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

Unread postPosted: 14 Dec 2013, 17:50
by mixelflick
There's been much speculation that the F-35 will be lacking in air to air, so I'd like to confirm the following:

PRO'S
* Will have stealth superior to PAK-FA/any Flanker variant
* Will have sensor suite/situational awareness second to none
* Presumably, this means first look/shot/kill
* Has nose pointing authority of a SH
* Will have AMRAAM/CUDA/9x long range, medium and WVR layered air-to air missile suite
* 3,000+ planned vs 400 or so PAK-FA's

CON'S
* Unable to run down/run away from PAK-FA, Flanker and presumably, J-20 (if they can find it)
* Lacks WVR maneuverability of PAK-FA/later Flanker variants
* Inferior range to PAK-FA/Flanker/J-20


It seems the pros heavily outweigh the cons, What am I missing?

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 15 Dec 2013, 00:43
by awsome
What aircraft would the F-35 compare to in regards to maneuverability? Is it comparable to the Strike Eagle?

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 15 Dec 2013, 01:13
by popcorn
Second only to F-22 in A2A,,as revealed in testimony before Oz Parliamentary committee, it is expected to enjoy a 6:1 kill ratio vs. opposing Gen 4+ platforms when fighting to it's strengths. The numbers it will be built in means the money will continue to be invested to make the jet even more lethal throughout it's lifetime.

Source: http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArch ... 13f35.aspx

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III rarely misses a chance to advocate for the F-35 as crucial to the service’s future combat ability. Last spring, he also said the F-35 will have to bear a much greater part of the air superiority mission than it was ever intended to, because of the small number of F-22s.

“I believe the Chief is probably right,” Bogdan said in the interview. As a replacement for the F-16, the F-35 will inherit the Viper’s air-to-air role.

To give it more dogfighting capability, Bogdan said the F-35 program has a science and technology funding line that looks at future capabilities and growth potential for the fighter. “We are specifically targeting sensors and weapons that enhance our ability in the air-to-air realm,” he reported. “We … will make this airplane even better than it is today in an air-to-air role.”

There are block upgrade plans “already in place for the aircraft,” Martin said. There are “significant roadmaps” for electronic warfare, communications, weapons, and sensors, “not only to support the US but our partners as well.” The summit-level steering committee is “now in the process of looking at Block 4A and 4B for added capabilities,” she said.

The power plant is a likely improvement area. Bogdan said there could be modular enhancements to the F135 engine, or “a whole new engine 20 years from now.” The entire S&T community, he said, “continues to advance engine technology, and … the F-35 is going to use some of that someday. We have to.”

Moreover, the F-35’s stealth can be improved, he said.

“It’s not just coatings, … shape, [or] … countermeasures kind of stuff. There’s a whole host of things you can do” without affecting the aircraft’s shape or “mold line.” The program “would like to tap into that,” he said.

Bogdan acknowledged that Lockheed Martin offered stealthy external weapons or fuel pods on the stillborn FB-22 proposal, and something similar could extend the F-35’s range, even as the services are putting a premium on longer-range systems to defeat anti-access, area-denial threats.

However, combat commanders “have to decide in some form of trade if they’re willing to pay the penalty of maybe a little less stealth, a little less payload for increased range,” Bogdan said. “I’ve not heard that demand signal yet.”..

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 15 Dec 2013, 04:37
by mixelflick
Large quantities of Sweetman cool aid?

LOL, nope I read his books though as a kid. Thought I knew what he was talking about. I'm grateful the F-35's air to air mission is being addressed, just hope it really is 2nd only to the Raptor...

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 15 Dec 2013, 05:11
by Conan
mixelflick wrote:There's been much speculation that the F-35 will be lacking in air to air, so I'd like to confirm the following:

PRO'S

* Will have stealth superior to PAK-FA/any Flanker variant
* Will have sensor suite/situational awareness second to none
* Presumably, this means first look/shot/kill
* Has nose pointing authority of a SH
* Will have AMRAAM/CUDA/9x long range, medium and WVR layered air-to air missile suite
* 3,000+ planned vs 400 or so PAK-FA's

CON'S

* Unable to run down/run away from PAK-FA, Flanker and presumably, J-20 (if they can find it)
* Lacks WVR maneuverability of PAK-FA/later Flanker variants
* Inferior range to PAK-FA/Flanker/J-20


It seems the pros heavily outweigh the cons, What am I missing?


The idea that the F-35 is somehow "slow". Okay it's top speed is 0.4M slower than some other fighters, but the amount of time one fighter actually spends above M1.6 is measured in seconds per flight and perhaps minutes in a career, if at all. The idea that the F-35 is therefore at a disadvantage by this is ludicrous. ALL fighter aircraft spend the overwhelming majority of their flight at high subsonic speeds.

In any aircraft it takes a long time to get past Mach 1.6, it takes a lot of fuel and these aircraft are all relatively small aircraft with limited fuel loads. None have the fuel to spend going supersonic all the time and can therefore "beat" the F-35 with some sort of massive kinematic advantage.

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 15 Dec 2013, 07:22
by zero-one
Most of the data available today puts the F-35s maneuverability between the Viper and the Hornet although some say its closer to the Hornet. Whether or not thats a legacy or SuperHornet, I don't know.

from what I've read so far, the Legacy hornet has better Acceleration and sustained turn ability
but the super has better AOA capability, departure resistance, roll rate and slow speed handling etc.

so if the F-35 can match that then I think its good enough for early Flanker variants and fulcrums in a Gun fight.
Although it may strugle with Su-35s and PAK-FAs without 9X's help.

According to LM, its like a Hornet with better acceleration at some parts of the envelope.

This seems to go in line with the "between Viper and Hornet" performance or should I say Hornet performance with a touch of Viper performance.

Future Block upgrades may put its acceleration and Sustained Turn performance on par with a Clean Viper block 50.

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 15 Dec 2013, 09:23
by hb_pencil
Conan wrote:The idea that the F-35 is somehow "slow". Okay it's top speed is 0.4M slower than some other fighters, but the amount of time one fighter actually spends above M1.6 is measured in seconds per flight and perhaps minutes in a career, if at all. The idea that the F-35 is therefore at a disadvantage by this is ludicrous. ALL fighter aircraft spend the overwhelming majority of their flight at high subsonic speeds.

In any aircraft it takes a long time to get past Mach 1.6, it takes a lot of fuel and these aircraft are all relatively small aircraft with limited fuel loads. None have the fuel to spend going supersonic all the time and can therefore "beat" the F-35 with some sort of massive kinematic advantage.


One of the things I found interesting is that one of the influential post Vietnam studies pegged Mach 1.6 as the limit of usable speed in ACM. And once you start going above that speed, the cost increases exponentially. That is especially true if you try to incorporate other, often contradictory, performance.

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 15 Dec 2013, 21:18
by disconnectedradical
hb_pencil wrote:
Conan wrote:The idea that the F-35 is somehow "slow". Okay it's top speed is 0.4M slower than some other fighters, but the amount of time one fighter actually spends above M1.6 is measured in seconds per flight and perhaps minutes in a career, if at all. The idea that the F-35 is therefore at a disadvantage by this is ludicrous. ALL fighter aircraft spend the overwhelming majority of their flight at high subsonic speeds.

In any aircraft it takes a long time to get past Mach 1.6, it takes a lot of fuel and these aircraft are all relatively small aircraft with limited fuel loads. None have the fuel to spend going supersonic all the time and can therefore "beat" the F-35 with some sort of massive kinematic advantage.


One of the things I found interesting is that one of the influential post Vietnam studies pegged Mach 1.6 as the limit of usable speed in ACM. And once you start going above that speed, the cost increases exponentially. That is especially true if you try to incorporate other, often contradictory, performance.


The problem is that you may be encountering supercruising PAK-FA eventually. So yeah, the F-35 is certainly slow when compared to the PAK-FA and F-22. That said, it's not clear if the additional speed and kinematics will necessarily swing things in the PAK-FA's favor (IMO the F-35 should still have the advantage for the most part). It's a long time before the PAK-FA will match the stealth and SA of the F-35.

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 16 Dec 2013, 11:46
by hornetfinn
mixelflick wrote:* Inferior range to PAK-FA/Flanker/J-20


I seriously doubt any of these fighters have significantly better range than F-35A or C. We do not know how much fuel there is in PAK-FA or J-20, but we do know that most Su-27 variants have about 9400 kg to 10000 kg of internal fuel and only Su-35 has 11500 kg of internal fuel. F-35A has about 8300 kg of internal fuel and that is huge in an aircraft so small.

Let's say that SFC and drag with weapons were equal in Su-27 variants and F-35. That'd mean that in full dry power F-35 should have better range than any other Su-27 variant except Su-35. F-35 has max dry power of about 28000 lbf and Su-27 variants have max dry power of about 34200 lbf except Su-35 which has max dry power of almost 38800 lbf. That means F-35 and Su-35 have almost exactly the same flight time if flown using only max dry power. Yeah, I know that's unrealistic in real world, but gives the idea as both engines are calculated the same way.

As all Su-27 variants are much heavier and have two almost as large engines compared to one in F-35, I'd say their fuel consumption is much higher. Of course the engine in F-35 is much newer technology than any engine in any Su-27 variant and use (likely significantly) less fuel to generate the same amount of thrust.

AL-31F engine variants used in Su-27 have SFC of 0.78 lb(kg)/lbf(kgf)*hr at mil power and 1.96 at max AB. We do not know the SFC figures of F135 engine but quite modern Snecma M88 and EJ200 engines used in Dassault Rafale and EF Typhoon have SFC of 0.74-0.81 at mil power and 1.66-1.73 at full AB. So, M88 and EJ200 engines has much lower (about 15 percent) fuel consumption at full AB and about equal at max dry thrust. F135 engine is newer design having many features which should allow for much lower SFC, especially at dry thrust. It has much higher bypass ratio, higher inlet temperature and higher pressure ratio along with much lower weight in comparison to thrust. I would not be surprised if F135 engine has SFC of quite a less than 0.70 lb(kg)/lbf(kgf)*h and less than 1.60 at max AB.

I'd bet that F-35 has much better range than any Su-27 variant, save Su-35. I doubt even it will have significantly better range depending on how much better 117S engine is compared to other AL-31F variants. As it's a variant of AL-31F, I doubt it's anywhere near F135 engine in fuel efficiency as there is only so much what can be done to improve old engine design. If I had to bet, I'd say F-35 betters even Su-35 in range or flight time depending on weapons load and flight profile.

I have serious doubts either J-20 or PAK-FA will have significantly better range. Chinese are having serious trouble in engine development and current operational engines are mostly AL-31F derivatives and even they have problems. PAK-FA has probably about the same internal fuel volume as Su-35 and will probably have more efficient engines, although likely not quite F135 level. That might give it small advantage in range if all goes as planned.

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 16 Dec 2013, 12:12
by cola
mixelflick wrote:* Presumably, this means first look/shot/kill

First look likely, first shoot perhaps with a capital P and first kill is just laughable shill/PR banter, nothing more really. Particularly is funny the one about enemies 'blowing up before they even knew what hit them'. :D
Serbian 80s vintage Mig29s got a clear AMRAAM pitbull signature on their SPOs, well on those that worked anyway.
Then there's a large as a house missile mid course guidance signal, without which Pk goes down to AIM-7 levels.
There's a lot more where this came from, but you get the picture.

It seems the pros heavily outweigh the cons, What am I missing?

What you're missing is a fact that the F35 is still a subsonic fighter (like the previous generation), while the air combat moved to supersonic with the appearance of fighters like F22, EF and perhaps PAKFA/J20 (early to tell).

Conan wrote:The idea that the F-35 is somehow "slow". Okay it's top speed is 0.4M slower than some other fighters, but the amount of time one fighter actually spends above M1.6 is measured in seconds per flight and perhaps minutes in a career, if at all.

And this is the typical misconception...it is slow, way too slow and not just top speed.
Read C.Worning's deposition about EF's performance and consider that the F22 can do all this somewhat longer and faster. http://openparliament.ca/committees/nat ... 38/?page=9 (page 9/10)

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 16 Dec 2013, 13:09
by Conan
disconnectedradical wrote:The problem is that you may be encountering supercruising PAK-FA eventually. So yeah, the F-35 is certainly slow when compared to the PAK-FA and F-22. That said, it's not clear if the additional speed and kinematics will necessarily swing things in the PAK-FA's favor (IMO the F-35 should still have the advantage for the most part). It's a long time before the PAK-FA will match the stealth and SA of the F-35.


Supercruising isn't faster than flying supersonic in reheat. It simply means you burn a little less fuel than you do in reheat.

Fuel burn for flying supersonic is ALWAYS greater than it is flying subsonic which is why every fighter including the F-22A, the PAK-FA, J-20 and Eurofighter fly the overwhelming majority of their missions at subsonic cruise speeds.

At times there will be an advantage from supercruising flight, but the 100nm or so of available "supercruise" on a 400-500nm combat radius flight (plus nn amount of loiter time) is meant to radically change the dynamics of air to air combat, compared to entire force structures being LO and having the other capabilities types like the F-35 will have?

I don't really see that. More to the point, neither do the force planners for the major air arms of this world.

There's only been one fighter that was both extreme LO and supercruise capable and the richest nation on the Earth couldn't afford to equip a force structure with it or even get it in the numbers they wanted.

So will it be with the other types that attempt the same thing. Their LO will either suck, or their performance will be compromised somewhat to keep costs down and neither the twain shall meet with existing budgets.

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 16 Dec 2013, 13:17
by Conan
cola wrote:And this is the typical misconception...it is slow, way too slow and not just top speed.
Read C.Worning's deposition about EF's performance and consider that the F22 can do all this somewhat longer and faster. http://openparliament.ca/committees/nat ... 38/?page=9 (page 9/10)


So let me get this right, you can trust the word of a test pilot?

Anyway, this trustworthy test pilot never said didly about it's performance on dry thrust, he was talking about using burner.

This is what he said he has done:


I have done above Mach 1.6 for a total of 15 minutes with three tanks on, but that was with heavy manoeuvring in between.


And that's with a fuel fraction equivalent to the F-35.

Nice choice of supporting material as to why the F-35 is "too slow"... With 3 EFT's and no other stores, that aircraft can approximately match the F-35's specs, with a full load on-board...

:bang:

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 16 Dec 2013, 17:01
by cola
Conan,
first off there's nothing to 'trust'. Figures are measurable, unlike the hot air coming out of LM/TPs/JPO.
Second, what you need to understand is that the air combat moved to supersonic for those that can keep up (the others rapidly becoming clay pigeons) and the F35 has nothing to offer over the previous gen in that regard, so there goes that.

With 3 EFT's and no other stores, that aircraft can approximately match the F-35's specs, with a full load on-board...

Yea I know you're a fanboy but reading with understanding should be mandatory for the forum.
Worning spent 15min over M1.6 IN ADDITION to maneuvering, climbing, descending...in short caponier to caponier.
So although both planes probably can do similar time in burner, their actual performance during that time is, I'd say, half an order of magnitude different and not in JSF's favor, in case you've been wondering.
Anyway, I posted this in response to your remark
...but the amount of time one fighter actually spends above M1.6 is measured in seconds per flight and perhaps minutes in a career, if at all.

which is obviously complete rubbish, because those who can - do and those who can't (teach? :D) - don't.

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 16 Dec 2013, 23:52
by popcorn
Conan wrote:[

At times there will be an advantage from supercruising flight, but the 100nm or so of available "supercruise" on a 400-500nm combat radius flight (plus nn amount of loiter time) is meant to radically change the dynamics of air to air combat, compared to entire force structures being LO and having the other capabilities types like the F-35 will have?

I don't really see that. More to the point, neither do the force planners for the major air arms of this world.
.



Flying faster vs. a foe with superior LO and SA and enjoying the further advantage of a COP just means that you die faster. :D

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 17 Dec 2013, 00:46
by cantaz
cola wrote:Serbian 80s vintage Mig29s got a clear AMRAAM pitbull signature on their SPOs, well on those that worked anyway.


Because 90s vintage AMRAAM and radar is accurately indicative of how the F-35 will perform?

Then there's a large as a house missile mid course guidance signal, without which Pk goes down to AIM-7 levels


What unsurmountable challenge prevents the F-35 from eventually being able to complete an AMRAAM engagement without radiating at the target? Let's think about what is implicitly possible with the explicit capabilities of the F-35.

Even without using the LPI capability of the APG-81 for discrete target acquisition, the F-35 can still acquire and target entirely passively with its EOTS and EODAS at BVR. No emissions directed at enemy RWR.

The APG-81 has already demonstrated both LPI and data link capability, combine those two features through software and you have a highly directional missile midcourse guidance with the wide FOV and reaction time of an AESA, with any compatibility resolved through missile antenna and software changes. Combine that with the EODAS and EOTS and you can actually cue that uplink at the AMRAAM and only the AMRAAM. This needs to be emphasized, a narrow beam missile uplink is only useful if you know where your missile is, and the F-35 can actually track its own missiles passively (favourably, too, conveniently looking at the hot tailpipe). This resolves the indiscriminate midcourse signal of legacy aircraft, legacy aircraft simply didn't have the hardware to try and be discrete and therefore their experience is not representative of what's technological possible today.

The AMRAAM C-8 has a two-way data link and GPS/IMU. It can fly a loft trajectory with no reason to bring the midcourse signal beam from the APG-81 anywhere near the target. The F-35 doesn't even need feedback from the AMRAAM until it travels beyond EOTS or EODAS range, since missile trajectory can be tracked passively, which further keeps the emission down. The first signal the target detects will be the AMRAAM's radar because that's literally the first RF energy actually reaching the target in this whole engagement.

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 17 Dec 2013, 01:07
by cantaz
It just also occurred to me that there should be no technical reason that the F-22 cannot achieve similar effect as above by using the ALR-94 to track the two-way data link from the AMRAAM like a beacon to cue a discrete midcourse guidance beam from the APG-77.

And then I also realized that something similar should be possible with the F-35's RWR. F-35 fires the AMRAAM with data link set on receive only and tracks it with EODAS and EOTS to cue uplink from APG-81. As the missile leaves EODAS and EOTS range for missile-size tail aspect targets, the missile is commanded to go two ways on the data link. EODAS and EOTS hands off the track to the RWR, engagement proceeds as usual. Holy frigging sensor fusion, Batman.

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 17 Dec 2013, 01:37
by cola
cantaz,
Because 90s vintage AMRAAM and radar is accurately indicative of how the F-35 will perform?

Well it's indicative of how will the AMRAAM perform and unless someone plans to arm the JSF with something else, the JSF as well.
...Let's think....

Let's not...a fighter (JSF included) needs to emit to the missile in order to guide it and that can't be done passively, since it's kinda mandatory for emitting to be active.

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 17 Dec 2013, 02:02
by cantaz
cola wrote:Well it's indicative of how will the AMRAAM perform and unless someone plans to arm the JSF with something else, the JSF as well.


It's indicative of how AMRAAM and older US radars used to perform. You can't just flatly refuse to acknowledge improvements to sensors and missiles over time.

Let's not...a fighter (JSF included) needs to emit to the missile in order to guide it and that can't be done passively, since it's kinda mandatory for emitting to be active.


You are completely avoiding the point. I never said a fighter wouldn't have to radiate to provide midcourse guidance its missile. What I said was that fighters like the F-35 have the technology to radiate away from the target's RWR while still providing midcourse guidance to its missile.

You're trying to reduce the entirety of signals intercept to on = detected with no thought about even something as basic and crucial as direction and beam shaping. You're not even trying to have a meaningful discussion. Does AESA and LPI even exist in your world?

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 17 Dec 2013, 02:21
by castlebravo
The missile is perfectly capable of guiding itself without mid-course updates provided the target does not change course and speed after launch, which is reasonably likely when the target is unaware it is under attack.

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 17 Dec 2013, 07:42
by hornetfinn
cola wrote:Serbian 80s vintage Mig29s got a clear AMRAAM pitbull signature on their SPOs, well on those that worked anyway.


Can you please provide some source for this claim?

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 17 Dec 2013, 08:28
by hornetfinn
Of course the datalink transmissions for missile datalinks are very short duration as not much data is needed to be transmitted and would be hard to detect and even harder to identify or track by enemy fighters. Even MSA radars use several tricks to reduce detectability of the datalink and F-35 has several more ways of reducing detectability as described by cantaz.

- Datalinks need very little power as missile received is pointing at the transmitting fighter radar and needs to just receive the transmission. It also has receiver optimized for this and knows the waveform and other parameters. Radar does not need to transmit at full power but can rather use only very small fraction of the full power.

- Datalinks can optimize the transmission power as it sends extremely low power signals when missile is relatively close and increases power as distance between launching aircraft and missile increase.

- Datalink transmissions are very short and can vary the interval they are sent as they only need to be sent if target changes speed or heading so much to affect targeting.

- Datalink transmissions can be made with extremely narrow beams that radiate very little anywhere else. Especially if it's known where the missile is during flight. This can be calculated with some accuracy by the fighter computing system or better yet be exactly known with 2-way datalink/GPS system (AIM-120D), MBDA Meteor) or sensors (DAS, EOTS, AN/APG-81). Missiles usually fly a path that would leave the target well out of datalink transmission beam.

All in all I'd say it's extremely hard for any enemy fighter to detect missile datalink signals. The target fighter would receive an extremely low powered signal for a very short duration at best if it happens to be directly inside the datalink transmission beam. Most of the time it'd not receive a detectable (from background noise) signal.

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 18 Dec 2013, 18:04
by wrightwing
disconnectedradical wrote:The problem is that you may be encountering supercruising PAK-FA eventually. So yeah, the F-35 is certainly slow when compared to the PAK-FA and F-22. That said, it's not clear if the additional speed and kinematics will necessarily swing things in the PAK-FA's favor (IMO the F-35 should still have the advantage for the most part). It's a long time before the PAK-FA will match the stealth and SA of the F-35.

Even super cruising F-22/PAK-FAs spend most of their time subsonic. It's a serious misconception, to think that they'll flying their entire mission supersonically.

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 19 Dec 2013, 05:51
by disconnectedradical
wrightwing wrote:
disconnectedradical wrote:The problem is that you may be encountering supercruising PAK-FA eventually. So yeah, the F-35 is certainly slow when compared to the PAK-FA and F-22. That said, it's not clear if the additional speed and kinematics will necessarily swing things in the PAK-FA's favor (IMO the F-35 should still have the advantage for the most part). It's a long time before the PAK-FA will match the stealth and SA of the F-35.

Even super cruising F-22/PAK-FAs spend most of their time subsonic. It's a serious misconception, to think that they'll flying their entire mission supersonically.


While it's true that any jet has longer subsonic range, I don't think we should write off the PAK-FA's supercruising capability too soon. The PAK-FA has quite a large fuel load, reportedly more than the Su-27, so its supersonic endurance may exceed the F-22's.

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 19 Dec 2013, 08:41
by cola
cantaz wrote:You're not even trying to have a meaningful discussion.

Indeed I don't and there's nothing to discuss here since I fail to see a point in beating the long dead and burried horse million times over and I don't think you actually understand how does the the mid course gudiance and AMRAAM work in the first place, so...

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 19 Dec 2013, 10:01
by zero-one
I found this little excerpt on Wiki on the AMRAAM page

"Not all armed services using the AMRAAM have elected to purchase the mid-course update option, which limits AMRAAM's effectiveness in some scenarios".

