didn't say they were going to be implemented

.


Sure, if you define "plans" to mean Boeing marketing plans for enhancements that,are,essentially brochureware at this point in time that re waiting for,possible customer funding (no nibbles so far) or Boeing's own pockets (that will he the day)...
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Unread post22 Oct 2012, 14:08

Pretty much, yeah. Without funding, that is all any plan ever is.
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Unread post22 Oct 2012, 15:44

wrightwing
The A-10s will be around longer than 2028. That's why they've been doing the structural/wing/avionics upgrades.


A good find - the last article I read said 2028 extended from 2022. Looks like they are going to stay. Obviously the army has had a win. Upgraded they have a very important role in conflicts not fought in open terrain. They obviously remember even with precision weapons towards the end of Vietnam fast jets were almost useless for ground troop support. That's why they introduced C130 Gunships and used Huey Gunships. The problem is in jungle against a mobile and clever enemy you have to send out foot patrols to find them and if they stumble on large forces need either artillery or an A10 type or a C130 Gunship to help them survive against superior odds until they can be reinforced. Many of the main battles in Vietnam came about that way. Often there were North Vietnamese Regiments in the South making use of the jungle cover to stay hidden. An A10 type aircraft was needed badly then and the lack of it in that war was the main reason it was conceived and built. The fact a similar conflict in similar terrain has not arisen is just luck. There is no way F35's will be able to put 500 stand off weapons into an area exactly where needed in those situations over a period of hours. Somebody above said they will now have there own systems. Yes mounted infantry in vehicles in open terrain. In rough timbered terrain who is going to carry them? Donkeys? The North Vietnamese army showed the world how to fight in those conditions and win. That will be remembered for a long time.
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Unread post22 Oct 2012, 16:01

rkap wrote:
wrightwing
The A-10s will be around longer than 2028. That's why they've been doing the structural/wing/avionics upgrades.


A good find - the last article I read said 2028 extended from 2022. Looks like they are going to stay. Obviously the army has had a win. Upgraded they have a very important role in conflicts not fought in open terrain. They obviously remember even with precision weapons towards the end of Vietnam fast jets were almost useless for ground troop support. That's why they introduced C130 Gunships and used Huey Gunships. The problem is in jungle against a mobile and clever enemy you have to send out foot patrols to find them and if they stumble on large forces need either artillery or an A10 type or a C130 Gunship to help them survive against superior odds until they can be reinforced. Many of the main battles in Vietnam came about that way. Often there were North Vietnamese Regiments in the South making use of the jungle cover to stay hidden. An A10 type aircraft was needed badly then and the lack of it in that war was the main reason it was conceived and built. The fact a similar conflict in similar terrain has not arisen is just luck. There is no way F35's will be able to put 500 stand off weapons into an area exactly where needed in those situations over a period of hours. Somebody above said they will now have there own systems. Yes mounted infantry in vehicles in open terrain. In rough timbered terrain who is going to carry them? Donkeys? The North Vietnamese army showed the world how to fight in those conditions and win. That will be remembered for a long time.


You're still failing to account for the ISR capabilities, which A-10s, etc... don't have. If an enemy has an emitter, or weapon system, they're not going to remain hidden long, if they transmit/open fire. Their positions will be triangulated within moments, which is must faster than the Mk 1 eyeball could hope for. A-10s also lack SAR radar, or the NCW capabilities to immediately be aware of what everyone else in the network knows. Furthermore, if you look at our likely threats, the terrain is generally more of the brown, rocky/sandy, mountainous variety, than jungle, but the sensor advantages, that I've alluded to will also help, should we fight in a more tropical environment.
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Unread post22 Oct 2012, 18:48

rkap wrote: fast jets were almost useless for ground troop support.


I know dozens of Vietnam guys that disagree with you, but I know this doesn't fit in with the narrative you are trying to pitch. So keep ignoring it.

To look at a conflict like Vietnam, which went on for over a decade, in multiple phases, and cherry pick certain elements while ignoring many, many other factors, From the strategic decisions, to the political issues and make such a sweeping conclusion that the A-10 was born from Vietnam, takes a very special kind of narrow mindedness.

