F-35 air-to-air - Pro and Con

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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zero-one

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Unread post22 Jan 2014, 14:32

Thanks for your reply guys,

Just a thought, I'm thinking the 5% fuel flow penalty will also affect the fuel flow to the AB system and the 2% thrust penalty is done by programing the engine to run the fan blades a at a slower RPM.

So if thats the case, dry thrust is 2% weaker and AB thrust suffers from both the 2% slower turbine speed and 5% lower fuel flow.

is this correct?
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hornetfinn

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Unread post22 Jan 2014, 14:56

cantaz wrote:I consider LM plenty authoritative on this subject.

Are the 5% fuel flow and 2% thrust penalty the totality of the end of life engine penalty, or is there more to it? Is the 5% fuel flow penalty strictly a fuel consumption penalty (range penalty), or is it more complicated than that?


I've been trying to figure that out myself. I think it depends on how the penalties are actually taken into account. For example they could just increase fuel consumption figures by that 5 percent in range/endurance calculations and then calculate performance figures with engines delivering 2 percent less thrust. On the other hand they could also calculate all the figures using much more complex calculations which would take both into account in all phases of flight.

For example they could also calculate that to accelerate to certain speed the engine must use higher RPM to generate same thrust (or increase acceleration time or increase need to use AB) than non-degraded engine increasing fuel consumption further. This might decrease the available range much more than just the 5 percent fuel flow penalty. Not sure if the fuel flow penalty could somehow affect thrust.

Anyway, I think that real world performance will be better than the published figures show. Especially the range/endurance could be a lot better. Acceleration and sustained turn rates will also likely be at least somewhat better than current figures.
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cola

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Unread post06 Feb 2014, 15:17

Gen.Hostage puts F35's air combat value into perspective;
http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20 ... /302020005
That is why the current upgrade programs to the F-22 I put easily as critical as my F-35 fleet. If I do not keep that F-22 fleet viable, the F-35 fleet frankly will be irrelevant. The F-35 is not built as an air superiority platform. It needs the F-22. Because I got such a pitifully tiny fleet, I’ve got to ensure I will have every single one of those F-22s as capable as it possibly can be.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post06 Feb 2014, 15:21

cola wrote:Gen.Hostage puts F35's air combat value into perspective;
http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20 ... /302020005
That is why the current upgrade programs to the F-22 I put easily as critical as my F-35 fleet. If I do not keep that F-22 fleet viable, the F-35 fleet frankly will be irrelevant. The F-35 is not built as an air superiority platform. It needs the F-22. Because I got such a pitifully tiny fleet, I’ve got to ensure I will have every single one of those F-22s as capable as it possibly can be.


You do realize this is just him angling for more money for upgrades don't you?

The F-35 not being a purpose built air superiority fighter (it is a joint STRIKE FIGHTER after all) doesn't mean it is incapable or helpless in air to air to combat. :roll: The US Navy and Marine Corps possesses no F-22, and only multi role fighters and attackers, and yet they seem to actually think they can fight and win in the air. Anyone who tried to twist those words into a black in white, "you have F-22s or you die" argument is clutching at straws.
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Gums

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Unread post06 Feb 2014, 19:48

Salute!

Here we go again......

I don't agree with Gen Hostage. The Raptor is extremely important for air superiority, no doubt. But my feeling is a well-planned strike package of Stubby's with some in A2A loadouts, rest with A2G loadouts, would be a formidable force.

I am not sure of the Raptor's range, but I bet it is less than the F-35.

The Stubby may not be as good as the Viper in the old days, but they fought their way in and hit the tgts at the infamous Bomb Comp, taking about 80 adversaries out for one loss.

I agree with the opinion about the Naval aviation assets, which doesn't have the equivalent of the Raptor. So I can see a Naval package as I have postulated, and they should do real well. We haven't had a Naval jet with the legs and loadout that the Stubby offers since the SLUF, and it had almost zero A2A capability.

So if the new jet has a competitive A2A capablility, less than the Raptor or some other jets with high RCS, it will be a player.