What scenarios would the a midcourse update or a data link be deemed less effective

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 19 Dec 2013, 11:06
by popcorn
zero-one wrote:I found this little excerpt on Wiki on the AMRAAM page

"Not all armed services using the AMRAAM have elected to purchase the mid-course update option, which limits AMRAAM's effectiveness in some scenarios".

What scenarios would the a midcourse update or a data link be deemed less effective

When AMRAAM is configured for ground-based launch and uses,SARH mode to home i on it's target.

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 19 Dec 2013, 12:51
by hornetfinn
zero-one wrote:I found this little excerpt on Wiki on the AMRAAM page

"Not all armed services using the AMRAAM have elected to purchase the mid-course update option, which limits AMRAAM's effectiveness in some scenarios".

What scenarios would the a midcourse update or a data link be deemed less effective


IMO it means to say that not having mid-course updates limits AMRAAM's effectiveness in some scenarios (long range launch and/or maneuvering targets) and not that having mid-course updates limits effectiveness.

I think Tornado ADVs AMRAAM capability was originally intended to not have missile datalink updates, but it was then realized that it was not very good idea and full integration with datalink capability was added. I think this was because full integration meant changes to the radar to generate datalink transmissions and of course this costs money.

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 19 Dec 2013, 16:31
by cantaz
cola wrote:Indeed I don't and there's nothing to discuss here since I fail to see a point in beating the long dead and burried horse million times over and I don't think you actually understand how does the the mid course gudiance and AMRAAM work in the first place, so...


That's rich given that you're the one with nothing to contribute other than outdated notions and blanket statements.

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 20 Dec 2013, 00:05
by deadseal
hornetfinn wrote:Of course the datalink transmissions for missile datalinks are very short duration as not much data is needed to be transmitted and would be hard to detect and even harder to identify or track by enemy fighters. Even MSA radars use several tricks to reduce detectability of the datalink and F-35 has several more ways of reducing detectability as described by cantaz.

- Datalinks need very little power as missile received is pointing at the transmitting fighter radar and needs to just receive the transmission. It also has receiver optimized for this and knows the waveform and other parameters. Radar does not need to transmit at full power but can rather use only very small fraction of the full power.

- Datalinks can optimize the transmission power as it sends extremely low power signals when missile is relatively close and increases power as distance between launching aircraft and missile increase.

- Datalink transmissions are very short and can vary the interval they are sent as they only need to be sent if target changes speed or heading so much to affect targeting.

- Datalink transmissions can be made with extremely narrow beams that radiate very little anywhere else. Especially if it's known where the missile is during flight. This can be calculated with some accuracy by the fighter computing system or better yet be exactly known with 2-way datalink/GPS system (AIM-120D), MBDA Meteor) or sensors (DAS, EOTS, AN/APG-81). Missiles usually fly a path that would leave the target well out of datalink transmission beam.

All in all I'd say it's extremely hard for any enemy fighter to detect missile datalink signals. The target fighter would receive an extremely low powered signal for a very short duration at best if it happens to be directly inside the datalink transmission beam. Most of the time it'd not receive a detectable (from background noise) signal.



Hornetfin you are soooooooo freakin wrong....of course the target will "see" the data link transmission beam....at timeout :wink:

unless F-22s/f-35s are shooting at hostile UFOs in space, the beam will never "line up" with its target. Now the fact that cola claimed that the M-29s got pitbull indications is pretty interesting. I wonder if the SPO's OFP actually had AMRAAM discrimination.

I imagine that if this is your first indication that anyone is shooting you you are probobly SOL.

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

Unread postPosted: 20 Dec 2013, 14:53
by hornetfinn
Yes, getting AMRAAM pitbull indication clearly makes F-35 inferior in air-to-air combat...

I wonder when cola will provide any proof that Serbian MiG-29s actually got AMRAAM pitbull indication. Even if they did, it did not help them much as those MiGs were quickly changing physical shape...

The only real con of F-35 I can think of is the kinematic performance if you compare it to F-22 kind of aircraft. It's not the fastest aircraft with the best acceleration, but the maneuverability and handling is likely very good. All the other attributes are better or much better than pretty much any other aircraft. It could''ve been made faster quite easily, but then it would've been bigger and more expensive aircraft. I think it has more than adequate kinematic performance even in air to air combat and other attributes more than make up for any lack of raw performance.

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

Unread postPosted: 20 Dec 2013, 15:57
by vilters
Having good kinetic performance without a gun?
Seems pretty . . . . .

What can you do with good kinetic performance and no gun?
Disengage?

And all those expensive sensors are only there to look at what you are running away from?
Nice move.

Or?
Eject the canopy and pull his 44 Magnum?
Yes, those 6 rounds would certainly finish the ennemy off. LOL. :bang: :devil: :bang:

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

Unread postPosted: 20 Dec 2013, 16:39
by SpudmanWP
The F-35, which will be used by the vast majority of users & bought in the greatest numbers, has a gun... Just sayin :)

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

Unread postPosted: 20 Dec 2013, 16:58
by vilters
I know, I know.

Perhaps use the chaff & flares?

With some luck he can FOD the others engines? :wink: :wink: :wink:

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

Unread postPosted: 20 Dec 2013, 17:00
by sferrin
vilters wrote:I know, I know.

Perhaps use the chaff & flares?

With some luck he can FOD the others engines? :wink: :wink: :wink:


How many gun kills by fighters have there been in the last 40 years? All of a sudden you're not lookin' too bright. :lmao:

How many Harriers have got gun kills? :lmao:

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 21 Dec 2013, 23:18
by justboring
hornetfinn wrote:
mixelflick wrote:* Inferior range to PAK-FA/Flanker/J-20

--
I'd bet that F-35 has much better range than any Su-27 variant
---------
that's unrealistic in real world,
----------------------
I doubt even it will have significantly better range depending on how much better 117S engine is compared to other AL-31F variants. As it's a variant of AL-31F, I doubt it's anywhere near F135 engine in fuel efficiency as there is only so much what can be done to improve old engine design. If I had to bet, I'd say F-35 betters even Su-35 in range
-----------------------
that's unrealistic in real world,


I have serious doubts either J-20 or PAK-FA will have significantly better range.
.

Sorry for you but they will.

Hornetfinn try to remove pink glasses sometimes after all

Su27
- Dry thrust: 7,670 kgf (75.22 kN, 16,910 lbf) each
- Thrust with afterburner: 12,500 kgf (122.6 kN, 27,560 lbf) each
Range: 3,530 km (2,070 mi)at altitude; (1,340 km / 800 mi at sea level)

F-35a
- Dry thrust: 28,000 lbf (125 kN)
- Thrust with afterburner: 43,000 lbf (191 kN)
- Range: 1,200 nmi (2,220 km)

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

Unread postPosted: 22 Dec 2013, 00:45
by vilters
sferrin wrote:
vilters wrote:I know, I know.

Perhaps use the chaff & flares?

With some luck he can FOD the others engines? :wink: :wink: :wink:


How many gun kills by fighters have there been in the last 40 years? All of a sudden you're not lookin' too bright. :lmao:

How many Harriers have got gun kills? :lmao:


I do not have enough fingers to count the number of drones "gunned" down by Israel F-16's. (Just to name one country.

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

Unread postPosted: 22 Dec 2013, 06:31
by zero-one
All this talk about the insignificance of the gun should be taken into context.

There has been very very few gun kills in the last 20 years because there has bearly been A-A combat in the last 2 decades.
The last big one was in 1982 over Israel and even that had quite a good number of Gun kills.

Operation DS was tiny by comparison to most wars with around 40 (36 if memory serves me correctly) A-A victories.

It also showed that if you can overwhelm an enemy airforce by sheer numbers and support aircraft and build a clear picture of the entire battlespace whilde depriving the enemy to do the same, then you can acheive a great deal of BVR victories.

But what if someday 2 similar strength forces go to war?

India vs Pakistan
Israel vs Iran(backed by Russia)
the US, Japan, Skorea and Philippines vs China, Pakistan, NKorea, Myanmar (with support from Russia) :twisted:
No nukes
What will that look like?
Will it be like DS? or more like Vietnam, or something else entierly.
:doh:

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

Unread postPosted: 22 Dec 2013, 08:34
by popcorn
I doubt even 12 CUDAs in the belly will sway the gun lobby.. :)

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

Unread postPosted: 22 Dec 2013, 17:48
by smsgtmac
zero-one wrote:Will it be like DS? or more like Vietnam, or something else entierly.
:doh:


If you knew dip-squat about the Vietnam air war, you wouldn't have used it as a counterpoint to DS. With today's forces, we would sweep the skies and plow under the AAA and SAMs in about a week with the same 1960-70s ground rules and limitations.

I suggest reading and analyzing all the Red Baron Volumes and the Ault Report in its entirety for starters. those should lead you to more source documents because they will disabuse you of everything you think you know about the air war in VN. If you are of at least average intelligence, shouldn't take you more than 6 months before you're up to asking insightful questions. Eventually, you will be able to answer some. :wink:

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

Unread postPosted: 22 Dec 2013, 19:48
by count_to_10
popcorn wrote:I doubt even 12 CUDAs in the belly will sway the gun lobby.. :)

I'm still thinking off a pod full of Stingers.

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

Unread postPosted: 23 Dec 2013, 08:21
by zero-one
smsgtmac wrote:If you knew dip-squat about the Vietnam air war, you wouldn't have used it as a counterpoint to DS. With today's forces, we would sweep the skies and plow under the AAA and SAMs in about a week with the same 1960-70s ground rules and limitations.

I suggest reading and analyzing all the Red Baron Volumes and the Ault Report in its entirety for starters. those should lead you to more source documents because they will disabuse you of everything you think you know about the air war in VN. If you are of at least average intelligence, shouldn't take you more than 6 months before you're up to asking insightful questions. Eventually, you will be able to answer some. :wink:


No matter how much you know, it doesn't excuse you from talking like an a******.
Now having said that,
I admit that I don't know much about what really happened in VN

But I do know some of the many restrictions imposed on pilots during that time like:
-They had to fly at a certain corridor into N.vietnam
-They had to identify their targes vissually before weapons release
-they could not destroy N.Vietnamese air basses operating in China.
among others

The only reason why I made a point of comparison was because
1. Operation DS was one of the most lopsided fights in modern times. Basically it was Iraq against a coalition of the most powerful nations on Earth and then some.

2. Vietnam on the otherhand was a proxy war among the Superpowers. The US and her allies supported S.Vietnam while the USSR, China and their allies supported N.Vietnam.

my point was simply, what would happen if it wasnt such a lopsided fight, and if the enemy had the industrial base to replenish lost forces.

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 03 Jan 2014, 13:36
by milosh
Part of PAK-FA program is development of new weapons, I thinkg 14 new weapons are developing right now. That is why I dont understand why you folks think it would be armed with R-73 and R-77. Also you forgot RVV-BD which is much more potent then old AIM-54 or R-33.

disconnectedradical wrote:While it's true that any jet has longer subsonic range, I don't think we should write off the PAK-FA's supercruising capability too soon. The PAK-FA has quite a large fuel load, reportedly more than the Su-27, so its supersonic endurance may exceed the F-22's.


Yes that was what testpilot said. He didnt precise what Flanker version. So PAK-FA at least carries more then 9.6tons of fuel.

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

Unread postPosted: 04 Jan 2014, 21:21
by Gums
Salute!

I don't understand why we keep talking about the A2A capability of the F-35.

I think about the designation - "Joint Strike Fighter", and that seems to describe the missions and capabilities of the jet.

USAF already has the Raptor, and USN has the latest and greatest Hornet variation. Both have different missions, and the Hornet A2A is more geared to fleet defense than A2G, huh?

The F-35 seems pretty good for most A2A scenarios, and it was not designed for air superiority, but for A2G for the most part. The F-16 was started with A2A, but evolved into a multi-role jet. No biggie. In the A2A loadout, we kicked a$$ back in the early 80's, much to the surprise of the Eagle drivers ( you know, Battle Star Galactica). The Hornet was much tougher, but it had to leave the fight earlier because of its horrendous fuel flow. A Hornet driver back in 1982 or 1983 told me his fuel flow at basic cruise and I was shocked. It was about the same as the Double Ugly. I was surprised at its turn rate, but as with the flyoff back in 1974, it lost energy quickly, so defeating intial turn was the key. Then it was meat on the table.

The Double Ugly was so-so in A2A, and was way more poor than the A-7D/E for A2G. Hence, the LWF program and then the Hornet and Tomcat and Eagle.

Too much discussion of the A2A here, and the other missions are where we should be poking holes and such, IMHO.

Gums opines...

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

Unread postPosted: 04 Jan 2014, 22:08
by gtx
Though for many operators (other than USA), the F-35 will be their primary, if not only, A2A platform. That said though, I believe it will be more than sufficient for that role. After all, most such combat will not involve WWI/II style dogfighting nor will it be those nations operating alone.

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

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2014, 01:40
by vilters
Most theaters, most operations, and most ROE's, REQUIRE visual indentification.
In the past, present, and probably close and distant future.

You are never alone in the sky.

I would be a lot more at ease without missiles but with a good gun and 500 rounds, then I would be without a gun but with whatever missiles.

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

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2014, 03:07
by Corsair1963
vilters wrote:Most theaters, most operations, and most ROE's, REQUIRE visual indentification.
In the past, present, and probably close and distant future.

You are never alone in the sky.

I would be a lot more at ease without missiles but with a good gun and 500 rounds, then I would be without a gun but with whatever missiles.



The F-35 will not need to close to visual range for identification. Which, is why so little attention was given to including a gun.

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

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2014, 04:11
by sprstdlyscottsmn
EOTS will allow aircraft type ID at 50 miles, VID is now a BVR ability

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

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2014, 04:14
by Corsair1963
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:EOTS will allow aircraft type ID at 50 miles, VID is now a BVR ability




Combined with Stealth this is surely going to be a game changer! :twisted:

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

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2014, 06:33
by zero-one
Corsair1963 wrote:
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:EOTS will allow aircraft type ID at 50 miles, VID is now a BVR ability




Combined with Stealth this is surely going to be a game changer! :twisted:


Actually Northrop's AAX-1 TCS installed on the F-14 could VID aircraft up to almost a hundred kilometers away.

VIDing at BVR ranges is nothing new, but ofcourse the F-35's EOTS system will take it to a whole new level.

My question is, exactly what improvements will the EOTS feature against the multi decade old TCS system or the more advanced OLS system found in the Rafale that can even que BVR missiles without the assistance of it's PESA radar

and other FLIR systems that can VID and que munitions at BVR ranges

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

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2014, 08:00
by zero-one
Gums wrote:Salute!

I don't understand why we keep talking about the A2A capability of the F-35.



Salute Mr. Gums

Well, like what others have said, the F-22 is the last word in A2A but isn't available for export.
As a non American citizen, the F-35 is probably the best out there for us.

And as an American Ally in east Asia where China is preatty much on a land grabbing spree, American F-35s would probably be the first to arive in the event of Hostilities, and would most likely engage enemy air forces way more often than the Raptor.

The F-22 will likely be used sparingly as silver bullets against the most advanced air threats.

Thats why a lot of people are so concerned at how well the Lightning will hold out.

On a side note:
I recently did a rough calculation on the F-16C vs the F-35, I placed 4 Amraams and 2 9X's on each and their maximum ammount of rounds, estimating that each round may have weighed around a pound or so, and placed enough fuel on them for what seemed like a respectable amount for maximum performance. 7,200lbs and 4,000lbs for the f-35 and F-16 respectively.

The F-35A ended up weighing 38,432lbs, and the F-16 weighed 25,229lbs
The Results shocked me.


F-35
TW Ratio
Dry:0.72
AB: 1.12
Wing Loading:83.5 lbs/ sq ft.


F-16C

TW Ratio
Dry:0.67
AB: 1.13
Wing Loading: 84lbs/ sq ft.

I did not intend for them to be so close, they are almost identical, does this mean they will have almost exactly the same performance under these configurations

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

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2014, 15:09
by count_to_10
zero-one wrote:I did not intend for them to be so close, they are almost identical, does this mean they will have almost exactly the same performance under these configurations

Would the F-16 have more drag?
On the other hand, The F-35 loses a fair amount (added drag, RCS) with the addition of the sidewinders.

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

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2014, 16:19
by vilters
Both clean?
The F-16 would be at 3500 lbs at half fuel.
The F-35 would be at 9000 lbs at half fuel.

Both have sidewinders externally. Both have that same drag.

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Jan 2014, 02:25
by Corsair1963
vilters wrote:Both clean?
The F-16 would be at 3500 lbs at half fuel.
The F-35 would be at 9000 lbs at half fuel.

Both have sidewinders externally. Both have that same drag.



The F-35 has the option to burn much of its fuel for added energy. While, many opponents would need to conserve it to make it HOME. In addition the Sidewinder in not the only IR Missile available to the F-35. As a matter of fact many will carry the ASRAAM. Which, can be carried internally and last I heard future models of the Sidewinder will too!

In short in the Air to Air Role the F-35 will be clean. While 4/4.5 Generation Fighter will carry several external pylons and at least a few missiles all "EXTERNALLY"

In the "real" world the F-35 have nothing to be afraid of when entering the merge with said types. :devil:

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Jan 2014, 02:59
by Corsair1963
zero-one wrote:
Gums wrote:Salute!

I don't understand why we keep talking about the A2A capability of the F-35.



Salute Mr. Gums

Well, like what others have said, the F-22 is the last word in A2A but isn't available for export.
As a non American citizen, the F-35 is probably the best out there for us.

And as an American Ally in east Asia where China is preatty much on a land grabbing spree, American F-35s would probably be the first to arive in the event of Hostilities, and would most likely engage enemy air forces way more often than the Raptor.

The F-22 will likely be used sparingly as silver bullets against the most advanced air threats.

Thats why a lot of people are so concerned at how well the Lightning will hold out.

On a side note:
I recently did a rough calculation on the F-16C vs the F-35, I placed 4 Amraams and 2 9X's on each and their maximum ammount of rounds, estimating that each round may have weighed around a pound or so, and placed enough fuel on them for what seemed like a respectable amount for maximum performance. 7,200lbs and 4,000lbs for the f-35 and F-16 respectively.

The F-35A ended up weighing 38,432lbs, and the F-16 weighed 25,229lbs
The Results shocked me.


F-35
TW Ratio
Dry:0.72
AB: 1.12
Wing Loading:83.5 lbs/ sq ft.


F-16C

TW Ratio
Dry:0.67
AB: 1.13
Wing Loading: 84lbs/ sq ft.

I did not intend for them to be so close, they are almost identical, does this mean they will have almost exactly the same performance under these configurations



Really, numbers can be very deceiving in many respects. First, the F-35 carries much more fuel internally. So, it has an extremely high fuel fraction. So, in the past the rule of thumb for comparing fighters was 50% of Internal Fuel. Yet, in many cases the F-35 won't need that much fuel to get home. Plus, as I've said before it can trade that excessive fuel for energy! Which, is why larger fighters like the F-14 and F-15 had much more presence than their smaller cousins.

Also, love when some "quote" Wing Loading. Yet, never say anything about the added Drag of External Stores!

For example the numbers listed here are for two loaded aircraft. The F-16 you list at 84lbs/ sq ft. and the F-35 at 83.5 lbs/ sq ft. Yet, in the real world of air combat between the two. The F-16 has to overcome a great deal of added drag. Which, would effect all of the numbers from Instantaneous Turn, Sustained Turn, Transonic Acceleration, Maximum Speed, etc. etc. etc. Of course this doesn't even touch on the fact the F-16 has a RCS of a BARN either! Honestly, I don't even think the F-35 Critics. Would dare to say a "clean" F-16 doesn't have substantially better "numbers" than one loaded with several external stores.

All Apples and Oranges and one the Critics love to try to spin to there favor............ :?

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Jan 2014, 06:48
by zero-one
Corsair1963 wrote:
Really, numbers can be very deceiving in many respects. First, the F-35 carries much more fuel internally. So, it has an extremely high fuel fraction. So, in the past the rule of thumb for comparing fighters was 50% of Internal Fuel. Yet, in many cases the F-35 won't need that much fuel to get home. Plus, as I've said before it can trade that excessive fuel for energy! Which, is why larger fighters like the F-14 and F-15 had much more presence than their smaller cousins.

Also, love when some "quote" Wing Loading. Yet, never say anything about the added Drag of External Stores!

For example the numbers listed here are for two loaded aircraft. The F-16 you list at 84lbs/ sq ft. and the F-35 at 83.5 lbs/ sq ft. Yet, in the real world of air combat between the two. The F-16 has to overcome a great deal of added drag. Which, would effect all of the numbers from Instantaneous Turn, Sustained Turn, Transonic Acceleration, Maximum Speed, etc. etc. etc. Of course this doesn't even touch on the fact the F-16 has a RCS of a BARN either! Honestly, I don't even think the F-35 Critics. Would dare to say a "clean" F-16 doesn't have substantially better "numbers" than one loaded with several external stores.

All Apples and Oranges and one the Critics love to try to spin to there favor............ :?


Actually, I agree with all your points,

in fact i copied and pasted this from my Rafale vs F-35 post recently.

and on that post I think I mentioned that the F-35 has a clear advantage since its 40% fuel is enough for it to use AB preaty much at will,

the F-16 carrying around 70% internal fuel on the other hand would have to worry about his time to RTB, constantly bothering him from time to time.

Both would have drag from external stores. since the 2 Sidewinders on the F-35 would be loaded externally, however my question is, what produces more drag?
the 4 Aim-120s externally mounted on the F-16?
or the generally wider frontal section of the F-35?

I do not have the data for Thrust to Drag ratio's at this configuration, please help me out.

Bottom line my question is this is this, is this F-16 configuration preaty much an airshow config? and if so, does this mean that a combat configured F-35 with 40% fuel, could perform like an airshow configured F-16?

If the answer is yes, then Critics who bash the F-35s kinematics should be ashamed of them selves

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Jan 2014, 14:23
by sprstdlyscottsmn
based on the munitions drag charts I have seen, 6 AAMs is actually quite a lot of drag. The four pylons and adapters have a combined drag index of 22, and six small finned AIM-9s an additional 36, for a total of 48 counts of drag, or an increase in CDo of .0048. The best estimation I have seen for base CDo of an F-16 is around 0.02 so loaded this would go up 25% to 0.0248. Multiplied by the wing area of 300 give a drag area of 7.44 ft^2.

Given a previous statement about fuel flow of an F135 at a given speed, altitude, and loadout combined with the little public knowledge of the TSFC put estimation of clean CDo for the F-35A between 0.022 and 0.018 for drag areas of 10.56ft^2 and 8.64ft^2.

The F-35 could therefor be estimated to have 16 to 42% more drag clean than the A2A loaded F-16. Given 47% more military thrust (28klbs/19klbs) and 48% more AB thrust (43klbs/29klbs), and accounting for 52% higher weight it would be either in the same ballpark as the F-16 or slightly better.

The difference between the two in a dogfight is that, given sufficient separation the F-35 can fire an AMRAAM from any position. Even if the missile fails to reach it's target it shifted the target's focus from "get my forward hemisphere on target" (assuming they have advanced HMCS and AIM-9X equivalent off-boresight ability) to "holy $$$$ a missile" giving the F-35 more time to get into a more advantageous position.

TO put numbers to the verbalization, under the presented scenario the F-16 has a fuel fraction of 16% to the F-35s 20% so yes the

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Jan 2014, 18:44
by cola
zero-one wrote:does this mean that a combat configured F-35 with 40% fuel, could perform like an airshow configured F-16?