And wasn't the A-10 built to kill tanks in Europe?
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Unread post23 Oct 2012, 02:47

Youse'll have to ignore the bumbleheadedheadline and just trash the LexingtonInSitu Response to the BitterSweatman response to the OldLexingtonian whatever and please reference the beginning post at the start of this thread to see what all the kerfuffle of old men is about eh. :D

Aviation Week Luminary Responds to Lexington Criticism of F-35 Editorial
22 Oct 2012 Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D. | Early Warning Blog, Lexington Institute

http://www.defpro.com/news/details/40540/

"Bill Sweetman, one of the most respected aerospace journalists in the business, has written a biting response to my Forbes piece about the F-35 fighter posted here on October 15. That isn't surprising, because I roundly attacked an editorial that his magazine, Aviation Week & Space Technology, published October 1 criticizing the Pentagon's biggest weapons program. The gist of what they said was that the F-35 program is faring poorly and that the Pentagon should therefore start searching for alternatives. The gist of what I said was that the program is doing fine, and that most of the projected cost increases blamed on the prime contractor were actually caused by government actions.

Sweetman begins by pointing out that I am a consultant to F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin (a fact he acknowledges is readily available to Forbes readers). However, he neglects to mention that I also advise some of Lockheed Martin's biggest competitors, and that I often take the side of Boeing, Lockheed's biggest rival, on issues like the Air Force's new tanker and the Navy's new patrol aircraft. Even if Lockheed had bought me a ten-acre estate in the Hamptons, it wouldn't change the facts: the F-35 is meeting all of its key performance goals, the cost of building each plane is dropping fast, and much of what critics say about the program is just plain wrong....

...Contrary to what AvWeek believes, competition can't fix whatever ails the F-35 program because most of the fault does not lie with contractors. It lies with a government customer that can't stick with a plan, and instead restructures efforts every year in ways that makes them less efficient. But let's keep our eye on the ball here: the production cost of each Air Force F-35 in the first lot was $200 million, and the government is now eyeing a unit cost of $80 million in the sixth lot. Follow that learning curve and see where it leads you by the time the program reaches full-rate production. It's a pretty reasonable price-tag for a very capable plane."

BEST TO READ ENTIRE article somewhere (the URL above would be a good place) but whatever.... :D
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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Unread post23 Oct 2012, 15:30

wrightwing
You're still failing to account for the ISR capabilities

Again you go outside the areas I sad the A10 would be good for to areas it was not designed for to start with. As I said in my first post in wet jungle where you have to walk in and can't carry heavy equipment to defend yourself an A10 type aircraft would be good to have for very close in support. An airborne piece of artillery in simple terms. That works both ways in such conditions - the enemy have to walk in also so they will not have sophisticated Anti Aircraft weapons that will emit. Much of Vietnam was like that - not all as "XanderCrews" points out but fast jets close in there too often came down to ground fire. The biggest single means by which aircraft were lost. Ground fire. That's what it was designed for - areas of low Anti Aircraft threat - Jungle conditions etc. and to fight Soviet Tanks in hilly wet boggy conditions in Europe. That role now gone to a big degree.
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Unread post23 Oct 2012, 16:03

XanderCrews
I know dozens of Vietnam guys that disagree with you


I accept that - it will depend in which part of Vietnam they fought. Millions of tons of the Defoliant Agent Orange were not sprayed for no reason. I am Australian and in the Provinces Australia controlled the Jungle and Rubber Plantations were the main problem. That is why they tried to mainly work within artillery range for most of the War - they quickly realized that was the best way to operate if possible. Go in on foot and try to find the enemy and then if you are ambushed or outnumbered rely on your artillery to get you out of trouble. From what I have read many US units used the same tactics in many provinces also.
This whole debate started with me simply saying an upgraded A10 would be the ideal aircraft in such conditions where ground fire is the main threat against aircraft and troops often need immediate very close in support. It amazes me how the "F35 Mafia" try to twist that assertion. They seem to believe the F35 can and will do everything. Impossible - too fragile to take ground fire to start with and too valuable.
Attitudes never change of course - it was the US Army that decided something like the A10 was needed - the Airforce was not interested - not there type of aircraft - the US Army pushed ahead and was going to operate it themselves - the US Airforce decided it might be wise if they went along with it so they could get control.
At least the Airforce never got a chance to destroy its simple rugged concept designed along the lines of what the Army wanted in a CAS aircraft not what the Airforce wanted.
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Unread post23 Oct 2012, 16:03

rkap wrote:"XanderCrews" points out but fast jets close in there too often came down to ground fire. The biggest single means by which aircraft were lost. Ground fire. That's what it was designed for - areas of low Anti Aircraft threat - Jungle conditions etc. and to fight Soviet Tanks in hilly wet boggy conditions in Europe. That role now gone to a big degree.


Havnt we been fighting insurgencies sent Vietnam? How many fixed wing aircraft have been lost to ground fire since 2001?

Seeing as that role is gone to a big degree, aren't there other aircraft that can operate in areas of low anti aircraft threat?