Gums opines....
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neurotech

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Unread post07 Feb 2014, 05:10

One possibility is that Gen. Hostage goes down to FL and flies the F-35A and experiences first hand that it can hold its own. I've heard he likes flying the F-22 although I don't know if he's current.

I do think the F-22 needs upgrades to interoperate smoothly with the F-35, but even without F-22s I'd hardly call the F-35 useless.
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Unread post07 Feb 2014, 07:14

Heheh. Just make Hostage a hostage in an F-35 FMS and get a few heavies to sit on him as required for the Gs in it and he'll be SOLD! :devil:
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Unread post07 Feb 2014, 15:04

Gen Hostage probably knows more about the F-35 than anyone here, maybe even more than some people in the program.

But put yourself in his shoes, how can you sell the F-35 and the F-22 to the butchers at Capitol Hill who can't wait to axe out
something from the Airforce.

Option 1:
Tell them that the F-35 is extremly capable in both A2A and A2G but may have a hard time against 5th Gen fighters without the F-22s support.

Capitol hill then says: "well thats fine, War isn't won by taking it easy, having our pilots laid back while the homeland suffers from shrinking social service budgets and all"

Option 2
Over emphasize that the F-22 is built for A-A and the F-35 is built for A-G, and need each other to complete the mission.


I dont know about you, but i'll choose option 2.

By the way Salute Mr Gums.
Just curious about what you ment by this statement?
Gums wrote:The Stubby may not be as good as the Viper in the old days,



I thought the only Viper that can out perform a Stubby was Clean one? :(
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count_to_10

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Unread post07 Feb 2014, 15:50

Gums wrote:I agree with the opinion about the Naval aviation assets, which doesn't have the equivalent of the Raptor. So I can see a Naval package as I have postulated, and they should do real well. We haven't had a Naval jet with the legs and loadout that the Stubby offers since the SLUF, and it had almost zero A2A capability.

What about the late model F-14s with ground attack ability?
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Unread post07 Feb 2014, 16:46

Salute!

RE: A2A capability of early Vipers

Unless we had those obscene tanks on the wings, we had a decent A2A capability even with a loadout of eggs. Best was 4 x 1000 pounders on parent racks ( MERS and TERS had limits). Could still do the "bat turn" if we had to and then press on to the tgt. Coming in at 540 knots, it took really good GCI to position an adversary at our 6, so we saw most on the beam or even head on. The Lima could be slaved to the radar in about one second, then chirp, then launch. The beam attacks were slightly harder, but we did O.K. I only had one "death" by an F-5 at Red Flag, and my wingie got a harsh comment from me about his "lookout", as he was line abreast at about 2,000 - 3,000 feet. Next "close call", we acquired a Double Ugly coming over a ridge at our 6 and we did the "bat turn" ( my HUD camera showed 8.7 gees, heh heh). He broke off to preserve "e", and we then chased he and his wingie for a minute or so before heading back home. I was trying to set up my wingie to take a shot with his Lima, but the nugget was too "dense".

The Hornet was about the same as the Viper in that time frame.

RE: A2G Tomcat

Best I recall, the pylons were not articulated, so they had to jettison unless they were going for a Sparrow shot. The F-15E was prolly better at this, but I would call it a draw. I also don't remember the Tomcat being able to land with the ord, either, but could be wrong.

Gums sends...
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Unread post07 Feb 2014, 17:57

Salute Mr Gums.

Awsome story :mrgreen: ,

I just have a pretty hard time wrapping my head around the terms. Like whats a "Bat turn"? I tried to google it but all that came out was about how Batman couldn't turn his head or something.

Judging from what you said about pulling 8.7Gs, I'm guessing that its a pretty hard reversal, is this correct?

and the Double Ugly would be an F-4 is that right?

the Beam? is that the Horizon, or the Radar coverage cone?

I think I'm way off.

By the Way what Viper block was this taken on.

The F-35 is said to be able to match the performance of a Block 50 with a very light load, so if you were able to do this on a Viper with eggs (which Im guessing are 1,000 lb bombs) then the Stubby will be pretty comfortable doing a Bat turn with a heavier load.