No, which is why we've already heard the F35 isn't an 'airshow' fighter.
According to available data, range 'normalized' F35A (60% fuel) vs F16C.B50 (100% fuel) accelerates some ~35% slower in transonic, which is indicative of its SEP. Although the wing loadings are similar, the aspect ratio on F16 is significantly higher making it loose less energy while turning, so no luck for the F35 there neither.
From promo vids, the roll looks solid though.

I think the F35's airshow routine will be similar to SuperHornet's with lotsa low speed high alpha turns and rolls.

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Jan 2014, 22:20
by f-22lm
Stupid question here. Would the RAM visibility contribute anything in Air to Air combat or survivability? Especially against other Low observable adversaries?

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Jan 2014, 22:47
by SpudmanWP
Well, the topcoat on the F-35 has IR suppression capabilities so that should help vs IRST and EODAS-like sensors along with degrading IIR seekers.

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Jan 2014, 22:52
by spazsinbad
Perhaps in some lesser measure this experience will apply to F-35 opponents?

Raptors wield 'unfair' advantage at Red Flag 21 Feb 2007 By Tech. Sgt. Russell Wicke
Air Combat Command Public Affairs - NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev.
"...Invisibility - even with eyes on
When the Raptor finds itself in a dogfight, it is no longer beyond visual range, but the advantage of stealth isn't diminished. It maintains "high ground" even at close range.

"I can't see the [expletive deleted] thing," said RAAF Squadron Leader Stephen Chappell, exchange F-15 pilot in the 65th Aggressor Squadron. "It won't let me put a weapons system on it, even when I can see it visually through the canopy. [Flying against the F-22] annoys the hell out of me."

Lt. Col. Larry Bruce, 65th AS commander, admits flying against the Raptor is a very frustrating experience. Reluctantly, he admitted "it's humbling to fly against the F-22," - humbling, not only because of its stealth,..."

http://www.acc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123041831

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Jan 2014, 03:50
by weasel1962
Don't pods like Sniper have A2A ID-ing + lock capability? If so, it could close the gap a bit for legacy aircraft.

P.s. Interesting to see RAAF (who doesn't operate F-15s) sending pilots to fly the F-15...

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Jan 2014, 04:49
by spazsinbad
RAAF FJ pilots do exchange postings with USAF and have done so for decades. I have stories about at least two FJers flogging F-22s in the last several years. They will be good value for the F-35 mob if they are still around etc. Also the Hornet / Super Hornet RAAFie chappies (used to?) go to the USN on exchange; whilst the Growler boyos will be trained by USN in USofA as I understand things.

Down Under Diceman: Australian airman pilots F-22s at JBER 10 Aug 2012
"...The U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marines have many reciprocal pilots on exchange in Australia flying the F/A-18...."

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/93133/down ... f-22s-jber
_________________

F-22 exchange pilot helps strengthen U.S., Australian ties 10 Apr 2009 by Senior Airman Ryan Whitney 36th Wing Public Affairs
"...The pilot exchange program has been an important part of the military relationship between the U.S. and Australia for many years, according to Sqn Ldr Harper. He said it dates back to World War II, when U.S. aircrews traveled to Europe to join the Royal Air Force and RAAF to fly fighters in combat before the U.S. officially entered the war.

“The purpose of the pilot exchange is to embed experienced exchange aircrew within a squadron, allowing them to become part of the host country’s Air Force for a three year period,” Sqn Ldr Harper said. “During this time, the exchange pilot has an opportunity to learn about USAF procedures, tactics and capabilities and learn about the cultural differences between the two countries and their air forces. Exchange aircrew offer the hosting unit a different perspective than what they are used to.”

The exchange program is bilateral, with USAF aircrew integrated into Australian fighter squadrons flying the F/A-18.

During the exchange, the foreign pilots are fully integrated into the squadron. “If the squadron deploys, you are right there with them, filling USAF billets and jobs. It is designed to be a seamless integration,” the 11-year pilot and Australian fighter combat instructor (weapons officer) said....

...Australian fighter pilots are embedded in Navy F/A-18A-Fs, Air Force F-15C/Es, F-16s, and now F-22s...."

http://www.andersen.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123143631

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Jan 2014, 05:20
by zero-one
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:

TO put numbers to the verbalization, under the presented scenario the F-16 has a fuel fraction of 16% to the F-35s 20% so yes the...........


Hi sprstdlyscottsmn,
I think u missed a few words, thank you very much for your input though

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Jan 2014, 05:42
by zero-one
cola wrote:
zero-one wrote:does this mean that a combat configured F-35 with 40% fuel, could perform like an airshow configured F-16?

No, which is why we've already heard the F35 isn't an 'airshow' fighter.


well the same thing is said about the F-22, its not an airshow fighter,
but boy can it deliver a demonstration.

Al Norman did say that they are working on an F-35 demonstration routine and he thinks people will be very impressed.

But you're right, an F-35A demo could look much like an F-18 demo with a lot of high AOA showing off,

it does have preaty similar T/W ratio and wing loading to an F/A-18C when both are loaded with around 7,000lbs of fuel,

I'm hoping that the more advanced FCS software will result in the pilot making more aggressive maneuvers than what he would do in a legacy Hornet.

I'm excited about the F-35C demonstration though, it has very similar T/W ratio to an F/A-18E but the wing loading is a lot lower, around 16lbs per sq feet lower, when both are loaded with around 8,000lbs

both also have good Vortex lift generators and advanced FCS software,
but
can any one guess at what the dramatic decrease in wing loading will result to?

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Jan 2014, 19:56
by Gums
Salute!

One thing to consider about the F-35 is that I doubt it will launch on a pure A2A mission except as support for the strikers. There's only so many Raptors to go around, huh?

With a light loadout, e.g. A2A, the wing loading and P/W numbers will provide very good "staying power" and sustained energy. Then there's that first shot on someone that can't see you.

I look at the Viper, and it was drag-limited more than weight limited. Hell, we could still pull many gees at an outstanding turn rate when loaded heavy. So once we dropped the eggs, we were very competitive with only two 'winders and the gun. The F-35 will likely be clean, even in the A2A role, as I don't see loading 'winders externally, what with the new missiles able to lock from an internal carriage launch.

Gums...

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Jan 2014, 05:28
by zero-one
Gums wrote:One thing to consider about the F-35 is that I doubt it will launch on a pure A2A mission except as support for the strikers. There's only so many Raptors to go around, huh?

With a light loadout, e.g. A2A, the wing loading and P/W numbers will provide very good "staying power" and sustained energy. Then there's that first shot on someone that can't see you.

I look at the Viper, and it was drag-limited more than weight limited. Hell, we could still pull many gees at an outstanding turn rate when loaded heavy. So once we dropped the eggs, we were very competitive with only two 'winders and the gun. The F-35 will likely be clean, even in the A2A role, as I don't see loading 'winders externally, what with the new missiles able to lock from an internal carriage launch.


Good point Mr.Gums, thanks.

I think this is also what you guys did with the Viper. Did vipers escort fellow Vipers or was CAP solely given to Eagle drivers?

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Jan 2014, 00:11
by Gums
Salute!

@zero-one:

We let CAP to the Eagles at Red Flag.

For the Bomb Comp in Scotland ( very early years), we fought our way in and out - scoring something like 80 - 1. Great formation and our surprise capabilities and some great pilots. We didn't have a few tons of bombs, but even if we had, we could turn surprisingly well and take a "fall away jump shot" with a Lima. The grainy film of that Bomb Comp shows good examples of what we did. Of course, hitting the tgt was a no-brainer.

At Red Flag, we rarely got into a furball, and used formation and such for ingress and egress. Most losses were to Aggressors that did not have radar turned on and had super GCI.

Not sure about all the loadout configurations for the F-35, but maybe one or two could carry one bay with smart bombs and the other with missiles. Then there's the gun if in dire straits. My own preference would to have embedded A2A jets if the intell showed a significant threat.

Gums opines....

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Jan 2014, 08:16
by hornetfinn
spazsinbad wrote:Perhaps in some lesser measure this experience will apply to F-35 opponents?


I think it would apply pretty well. A very low radar signature makes it much harder for radar to work against the target even if it's at short range. This is because the radar returns are much fainter than with regular targets and the radar signal gets easily buried in background noise and clutter. Basically the stealth target will provide lower S/N ratio to radar and this makes it much more difficult to keep reliable track on the target even at short ranges. A regular non-stealth target will provide very noticeable signal peak from the background noise, but VLO stealth target would provide much less noticeable (lower) peak. That also makes the EW system much more effective as it doesn't have to hide a huge signal, but a very small and faint one. So the EW system would be effective at much shorter ranges than in non-stealth aircraft where radar will easily burn through the jamming signals at short ranges.

Not sure about IR spectrum, but the IR reduction measures might make the IR signature more fluctuating making locking on to it more difficult. However I doubt the difference is anywhere near the magnitude that can be achieved in RF spectrum.

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Jan 2014, 10:34
by hornetfinn
zero-one wrote:My question is, exactly what improvements will the EOTS feature against the multi decade old TCS system or the more advanced OLS system found in the Rafale that can even que BVR missiles without the assistance of it's PESA radar

and other FLIR systems that can VID and que munitions at BVR ranges


I think there are many improvements. It likely has by far the best resolution as US companies have the most advanced high-end infra-red sensors. Current best US sensors in service are 4K sensors and best foreign ones (French) are 1K (or slightly higher) sensors in service. French at least are developing 2K sensors at the moment. It's likely that EOTS has at least twice (possibly up to three to four times higher) the resolution compared to FSO or Pirate. That would mean a much longer operating range. Of course both FSO and Pirate seem to have about twice the range OLS-35 has. Having better resolution increases range and also increases the search volume for certain range as larger piece of the sky can be handled with the sensor.

Other improvement is much higher FOV of the sensor. It seems like EOTS can see full 360 degrees in azimuth and maybe +15 degrees in elevation to forward and maybe +20-30 degrees in elevation to side. That would mean the FOV is about 3-4 times larger than in OLS, FSO or Pirate systems. Of course the coverage upwards is more restricted than in those systems, but that is well covered with DAS.

I think one advantage of EOTS in F-35 is that it's accompanied with DAS system that covers the short range detection and tracking all-around the aircraft leaving EOTS focus on certain targets. For example if EOTS detects a target at medium range, it can first identify it and hand it off to DAS if it comes within the range where DAS can track it and EOTS can concentrate on detecting and identifying new targets and track long range ones. As DAS will likely not lose the target, the F-35 pilot will always know where the enemy and own aircraft are.

Of course for A/G targeting system EOTS is by far the most capable as the others are not really suitable for it as the others lack much capability for that.

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

Unread postPosted: 15 Jan 2014, 02:55
by Fox1
Considering the technology and weapons systems of the F-35, does it really matter if its not quite as agile as some potential opponents in a dogfight? And I'm not suggesting it is inferior in this regard to very many aircraft. But lets just say it is. Considering the manner in which the F-35 can engage aerial targets, I just don't see where it will matter if another aircraft can sustain a few extra degrees of turn or is a bit faster. It just isn't going to matter. If this were the old days where you had to maneuver to your opponents six and had narrow parameters in which your missiles worked, then yes, absolute maneuverability would still reign supreme. But technology has significantly changed this. With the AIM-9X and the JHMCS, modern aircraft can kill an opponent pretty much anywhere so long as the pilot can point his eyes toward it. And the F-35 takes that even farther.

IMO, it would be stupid, suicidal actually, to try to go WVR with an F-35. Even if your aircraft has superior maneuverability and kinematic performance, is that performance superior to the world's best dogfight missile? When you have the ability to detect threats from 360 degrees and have a HOBS missile with 90 degree off bore sight and lock on after launch capability, it becomes apparent that "superior maneuverability" is of little effective use. You can't hide from these targeting systems. And you can't out-turn these missiles. With modern weapons, diminishing returns set in quickly when it comes to maneuverability.

To be honest, with the latest Archers, Sidewinders, Pythons, and ASRAAMS, it doesn't make much sense for any modern fighter to attempt dogfighting with another modern aircraft. These days, if two opposing aircraft survive long enough to get to the merge, most likely they BOTH end up dying quickly and spectacularly to HOBS missiles. It will matter little if one of those aircraft can sustain a slightly higher turn rate than the other or possesses thrust vectoring.

Therefore it seems to me that the future of air combat (if you wish to survive) are fights from stand-off range. The aircraft that is least detectable and has the best weapons and sensors will be the winner. That is why many regard the F-22 and F-35 as #1 and #2 in the world when it comes to doing air to air. And if somehow an opponent makes it to the merge against an F-35, the F-35 won't fair any worse than 1:1. I think that largely applies to any of the modern fighters. If two fighters get close enough for the pilots to see each other, both will likely end up having to continue the battle on the ground with their pistols after they've experienced the "nylon letdown". And there's going to be a helluva lot more F-35s than Flankers or PAK-FAs if it comes down to that.

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

Unread postPosted: 15 Jan 2014, 03:19
by spazsinbad
Thanks 'Fox1' for a good summation of what has been said a few times now in these endless discussions about 'non-existent' 1v1s with the F-35 by various 'other' aircraft. It seems to me few read the voluminous material available about the strengths of the F-35 (especially in networked formations of four) - as outlined by 'Fox1' - to ride their favourite hobby-horse aircraft into these meaningless squabbles about this detail or that detail of performance versus the supposed F-35 'lack of performance'. Yes the F-35 aircraft has to be developed / tested successfully and bought in sufficient numbers; however I'm patient - I look forward to future real world exercises such as RED FLAG, or similar, which will show what the F-35 is able to achieve. If not then - GAME ON. :devil:

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

Unread postPosted: 15 Jan 2014, 06:49
by archeman
spazsinbad wrote:Thanks 'Fox1' for a good summation of what has been said a few times now in these endless discussions about 'non-existent' 1v1s with the F-35 by various 'other' aircraft. It seems to me few read the voluminous material available about the strengths of the F-35 (especially in networked formations of four) - as outlined by 'Fox1' - to ride their favourite hobby-horse aircraft into these meaningless squabbles about this detail or that detail of performance versus the supposed F-35 'lack of performance'. Yes the F-35 aircraft has to be developed / tested successfully and bought in sufficient numbers; however I'm patient - I look forward to future real world exercises such as RED FLAG, or similar, which will show what the F-35 is able to achieve. If not then - GAME ON. :devil:


I would like to take a moment and thank the F-16.net site managers for creating the "F-35 vs XYZ" thread container.
It works so well and quietly I hardly notice it's there until a topic like this borderline one leaks out. "F-35 vs XYZ" is like flypaper for fanboys and morons.

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

Unread postPosted: 15 Jan 2014, 12:40
by vilters
History has the nasty habbit of repeating itself.

The statement : "Technology and missiles make dogfight obsolete? ?"

Ask the first F-4 Phantom crews their opinion please before writing that black on white.

Shaking head in disbelief.
Here we go all over again.

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

Unread postPosted: 15 Jan 2014, 14:14
by zero-one
Fox1 wrote:Considering the technology and weapons systems of the F-35, (basically maneuvearbility is of little use)......


Hi Fox1

I think you and I have a different perspective on maneuverability. and how it will be used in today's comabt.

All your points are true, with the sensors and systems today you don't need maneuverability very much to gain a lock.

But what if you are the one locked on to?
Standard proceedure requires the employment of ECM complimented by a lot of hard maneuvering, this is where a few more Gs can become the difference between life and death.

No missile has a 100% Pk, and any thing your aircraft can give you to decrease that Pk further is worth every penny.

And come to think about it, you dont need to spend billions to make a good maneuvering platform. virtually every fighter in the world today taunts its maneuvering charactaristics.

The real expensive parts of development is in Avionics, Sensors and Software. Whenever Bogan would talk about the problems of the F-35 he would always mention "software"

Super maneuverability also increases your Pk, try to think which one will have a better chance of hitting an enemy,
an AMRAAM launched from the forward arc or an over the shoulder HOBS shot?

The F-35 currently can only carry 4 missiles internally, it would be best to make sure all those shots count. or atlest have the best Pk possible.

I think maneuverability is still a key component even in today's HMCS HOBS era

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

Unread postPosted: 15 Jan 2014, 15:49
by Fox1
vilters wrote:History has the nasty habbit of repeating itself.

The statement : "Technology and missiles make dogfight obsolete? ?"

Ask the first F-4 Phantom crews their opinion please before writing that black on white.

Shaking head in disbelief.
Here we go all over again.


If those early Phantom drivers had access to a quality HOBS missile like the AIM-9X, instead of the horribly lacking B variant, the emphasis on super maneuverability would have ceased to matter about 40 years sooner. The Phantom certainly wasn't anyone's idea of a close-in knife fighter, especially going against an aircraft like the MiG-17. But whatever advantages the little Fresco had in a turning engagement would have been negated by a missile and helmet system that only required the pilot to look at his adversary to kill him.

Now, imagine this ... what would have been the mostly likely outcome of a Phantom getting involved in a 1 v 1 knife fight with a 17, 19 or a 21 if they BOTH possessed HOBS missiles and the systems needed to employ them? More often than not, such a situation would have resulted in 3 chutes drifting downward toward the North Vietnamese countryside (if both crews were so fortunate as to be able to punch out after the hits). A few such engagements and both sides would have realized that dogfighting was indeed obsolete.

We can't keep applying the situation as it existed in Vietnam to modern air combat. During the Vietnam War air to air missiles were in their infancy. They lacked capability and were horribly unreliable. Today, those missiles have evolved and been tweaked to an incredible degree of reliability and lethality. When we send F-35 drivers into combat, they aren't going to be carrying and employing the AIM-9B variant, with its very short range and narrow launch parameters. If the F-35's chief dogfighting weapon could only be effectively used in a narrow little cone on the enemy's six as was the case in the 1960s, then yes, every ounce of maneuverability would be desired. But this isn't the 1960s. We now have 'Winders with a 90 degree off-bore sight capability. The newest block even allows lock on after launch. The missiles, with thrust vectoring, can even turn 180 degrees in pursuit. So tell me, with that degree of capability, just what is gained by super maneuverability? If you could shoehorn the F-35's systems and weapons into the old F-105 Thunderchief, even that ungainly beast would become a most lethal adversary in the visual realm.

The biggest mistake most people make when judging the F-35's capabilities is the fact that they try to apply 3rd or 4th generation systems and tactics to 5th generation technology. We've all probably done that at some point. And this practice is not just limited to the F-35. We've been doing it for years. When the F-15 first entered service, many of the drivers who initially flew it came from the Phantom community. It took a while to get those guys to fight the F-15 like an F-15, rather than the F-4s they had been flying. The same is going to apply to the F-35 when it enters service, only to a much greater degree. We won't be getting all we can get out of the F-35 if we try to fight it like we'd fight in an F-16 or an F-18. The F-35 doesn't offer evolutionary improvements, it is revolutionary actually. It will literally take us years before we are truly able to get everything that system is capable of out of it. The biggest step will be to get 35 drivers to fly and fight it like a 35 armed with the AIM-9X, rather than like an F-16 or an F-18 with the AIM-9L/M. Unfortunately, it appears there are still some who envision fighting it like an F-4C Phantom armed with the AIM-9B and all the limitations that platform and weapon possessed. No wonder they are so alarmed!

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

Unread postPosted: 15 Jan 2014, 16:20
by popcorn
I guess it must be a real challenge for some to appreciate the revolutionary mpact that sensor fusion, stealthy data links and a COP will have on A2A combat tactics.

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

Unread postPosted: 15 Jan 2014, 19:46
by gtx
vilters wrote:History has the nasty habbit of repeating itself.

The statement : "Technology and missiles make dogfight obsolete? ?"

Ask the first F-4 Phantom crews their opinion please before writing that black on white.

Shaking head in disbelief.
Here we go all over again.


We are talking some 40+ years difference in electronics and related technology. Consider your personal music devices by way of example - compare a '60s/'70s LP record Player or Cassette tape to a modern iPod/iphone or similar. Sure both play music but would you really consider them equivalent? The same goes for air-to-air missiles.

In fact, form the crews I have spoken with the honest opinion is that if a modern aerial missile has achieved lock on, you are dead! No manner of hollywood turning and the like will save you.

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

Unread postPosted: 15 Jan 2014, 19:59
by zero-one
gtx wrote:In fact, form the crews I have spoken with the honest opinion is that if a modern aerial missile has achieved lock on, you are dead! No manner of hollywood turning and the like will save you.


Take those statements with a grain of salt, as far as we know, more than half of the people locked on to by the most advanced air to air missile ever developed, the Aim-120 AMRAAM, were not hit at all, they were able to walk away and fly another day.

You can say that the AMRAAM today is far better than the 90s era Slammer but so are ECMs so is the performance of current aircraft.

No matter how we try to push it, I just can't imagine air combat looking like a video game where we fire at radar blips and see those blips magically disappear.

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

Unread postPosted: 16 Jan 2014, 00:15
by vilters
I sugest to compare the number of missiles fired versus aircraft downed during the latest wars.
Iraq one and two, are not so long ago you know.

Never compare "ideal" test firings with "real war" situations.

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

Unread postPosted: 16 Jan 2014, 02:06
by count_to_10
So, weren't most of the modern "misses" actually missiles that were fired at extreme range that were out-run when the target turned and fled?

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

Unread postPosted: 16 Jan 2014, 02:17
by sprstdlyscottsmn
or cases where two missiles were fired at one target resulting in a kill, even if the first missile hits that is a "Pk of 50%"

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

Unread postPosted: 16 Jan 2014, 02:57
by smsgtmac
There is also a large Pk bias favoring guns, in how the gun 'kill chain' Pk is usually calculated. This disparity was noted decades ago in the then-classified 'Project Red Baron' reports, which showed that through 'half-time' (~1968-9) in SEA, the gun proved to have a Pk about the same as the AIMs, when the kill chain was calculated from the point in time the attack attempt begins, vs. when the trigger was pulled or missile pickled. Under the latter, failed attempts to get in a position to pull the trigger in the first place are undercounted.
But don't tell APA, there's an entertainment value in their so-called research touting bogus Pk stats. :)

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

Unread postPosted: 16 Jan 2014, 08:05
by hornetfinn
gtx wrote:
vilters wrote:History has the nasty habbit of repeating itself.

The statement : "Technology and missiles make dogfight obsolete? ?"

Ask the first F-4 Phantom crews their opinion please before writing that black on white.

Shaking head in disbelief.
Here we go all over again.


We are talking some 40+ years difference in electronics and related technology. Consider your personal music devices by way of example - compare a '60s/'70s LP record Player or Cassette tape to a modern iPod/iphone or similar. Sure both play music but would you really consider them equivalent? The same goes for air-to-air missiles.

In fact, form the crews I have spoken with the honest opinion is that if a modern aerial missile has achieved lock on, you are dead! No manner of hollywood turning and the like will save you.


Very true. Another example would be comparing that F-4 from 1970 to fighter aircraft developed decades earlier. Of course some things never change, but trying to use the unmodified ideas and tactics developed for F-84 to F-4 would be suicidal at best. Naturally F-4 did vast majority of their combat kills in Vietnam with missiles anyway.

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

Unread postPosted: 16 Jan 2014, 09:55
by zero-one
Point is, air combat is a very dynamic environment,

There is no sure fire way of winning in it.

Its not always WVR and its not always going to be BVR,

and from the looks of how developers are creating aircraft,
it seems that there is still the possibility of using a Gun.