Why is my name in quotation marks? do you not believe my name?
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Unread post23 Oct 2012, 19:12

rkap wrote:
XanderCrews
I know dozens of Vietnam guys that disagree with you


I accept that - it will depend in which part of Vietnam they fought. Millions of tons of the Defoliant Agent Orange were not sprayed for no reason. I am Australian and in the Provinces Australia controlled the Jungle and Rubber Plantations were the main problem. That is why they tried to mainly work within artillery range for most of the War - they quickly realized that was the best way to operate if possible. Go in on foot and try to find the enemy and then if you are ambushed or outnumbered rely on your artillery to get you out of trouble. From what I have read many US units used the same tactics in many provinces also.
This whole debate started with me simply saying an upgraded A10 would be the ideal aircraft in such conditions where ground fire is the main threat against aircraft and troops often need immediate very close in support. It amazes me how the "F35 Mafia" try to twist that assertion. They seem to believe the F35 can and will do everything. Impossible - too fragile to take ground fire to start with and too valuable.
Attitudes never change of course - it was the US Army that decided something like the A10 was needed - the Airforce was not interested - not there type of aircraft - the US Army pushed ahead and was going to operate it themselves - the US Airforce decided it might be wise if they went along with it so they could get control.
At least the Airforce never got a chance to destroy its simple rugged concept designed along the lines of what the Army wanted in a CAS aircraft not what the Airforce wanted.


I believe the issue was that is sure sounded like you were skeptical that fast jets could do CAS at all.
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Unread post23 Oct 2012, 23:34

Prinz_Eugn wrote:
rkap wrote:
XanderCrews
I know dozens of Vietnam guys that disagree with you


I accept that - it will depend in which part of Vietnam they fought. Millions of tons of the Defoliant Agent Orange were not sprayed for no reason. I am Australian and in the Provinces Australia controlled the Jungle and Rubber Plantations were the main problem. That is why they tried to mainly work within artillery range for most of the War - they quickly realized that was the best way to operate if possible. Go in on foot and try to find the enemy and then if you are ambushed or outnumbered rely on your artillery to get you out of trouble. From what I have read many US units used the same tactics in many provinces also.
This whole debate started with me simply saying an upgraded A10 would be the ideal aircraft in such conditions where ground fire is the main threat against aircraft and troops often need immediate very close in support. It amazes me how the "F35 Mafia" try to twist that assertion. They seem to believe the F35 can and will do everything. Impossible - too fragile to take ground fire to start with and too valuable.
Attitudes never change of course - it was the US Army that decided something like the A10 was needed - the Airforce was not interested - not there type of aircraft - the US Army pushed ahead and was going to operate it themselves - the US Airforce decided it might be wise if they went along with it so they could get control.
At least the Airforce never got a chance to destroy its simple rugged concept designed along the lines of what the Army wanted in a CAS aircraft not what the Airforce wanted.


I believe the issue was that is sure sounded like you were skeptical that fast jets could do CAS at all.


Indeed. I have read stories that F-104s in Vietnam were highly regarded by troops because they could arrive very quickly. a surprise to hear, but true. The other part of it is that Shoulder fired missiles are more prevalent now, so resistance to ground fire (in those few instances when aircraft are even permitted to go that low in hostile areas these days) won't be nearly as important since it is missiles that are more feared now by a large margin.

Secondly, the US doesn't use Vietnam tactics. Theyre old. Sorry but if Vietnam II broke out today we would be fighting it differently. If you think that sounds preposterous all you need to do is look at Afghanistan and Iraq to see 21st century style anti guerrilla tactics from the air. Its not the same. even the most basic GPS changes the equation compared to vietnam in how the US operates and fights.

Keeping A-10s around for the sole purpose of fighting another Vietnam with outdated tactics, makes as much sense as keeping P-47s around to fight a future enemy that may have FW-190s.

We invested a small fortune to avoid getting low enough to take serious hits from ground fire, why throw that away? The solution was never to get better at getting low, it was to do more damage from higher up. GPS bombs, LGBs, LMavs, Targeting pods, etc. Even A-10s have gotten away from being low unless its absolutely necessary.

Its easy to be hard, but its hard to be smart. We got smart, rather than armoring our aircraft like tanks and trying to stay low.

Even you say the A-10 is outdated for its original purpose. You also menti0n that an "upgraded" A-10 is the way to go. Upgraded how? With whiz bang 21st century electronics that will keep it further away from the danger on battlefields you propose is its niche? or upgraded as in up armored? could you explain?
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Unread post23 Oct 2012, 23:46

I'm sorry, but all the world air drones would not have changed the outcome, it would only have dragged the outcome further down the line. The key word is Dense jungel and difficult terrain with lots of unfavorable weather.

You want to find the enemy, tough job indeed. They was often, under ground hiding or used the terrain to hide.
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