Is this right? :mrgreen:
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Unread post07 Feb 2014, 18:18

Gums wrote:Salute!

Gums sends...



That's great insight - I suppose the philosophy of "fight your way" in with the Block 10 was essential in the more visual environment. Get to the combat area, ditch the tanks + pylons and see off the MiG-23/F-4 type adversaries still carrying MK-83s & AIM-9s - that's great.
I suppose unlike the Block 50 - with the Block 10 you had less need for an ECM pod and had an F-22A class wingloading figure!

With the F-35A its very much avoid the fight (if possible), hit the target and get out - much more reassuring for the pilots family 8)
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Unread post07 Feb 2014, 18:31

Salute!

Sorry about all the lingo, so here goes:

- Bat turn: this was a max gee/AoA break where we had about 25 deg/sec turn rate and up to 9 gees. We could get to 9 gees any speed above 360 knots, even loaded, but tightest turn was just above 360 knots CAS. The so-called corner velocity. When I demonstrated the bat turn to those F-4's, I was in a Block 15, or maybe a big tail Block 10. During debrief, the F-4 guys said they were amazed, as did other folks from other planes at the time. We could hold the gees for maybe 3 or 4 seconds without using the AB ( also not have gee-loc), but we didn't bleed off the "e" like the Hornet or Eagle or Tomcat did. Or any other jet at the time.

- Doubly ugly is the F-4. Two seats, two engines, heh heh. Besides, it wasn't as pretty as the Viper. Viper is prolly best-looking jet the Thunderbirds will ever fly.

- Beam: That's 3 o'clock or 9 o'clock Trying to come in for a 6 o'clock shot requires great timing, and the attacker might bleed off "e" in the turn. We would normally catch a wing glint and then turn into the bandit, as we did when the Double Ugly was trying to catch us on our egress ( we had already blown up a SA-4 site). The Thuds and 'vaarks at that time came in at 600 knots, then went out "fast", heh heh.

- Lima: The AIM-9L It worked better than the Sparrow down low in radar clutter, so was weapon of choice. Then there was the gun. Didn't have the Slammer yet ( AIM-120).

- Nugget: A young, clueless yute we were trying to get up to speed

++++++++++++++++++

From the data we have seen so far, my feeling is the Stubby will be very good defeating an attack if the bandit can close before all the sensors and AWACS/sensor fusion alerts the pilot. Don't forget wingmen and other components of the stike packages - mutual support.

Gums sends...
Gums
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"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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Unread post07 Feb 2014, 18:50

basher54321 wrote:With the F-35A its very much avoid the fight (if possible), hit the target and get out - much more reassuring for the pilots family 8)


This was pretty much always the preffered tactic since the advent of Radar guided missiles. But pilots should always train and aircraft should always be capable for a worst case scenario event.

The worst case scenario may happen way more often than we would like to think.

But with pilots like Gums here, I wouldn't be worried. :devil:
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Unread post07 Feb 2014, 18:54

Salute!

For a newbie, Basher seems to good insight as well.

Ya gotta look at the time frame we trained and fought in the 80's, even the 90's.

- We normally flew with the radar in standby so's bandits didn't see us on their RHAW gear. It was one switch and we had the radar in auto-acquisistion and the Lima was slaved to the bandit. The incident I recounted showed the value of our RHAW gear. Got a "ping" from the F-4 radar and then saw the dude coming over a ridge behind us. He was clever, but his radar helped me to acquire and defeat.

- With AWACS, we could get bandit calls even if we didn't show up on the AWACS radar using raw "paint". However, one IFF mode was "secure", so the AWACS could see us and know who we were. That mode required a secure download to our system as we cranked up for lurch, then the electronic dude would test us. The Eagles also had an IFF interrogation system that identified us as friendly. Then there was "non-cooperative target identification" capabilities very "protected" at that time. Best I remember, the Tomcat and Hornet had a similar system.

- The Stubby will have a host of sensors, including the new radar that is hard for the bandit to detect. I wouldn't get complacent, but the new sensor suite could make up for a lotta visual look out if you are lazy or clueless.

Gums sends...
Gums
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"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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