Even in Vietnam which was notorious for WVR, there were instances when BVR shots worked exactly as planned.
Likewise in Operation DS, which some experts claim is the turning point for BVR combat, a lot of kills were still within 1km,

History tells us that air combat will always be a combination, which is why air forces train for every possible scenario,

Even European air forces which place the most emphasis on BVR according to Bill Sweetman, still train profusely for WVR
scenarios and have developed some of the World's best dog fighting aircraft, to me that speaks volumes on what military planners think air combat will be

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

Unread postPosted: 16 Jan 2014, 10:25
by spazsinbad
History has a habit of making itself up as it progresses. I look forward to reading about the new age of BVR combat, which allowed both the F-22 and F-35 in conjunction with other networked assets, to be very successful. Until this history is written we can only guess, using as much information available to us in the public sphere.

BS and the Euros would say that would not they? "...Even European air forces which place the most emphasis on BVR according to Bill Sweetman, still train profusely for WVR scenarios..." In the meantime the users/potential users of not only the F-22 but also the nascent F-35 are saying something quite different. Quel Surprise. No. As has been reiterated over and over on these forum threads the F-35 (with the F-22 before it) is bringing something new to the combat scenarios. The Euros may have some of this new stuff also but not in the same measure as the sensor fused F-35. There must be by now hundreds of articles on this forum about 'sensor fusion' and how it changes the F-35 (and has changed the F-22) pilot into a tactician rather than a pilot preoccupied with 'fusing' disparate data from separate sensor in his brain; and sometimes not doing so well. SLDinfo has a great series of articles on 'sensor fusion'. The chap who designed the F-35 cockpit speaks about it eloquently in a PDF already mentioned on this forum. Whilst the USMC pilot who has flown the F-22 on exchange (deliberately) so that he can inform the USMC and USN about 'five gen' way of doing things, has experience with USN flying USMC Hornets and on and on has been saying, I guess till he is blue in the face, that F-35 pilots will have to do things differently. New pilots will adjust more easily than old pilots being used to the 'old ways'. And on and on it goes.

History can inform us a lot, however new technology often has no history, so the F-35 will be used imaginatively with the guidance of firstly the USMC cadre at YUMA and the USAF cadre elsewhere and etc. Will we get to hear about much of this new stuff. Sure - only through filters though. RED FLAG will doubtless be a big event when the F-35 rolls up. Meanwhile there will be countless RED Flags and other exercises via simulators, networked with virtual enemies. The first bunch of real F-35 pilots in real F-35s who turn up at RED Flag will be a formidable lot I reckon. :D

Back to the WVR and why train for it. Every fighter pilot needs confidence in his/her aircraft and the abilities of the combination. ACM/DACT provides an environment where the aircraft can be wrung out, along with the pilot, without too much damage hopefully to either. Pilots need to know what they can and cannot do along with the aircraft systems and any other assets. Thankfully a lot of this does not need to take place in the air but in the F-35 simulators networked etc. Yes the pilot needs G time and he will get it no doubt. Otherwise positioning the aircraft for best BVR attack within limits of weapons/aircraft will be relatively easily done if first look is the province of the F-35 (networked in groups). Perhaps opponents will be networked in groups and good on 'em. Will they see the F-35s first though? Probably not - so game on BVR.

The Impact of Advanced Fusion in 5th Generation Fighters on Combat Capability
by Michael Skaff, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
http://www.sldinfo.com/wp-content/uploa ... Fusion.pdf (0.5Mb)
&
Shaping a New Approach to Combat Learning: The Role of the F-35 24 Aug 2012 [Interview LtCol Berke USMC]
http://www.sldinfo.com/shaping-a-new-ap ... -the-f-35/

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

Unread postPosted: 16 Jan 2014, 14:00
by zero-one
Thank you for the Link Spaz I appreciate it,

Good point on saying that new Weapons systems have no history, so we can make some very intelligent and some very dumb guesses, but in the end we will never know until we see combat.

But let us examine what we do know with every generation of weapons system. I know your tired of reading this but bear with me. :D

F-4: When the Phantom came out it was to revolutionize air combat (much like how the F-22/35 is being taunted right now), able to shoot down its targets from BVR, it was never going to see its targets vissualy ever. Now, I think its safe to say that 98% of Phantom kills were WVR.

F-15: With the lessons learned from Vietnam, designers brought another plane that would again "Revolutionize" air combat. supported by AWACS, it would have the best SA of any aircraft and would rearly see its targets vissually. However, the designers did prepare the Eagle for what was then thought to be "the extreamly unlikely event" of WVR combat.
Today, I think it would be safe to assume that up to 70% of the Eagle's 100+ kills were made WVR

F-22: As uswal this was to be another "Revolution" in air combat, with Stealth and unparalleled SA this plane would never be seen nor will it ever visually see its targets, but as far as we know 100% of the Raptor's combat engagements were WVR. (Intercepting Russian Bears over the Artic, the Iranian Phantom incident.)

And in reality, a lot of engagements don't have immidiete clearance to fire once targets are detected. even if the targets are clearly hostile.

I see two trends here
1st, BVR combat is becoming more and more relevant and who knows, maybe this time they finally got it right.
2nd, Whenever someone says that a certain system or a combination of systems will eliminate some sort of threat, be it WVR combat, IEDs, Snipers, Anti tank rounds etc etc. a counter is soon discovered and we end up going back to square one or atleast pretty close to it.

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

Unread postPosted: 16 Jan 2014, 15:01
by hornetfinn
I think F-35 has been well designed for any engagement range.

BVR: It seems to have excellent VLO stealth making enemy lose much of their situational awareness compared to earlier systems. It also has excellent sensors for gathering own situational awareness and datalinking capability to share the information with other fighters. End result being that enemy fighter pilots and command system will have much inferior knowledge about what is going on around them. Stealth tech will also significantly lower the enemy weapon effectiveness, especially radar guided systems. Overall this should give F-35 a much better chance of winning the BVR fight.

WVR: First the sensors of F-35 really push the WVR envelope much further than in any other jet. It will very likely detect the enemy at much longer range than the enemy can detect it. It also has full 360 degree vision around the aircraft with automatic detection and tracking capability against unlimited number of targets. This means it'll be extremely hard to surprise the F-35 pilot and he will likely not be confused in a close in fight as the system keeps on eye for him all the time all around the aircraft. That will also allow some totally new things like truly using HOBS missile to their full strength. It also has very compact size making it much more difficult to see than the much bigger PAK-FA.

From kinematic point of view, F-35 will probably be quite good, but not exceptional like F-22 (and possibly PAK-FA). It will likely have very good handling, very long range and very good high-AOA performance. It will very likely have lower top speed and probably acceleration and supersonic performance to PAK-FA. I think that the F-35 will have so big advantages in sensor performance, VLO stealth, weapons systems and other systems that this does not matter much.

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

Unread postPosted: 16 Jan 2014, 15:14
by delvo
It doesn't even matter if you can't count on hitting your enemy from long range. The point still remains that if you have the longer range, then you have the choice to not even get inside the enemy's range in the first place, so even if your shot misses, the enemy still can't shoot you back anyway.

Talking about a plane's dogfighting "cons" that only apply if it charges right at the enemy like it's going to ram it like a trireme is silly because nobody's going to fly like that. It's not "see, fire, and keep getting closer"; it's "see fire, and go around". Calling something that could hypothetically go wrong in a situation that the user would have to be stupid to charge into a "con" is like saying my car has a "con" in how it would handle if I drove it into a river. I'm not going to drive into a river, so the fact that it isn't a boat isn't a "con".

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

Unread postPosted: 16 Jan 2014, 15:23
by popcorn
The vast majority of the engagement scenarios tend to portray the F-35 in 1 vs 1 combat with little apparent regard for the effects of cooperative detection, tracking and engagement enabled by the JSF's advanced sensors and mission systems. F-35 will leverage the "no platform fights alone" model; instead of a lone wolf, think wolfpack tactics to bring down a prey.

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

Unread postPosted: 16 Jan 2014, 15:56
by zero-one
hornetfinn wrote:I think F-35 has been well designed for any engagement range.



I agree with you 100% on this one, like I said, Air combat is perhaps the most dynamic combat environment in the World of Mechanized warfare. and the smartest way to create an aircraft is to prepare it for any possible scenario.

The Goal for the F-35 will be BVR kills but I believe Lightning pilots will have nothing to fear if the situation calls for a merge.

popcorn wrote:The vast majority of the engagement scenarios tend to portray the F-35 in 1 vs 1 combat with little apparent regard for the effects of cooperative detection, tracking and engagement enabled by the JSF's advanced sensors and mission systems. F-35 will leverage the "no platform fights alone"; instead of a lone wolf, think wolfpack tactics to bring down a prey.


Actually, I tend to think of the F-35 mostly in an outnumbered situation, 4vs 8 or 4 vs 12 scenarios,

Remember network centric warfare is not exclusive for the F-35, Russians and Chinese have made some good advances in that front as well.

The way I see it, Sukhois will also be sharing what little information they have to try and build a good battlespace picture and try to close the distance between them and the F-35, they may get a few losses in the process but if they can down 2 F-35s at the merge, then that would be a blow to the Lightning as well.

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

Unread postPosted: 16 Jan 2014, 21:10
by zero-one
delvo wrote:Talking about a plane's dogfighting "cons" that only apply if it charges right at the enemy like it's going to ram it like a trireme is silly because nobody's going to fly like that. It's not "see, fire, and keep getting closer"; it's "see fire, and go around". Calling something that could hypothetically go wrong in a situation that the user would have to be stupid to charge into a "con" is like saying my car has a "con" in how it would handle if I drove it into a river. I'm not going to drive into a river, so the fact that it isn't a boat isn't a "con".


Correct me if I'm wrong but the way I understand this statement is:

Because the F-35(car) is not a dogfighter(boat) then I would not drive it into a river(fur ball).

If this is how the F-35 turns out to be, then it takes away options for the Airforce, other aircraft like the
F-22
Typhoon
Rafale
SU-30+
F-15,16,18
and many others
give their pilots, Flexibility, they can comfortably drive into a "river" with little worry.

If the F-35 would force it's pilots to "go around" to avoid a merge at all cost due to performance concerns then it takes away a big chunk of their flexibility.

F-15s that had to go to the merge at operation DS had no problems, confident that the Eagle can more than hold its own.
If the F-35 will not offer the same, then I'm afraid the critics may have a point.

However I still believe that the F-35 will be more than adequate even if the fight calls for great Kinematic capability

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

Unread postPosted: 16 Jan 2014, 21:19
by spazsinbad
'zero-one' I think this forum has seen evidence time and again about this 'merge' phenomena. The F-35 pilot or the F-22 pilot does not want to merge - period. Why? Because they have the advantage NOT TO MERGE. This idea that pilots must merge for whatever reason is erroneous in the day of BVR missiles and stealth. The F-22 and F-35 will fight to their advantage, dictating terms to their advantage - 'merging' is not one of them. 'Delvo' was making the point about 'no need to merge'. There are plenty of quotes on this forum from pilots having flown the F-35 either for real or in simulators saying negative things about 'merging in general terms'. These pilots know the 'situational awareness advantage' of these aircraft and want to exploit it to the fullest. It is easy to make a mistake and then advantage lost in a merge. If no need to merge then do not merge. Simple.

OK now you say what if a merge is inevitable. I say 'get it out of your head'. The F-35 ain't gonna merge. OK? :D

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

Unread postPosted: 17 Jan 2014, 00:04
by popcorn
The advantage will go to the side which can optimize it's strengths and "fight it's fight". This is where the F-35's strengths in LO, sensors, stealthy data link, networking,, etc. provide it a crucial advantage vs. less well-endowed foes. In an expeditionary context, there may be times initially when the F-35force may be outnumbered which is why innovative cooperative engagement tactics are being developed and practiced as part of the new air combat paradigm. It's not just the equipment but equally important the tactics and the training and skill of the aircrew to execute. The F-35's 6:1 kill ratio vs. numerically superior advanced Gen + fighters revealed during Oz Parliamentary hearings last year points to this.

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

Unread postPosted: 17 Jan 2014, 00:45
by count_to_10
Think comparative advantage: the F-35 will probably have about (or at least) even odds in a turning fight with anything else, but making kills from BVR will be so lopsided that degrading to "even odds" would be foolish.

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

Unread postPosted: 17 Jan 2014, 02:15
by Fox1
count_to_10 wrote:Think comparative advantage: the F-35 will probably have about (or at least) even odds in a turning fight with anything else, but making kills from BVR will be so lopsided that degrading to "even odds" would be foolish.


Precisely. Nobody is saying that the F-35 is incapable of dogfighting. Most people familiar with the aircraft think it will largely turn and perform in the high AOA regime like an F-18, with acceleration somewhere between that of an F-18 and F-16. By any standard that is impressive performance. Yet some people think that because the F-35 doesn't totally eclipse the F-16 and F-18 in performance that it is somehow a step backward. That just isn't true. The truth is, pretty much all modern fighters offer superb performance and maneuverability. In fact, aircraft design had by the 1980s reached a point where further maneuverability enhancement became problematic because the pilots were simply incapable of tolerating it. There is a reason why all modern fighters seem to be built to that 9 G standard. That is about the limit that most pilots can endure, even if the airframe can sustain a few more. Flanker, Fulcrum, Typhoon, Raptor, Rafale, Viper, Hornet, Super Hornet, Gripen...all of these aircraft offer incredible performance and maneuverability. In a knife fight between any of these, the outcome would likely come down to pilot skill and luck.

So, having recognized that we have pretty much hit a ceiling when it comes to "turning and burning", in order to gain a major advantage we have to do something different. One can't simply say "I want to design a fighter that can out turn a late model Flanker, a Typhoon, a whatever, because whatever you end up with, no matter how cool it may be, isn't going to be significantly better than what is already out there. And taking into account the incredibly capable air to air weapons that exist today, it doesn't take too long to see that it is going to be mighty tough to get anything better than equal odds when going eyeball to eyeball. Sure, the F-35 is capable of fighting and winning in a visual engagement. But it isn't capable of dominating in that environment. Nor is anything else currently flying or in development.

So why fight in the realm where the odds are about even if you don't have to? Whatever you might design, with the limitations we are faced with, nothing you draw up is going to offer a significant advantage over today's best existing designs. Just look at the Raptor. As awesome as it is in terms of raw power and agility, the latest Flankers can pretty much match it move for move, though the Raptor does have an edge in overall power. So in order to develop a significant advantage over potential foes, we have to look beyond maneuverability. Right now the only area that exists for developing a significant advantage exists in the BVR realm. That is why we have moved to highly stealthy platforms with a whole new generation of electronic wizardry, gadgetry and weaponry. If you have an LPI radar that can detect the enemy at long range, weapons with incredible range and an airframe that the enemy cannot detect until they get much, much closer, that is a MAJOR advantage. This is how we defeat the advanced Flankers and maintain a lopsided kill ratio that is in our favor. When you can see the enemy first and shoot first, that is big. The side that can do that has the initiative. It gives you the ability to set the terms of the engagement. You have the enemy reacting to you and you are always one step ahead in the game.

Again, the F-35 can be flown to the merge and hold its own against anything out there. Its systems might even give it a bit of an advantage in a close-in fight. But why take such a high risk when you have the systems that allow you to get the kill while staying outside the enemy's engagement range? It makes no sense. Anyone, regardless of what they are flying, is taking a HUGE risk by going head to head in the classic merge and subsequent dogfight that ensues. Whether you are flying a Raptor, a Hornet, a Fulcrum, a Lightning or a Typhoon, with the weapons that are available to each, there stands a very high chance that you are going to get killed. In fact, the odds are pretty high of double kills. Trading an aircraft and a precious crew for that of an enemy isn't a winning strategy. Yet that is pretty much where we are today. This is no longer an age where just being a superior stick with a superior mount makes you the odds on favorite of winning a dogfight. Today you can shoot or be shot from pretty much any angle. A good pilot could easily be killed by a meatball, whereas this was far less likely in the old days. To be blunt, it is just too damn risky to attempt a dogfight these days. The aircraft are too comparable to provide any significant advantage. And the current short range air to air missiles have a mighty wide cone of lethality and a pretty high PoK. I don't want to engage in what amounts to a "take 10 steps and turn and fire" pistol duel when I can instead shoot my pistol wielding foe from 1000 yards with a sniper rifle. It doesn't take a genius to figure out which method of fighting offers the greatest likelihood of long term survival.

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

Unread postPosted: 17 Jan 2014, 02:34
by Corsair1963
Fox1 wrote:
count_to_10 wrote:Think comparative advantage: the F-35 will probably have about (or at least) even odds in a turning fight with anything else, but making kills from BVR will be so lopsided that degrading to "even odds" would be foolish.


Precisely. Nobody is saying that the F-35 is incapable of dogfighting. Most people familiar with the aircraft think it will largely turn and perform in the high AOA regime like an F-18, with acceleration somewhere between that of an F-18 and F-16. By any standard that is impressive performance. Yet some people think that because the F-35 doesn't totally eclipse the F-16 and F-18 in performance that it is somehow a step backward. That just isn't true. The truth is, pretty much all modern fighters offer superb performance and maneuverability. In fact, aircraft design had by the 1980s reached a point where further maneuverability enhancement became problematic because the pilots were simply incapable of tolerating it. There is a reason why all modern fighters seem to be built to that 9 G standard. That is about the limit that most pilots can endure, even if the airframe can sustain a few more. Flanker, Fulcrum, Typhoon, Raptor, Rafale, Viper, Hornet, Super Hornet, Gripen...all of these aircraft offer incredible performance and maneuverability. In a knife fight between any of these, the outcome would likely come down to pilot skill and luck.

So, having recognized that we have pretty much hit a ceiling when it comes to "turning and burning", in order to gain a major advantage we have to do something different. One can't simply say "I want to design a fighter that can out turn a late model Flanker, a Typhoon, a whatever, because whatever you end up with, no matter how cool it may be, isn't going to be significantly better than what is already out there. And taking into account the incredibly capable air to air weapons that exist today, it doesn't take too long to see that it is going to be mighty tough to get anything better than equal odds when going eyeball to eyeball. Sure, the F-35 is capable of fighting and winning in a visual engagement. But it isn't capable of dominating in that environment. Nor is anything else currently flying or in development.

So why fight in the realm where the odds are about even if you don't have to? Whatever you might design, with the limitations we are faced with, nothing you draw up is going to offer a significant advantage over today's best existing designs. Just look at the Raptor. As awesome as it is in terms of raw power and agility, the latest Flankers can pretty much match it move for move, though the Raptor does have an edge in overall power. So in order to develop a significant advantage over potential foes, we have to look beyond maneuverability. Right now the only area that exists for developing a significant advantage exists in the BVR realm. That is why we have moved to highly stealthy platforms with a whole new generation of electronic wizardry, gadgetry and weaponry. If you have an LPI radar that can detect the enemy at long range, weapons with incredible range and an airframe that the enemy cannot detect until they get much, much closer, that is a MAJOR advantage. This is how we defeat the advanced Flankers and maintain a lopsided kill ratio that is in our favor. When you can see the enemy first and shoot first, that is big. The side that can do that has the initiative. It gives you the ability to set the terms of the engagement. You have the enemy reacting to you and you are always one step ahead in the game.

Again, the F-35 can be flown to the merge and hold its own against anything out there. Its systems might even give it a bit of an advantage in a close-in fight. But why take such a high risk when you have the systems that allow you to get the kill while staying outside the enemy's engagement range? It makes no sense. Anyone, regardless of what they are flying, is taking a HUGE risk by going head to head in the classic merge and subsequent dogfight that ensues. Whether you are flying a Raptor, a Hornet, a Fulcrum, a Lightning or a Typhoon, with the weapons that are available to each, there stands a very high chance that you are going to get killed. In fact, the odds are pretty high of double kills. Trading an aircraft and a precious crew for that of an enemy isn't a winning strategy. Yet that is pretty much where we are today. This is no longer an age where just being a superior stick with a superior mount makes you the odds on favorite of winning a dogfight. Today you can shoot or be shot from pretty much any angle. A good pilot could easily be killed by a meatball, whereas this was far less likely in the old days. To be blunt, it is just too damn risky to attempt a dogfight these days. The aircraft are too comparable to provide any significant advantage. And the current short range air to air missiles have a mighty wide cone of lethality and a pretty high PoK. I don't want to engage in what amounts to a "take 10 steps and turn and fire" pistol duel when I can instead shoot my pistol wielding foe from 1000 yards with a sniper rifle. It doesn't take a genius to figure out which method of fighting offers the greatest likelihood of long term survival.



Sure and while the F-22 can hold it's own with anything flying today. The Raptor will use its advantages with Stealth, Weapons, and Sensors. To destroy his opponent before it even knows he is there.......(as will the F-35)

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

Unread postPosted: 17 Jan 2014, 14:02
by zero-one
spazsinbad wrote:'zero-one' I think this forum has seen evidence time and again about this 'merge' phenomena


Its not just a phenomena sir, the majority of air combat kills are still firmly within vissual ranges, I beleive even the last air-air kill to date was WVR, I dont think there are phenomenos in air combat but if anything can be considered a "phenomena", its the relatively rare occurance of kills from Beyond vissual range.

spazsinbad wrote:F-22 pilot does not want to merge - period

This is true, infact this does not apply just for the F-22/35 but for all front line fighters, but this does not mean they won't go to a merge, just because they dont feel like it.
F-22 pilot Maj. Paul "Max" Moga once said that if the situation calls for a "Merge" then he and his squadron will fully commit to the Merge.
spazsinbad wrote:This idea that pilots must merge for whatever reason is erroneous in the day of BVR missiles and stealth.

This was also said about the F-4 specialy with the advent of IFF tronsponders.
Then on operation DS, with the constant availability of AEWACs, incerdible GCI support and so much S.A. available, "experts" again said that the advent of a merge is impossible.
When the F-22 came out, people again said that the age of WVR combat has ended and is only for Hollywood, but so far every engagement the Raptor has seen has been Within vissual ranges.

spazsinbad wrote:If no need to merge then do not merge. Simple


I fully agree, I'm not saying that WVR combat will still be dominant, what I am simply saying is that it will still occur no matter what wiz bang gizmo there is.
This is the reason why I will not speak in absolute terms, in my humble oppinion, the F-22/35 must be equiped to deal with any type of combat scenario, not just WVR and certainly not just BVR.

If I may know your oppinion sir, do u think that all air-air engagements the F-35 will ever see is BVR combat?

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

Unread postPosted: 17 Jan 2014, 18:58
by blindpilot
zero-one wrote:
I fully agree, I'm not saying that WVR combat will still be dominant, what I am simply saying is that it will still occur no matter what wiz bang gizmo there is.
This is the reason why I will not speak in absolute terms, in my humble oppinion, the F-22/35 must be equiped to deal with any type of combat scenario, not just WVR and certainly not just BVR.

If I may know your oppinion sir, do u think that all air-air engagements the F-35 will ever see is BVR combat?


I think the difficulty in this discussion is in not comprehending the reality of the all aspect fused sensor paradigm.

It is no longer an issue of "out to distance a" certain rules apply, and then beyond this we use rules "B" as if there is a line in the sky, we stay away from or seek to get within. That's the old paradigm. That's why we HAD ... WVR, and BVR terminology, as in first switch "a" sparrow missiles, "oops too close"- switch to "b" sidewinders, step 3 "c" guns.

200 miles away or inside a mile, the old world was like looking through a soda straw, pointing and shooting a long rifle. That is what has changed. That's what this discussion of radar range and weapons range is about. Even WVR, think of Top Gun's Goose, swivelling his head around trying to find (point his soda straw at) the bogie. Fused sensor SA doesn't work that way. HOB and integrated system (ie. other than than one on one) weapons don't work that way.

WVR is NOT yank and bank, and turn and burn, any more. Nor for that matter is 150 Mile away BVR point and shoot. Do we still point and fire a weapon? Yes. Do we still maneuver and get position? Yes. But not in the way some are still trapped in thinking.

Fighters (4th or 5th gen) today would not "enter into WVR fur ball" any more than WWI guys "entered into a Lufberry Wheel" New rules, new tactics. They may engage in very close proximity, but it is not WVR yank and bank any more.

The discussion of whether to stay out at a distance or get in close is misguided. My assault rifle may have a bayonet and be very good at close combat with an enemy using a spear, but I think I'll just put it on full auto and spray bullets at the bad guys when I have a perfect picture of them in my NVG, whether I am 500 yards away or ten feet, 50 miles or in the merge. The Bayonet is for opening my MRE package, and digging a trench.. :) .. and in rare case pretending to be a pretty good spear. But it is not a spear, nor do I ever intend to use it that way.

I carry a knife, I practice using it. I am dangerous in a knife fight. But I don't use the knife in a gunfight.

Fused Sensor data in a 360 degree bubble, with integrated weapons systems, is a different world than one on one with soda straws ... even with those soda straws that can see something 10,000 miles away.

MHO
BP

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

Unread postPosted: 17 Jan 2014, 19:19
by blindpilot
Point of observation.

When the F-22 pulled up under, and then on the wing of the Iranian F-4 awhile back, he was VERY close... certainly "in the merge." The Iranian pilot probably still had to change his underwear on landing, and it wasn't because of the distance between the two aircraft. It was because he had been clueless, and the F-22 pilot had mastery of the situational awareness at all distances, and at any time could just push a button to end the encounter.

The F-22 did not have to stay 50 miles away. He was quite comfortable a few meters away. :) It's not about distance.

BP

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

Unread postPosted: 17 Jan 2014, 19:21
by hb_pencil
uhh, what engagements has the F-22 been in?

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

Unread postPosted: 17 Jan 2014, 19:44
by milosh
blindpilot wrote:Fused Sensor data in a 360 degree bubble, with integrated weapons systems, is a different world than one on one with soda straws ... even with those soda straws that can see something 10,000 miles away.


I dont think F-22 has system which is similar to DAS. It has MLD but its capabilities arent close to DAS.

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

Unread postPosted: 17 Jan 2014, 20:31
by zero-one
hb_pencil wrote:uhh, what engagements has the F-22 been in?


I was refering to the numerous Bear intercepts over the artic by Eagles and now F-22s, as far as I know all of those are WVR.

And yes also the F-4 incident.

Blind Pilot has a very good point,
5th Gen capability does not only give you an advantage in one type of fight(say BVR only) it retains the advantage in every type of fight.

The Raptor, and I believe to a great extent the F-35 also, maintains the advantage regardless of range.
Yes the F-22 is easier to hit when it gets close, but the bandit also stands a greater chance of being hit by the Raptor up close.

Kind of like this maybe
BVR:
chances of killing a Raptor: 10%
chances of being killed by a Raptor 50%

WVR
chances of killing a Raptor: 20%
chances of being killed by a Raptor 90%

I know this is not accurate, but Im just trying to make a point :roll:

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

Unread postPosted: 17 Jan 2014, 20:37
by blindpilot
hb_pencil wrote:uhh, what engagements has the F-22 been in?


viewtopic.php?f=33&t=24570

BP

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

Unread postPosted: 17 Jan 2014, 20:52
by blindpilot
milosh wrote:
blindpilot wrote:Fused Sensor data in a 360 degree bubble, with integrated weapons systems, is a different world than one on one with soda straws ... even with those soda straws that can see something 10,000 miles away.


I dont think F-22 has system which is similar to DAS. It has MLD but its capabilities are even close to DAS.


Again you are caught in the same paradigm trap. DAS is NOT just a wide angle IRST. (It''s not a big soda straw)

F-22s have robust IFDL data links that can for example lean on wingmen using LPI mode, and others from afar etc. and the overall gap between "having data," and the opponent being clueless (stealth). This ends up with F-22 pilots waving at Iranian F-4's off their wing, even if the F-4 is supported by robust (gigantic) L Band ground radars (soda straws).

Stop thinking about the capability of the soda straw. We aren't in that world any more.

BP

PS I will assert that a 50 year old B-57 bomber can be more deadly in Air Dominance than a shiny new SU-35. That is my point.
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/09 ... ranslator/

http://defense-update.com/features/2008 ... ateway.htm

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

Unread postPosted: 17 Jan 2014, 23:52
by popcorn
Increment 32A upgrade set for 2014 includes the fusion of Link 16 data feeds (receive mode) with the Raptor's onboard sensors. The F-22's will see what AWACS sees.

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

Unread postPosted: 18 Jan 2014, 01:39
by gtx
spazsinbad wrote:'zero-one' I think this forum has seen evidence time and again about this 'merge' phenomena. The F-35 pilot or the F-22 pilot does not want to merge - period. Why? Because they have the advantage NOT TO MERGE. This idea that pilots must merge for whatever reason is erroneous in the day of BVR missiles and stealth. The F-22 and F-35 will fight to their advantage, dictating terms to their advantage - 'merging' is not one of them. 'Delvo' was making the point about 'no need to merge'. There are plenty of quotes on this forum from pilots having flown the F-35 either for real or in simulators saying negative things about 'merging in general terms'. These pilots know the 'situational awareness advantage' of these aircraft and want to exploit it to the fullest. It is easy to make a mistake and then advantage lost in a merge. If no need to merge then do not merge. Simple.

OK now you say what if a merge is inevitable. I say 'get it out of your head'. The F-35 ain't gonna merge. OK? :D


Exactly!

Despite what Hollywood might have people believe, most air-to-air combat is not WW1 style dogfighting (and even then it wasn't!). Just read some of the reports of the top aces from history and you will see that most of them (right from WW1) only became the aces they were by avoiding fair fights - it is better to sneak up on your enemy and club him/her over the head from behind rather than to challenge them to a duel. With sensors and more so, guided weapons such as they are, no pilot wants to get into such a fight anyway. It simply isn't a recipe to live long.

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

Unread postPosted: 18 Jan 2014, 01:52
by Corsair1963
gtx wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:'zero-one' I think this forum has seen evidence time and again about this 'merge' phenomena. The F-35 pilot or the F-22 pilot does not want to merge - period. Why? Because they have the advantage NOT TO MERGE. This idea that pilots must merge for whatever reason is erroneous in the day of BVR missiles and stealth. The F-22 and F-35 will fight to their advantage, dictating terms to their advantage - 'merging' is not one of them. 'Delvo' was making the point about 'no need to merge'. There are plenty of quotes on this forum from pilots having flown the F-35 either for real or in simulators saying negative things about 'merging in general terms'. These pilots know the 'situational awareness advantage' of these aircraft and want to exploit it to the fullest. It is easy to make a mistake and then advantage lost in a merge. If no need to merge then do not merge. Simple.

OK now you say what if a merge is inevitable. I say 'get it out of your head'. The F-35 ain't gonna merge. OK? :D


Exactly!



Despite what Hollywood might have people believe, most air-to-air combat is not WW1 style dogfighting (and even then it wasn't!). Just read some of the reports of the top aces from history and you will see that most of them (right from WW1) only became the aces they were by avoiding fair fights - it is better to sneak up on your enemy and club him/her over the head from behind rather than to challenge them to a duel. With sensors and more so, guided weapons such as they are, no pilot wants to get into such a fight anyway. It simply isn't a recipe to live long.



You hit the nail on the head. Surprise is everything and remember Lockheed Martins byword "First Look, First Shot, First Kill" :twisted:

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

Unread postPosted: 18 Jan 2014, 02:10
by Corsair1963
zero-one wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:'zero-one' I think this forum has seen evidence time and again about this 'merge' phenomena


Its not just a phenomena sir, the majority of air combat kills are still firmly within vissual ranges, I beleive even the last air-air kill to date was WVR, I dont think there are phenomenos in air combat but if anything can be considered a "phenomena", its the relatively rare occurance of kills from Beyond vissual range.


That is not true the majority of Air Combat in the last 20 years was with BVR Weapons such as the Sparrow/AMRAAM and not Sidewinders and/or Guns. In addition the majority of the latter was because US Fighter couldn't positively confirm the identity of the opponent. So, they were forced to the merge. This will change especially in the case of the F-35 with its Sensor Fusion. As it will be far more easily to identify its opponents at BVR Ranges in the future!

Also, as long we are talking about the merge. Even at such close ranges the F-22 and F-35 will still be invisible until almost the last moment. Remember, comments from several F-15 Pilots flying against the F-22. We didn't even know they were there until we were notify we were dead or they flew past us.............

Again "First Look, First Shot, First Kill"

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

Unread postPosted: 18 Jan 2014, 08:55
by delvo
I realized after I'd written that post and gone out for a while that it could be construed as equating an F-35's maneuvering ability with my car's aquatic ability. Then I didn't get back in time to do anything about it before exactly that reaction happened. Oops. Maybe a better analogy would have been an amphibious vehicle that people complained about for not working like a speedboat, but even that would still have been implying a real disadvantage equivalent to an amphibious vehicle's disadvantage in a water race compared to a speedboat, and even THAT still isn't real. The whole thing about the clumsy F-35, inept at "dogfight" maneuvering, is simply a myth, a lie; although the original kinematic goals weren't quite reached, they were quite ambitious, calling for rather large improvements over 4th-generation kinematics, and even scaling them back still yields real improvements over 4th-generation kinematics... just somewhat less-large ones. It's more like a vehicle that somehow works both as a car and as a speedboat. The real point was not that it lacks such abilities, but that they don't have much weight in a pro-con tally so it wouldn't be hampered even if it did lack them.

But in a way, that was a good rhetorical mistake to make, because it led me to another way to illustrate my real point, which is more a matter of the general principles at work here than the F-35's specific details. Even if we were to build something more truly analogous to my car and its complete lack of aquatic or amphibious features--such as sneaking a few little AMRAAM pockets into the nooks & crannies of the upcoming B-3 but making no attempt to make it able to move like anything but a bomber--it would end up missing its lack of sky-dancing ability as much as my car misses being a boat. Sooner or later, there will be an incident in which that lumbering beast shoots down a quick agile fighter, using exactly the same tactical choreography as any fighter today would use if it could: "see, shoot, and turn wide aside", not "see, shoot, and charge closer and closer and closer for a Top Gun Polaroid shot re-enactment". And then people will start wondering what the point was in bothering to require the latest round of traditional "fighters" to meet any maneuverability specifications at all in the first place, like requiring cars to be able to float when there are no bodies of water for cars to float on.

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

Unread postPosted: 18 Jan 2014, 14:52
by zero-one
Corsair1963 wrote:
Also, as long we are talking about the merge. Even at such close ranges the F-22 and F-35 will still be invisible until almost the last moment. Remember, comments from several F-15 Pilots flying against the F-22. We didn't even know they were there until we were notify we were dead or they flew past us.............

Again "First Look, First Shot, First Kill"


This is exactly my point, Air combat will not be fought entirely at a set range class, say BVR or WVR, it will be dynamic.
But the F-35 has little to fear from any aircraft regardless of range.

If some of us are thinking that combat maneuverability was given a lower priority because of the F-35s Stealth and S.A. Dominance, then according to Lockheed martin this is wrong.

http://www.sldinfo.com/whitepapers/the- ... y-fighter/
Lockheed Martin wrote:we’ve had stealth in the past, but until the F-22 it wasn’t coupled with combat agility. Consider the B-2 and F-117. Both are very stealthy but lack agility, so much so that they could only be deployed at night.
The F-22 and the F-35, which also employ stealth, were designed for agility. We want to fly them day and night and in all combat conditions. They are not designed to be specialized aircraft for narrowly defined mission sets(say BVR only).

Lockheed Martin wrote:One of the challenges we had was to make an airplane that had the low speed characteristics of the Hornet and the high speed of an F-16.

The Hornet can fly slow extremely well and get to high angles of attack and point the nose all around. The F-16 can’t do that as well, but the F-16 can fly extremely fast and can recover energy quickly. The Hornet does not do that very well. Once they get into an energy deficit, it’s hard for them to recover because of the low thrust to weight ratio and the aerodynamic penalty of sensors and weapons in the airstream.

The F-35 incorporates the best of both in flying qualities: it will fly slowly at high angles of attack; it can fly supersonic for extended periods of time; and it regains energy quickly because of its large engine.


http://www.sldinfo.com/whitepapers/buil ... ground-up/
Lockheed Martin wrote:The B-2 and F-117 flew at night in order NOT to be detected visually. If any other 4th generation fighter just happened to see them it would all over.
Without agility it is extremely difficult to defend.
The F-22 and F-35 on the other hand enjoy VLO stealth along with agility.
In other words, stealth is an enabler, but not the whole story.
These are fighters first and foremost.
The F-35 aerodynamic challenge was to build a fighter with the low speed handling of the Hornet and the high-speed performance of the Viper. These design goals have been met and are being verified in flight test.


As we can see from the statements of Lockheed Martin itself, Combat maneuverability was given great importance despite the advantages enjoyed by the F-35 in Stealth and SA

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

Unread postPosted: 18 Jan 2014, 17:25
by spazsinbad
'zero-one' you have added "(say BVR only)" - it would have been best to put that addition of yours in square brackets. I make the point because otherwise these words in brackets are not in the original text. It is interesting that you define BVR as a 'narrow mission set'.

Nevertheless the point is the F-35 has the BVR strengths pointed out already. There is no advantage into going into a merge as has been pointed out before, with lots of potential disadvantages - a simple error on the part of the F-35 pilot is one - with others making the point of the suicidal nature of it for all concerned in previous posts.

The F-35 will take advantage of its strengths in BVR/stealth yadayadayada.... I came across again this simple explanation from 6-7 years ago from a good overall explanation of how an F-35 may be flown. The entire article is a good read today, even if perhaps out-dated perhaps.

FLIGHT TEST: F-35 Simulator - Virtual fighter 31 Jul 2007 Mike Gerzanics
"...Integrated avionics
The F-35's avionics are highly integrated, and for weapons targeting and employment the system must have a point of interest. A cursor designates the system's point of interest and is controlled by the slew switch/cursor control on the throttle. The cursor navigates within the active portal, indicated by a yellow corner hash mark. The portal of interest (PoI) can be the HMD, DAS, radar, EOTS or tactical situation display (TSD). Changing PoIs is primarily accomplished using the data management switch on the sidestick. The cursor's shape changes as function of the PoI and target type (airborne or surface).

The large display area is a palette on which a detailed picture of the tactical situation can be presented. Fused data from the active and passive sensors, as well as datalink information, is used to present the tactical situation in real time. Typically a pilot will use half the display (10 x 7in) for the TSD. The display scale can be tailored to the situation, with ranges from 18.5km (10nm) to 1,185km available. Own ship position, as well as that of other formation members, is in blue. Ground and airborne points/targets are colour-coded: green friendly, yellow undetermined and red hostile.

Target depictions are graphically coded to indicate where the information came from. For airborne targets, shown as a lollypop, the circle is either hollow, half filled or full. Hollow indicates on-board data alone filled indicates only off-board sensors half filled means both on- and off-board sensors are seeing the target. The stick of the lollypop is at first a velocity vector. When the sensors get a lock, the stick increases in length, approaching but not touching the targeted aircraft. The stick extends to touch the targeted aircraft when the fused sensors determine the F-35 has a launch solution on its target. Geographic boxes/lines can be displayed to show areas such as missile engagement and no-fly zones.

Shoot list
To give me a better feel for the F-35's capabilities, Skaff set up two scenarios, one air-to-air and the other air-to-surface. For the air-to-air engagement, my four-ship formation of F-35s targeted four Red aircraft. Using the cursor I locked on to all four aircraft to develop a shoot list. When locked to a target, an expanded data block is presented on the TSD. This identifies the aircraft type, as determined by the numerous sensors, with system confidence level for the determination. Also presented are target range, closure velocity, aspect angle and which sensors are seeing the target.

The targets now all had upright red triangles over them, with numbers corresponding to their priority in the shoot list. On the lower left-hand corner of the TSD was a relative height scale, which showed the altitude of my aircraft and the four targets on a vertical bar. The red lollypop symbols advanced towards my formation, our presence undetected.

At maximum engagement range, as indicated in the HMD, I launched a generic radar-guided missile at the first aircraft in my shoot list. Using the tactical management switch on the sidestick I stepped through the shoot list to engage the fourth target, leaving numbers two and three for my wingmen. I launched the second missile at number four, and the flight of both missiles was tracked and presented on both the HMD and TSD. Time to impact was also presented, a neat feature. All four Red aircraft destroyed, the exercise was terminated to set up the air-to-surface scenario...."

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... er-215810/

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

Unread postPosted: 18 Jan 2014, 21:09
by popcorn
...The display scale can be tailored to the situation, with ranges from 18.5km (10nm) to 1,185km available..

I find this quite amazing. To be able to have a SA picture extending to extreme ranges is unheard of AFAIK and hints at the power and game-changing nature of Net Centric Warfare. Now consider overlapping SA bubbles forming Gen,Hostage's Combat Cloud and any foe that enters within is subject to detection and engagement from all points of the compass. Simply awesome.

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

Unread postPosted: 19 Jan 2014, 07:38
by zero-one
Thank you Spaz for that awesome find. I'm sorry for using the wrong brackets by the way, My graphical codings aren't as organized as the F-35 :doh:

Anyway, I don't consider BVR combat as particularly narrow, but it definitely is narrower than BVR, TVR and WVR combat combined.

Like you, I firmly believe that most A-A engagements in the future are of BVR nature.

our only difference is that I don't think it will be absolute, there will be times when Sidewinders,IRIS-Ts,ASRAAMs, Archers or maybe even guns will be needed to make the kill. How often or rarely they will be used is a wild guess even for any expert.

Even LM makes this statement, If memory serves me right, they think around 60% of combat will be BVR, 30% TVR and >10% WVR, the actuality may vary a little or they may vary a lot

Consider the Gulf of Sidra Incident, the Bandits were identified shortly after they took off and well beyond visual ranges, they were considered hostile at BVR ranges as well, but in the end the Pilot skill and the Tomcats incredible maneuverability was displayed, along with the effectiveness of the Aim-9L specially on a 6 o'clock shot.

We can blame it all on ROE's imposed or whatever, but the same thing happened in 2004 if I'm not mistaken when Israeli
F-15s shot down Syrian Mig 29s with 9Ms and Python 4s

These incidents are some of the reasons why I look critically on statements suggesting that WVR combat is extinct and suicidal to all parties involved.

This is specially not true in 5th Gen aircraft that are difficult to acquire, track and target even at extremely close ranges,
Its going to be near suicide to engage an F-35 period, regardless of the type of fight.
BVR, WVR, Turning fights guns only, the F-35 will be dominant in most if not all of them

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

Unread postPosted: 19 Jan 2014, 17:21
by Gums
Salute!

Not a bad summary, Zero.

Until we change the ROE, I am still concerned about BVR employment. Even the Libya shootdown had some ROE interference.

It's true we have a cosmic suite of sensors and such on the new jet to enhance situational awareness and such. However, unless the opposition is coming from a known hostile position and no other friendlies are about, the spectre of WVR shall exist. And then there's the Raptors, that even the F-35 may not detect.

The F-35 appears to me as a stuby Eagle when I watch them in the pattern. Hence, I call them Stubies. They are smaller from all angles than the Eagle or Tomcat or Raptor. Bigger than a Viper, and easier to pick up.

The good thing is adversaries will have a hard time using radar-guided missiles, even WVR. IR doofers will have a better chance, but will have to be close and therefore requiring vis ID.

Up to me, I would have embedded A2A loadouts for a coupla Stubies with a host of dedicated mudbeaters doing their thing. Hell! The thing is supposed to be a "strike fighter". There could also be a mixed load, but I have to have more details on the configurations. Can't imagine having two types of missiles in one bay, but it may be possible. The bays I crawled around at my tour last year are right on the centerline, so assymetric weight doesn't seem a problem.

One thing the Stubie has going for it in a knife fight is a nose-pointing ability that we Vipers didn't have. So a quick shot with a "heater" is a very real possibility versus a face shot BVR with a Slammer. And don't forget the Slammer's ability to be fired "across the circle" and without mid-course updates - true launch and leave. The other thing is the Stubie can accelerate up to the mach better than anything I've seen but the Raptor. That big motor is nice to have, ya think?

'nuf philosophy.

Gums sends...

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

Unread postPosted: 19 Jan 2014, 18:17
by spazsinbad
Pick which Stubby the F-35 Bubby looks like. :D

"DARWIN'S most famous export the iconic Darwin Stubby celebrated its 50th birthday back in 2008.

The 2.25L Darwin Stubby was conceived by Carlton and United Brewery in 1958 to satisfy the hearty appetite of Territory beer drinkers, whose love of the amber fluid could not be confined to 750ml, the largest grog vessel at the time. It quickly became the drink of choice for thirsty locals and tourists alike who were quick to get on board.

Although the NT Draught Darwin Stubby has had many incarnations over the years, it continues to be a much sought-after product and sells around 24,000 bottles each year.

The Darwin Stubby gives us a presence around the world, everyone knows about it. No one else has anything that big - it's as big as the Territory and everyone mentions it wherever you go, It’s now sold largely as a tourist gimmick, but very successfully.

Although no longer brewed in the Territory, many old-time Darwin locals can remember the days when the old Bishop St site pumped out hangovers as big as the bottle - by the dozen.

Beer has not been brewed in the Territory since Carlton United made NT Draught. The brewery closed in the late 1980s, taking the iconic Darwin Stubby to Queensland...."

http://www.exploroz.com/Forum/Topic/788 ... o__Au.aspx

http://www.exploroz.com/Utilities/showI ... _TN800.jpg

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

Unread postPosted: 19 Jan 2014, 19:54
by Gums
Salute!

O.K., Spaz-breath.

I'll use "Stubby", after looking up the definition.

I really need a pic of the jet beside an Eagle or Hornet.

Gums sends....

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

Unread postPosted: 19 Jan 2014, 19:59
by spazsinbad
But But But... Which Stubby? :D And here is a line up of stubbiform aircrafts....

http://www.navair.navy.mil/nawcad/index ... oad&id=767 (PDF not too large)...

Re: F-35 air to air ?'s

Unread postPosted: 20 Jan 2014, 05:52
by Corsair1963
cola wrote:
It seems the pros heavily outweigh the cons, What am I missing?
What you're missing is a fact that the F35 is still a subsonic fighter (like the previous generation), while the air combat moved to supersonic with the appearance of fighters like F22, EF and perhaps PAKFA/J20 (early to tell).


We have heard the F-35 can indeed operate at speeds above Mach 1 on Military Power. To what extend only time will tell??? That said, more power is already on the way. So, the door is clearly open..... :wink:

Conan wrote:The idea that the F-35 is somehow "slow". Okay it's top speed is 0.4M slower than some other fighters, but the amount of time one fighter actually spends above M1.6 is measured in seconds per flight and perhaps minutes in a career, if at all.

And this is the typical misconception...it is slow, way too slow and not just top speed.
Read C.Worning's deposition about EF's performance and consider that the F22 can do all this somewhat longer and faster. http://openparliament.ca/committees/nat ... 38/?page=9 (page 9/10)


Source has no direct access to the F-35 Program or the Aircraft itself. In addition Billie Flynn has and is a former Typhoon Test Pilot and his comments are contrary to that source........ :doh:

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

Unread postPosted: 20 Jan 2014, 20:57
by Gums
Salute!

Super cruise is vastly over rated. Sheesh. What are you gonna do with a turn radius of two miles?

The Viper was optimized for about 0.85M, and this is clearly shown in the EM diagrams. More good news was it could perform very well down to about 120 knots or so - full roll capability and no worries about departing. The first turn when defeating a missle or whatever was crucial. Our normal ingress was 480 or 540 knots, so we could easily pull 8+ gees, even loaded.

I like the acceleration from about 200 knots to 500 knots or so better than trying to get supersonic in level flight. We went supersonic a lot when lowering the nose for an attack or evading a bad guy. None of this 30 or 40 second stuff. Could even go supersonic in mil power with 20 degrees of nose down. BFD.

Gums sends...

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

Unread postPosted: 20 Jan 2014, 21:43
by zero-one
Salute Mr Gums.

So what do you think about all this "F-35 accelerates slower, turns a tad bit wider" at a certain speed, load out and altitude talk,

is it really a bit of over reacting to some test done on an End-of-life airframe in a worst case scenario, or are you a bit worried over the performance of whats intended to replace our beloved Viper.

Just want to know what you think.


Cheers :mrgreen:

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

Unread postPosted: 21 Jan 2014, 02:35
by smsgtmac
zero-one wrote:Salute Mr Gums.

So what do you think about all this "F-35 accelerates slower, turns a tad bit wider" at a certain speed, load out and altitude talk,

is it really a bit of over reacting to some test done on an End-of-life airframe in a worst case scenario, or are you a bit worried over the performance of whats intended to replace our beloved Viper.

Just want to know what you think.


Cheers :mrgreen:


I just want to know where the quote "F-35 accelerates slower, turns a tad bit wider" came from?
BTW, EVERY airplane has those 'features' at a certain speed, load out and altitude". The secret is to get the other guy to fight where it affects him more than it affects you.

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

Unread postPosted: 21 Jan 2014, 03:15
by Gums
Salute!

Sgtmac has the right question.

Way it looks, the F-35 corner velocity is actually a bit slower than the Viper. So do the math on turn radius at 350 knots or a bit slower.

Accel looks fine to me, unless you are st and level and try to get supersonic. Viper was same way. Hell, just unload a bit and zip right thru the mach. BFD.

Let's face it. The Subby ain't no Raptor. It will have a decent A2A capability, even in a knife fight. On the strike missions, it will beat anything out there friend or foe.

Gums....

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

Unread postPosted: 21 Jan 2014, 04:32
by Corsair1963
smsgtmac wrote:
zero-one wrote:Salute Mr Gums.

So what do you think about all this "F-35 accelerates slower, turns a tad bit wider" at a certain speed, load out and altitude talk,

is it really a bit of over reacting to some test done on an End-of-life airframe in a worst case scenario, or are you a bit worried over the performance of whats intended to replace our beloved Viper.

Just want to know what you think.


Cheers :mrgreen:



Ditto

I just want to know where the quote "F-35 accelerates slower, turns a tad bit wider" came from?
BTW, EVERY airplane has those 'features' at a certain speed, load out and altitude". The secret is to get the other guy to fight where it affects him more than it affects you.

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

Unread postPosted: 21 Jan 2014, 14:52
by zero-one
The "F-35 accelerates slower, turns a tad bit wider" statement came from the 2012 evaluation review that made headlines all over last year.

The one that said that baseline performance specs were relaxed for all F-35 variants, (5.3Gs-4.6Gs, etc etc.)

On one hand, those specs may have been taken from an overloaded, very slow moving F-35

but on the other hand(which most critics like to use)

that may have been a best case scenario, A-A configured, corner speed test on the F-35 and it bearly reached 5Gs.
and transonic acceleration was 8 Sec slower than a loaded F-16 block 50

the truth may be somwhere in between.

This is why I started to look at some figures between the Viper and the Stubby

F-35A

Weights
Empty: 29,300
Fuel: 7,200 (40%)

Weapons: 1,932 lbs
4 x Aim 120C missiles: 1,340 lbs
2 x Aim 9X missiles: 376 lbs
180 rounds: (dont know the weight, estimate 216 lbs [1.2lbs per round])
Combat weight: 38,432
Thrust
Dry: 28,000
AB: 43,000

TW Ratio
Dry:0.72
AB: 1.12
Wing Loading:83.5 lbs/ sq ft.

____________________________________________________________

F-16C

Weights
Empty: 18,900
Fuel: 4,000 (70%)
Weapons: 2,329 lbs
4 x Aim 120C missiles: 1,340 lbs
2 x Aim 9X missiles: 376 lbs
511 rounds: (dont know the weight, estimate 613 lbs [1.2lbs per round])

combat weight: 25,229

Thrust
Dry: 17,155
AB: 28,600

TW Ratio
Dry:0.67
AB: 1.13
Wing Loading: 84lbs/ sq ft.

This was a bit surprising to me, I was not intending for it to be so similar.

I realize that I dont have all the variables like Drag coeficient, Vortex lifting properties etc etc, but at least this solidified what test pilots have been saying all along that the F-35 has F-16 like performance.

This is the best that I can come up with given the info I have

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

Unread postPosted: 21 Jan 2014, 21:59
by hb_pencil
zero-one wrote:The "F-35 accelerates slower, turns a tad bit wider" statement came from the 2012 evaluation review that made headlines all over last year.

The one that said that baseline performance specs were relaxed for all F-35 variants, (5.3Gs-4.6Gs, etc etc.)

On one hand, those specs may have been taken from an overloaded, very slow moving F-35

but on the other hand(which most critics like to use)

that may have been a best case scenario, A-A configured, corner speed test on the F-35 and it bearly reached 5Gs.
and transonic acceleration was 8 Sec slower than a loaded F-16 block 50

the truth may be somwhere in between.

This is why I started to look at some figures between the Viper and the Stubby


The reality is that most figures quote statistics with F-35 in its worst possible cases. The USG testing approach uses end of life engine performance, often with a heavy internal load: clearly the fighter isn't going to perform well. One area is the range: most people love quoting that the F-35 has approximately 590 nm combat radius (which is insufficient to do anything). The reality is that the aircraft with that load carries 4500lbs of internal combat load, at an inefficient altitude, with engines that are 20+ years old. Most modern aircraft, save for the F-15E would have severe difficulty actually achieving anything close to that.

Acceleration was not 8 second lower than an loaded F-16 Blk 50, it was for an unloaded Blk 50 (I believe putting amraam on the wingtips improves its acceleration or has no effect).

Will the F-35 have the best aerodynamic dogfighter performance? No, but air to air combat has evolved dramatically in the past 20 years, and it might have the greatest advantage over any other fighter. Our microprocessor technology has probably advanced more than any other major technology field during that period (with the possible exception of biotech.) Avionics reliability and sensor sensitivity is several generations of where we were in 1990, which means PK will be dramatically higher on current generations of missiles than before.

That necessitates changes to doctrine and capability. See and shoot first plays a far greater role into deciding who wins than before. This plays into the biggest military culture shift, the C4ISR revolution.

I'm not saying that the F-35 will be a terrible maneuvering aircraft. I think it will be solidly average... around that of most of its competitors. However it will likely be the most deadly aircraft in a battle due to its other systems which no other aircraft has.

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

Unread postPosted: 21 Jan 2014, 22:10
by smsgtmac
zero-one wrote:The "F-35 accelerates slower, turns a tad bit wider" statement came from the 2012 evaluation review that made headlines all over last year.

The one that said that baseline performance specs were relaxed for all F-35 variants, (5.3Gs-4.6Gs, etc etc.)

Oh, ok. I was hoping you were using a direct quote I could add to an old post. What you are finding out, is that you have enough information to think about the question, but not enough to answer it. Too bad the 'Critics' aren't respectable enough to admit that also means they don't have enough information to make valid criticisms as well. I'm on my phone now, but will post link later where I went through everything you are going though. Based on what you've done already you can probably skip a lot of it.
----------------
As promised, here are the links.
The 'Sustained G spec change' series starts here:
http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/201 ... -spec.html

And for perspective on the (lower) relevance of the sustained g metric in a modern combat engagement here:
http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/201 ... ility.html

There's not enough data in hand for quantifying a WAG for comparing acceleration through Mach. I expect we will have to have combat-configured F-35s spanking combat configured F-18s, F-16s, and Eurocanards in the hands of the users for the naysayers to shut up already.

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

Unread postPosted: 22 Jan 2014, 00:49
by cantaz
hb_pencil wrote:The reality is that most figures quote statistics with F-35 in its worst possible cases. The USG testing approach uses end of life engine performance, often with a heavy internal load: clearly the fighter isn't going to perform well. One area is the range: most people love quoting that the F-35 has approximately 590 nm combat radius (which is insufficient to do anything).


I've been trying to find an official reference to the above, would you happen to have a good link?

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

Unread postPosted: 22 Jan 2014, 01:11
by hb_pencil
cantaz wrote:
hb_pencil wrote:The reality is that most figures quote statistics with F-35 in its worst possible cases. The USG testing approach uses end of life engine performance, often with a heavy internal load: clearly the fighter isn't going to perform well. One area is the range: most people love quoting that the F-35 has approximately 590 nm combat radius (which is insufficient to do anything).


I've been trying to find an official reference to the above, would you happen to have a good link?


No I don't, sorry. Its just what's been told to me.

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

Unread postPosted: 22 Jan 2014, 05:13
by smsgtmac
cantaz wrote:
hb_pencil wrote:The reality is that most figures quote statistics with F-35 in its worst possible cases. The USG testing approach uses end of life engine performance, often with a heavy internal load: clearly the fighter isn't going to perform well. One area is the range: most people love quoting that the F-35 has approximately 590 nm combat radius (which is insufficient to do anything).


I've been trying to find an official reference to the above, would you happen to have a good link?


Do you mean 'official' as in program document? Or do you mean some authority (LM or Government) quoted as stating it so?
I ask, because when this has been brought up elsewhere, and an LM official is quoted in a reputable publication as saying the performance is measured using a degraded end-of-life engine assumption, some h8er or another inevitably jumps up and points out that how LM measures it isn't the same as the spec. I keep waiting for a bright bulb to pop up and ask:
"Well if that is how LM is measuring performance metrics against the specs to get the 'grade', then what is their point?"

This is just another issue that won't fade until more data is available. Of course by then the h8ers will have moved on to a different 'issue', hopefully on another program.

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

Unread postPosted: 22 Jan 2014, 07:14
by hb_pencil
smsgtmac wrote:
cantaz wrote:
hb_pencil wrote:The reality is that most figures quote statistics with F-35 in its worst possible cases. The USG testing approach uses end of life engine performance, often with a heavy internal load: clearly the fighter isn't going to perform well. One area is the range: most people love quoting that the F-35 has approximately 590 nm combat radius (which is insufficient to do anything).


I've been trying to find an official reference to the above, would you happen to have a good link?


Do you mean 'official' as in program document? Or do you mean some authority (LM or Government) quoted as stating it so?
I ask, because when this has been brought up elsewhere, and an LM official is quoted in a reputable publication as saying the performance is measured using a degraded end-of-life engine assumption, some h8er or another inevitably jumps up and points out that how LM measures it isn't the same as the spec. I keep waiting for a bright bulb to pop up and ask:
"Well if that is how LM is measuring performance metrics against the specs to get the 'grade', then what is their point?"

This is just another issue that won't fade until more data is available. Of course by then the h8ers will have moved on to a different 'issue', hopefully on another program.


Okay, let me rephrase. My information isn't from LM, its from a more "credible" source with a perspective on these issues. Whether or not that's sufficient for others isn't really my concern, I just know that's how its measured in the KPPs.

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

Unread postPosted: 22 Jan 2014, 08:04
by spazsinbad
Perhaps not wot youse are looking for but anyway.... From Australian Federal Parliament Transcript....

PARLIAMENTARY JOINT COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DEFENCE AND TRADE 20 MARCH 2012
“...Senator FAWCETT: I have one last question, if I can. Speaking of the key performance indicators, obviously for the overall program they are cost, schedule and performance. In cost and schedule we have seen a number of changes and rebaselining to allow for things that have happened. In terms of the KPIs against your original ops requirement document — you do not have to disclose which ones have not been met — but at this point in time have all of the original essential requirements from the ORD been met?
Mr Burbage: We have 16 key performance parameters on this airplane. Half are logistics and sustainment-related, half are aeroperformance-related and one or two are in classified areas. We have an oversight body called the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, the JROC, that looks at those requirements every year and makes decisions on them — 'Are we going to meet them, are we not going to meet them? If we are not going to meet them, what is the impact of that?' We have one this year which was the range of the Air Force airplane which had a specific set of ground rules associated with how that range is calculated which is not similar to either of the other two airplanes. The airplane flies a large part of its mission at a non-optimised altitude in the original calculation. The JROC agreed to change the ground rules to fly that airplane as the other two were flown and, when that happened, the airplane had excess margin to the range requirement. For any performance-related requirements, we artificially penalise the engine by five per cent fuel flow and two per cent thrust. Those margins are given back as we mature the design and get more and more solid on exactly what it is going to do. They are there for conservative estimation up front. We have not taken back any of those margins yet so, when those margins are taken back, the airplane will continue to be well in excess of its basic requirement. The airplane is meeting all of the other requirements today.

Senator FAWCETT: So have those requirements like schedule & cost been rebaselined, or are they are still the original ORD?
Mr Burbage: Schedule and cost are not KPPs. I thought you were talking about performance.

Senator FAWCETT: No, I recognise that. You have rebaselined schedule and cost as you have gone along. What I am asking is have the KPIs been rebaselined & does the statement you just made apply to today's KPIs or does it also apply to the original ones?
Mr Burbage: To the original set. Today, all the KPPs are green because that ground rule was changed to be common across all three airplanes on the range. But we have not taken back the margins that are being withheld to make sure those performance predictions are conservative. We are not going to have degraded engines. We basically measure our performance characteristics with a highly-degraded engine capability. Our actual flight test information coming back from the engine is better than nominal. These calculations are not done using actual airplane test data. They are done using an artificial penalty that gets paid back as the design matures....”

http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Bus ... arings.htm

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

Unread postPosted: 22 Jan 2014, 08:15
by hornetfinn
cantaz wrote:
hb_pencil wrote:The reality is that most figures quote statistics with F-35 in its worst possible cases. The USG testing approach uses end of life engine performance, often with a heavy internal load: clearly the fighter isn't going to perform well. One area is the range: most people love quoting that the F-35 has approximately 590 nm combat radius (which is insufficient to do anything).


I've been trying to find an official reference to the above, would you happen to have a good link?


The most official information about this can be found here (Parliament of Australia official document from Parliamentary Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade meeting): http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22committees%2Fcommjnt%2F3cb4e326-70e4-4abd-acb7-609a16072b70%2F0001%22

Mr Burbage : We have 16 key performance parameters on this airplane. Half are logistics and sustainment-related, half are aeroperformance-related and one or two are in classified areas. We have an oversight body called the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, the JROC, that looks at those requirements every year and makes decisions on them—'Are we going to meet them, are we not going to meet them? If we are not going to meet them, what is the impact of that?' We have one this year which was the range of the Air Force airplane which had a specific set of ground rules associated with how that range is calculated which is not similar to either of the other two airplanes. The airplane flies a large part of its mission at a non-optimised altitude in the original calculation. The JROC agreed to change the ground rules to fly that airplane as the other two were flown and, when that happened, the airplane had excess margin to the range requirement. [b]For any performance-related requirements, we artificially penalise the engine by five per cent fuel flow and two per cent thrust. [/b]Those margins are given back as we mature the design and get more and more solid on exactly what it is going to do. They are there for conservative estimation up front. We have not taken back any of those margins yet so, when those margins are taken back, the airplane will continue to be well in excess of its basic requirement. The airplane is meeting all of the other requirements today.


So it seems like all performance-related calculations have rather serious artificial penalties. That 590 or so nautical mile combat radius originally calculated was changed to over 600 nm radius simply by using more optimized flight profile. In real life with real engines with normal performance, I'd expect the range to be a whole lot better, probably closer to 700 nm. Those artificial penalties should also affect acceleration and sustained turn rate figures. How much, I don't know but even that 2 percent is almost 1000 pounds of thrust and that should be noticeable.

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

Unread postPosted: 22 Jan 2014, 08:18
by hornetfinn
Damn it, spazsinbad beat me to it...

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

Unread postPosted: 22 Jan 2014, 12:53
by cantaz
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?

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

Unread postPosted: 22 Jan 2014, 13:02
by spazsinbad
'hornetfinn' you have a better direct link to the material. For the life of me I could not find the several links in this very forum to the same material - could not remember the name of the senator (Fawcett). Anyhow once that is remembered the links to the dripping faucet are easy to find here: :doh:

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=22088&p=255248&hilit=Fawcett#p255248

I think we will all find that there is now too much of the same / similar info on this forum - on the internet - in the universe (I had to go there!). :D Remembering all this stuff; and remembering how to search on a vital name, can be a chore these days. Or - I'm getting old.

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

Unread postPosted: 22 Jan 2014, 14:32
by zero-one
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?

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

Unread postPosted: 22 Jan 2014, 14:56
by hornetfinn
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Feb 2014, 15:17
by cola
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Feb 2014, 15:21
by XanderCrews
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Feb 2014, 19:48
by Gums
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....

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2014, 05:10
by neurotech
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2014, 07:14
by spazsinbad
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:

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2014, 15:04
by zero-one
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? :(

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2014, 15:50
by count_to_10
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?

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2014, 16:46
by Gums
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...

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2014, 17:57
by zero-one
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:

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2014, 18:18
by basher54321
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)

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2014, 18:31
by Gums
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...

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2014, 18:50
by zero-one
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:

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2014, 18:54
by Gums
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...

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2014, 19:09
by zero-one
Thank you Mr Gums.

No doubt IFF will be done well beyond vissual ranges,

But identification is one thing, actually hitting the target with a Slammer is another.

A pilot once told me "the further away you shoot, the more likely you mis"

I think it applies even to super hi-tech Slammer Ds and Meteors, my question is, what would you do if a mis occurs, and you were flying a Stubby. deep in contested air space.

I remember the same thing happening with Israeli Eagles, after mising with their Aim-7s, they closed in and brought their other weapons to the fight (Aim 9s, Pythons and even Guns). Is that still an option these days? Plus this gives the Slammer its "Mad dog" mode and a seriously high PK

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2014, 19:22
by basher54321
Gums wrote:
Then there was "non-cooperative target identification" capabilities very "protected" at that time. Best I remember, the Tomcat and Hornet had a similar system.



Hi Gums - was that similar principle to NCTR? - looks at the at fan blades from a frontal aspect (I think).

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2014, 19:56
by basher54321
zero-one wrote: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.




Adding weight to the F-35 will affect its performance as well - it's the extra drag from the bombs/pylons that would be the main difference, and because the Viper is a lot smaller its very difficult to say for sure in the case of both having 2 x MK83 & 2 x AIM-120. ( I have seen anecdotal claims on acceleration only)

The point was though in the early 80s getting in close was probably expected >95% of the time (especially for the F-16) -
also the Block 10/15 could run rings round the adversaries as Gums stated and the missiles were far more limited.

Today the likely hood of getting in close is probably far less.

Hypothetically that figure could rise against an air force with numbers - but anyway Block 50 turn performance probably isn't enough even with a Helmet mounted system if suddenly in a merge with a near peer with similar close in systems. The IR missiles today far exceed the (barely) all aspect AIM-9L regarding launch parameters.

Therefore the F-35 takes another approach (if you watch the AAQ-37 video on youtube) - combined with relevant tactics (and yes am aware this is only a paper capability at the moment).

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2014, 20:26
by Lightndattic
zero-one wrote:A pilot once told me "the further away you shoot, the more likely you mis"


I can see that being the case with conventional fighters, however the main benefit of L-O fighters, is the ability to approach your target unnoticed and fire from within your weapon's NEZ giving all the advantages to your weapon and limiting your target's reaction time.

It's the same as a submarine stalking another sub. If you do it right and remain undetected right until the point you fire, it makes it extremely difficult for your target to escape your weapon.

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2014, 20:35
by Gums
Salute!

Basher and Zero have some good points.

As the 80's went, our displays got better WRT the "kill zone". So the Eagles and Tomcats and Hornets had good displays to show the Pk if you launched the missile then. Viper one called the "dynamic launch zone", but we usually fired our simulated Lima well within that "circle". The Hornet actually had a large "SHOOT" displayed on the HUD, and we laughed 'cause we didn't know the nasal radiators or marines could even "read", LOL.

Back in the 80's, the Eagle drivers learned that shooting at max range using their "launch envelope" display would not work at max range. We could do the bat turn and actually out run the Great White Hope if they launched at 15 miles or so head on. The missile starts to slow down a few seconds after launch, you see? Slammer specs dictated a better sustained powered flight from the motor, plus it didn't leave the large white plume from the motor. Under the rules we had in DACT, the Eagles had to call "Fox 1", as we didn't need real rocket plumes to clue us in. So do the bat turn and run away.

It always amazes me that Steve Ritchie got all his kills with the Sparrow ( classmate of mine from the Zoo), and Cunningham got all his with the 'winder. Steve understood the Sparrow very well, and if you see some of his kills, they were all within visual range and captured by his gun camera. He also fired two, each time. He had super backseaters, and they both knew what the Sparrow could do or not do. He set up the shots better than anyone except maybe Bob Lodge ( Oyster 01, and another classmate).

The Slammer is much better, and I think there's a video out there of the Viper pilot that nailed a few bandits during the Balkan era. The mid-course data link for the Slammer helped at max range shots, but best bet is to get within a few miles and you don't need any steenkeeng mid-course data link. The thing also has a "point and shoot" boresight mode for shooting across the circle and off boresight to "x" degrees. The Lima was very good in that geometry, and the Royal Navy Harrier guys told us they were amazed by the Lima during th Falklands. They did not believe all the PR about the Lima, but after a kill or two, had nothing but praise. We were de-biefed by one or two of them after the Falkland battles.

The biggie for the Raptor and Stubby is not having to have a good "chirp" before pressing the button. Seems the AIM-9X will solve those problems, but better to hear the chirp and then shoot.

Gums sends...

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2014, 02:37
by basher54321
Gums wrote:Salute!
It always amazes me that Steve Ritchie got all his kills with the Sparrow ( classmate of mine from the Zoo), and Cunningham got all his with the 'winder. Steve understood the Sparrow very well, and if you see some of his kills, they were all within visual range and captured by his gun camera. He also fired two, each time. He had super backseaters, and they both knew what the Sparrow could do or not do. He set up the shots better than anyone except maybe Bob Lodge ( Oyster 01, and another classmate).



That's pretty cool you know those guys

At least Ritchie had the later AIM-7E and E-2 in 72 - think of Robert Blake getting a kill with an AIM-7D in an F-4C in 66!

Its safe to say the AIM-7D-F were pretty bad - the AIM-9L seems like the first good missile - but its unusually high ~0.7pk in 1982 seems to be a combination of good British tactics, lack of any countermeasures (or evidence of use) by the FAA (Argentine AF) - and as far as I can tell were all rear aspect shots.

There is a Serbian video with the surviving pilot accounts that took part in the 1999 conflict. One of the pilots recounts how they are outnumbered and in full view of everybody and hoping to spot the NATO jets visually in the hope of merging and using R-73s.............with the inevitable results. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLngqoBpWXQ)

This for me sums up one reason why the F-35 / 22 are superior A-A platforms - regardless of airframe/missile performance, used properly they should have an information advantage (in theory) allowing them to engage in a tactically superior position or avoid / disengage at will etc.

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2014, 16:26
by Gums
Salute!

Funny, Basher, but I also know Bob Blake very well. Lives nearby and leader of the local Zoomie Protective Association, heh heh. First grad to bag a Mig and was my boss at Hill when we ramped up the Vipers ( had more pilots than jets for a few months, then were were getting 3 or 4 a week). Another classmate got one with the cannon - Karl Richter ( went thru UPT with him). A few others got Migs as backseaters, including one flying with Robin Olds on the Bolo mission. We were there at the right time for sure, then many went back as Ritchie and Lodge did ( and Gums).

Our Falkland debrief by the Brit was interesting. Some of the shots were from the beam and they were amazed at the missile's initial turn and then homing to the kill. I don't think they had the "slaved" seeker mode, but we helped them integrate the Lima on their Sea Harriers within a coupla weeks from the get go. WRT to the F-35, they flew the Harriers in very bad weather ( extremely low ceilings). One tactic they used was to follow the wake of the boat, and folks on the boat were throwing flares into the water to help. Cruise on up to the boat, then set down, heh heh. Should be easy for the Stubby to do the same.

Gums sends...

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2014, 17:49
by spazsinbad
Gums, the SHARs/Harriers did amazingly well in the horrible South Atlantic Weather of those days. These days the BEE will have JPALS to guide them to a precision landing - perhaps an automatic VL? We have not heard about this auto VL feature since a 'discredited' report years ago now. [A decade ago the VACC Harrier did an auto VL (and many others at the time using a simulacrum of JPALS.] Once JPALS is in top condition it will be easy enough to find the ship etc.

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2014, 20:17
by Gums
Salute!

I don't think the Bee needs a lot of cosmic auto stuff to get to the boat in bad WX.

A good ground map radar that can be used to "designate" the boat and track it would be enough. Vertical steering could also be supplied and simply hit that magic button for vertical landing mode as you cruise in. The Bee looked very comfortable landing on the Wasp, and the vertical landing we had here at Eglin showed the procedure. Sucker cruised in at 50 or 60 knots, then slowed and came straight down on the runway. Video is here someplace.

I still have to find the schedule or just spend hours up near Duke Field to see the Bees practice their vertical landings. Way it looks to me, they would do one, then go up in either mode, than come back around and do it again. The vertical landing pad is just off the south end of the runway, so a short taxi would make it easy and not waste gas.

Gums sends...

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2014, 22:43
by spazsinbad
Gums, I guess my unstated point is that 'in theory' - with JPALS - with the 'auto VL' - the BEE should be able to land VL (finding the ship) in ZERO/Zero weather - probably not a calm sea either. GO JPALS! 8)

I hope you can take some of your own FCLP VL video? Wear your Ear Defenders! :mrgreen:

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2014, 23:56
by basher54321
Gums wrote:Salute!

Our Falkland debrief by the Brit was interesting. Some of the shots were from the beam and they were amazed at the missile's initial turn and then homing to the kill. I don't think they had the "slaved" seeker mode, but we helped them integrate the Lima on their Sea Harriers within a coupla weeks from the get go. WRT to the F-35, they flew the Harriers in very bad weather ( extremely low ceilings). One tactic they used was to follow the wake of the boat, and folks on the boat were throwing flares into the water to help. Cruise on up to the boat, then set down, heh heh. Should be easy for the Stubby to do the same.



Hadn't associated Karl Richter with a MiG-17 kill - amazing that they have now researched the name of the MiG pilot that bailed out! shame Karl's luck ran out later.

25+ claims for the F-105 vs. the MiG-17 - and mostly guns guns guns - that shouldn't have happened - shows you what great pilots some of these guys like Karl were.

Hats off for knowing these legends and flying the greatest jet ever - that being the Block 10 (did you ever get in the YF-16?)

Thanks for the info on the Falklands A-9L use - kinda reminded me of Boyds Attack study where he advocates the AIM-9B will lock onto the side of the F-100 - you know where the paint always burns off - not so sure the missile would have turned like the L though - gotta love pure turbo jets ha!

The F-35B will be such a massive upgrade - especially the ease of flying the thing. I think the Fleet Air Arm should rename the B to the Harrier III or even the Super Harrier - much more fitting :)

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2014, 01:10
by mixelflick
Back on point: I sure hope the F-35 can handle the air to air load...

Because not even the US can afford the F-22, and these NATO countries/others are going to be relying on the F-35 to carry the load. I'm no fan of APA/Kopp, but if I'm Australia - I'd be concerned too.

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2014, 05:01
by Corsair1963
mixelflick wrote:Back on point: I sure hope the F-35 can handle the air to air load...

Because not even the US can afford the F-22, and these NATO countries/others are going to be relying on the F-35 to carry the load. I'm no fan of APA/Kopp, but if I'm Australia - I'd be concerned too.



The US wouldn't place the F-35 at the corner of its defense for the next 30 years. If, it wasn't 99% sure it was up to the task!

As for F-35 critics some like Kopp, ELP, and Sweetman have lost all credibility. As a matter of fact a recent quote from a USN Pilot flying the F-35C with VFA-101 recently said.......

"The only naysayers of the F-35 are the ones that haven't flown it or against it"

Which says it all in my opinion!

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2014, 07:31
by XanderCrews
mixelflick wrote:Back on point: I sure hope the F-35 can handle the air to air load...

Because not even the US can afford the F-22, and these NATO countries/others are going to be relying on the F-35 to carry the load. I'm no fan of APA/Kopp, but if I'm Australia - I'd be concerned too.


A lot of the countries that are receiving F-35s are using them to replace the lighter F-18 and F-16 multi role fighters anyway. I don't recall Norway, Australia, Canada, Turkey, Netherlands having F-15s or F-14s. The US, UK, Italy, have F-22s and eurofighters. so its Japan, Israel, and South Korea left that are actually F-15 users that aren't going high end with something else.

One of the big memes with APA that kind of spread throughout the internet is that it was "f-22 or bust." The law forbidding the export of the F-22 (I think maybe one or two other countries would have actually spent that much really) seemed to create a whiplash that anything less than an F-22 was unfeasible. that an F-35 would be "clubbed like a baby seal" or some such garbage.(remember this is the same bunch that wanted to create a super F-111) that set the stage for the constant comparison of the F-35 vs the F-22. Nothing is as good as an F-22, so that settles that, but being 2nd to an F-22 and ahead of the rest? no shame in that :D And I think that gets lost. I think in the realm of public perception it put the F-35 behind the 8 ball, and that didn't help with Kopp and co throwing everything but the kitchen sink at it. I think just like the F-18 and F-16 it will be perfectly capable of fighting in the air, and there is not some rule somewhere that a "lower end" multi role fighter like an F-16, F-18 or F-35 can't fight and win using its advantages against the bigger A2A boys like Flanker, F-15 and F-22.

Its going to happen, F-35s will get "kills" in exercises against F-22s. :devil: I know this because F-18s, F-16s, F-5s, Eurofighters, have already (providing the rules of the exercise allow them the help they need to merge) I can't wait for the day we see an F-22 in an F-35 gunsight and APA and EPL completely spaz out, and lose the one marble they all shared between the 3 of them.

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2014, 09:24
by spazsinbad
"spaz out". Yeah - I know what that is like. :devil: :doh: :D :shock: 8) Poor boyblis indeed. (boybli: Schwitzer-Deutsch for 'little boy') They'll just say it is a PR stunt anyway and say 'what about the cost'. :drool: :twisted: :roll: And it took X number of years.... :mrgreen:

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2014, 13:54
by zero-one
Oh it gets better,

Viper, Hornet and Rhino pilots routinly say they can do very well against Eagles.

A pretty bold statement considering that Eagle pilots spend all their time training for A-A

Viper, Hornet and Rhino pilots train for a whole lot of other stuff.

In fact, one Viper pilot said "trust me, they don't like it when we bring the knife out" reffering to Eagle drivers.

I would sure want to see the Lightning club the Raptor at times specially in a gun excercise but not to the point that Eagles are being torn apart by Vipers/Hornets/Rhinos right now.

But Id sure like to see Typhoons Rafales and Flankers on F-35 Gun sights with the trigger down on a regular basis.

AOA scale at around 50 degrees :mrgreen:
KAS around 100 knots

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2014, 15:06
by XanderCrews
spazsinbad wrote:"spaz out". Yeah - I know what that is like. :devil: :doh: :D :shock: 8) Poor boyblis indeed. (boybli: Schwitzer-Deutsch for 'little boy') They'll just say it is a PR stunt anyway and say 'what about the cost'. :drool: :twisted: :roll: And it took X number of years.... :mrgreen:


They are already looking more comical and desperate with each passing day. I expect something like this:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/17/world/asi ... dier-dies/

The F-111s are long gone and they still promote a plane from that the evil LM liars no longer produce, that is more expensive than the F-35. :oops: To say their little vision is kapoot would be an understatement. yet they persist...

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2014, 15:14
by hornetfinn
I have loved to follow the APA crap about how F-35 is so bad fighter aircraft. They have claimed that it has poor stealth capabilities, poor kinematic performance, range, poor power and poor radar capability. They seem to use totally different standards for F-35 than for any other aircraft. Some examples:

- They claim F-35 has poor stealth characteristic while touting about PAK-FA and J-20 stealth characteristics. Funnily, according to their own assessments, F-35 has lower RCS without RAM (actually with all metal skin) than PAK-FA or J-20 with RAM. Somehow 0.001 m2 RCS is very poor for F-35 while 0.1 m2 RCS is great for PAK-FA or J-20... :roll:

- They claim that F-35 inlets have real stealth features only in X-band. Of course they have no proof for that and of course there is nothing to indicate that to be true. Actually the inlets should be very stealthy at any wavelength, just like F-22 intakes. Same with the nozzle, which they also have claimed to not be stealthy.

- They claim F-35 doesn't have large internal fuel load as it only has 18k lbs internal fuel. Of course F-22, PAK-FA, J-20 and Su-35 have great range as they have about 18-25k lbs of internal fuel. Funnily they also forget that those other aircraft are much larger and and heavier and also have two large engines instead of just one. I wonder which one will use least fuel to cover the same distance...? :roll:

- They claim that F-35 can't launch weapons at supersonic speeds as it has 'bomber doors'. Of course the second AMRAAM launched by F-35 was launched at supersonic speed and there is picture of the event clearly showing weapons bay doors open.

- They claim that F-35 doesn't have high agility. Sure, 50+ degree AoA capability shows poor agility... :roll:


Basically they are making up most of their 'criticism' for F-35. If facts don't support their view of F-35, they make up their 'facts'.

The fact is that F-35 will have some very good features for air-to-air combat, like:
- excellent stealth (both RF and IR)
- very compact size, visually about similar to F-16 and F/A-18A-D
- excellent sensors (radar, all-around IR sensors, most advanced internal IRST/FLIR, ESM)
- excellent sensor fusion making most out of those sensors
- excellent datalinking capabilities (Link-16, MADL)
- excellent range
- very good high-AoA capabilities

Otherwise it seems to have pretty competitive features, although it's definitely not nearly as fast or quickly accelerating as F-22 and probably can't match the sustained turn rate. Since all the performance data is currently said to be artificially penalized with thrust and fuel flow penalties, I think that the actual kinematic performance will be good. C- and B-models will have lower performance but still better than or equal to pretty much any other STOVL or carrier capable aircraft.

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2014, 15:19
by XanderCrews
Well said hornet!!

Plus they "lost" a lot of their European crowd when they said the EF couldn't beat Flankers and they were better off with F-16s.

I agree they can't keep track of all the lies they have spun and have lost their narrative.

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2014, 17:08
by Gums
Salute!

Well put, Fin and Zero.

Fer chrissakes, the jet is a "strike" fighter. We in the U.S. and other countries already have the supreme A2A jets.

The comment about success of the Viper and Hornet versus the Eagle and Tomcat is what I personally saw back in the early 80's. Sure, the Eagle had better nose-pointing at high AoA as did the Hornet, but we had the sustained "e" that surprised them. We could also go vertical with the Eagle and Hornet, but Eagle was better in that. Tomcat couldn't come close in that regard, but the Eagle was formidable. I once went on a vertical scissors from about 10,000 feet to maybe 25,000 or so. The Eagle ran out of smash about the same time as I did, but couldn't get the nose on me for a snap shot or Lima shot. So we came back down canopy to canopy until reaching the "floor". The de-brief was great.

Gums...

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

Unread postPosted: 12 Feb 2014, 01:50
by quicksilver
Viper, Hornet, Eagle and some others...

BFMing mostly about the pilot/aircraft combination assuming similarly configured jets. Hornet best nose pointer, Eagle close second when flown by an experienced driver. Viper easily best energy addition rates but limiter a liability in a pressure/slower fight.

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

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2014, 18:47
by mixelflick
quicksilver wrote:Viper, Hornet, Eagle and some others...

BFMing mostly about the pilot/aircraft combination assuming similarly configured jets. Hornet best nose pointer, Eagle close second when flown by an experienced driver. Viper easily best energy addition rates but limiter a liability in a pressure/slower fight.


This is the first I'm hearing about the Eagle and nose pointing authority?

I always thought its strengths were speed, range, radar and missile carrying capability. Regardless, it's still one of the best A2A platforms out there, especially with AIM-9x/AESA and AMRAAM!

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

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2014, 18:59
by zero-one
I always saw the eagle as a speed, acceleration, climb rate king and second to the Viper in maintaining/Sustaining energy through tight turns.

Never saw it as the best tight turner or nose pointer.

Any word from Eagle drivers out there

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

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2014, 00:22
by quicksilver
Note my reference to the pilot factor. Huge difference between the younger guys and the older guys (which is not new anywhere in any jet) but it became more pronounced over time, as there was less BFMing in favor of primary mission employment (i.e. BVR).

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

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2014, 05:32
by Gums
Salute!

Remember, the Eagle ( early ones) were limited to 7.33 gees. Corner velocity was about what we Vipers had, but we had another 2 gees!!! Just work the math to see turn radius and turn rate using 360 knots from zero to 5,000 feet. For those altitudes, we could maintain 9 gees until we ran outta gas.

Down below 200 knots or so, the Eagle had better nose pointing due to no AoA limiter, although we had full roll authority without fear of departing. I also have to point out that we had knife fights down to 150 knots or so, which ain't good more than once, but it wasn't actual combat. In Red Flag we never got anywhere near that speed and did really well getting in and getting out.

The Stubby seems to have a good sustained turn rate at medium altitude and better nose-pointing capability than the Viper. I don't have the flight control laws, but there are prolly some limits the pilot must deal with, as did we.

Gums.....

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

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2014, 17:02
by mixelflick
Gums, have you flown the F-15/16? I seem to recall you flew the Viper, but wasn't sure on the Eagle.

Given your knowledge (and it is VAST), how do you feel the F-35 is going to measure up to existing and future threats? It just didn't seem logical to build a 5th gen jet, with A2A performance "no worse than the F-16". Hell, the F-16 is a great jet but challenged considerably by current Flankers! Never mind the newer threats.

Any input would be most appreciated...

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

Unread postPosted: 15 Feb 2014, 03:36
by Corsair1963
Gums wrote:Salute!

Remember, the Eagle ( early ones) were limited to 7.33 gees. Corner velocity was about what we Vipers had, but we had another 2 gees!!! Just work the math to see turn radius and turn rate using 360 knots from zero to 5,000 feet. For those altitudes, we could maintain 9 gees until we ran outta gas.

Down below 200 knots or so, the Eagle had better nose pointing due to no AoA limiter, although we had full roll authority without fear of departing. I also have to point out that we had knife fights down to 150 knots or so, which ain't good more than once, but it wasn't actual combat. In Red Flag we never got anywhere near that speed and did really well getting in and getting out.

The Stubby seems to have a good sustained turn rate at medium altitude and better nose-pointing capability than the Viper. I don't have the flight control laws, but there are prolly some limits the pilot must deal with, as did we.

Gums.....


FYI The Hornet, Super Hornet, and F-35C have no problem exceeding the 7.5G Limit imposed during peace time operation. Which, is used to extent the service life of the aircraft. One that will likely not to be adhered to during times of major conflict. I am sure that is also the case with the F-15.........Just saying. :wink:

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

Unread postPosted: 15 Feb 2014, 05:18
by Gums
Salute!

Never flew the Eagle.

I fully understand the gee limits of the other jets.

The Viper had the 9 gee limit coded in the computer, and at corner velocity we could get there until our AoA was above 15 degrees. Then the curve went down until at 27 degrees AoA we were at 1 gee.

The thing that was so neat was unless hauling pig iron we could pull or roll without a worry. The jet gave us all it could while maintaining energy.

Don't know the corner velocity of the Stubby, but the thing looks fairly capable for its designed mission. And when the folks say performance like a Hornet or a Viper, that should be just fine. Go do the math and see what gee and speed do WRT turn radius and turn rate.

Gums....

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

Unread postPosted: 15 Feb 2014, 05:23
by alloycowboy
Corsair1963 wrote:
Gums wrote:Salute!

Remember, the Eagle ( early ones) were limited to 7.33 gees. Corner velocity was about what we Vipers had, but we had another 2 gees!!! Just work the math to see turn radius and turn rate using 360 knots from zero to 5,000 feet. For those altitudes, we could maintain 9 gees until we ran outta gas.

Down below 200 knots or so, the Eagle had better nose pointing due to no AoA limiter, although we had full roll authority without fear of departing. I also have to point out that we had knife fights down to 150 knots or so, which ain't good more than once, but it wasn't actual combat. In Red Flag we never got anywhere near that speed and did really well getting in and getting out.

The Stubby seems to have a good sustained turn rate at medium altitude and better nose-pointing capability than the Viper. I don't have the flight control laws, but there are prolly some limits the pilot must deal with, as did we.

Gums.....


FYI The Hornet, Super Hornet, and F-35C have no problem exceeding the 7.5G Limit imposed during peace time operation. Which, is used to extent the service life of the aircraft. One that will likely not to be adhered to during times of major conflict. I am sure that is also the case with the F-15.........Just saying. :wink:


Those G Limits are design limits which should never be exceeded even in combat. After all what good is a bent airplane, except as a parts machine for the rest of the fleet.

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

Unread postPosted: 15 Feb 2014, 13:49
by mixelflick
I recall a Desert Storm engagement where the F-15 pilot said he took 12g's.

Amazing, though I dunno if I'd try that all these years later!

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

Unread postPosted: 15 Feb 2014, 15:20
by basher54321
mixelflick wrote:I recall a Desert Storm engagement where the F-15 pilot said he took 12g's.

Amazing, though I dunno if I'd try that all these years later!



Yep older jets with no enforced limits - in the heat of battle the pilots gonna pull whatever required even if they risk black out and airframe write off - so there are many accounts from Israeli Mirage III pilots to Mig pilots etc - well the ones that recovered from blackout.

If the airframe is over G'd past its design limits then the damage will vary - for example engines in the F-4 coming off the mounts - but the longer the G is sustained then the damage will likely be more.

F-16 9G limit should be sustained - in the example of the F-15 pulling 12Gs that was probably under 2 seconds - any more and the pilot blacks out and likely more damage will incur.

The Navy have historically set lower G limits on jets - possibly to preserve the airframe life - so the F-35C limit of 7.5G should be computer enforced - like the FA-18EF also 7.5G below defined GW ( FA-18A had an 8G limit. )

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

Unread postPosted: 15 Feb 2014, 20:46
by Gums
Salute!

Still looking for the F-35 flight control laws. With FBW, you can bet that there are limits of all kinds on AoA, gee, pitch and roll rates, and the beat goes on.

OFF TOPIC: In the A-37 early days we routinely went beyond the gee limit and wrinkled the upper surfaces of the wings. Jets required a magnaflux, or whatever, x-ray to ensure the spars were not cracked. The maintenance guys would slice out a groove in the panels and rivet a strip of aluminum on top once the wrinkles settled out. Our problem was we could easily go lots faster than the trainer model and just a slightly hard pull would get us to 7, 8 or more gees. Interestingly, we could pull more gees and reduce stress if we retained the outboard bombs. Think about the wing trying to lift and you have weight out there that is now at 4 or 5 gees. We didn't like this, as we carried the big eggs inboard and used the outboard 250 ladyfingers as "wind bombs", heh heh.
+++++++++++++++++++
The problem in A2A with the high AoA is loss of "e". So I don't think the F-35 will allow 50 degrees willy-nilly. Hence, I would like to see the flight control laws.

I postulate a similar curve to the Viper, where you can max out the gee, then the AoA starts to increase and available gee decreases. I sincerely doubt that the corner velocity has max gee and 50 degrees AoA at the same time. Ours was 15 degrees AoA at 9 gees, then almost a straight line down to 1 gee at 27 degrees AoA. I'll try to digitize the actual function for the Viper and post later.

Gums ...

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

Unread postPosted: 16 Feb 2014, 00:47
by neurotech
Gums wrote:Salute!

Still looking for the F-35 flight control laws. With FBW, you can bet that there are limits of all kinds on AoA, gee, pitch and roll rates, and the beat goes on.

OFF TOPIC: In the A-37 early days we routinely went beyond the gee limit and wrinkled the upper surfaces of the wings. Jets required a magnaflux, or whatever, x-ray to ensure the spars were not cracked. The maintenance guys would slice out a groove in the panels and rivet a strip of aluminum on top once the wrinkles settled out. Our problem was we could easily go lots faster than the trainer model and just a slightly hard pull would get us to 7, 8 or more gees. Interestingly, we could pull more gees and reduce stress if we retained the outboard bombs. Think about the wing trying to lift and you have weight out there that is now at 4 or 5 gees. We didn't like this, as we carried the big eggs inboard and used the outboard 250 ladyfingers as "wind bombs", heh heh.
+++++++++++++++++++
The problem in A2A with the high AoA is loss of "e". So I don't think the F-35 will allow 50 degrees willy-nilly. Hence, I would like to see the flight control laws.

I postulate a similar curve to the Viper, where you can max out the gee, then the AoA starts to increase and available gee decreases. I sincerely doubt that the corner velocity has max gee and 50 degrees AoA at the same time. Ours was 15 degrees AoA at 9 gees, then almost a straight line down to 1 gee at 27 degrees AoA. I'll try to digitize the actual function for the Viper and post later.

Gums ...

The F/A-18A-Ds are known for departing controlled flight if yanked and banked at high AoA. Originally, the engineers thought the F/A-18 wouldn't go over 30 AoA due to aerodynamic performance limits but there are parts of the envelope where its possible to do so. After the Super Hornet was cleared to 45 AoA, (and I'd left the program) they upgraded the older F/A-18 FBW to allow flight past 30 AoA without departing controlled flight. I have heard of SHs departing controlled flight, but its extremely unlikely.

It would be my guess the F-35 would handle "slapshot" style high alpha shots better than the F/A-18E/F, but still run the risk of departure in High G, High Alpha conditions if pushed too hard. It could very well be that the G limit occurs before the absolute AoA departure limit in the F-35A. As I understand, even during post-stall high AoA testing they didn't have a full on departure from controlled flight in the F-35A.

I think it was actually Billy Flynn who flew a CF-18 into a (intentional) departure during a test flight, so its not like the test pilots at LM don't know how to fly a F/A-18. Several either flew F/A-18A-Ds, CF-18s or F/A-18E/Fs jets but now fly F-35s for LM.

As for the A-37, the one we flew didn't seem to run out of aerodynamic performance at 6Gs, and the owner said they didn't have major structural issues from high G profiles. The jet was flown with tip-tanks only, no weapons.

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

Unread postPosted: 16 Feb 2014, 01:24
by basher54321
neurotech wrote:The F/A-18A-Ds are known for departing controlled flight if yanked and banked at high AoA.


Do you mean assaulting two different axis limiters at the same time? that will take the F-16 out as well.

In pre limiter jets like the F-4 pilots could intentionally depart the thing to get an advantage in some visual dogfighting situations - but I don't really see any reason for doing it in modern jets?.

Another implication for going out of limits for the 35 is any affect it could have on the LO material I guess.


neurotech wrote:As for the A-37, the one we flew didn't seem to run out of aerodynamic performance at 6Gs, and the owner said they didn't have major structural issues from high G profiles. The jet was flown with tip-tanks only, no weapons.



Did you have a later modified /strengthened airframe that fixed some early faults?

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

Unread postPosted: 16 Feb 2014, 02:03
by neurotech
basher54321 wrote:
neurotech wrote:The F/A-18A-Ds are known for departing controlled flight if yanked and banked at high AoA.


Do you mean assaulting two different axis limiters at the same time? that will take the F-16 out as well.

In pre limiter jets like the F-4 pilots could intentionally depart the thing to get an advantage in some visual dogfighting situations - but I don't really see any reason for doing it in modern jets?.

Another implication for going out of limits for the 35 is any affect it could have on the LO material I guess.

F-16s can depart too, but the F/A-18A-D is known for having a sudden, hard departure if the pilot makes large inputs at high-AoA. An inexperienced F/A-18 pilot in a sudden departure would be a heartbeat away from joining the Martin-Baker fan club.

The reason would be to point the jet at the bandit. The F/A-18 doesn't need to do a full on departure, but the SH has a pirouette mode that comes in handy in a knife fight.

A known mishap with a F-22 being over-G'd didn't cause LO skin damage, but the USAF didn't want to spend the money on a proper laser inspection needed to check for airframe misalignment so the jet was retired. Subsequent inspection revealed slight permanent twisting of the airframe.
basher54321 wrote:
neurotech wrote:As for the A-37, the one we flew didn't seem to run out of aerodynamic performance at 6Gs, and the owner said they didn't have major structural issues from high G profiles. The jet was flown with tip-tanks only, no weapons.



Did you have a later modified /strengthened airframe that fixed some early faults?

It was an A-37B that I'm pretty sure would have been modified/strengthened as needed. It had been fully structurally refurbished when restored, and phase inspections completed. I was suggesting that the rare times the jet exceeded 6Gs didn't result in major cracks in the airframe. This particular jet gave more than a few pilots their first taste of a high performance jet as kids, including the owners' kids, and they wouldn't risk their lives with anything less than full maintenance on that jet.

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

Unread postPosted: 16 Feb 2014, 05:54
by johnwill
Here's the thing about g-limits, they are very conservative. First off, they are set so that no structural load on the airplane exceeds 2/3 of its verified strength (ultimate load). That verification is from ground static test, where no failure is permitted. Second, those static test conditions are based on the worst, worst, worst flight conditions - worst speed, worst altitude. worst gross weight, etc. At any other flight condition, the structural load will be lower for the same g level, and the chance of being at the critical condition is very small. For the F-16, as an example, the critical condition is 0.95 mach, 10,000 ft, full fuselage tanks. Recall Gums' story of wing stores reducing load on the A-37 wing? F-16 wing fuel does the same thing.

So, exceeding a g-limit (pilot-observed or electronic) usually has no bad immediate effect, meaning the wings don't fall off. It is still not a smart thing to do in some cases, depending on airframe age. Static tests are new airframes, and cracks inevitably reduce that strength over thousands of flight hours. At the completion of durability tests (two lifetimes) the airframe is required to withstand 2/3 of ultimate load, called limit load.

g-limiters have two negative aspects. First, a g-limiter could kill you someday. Second, having a limiter encourages pilots to go right to the limiter without hesitation and frequently, while a pilot-observed limit is sometimes approached gingerly for fear of exceeding the limit and owing your crew chief a case of beer for conducting the required (but fruitless) inspection. Frequently hitting the limiter does no short term harm, but will reduce the long term durability of the airframe. Early F-16 experience showed many more 9g events than the airplane was designed for. The design number of events was (thoughtlessly) based on earlier non-limiter airplane experience.

Gums
, I'm afraid you'll never see an F-35 flight control block diagram like you had for the F-16. Flight control engineers have taken advantage of ever more powerful computers to come up with fiendishly complex control laws. The F-16 one page block diagram is laughably primitive compared to later ones. The Korean T-50 trainer, similar to F-16, has a 21 page block diagram for example. I asked my good buddy, a recently retired F-35 flight control engineer, about it today. He said it would take a room full of paper to print it, so it is available only on a computer screen. They don't use simple diagrams for various functions and limiters, but huge tables of numbers.

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

Unread postPosted: 16 Feb 2014, 06:59
by spazsinbad
Just a short story about going to the G limit constantly in MACCHI 326Hs. I hope this is relevant. The RAN FAA had ten of these training tandem seat aircraft - same model as the RAAF. When fixed wing folded these RAN Macchis were transferred to the RAAF just before in 1982. The RAN did a lot of ACM training in their Macchis from the start and later flew armament sorties with a minigun pod and small practice bomblets only though. So these RAN Macchis were worked hard, with I guess a lot of 'going to the G limits allowed' - if not over sometimes - with subsequent inspections as described above.

Now the point of this story is that one of these former RAN Macchis was flying with the ACM training squadron in the RAAF at Williamtown when one wing broke off to kill the pilot. Bad things do happen. I believe the RAAF had an ongoing wing fatigue and wing replacement program either before or after - not sure about those points. Anyway - beware the overstress.

What you overstress today may not kill you but someone down the line. Always report overstress for inspection.
________________

And another story from training days in Winjeels with the RAAF at Point Cook. The Basic Flying Course behind the one I was on also had Army Officers learning to fly. One very windy day a RAAF Instructor and an Army Pilot Trainee (1st Lt) went out to do low flying 60 degree AoA turns in the low flying area. Perhaps the forecast was not clear, or the wind was much stronger than anticipated. Anyway during this steep turn training a wing fell off due to overstress from the very turbulent windy conditions at low level, with the added Gs from the steep turn adding to the overstress, in this otherwise very strongly built radial prop trainer of that era. The pilots died, instructor in right hand seat instantly from wing hitting him, with student attempting to escape with no chance before hitting the ground. Again - beware the overstress for whatever reason. One must fly to the conditions and not just a 'limit'.

No pilot I know deliberately overstresses the aircraft unless he/she is about to die.

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

Unread postPosted: 16 Feb 2014, 07:53
by Raptor_claw
johnwill wrote:Here's the thing about g-limits, they are very conservative.
True, but not nearly as conservative as they used to be (i.e. F22/35 vs F16)

johnwill wrote:g-limiters have two negative aspects. First, a g-limiter could kill you someday. Second, having a limiter encourages pilots to go right to the limiter without hesitation and frequently, while a pilot-observed limit is sometimes approached gingerly for fear of exceeding the limit and owing your crew chief a case of beer for conducting the required (but fruitless) inspection.
I most definitely understand how you see your second point as a negative aspect, but from an FQ point of view, it's actually a positive. That is, if the goal is for the pilot to get max performance out of the jet at any specific flight condition, it's better for him to be able to just pull and/or roll "max stick" and let the control laws figure out and apply the maximum limits, rather than have the pilot have to self-regulate, in which case he is more likely to leave performance "on the table". The life/fatigue issues you allude to are not trivial, but (imo) could be addressed by other means (training, etc)

johnwill wrote:Gums, I'm afraid you'll never see an F-35 flight control block diagram like you had for the F-16...
Very true.

neurotech wrote: As I understand, even during post-stall high AoA testing they didn't have a full on departure from controlled flight in the F-35A.
There's still plenty of testing to be done, so it's premature to declare "success". Also, the most challenging testing doesn't tend to be "post-stall" per se. Rather, the most difficult points tend to start out at higher speeds, lower AOAs (where lots of rate can be generated) and then rapidly transition to high AOA either due to coupling (i.e. the departure actually happens at low AOA and then AOA balloons), or due to a too rapid response to a pilot command. This type of testing is also not complete.

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

Unread postPosted: 16 Feb 2014, 11:33
by disconnectedradical
Raptor_claw wrote:
johnwill wrote:Here's the thing about g-limits, they are very conservative.
True, but not nearly as conservative as they used to be (i.e. F22/35 vs F16)


What do you mean by this? Can you elaborate?

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

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2014, 02:30
by johnwill
Raptor_claw wrote:I most definitely understand how you see your second point as a negative aspect, but from an FQ point of view, it's actually a positive. That is, if the goal is for the pilot to get max performance out of the jet at any specific flight condition, it's better for him to be able to just pull and/or roll "max stick" and let the control laws figure out and apply the maximum limits, rather than have the pilot have to self-regulate, in which case he is more likely to leave performance "on the table". The life/fatigue issues you allude to are not trivial, but (imo) could be addressed by other means (training, etc)


I agree completely. It was a problem for F-16, but only because the design g usage spectrum was inadequate. Although I don't know for sure, I suspect the newer airplanes have covered that problem. Obviously being able to go right to the limit easily is a good thing.

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

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2014, 03:16
by KamenRiderBlade
Given modern design principles, materials, and technologies; how many G's do you think the air frame can really take in day to day flying to the limit without any noticeable drop in air frame life expectancy if there was no human factor, let's say purely remote controlled?

From what I can tell, I'm sure most Air Frames are designed to handle far more than what's stated on the brochure, for obvious safety / endurance limits.

Anybody with more insight can help answer this question?

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

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2014, 03:41
by spazsinbad
'KMR' the flight manuals/NATOPS describe the limits. Have a look at any NATOPS for example in the 'LIMITATIONS' section to see what the day to day limits are. Elsewhere in the back section (often missing now from modern PDF manuals) there will be graphs or tables of limits in certain situations. A NavAv Pilot will fly to the limits of NATOPS - no more than that. If going over the limit then explanations and other actions from maintenance required. These limits are not trivial and not to be disregarded. Flying a military jet aircraft is not a trivial matter. Every pilot will know in an instant what any day to day limit is. He will be quizzed constantly (every morning usually) about NATOPS / Emergencies / Limits etc. I read again the other day how a pilot (I think a Marine) said for every one hour flying he will spend about six hours planning/ briefing/ flying for one hour/ debriefing. This seems reasonable to me.

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

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2014, 04:04
by johnwill
There are safety margins built into the design of all airplanes. In the static test load case, as I mentioned before, the airplane must withstand 150% of its highest expected load ever encountered. Every part of the airplane is subjected to that rule. Most of the time, limit maneuvers will result in less than 100% limit load - extra safety margin. In the durability loads test, the airplane must withstand two lifetimes of the design usage. The design usage is a spectrum of all the maneuvers the airplane is expected to perform during its design life, low g, high g, rolls, everything.

To answer your question, a 9g airplane could be expected to survive at least 13.5g (1.5 x 9). For reduced fuel, non-critical speed/altitude, probably even more. But there would be an inevitable loss of life expectancy, no way around it.

But spazsinbad is correct, limits should never be intentionally exceeded in day to day flying.

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

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2014, 07:05
by neurotech
johnwill wrote:There are safety margins built into the design of all airplanes. In the static test load case, as I mentioned before, the airplane must withstand 150% of its highest expected load ever encountered. Every part of the airplane is subjected to that rule. Most of the time, limit maneuvers will result in less than 100% limit load - extra safety margin. In the durability loads test, the airplane must withstand two lifetimes of the design usage. The design usage is a spectrum of all the maneuvers the airplane is expected to perform during its design life, low g, high g, rolls, everything.

To answer your question, a 9g airplane could be expected to survive at least 13.5g (1.5 x 9). For reduced fuel, non-critical speed/altitude, probably even more. But there would be an inevitable loss of life expectancy, no way around it.

But spazsinbad is correct, limits should never be intentionally exceeded in day to day flying.

As I understood, the F-16Ns were retired early because they didn't allocate funds to fully inspect and refurbish the jets. Those jets were flown hard, but with minimal external stores. It would have made economic sense to keep them flying, if budgeted.

The thing I have trouble with is that a comprehensive structural SLEP for a jet fighter is a fraction the cost of replacement, but the Navy/Air Force seem to want to do low cost "inspections" and minor structural refurbishment instead. Pulling 7Gs+ or slamming onto the deck will definitely shorten service life.

@raptor_claw: The Super Hornet that departed was a high speed transonic (~M0.95) departure at lower AoA. The claim was that it was a glitch in the FBW control laws that caused it but the pilot definitely used large, sudden control inputs. The jet was recovered but not before rapidly exceeding the 7.5G limit.

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

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2014, 08:03
by Raptor_claw
KamenRiderBlade wrote:Given modern design principles, materials, and technologies; how many G's do you think the air frame can really take in day to day flying to the limit without any noticeable drop in air frame life expectancy if there was no human factor, let's say purely remote controlled?
The essence of this question gets back to the "design g usage spectrum" that johnwill referred to just above. When you design a structure you have to have some estimate as to how it's gonna be used. To really oversimplify: let's say the customer lays out the expected usage (say, based on every 10 flights): max G once , 80% G three times, to 50% six times, and the rest of the time it's just tooling around at "low" G. So, you design the structure based on that usage. If you have that requirement, but you actually design it to go to max G every flight, then you would have over-designed, and the extra weight is hurting something else (performance, most likely). On the flip side, if the customer requirements call out a more modest usage spectrum and then they wind up flying much more aggressively, there's gonna be problems.

spazsinbad wrote:'KMR' the flight manuals/NATOPS describe the limits. Have a look at any NATOPS for example in the 'LIMITATIONS' section to see what the day to day limits are. Elsewhere in the back section (often missing now from modern PDF manuals) there will be graphs or tables of limits in certain situations. A NavAv Pilot will fly to the limits of NATOPS - no more than that.
Kinda gets back to my earlier point. Modern control laws now are able to be much more complex (due to computing power, largely) so all those graphs and tables are now built-in to the system. Point being, the pilot of a sufficiently-modern jet doesn't have to know all that stuff (not that he shouldn't...), the control law knows which stores are loaded and where, how much fuel there is (and where it is) - basically everything it needs to know to arrive at the proper limits. It will never be perfect, obviously, but the stuff the pilot has to remember to keep from breaking the jet is dramatically reduced. For instance, he may still have to know that he's not supposed to slam in full pedal while rolling and pulling at certain Machs. But the more basic limits (how many G's he can pull at a certain speed, or how fast he can roll with certain stores) should all be automatic.

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

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2014, 09:16
by Corsair1963
basher54321 wrote:
mixelflick wrote:I recall a Desert Storm engagement where the F-15 pilot said he took 12g's.

Amazing, though I dunno if I'd try that all these years later!



Yep older jets with no enforced limits - in the heat of battle the pilots gonna pull whatever required even if they risk black out and airframe write off - so there are many accounts from Israeli Mirage III pilots to Mig pilots etc - well the ones that recovered from blackout.

If the airframe is over G'd past its design limits then the damage will vary - for example engines in the F-4 coming off the mounts - but the longer the G is sustained then the damage will likely be more.

F-16 9G limit should be sustained - in the example of the F-15 pulling 12Gs that was probably under 2 seconds - any more and the pilot blacks out and likely more damage will incur.

The Navy have historically set lower G limits on jets - possibly to preserve the airframe life - so the F-35C limit of 7.5G should be computer enforced - like the FA-18EF also 7.5G below defined GW ( FA-18A had an 8G limit. )



No possibly about it the aforementioned aircraft (Hornet, Super Hornet, and F-35C) are limited to 7.5G's in peace time to extended the service lives of the aircraft. Yet, can exceed those limits at anytime......... :bang:

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

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2014, 19:23
by basher54321
Corsair1963 wrote:No possibly about it the aforementioned aircraft (Hornet, Super Hornet, and F-35C) are limited to 7.5G's in peace time to extended the service lives of the aircraft. Yet, can exceed those limits at anytime



Yes the SH has an override - but anything over the threshold +8G is still considered an over G requiring inspection according to the NATOPS. Its designed sustained limit is stated as +7.5G under 42Klbs.

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

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2014, 19:27
by basher54321
neurotech wrote:F-16s can depart too, but the F/A-18A-D is known for having a sudden, hard departure if the pilot makes large inputs at high-AoA. An inexperienced F/A-18 pilot in a sudden departure would be a heartbeat away from joining the Martin-Baker fan club.

The reason would be to point the jet at the bandit. The F/A-18 doesn't need to do a full on departure, but the SH has a pirouette mode that comes in handy in a knife fight.

A known mishap with a F-22 being over-G'd didn't cause LO skin damage, but the USAF didn't want to spend the money on a proper laser inspection needed to check for airframe misalignment so the jet was retired. Subsequent inspection revealed slight permanent twisting of the airframe.

It was an A-37B that I'm pretty sure would have been modified/strengthened as needed. It had been fully structurally refurbished when restored, and phase inspections completed. I was suggesting that the rare times the jet exceeded 6Gs didn't result in major cracks in the airframe. This particular jet gave more than a few pilots their first taste of a high performance jet as kids, including the owners' kids, and they wouldn't risk their lives with anything less than full maintenance on that jet.


Cool thanks for the info 8)

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

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2014, 05:26
by disconnectedradical
Raptor_claw, I'm curious about your statement that g-limits of modern flight control systems like on the F-22/F-35 is not as conservative as they were in the F-16. I'm not quite sure what you mean by that. I mean, aren't they all just limited to 9 g?

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

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2014, 05:43
by Corsair1963
basher54321 wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:No possibly about it the aforementioned aircraft (Hornet, Super Hornet, and F-35C) are limited to 7.5G's in peace time to extended the service lives of the aircraft. Yet, can exceed those limits at anytime



Yes the SH has an override - but anything over the threshold +8G is still considered an over G requiring inspection according to the NATOPS. Its designed sustained limit is stated as +7.5G under 42Klbs.



Yes, but the point is it can be overrided by the pilot..........

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

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2014, 07:30
by neurotech
Corsair1963 wrote:
basher54321 wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:No possibly about it the aforementioned aircraft (Hornet, Super Hornet, and F-35C) are limited to 7.5G's in peace time to extended the service lives of the aircraft. Yet, can exceed those limits at anytime



Yes the SH has an override - but anything over the threshold +8G is still considered an over G requiring inspection according to the NATOPS. Its designed sustained limit is stated as +7.5G under 42Klbs.



Yes, but the point is it can be overrided by the pilot..........

Doesn't the F-16 have a FLCS Override too? Even test pilots will have some major explaining to do (& a mishap investigation) if they exceed/override the G-Limits without a darn good reason.

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

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2014, 08:57
by Raptor_claw
disconnectedradical wrote:Raptor_claw, I'm curious about your statement that g-limits of modern flight control systems like on the F-22/F-35 is not as conservative as they were in the F-16. I'm not quite sure what you mean by that. I mean, aren't they all just limited to 9 g?
I wasn't referring to the g-limits being less conservative, I was alluding to the margin in the structural design. There has been a trend toward reduced margins in certain regards, in the never-ending quest to limit weight. The justification (as I understand it) has a lot to do with the increase in complexity and fidelity of the structural models (predictive, math models, not physical ones) and the massive increase to the sheer quantity of analysis that can be generated with the computing power available now.

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

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2014, 09:09
by Raptor_claw
neurotech wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:
basher54321 wrote:Yes the SH has an override - but anything over the threshold +8G is still considered an over G requiring inspection according to the NATOPS. Its designed sustained limit is stated as +7.5G under 42Klbs.

Yes, but the point is it can be overrided by the pilot..........

Doesn't the F-16 have a FLCS Override too? Even test pilots will have some major explaining to do (& a mishap investigation) if they exceed/override the G-Limits without a darn good reason.

No, there's nothing in the F-16.
The F-35C does have the capability (Navy insisted), but it's clearly a "warranty-ending" event if it's ever used. Its primary justification is to give the guy a little more capability if he finds himself headed at the ground and thinks he can't avoid it. In other words, if the ONLY two choices are complete destruction of the aircraft (and, I'm assuming, the pilot), or just bending/breaking it, then the "extra" is there for a last ditch effort. I would be surprised if any ship that over-g'd like that ever flew again.
Also, it's not something a pilot can "accidently" do - it takes two distinct, deliberate actions to engage, so "I just pulled too hard" wouldn't fly. As far as using it in real no-kidding wartime, I really don't have any insight, but I guess the same "damage instead of total destruction" justification could, at least theoretically, be applied.

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

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2014, 10:04
by disconnectedradical
Raptor_claw wrote:
disconnectedradical wrote:Raptor_claw, I'm curious about your statement that g-limits of modern flight control systems like on the F-22/F-35 is not as conservative as they were in the F-16. I'm not quite sure what you mean by that. I mean, aren't they all just limited to 9 g?
I wasn't referring to the g-limits being less conservative, I was alluding to the margin in the structural design. There has been a trend toward reduced margins in certain regards, in the never-ending quest to limit weight. The justification (as I understand it) has a lot to do with the increase in complexity and fidelity of the structural models (predictive, math models, not physical ones) and the massive increase to the sheer quantity of analysis that can be generated with the computing power available now.


Interesting. I guess it's more dangerous and risky nowadays to over-g an F-22 than an F-16.

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

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2014, 17:57
by Gums
Salute!

First, the only way to override the Viper FLCS is when in a deep stall - AoA over 30 degrees or so. The switch is then acvtive and by holding it you can "rock" the jet outta the deep stall.

Back to the discussion:

So going thru the military.com news I see some folks wanting a longer range Slammer. See:

http://defensetech.org/2014/02/18/test- ... e-aim-120/

Sheesh. I guess that's great for an engagement when there's no possibility of blue-on-blue, but good grief. At 100 miles you just about have to use the datalink unless the tgt is an Airbus or Boeing. Otherwise, I guess you could hose away and let the missiles pick their own targets way out there. Secondly, the thing slows down once the motor quits, so about the only use for an extremely long range would be a face shot.

On this thread we're mostly talking about knife fights or evasive capability. However, I can see the Navy wanting a Phoenix-like capability for fleet defense when the enema is coming at you and there's no problem with blue-on-blue. Additionally, the face shot helps shorten time-of-flight. The Great White Hope (Sparrow) could not catch us if the Eagles fired beyond about 15 miles. We could do the bat turn and run away. Slammer much better, but I can't see launching over 20 or 30 miles away, and surely not entering a furball. Lastly, the point-and-shoot capability of the Slammer is great. Not necessarily pointing at the target, but just launching and not using datalink. Works great, from what I hear.

Gums sends...

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

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2014, 21:35
by neurotech
Raptor_claw wrote:
neurotech wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:Yes, but the point is it can be overrided by the pilot..........

Doesn't the F-16 have a FLCS Override too? Even test pilots will have some major explaining to do (& a mishap investigation) if they exceed/override the G-Limits without a darn good reason.

No, there's nothing in the F-16.
The F-35C does have the capability (Navy insisted), but it's clearly a "warranty-ending" event if it's ever used. Its primary justification is to give the guy a little more capability if he finds himself headed at the ground and thinks he can't avoid it. In other words, if the ONLY two choices are complete destruction of the aircraft (and, I'm assuming, the pilot), or just bending/breaking it, then the "extra" is there for a last ditch effort. I would be surprised if any ship that over-g'd like that ever flew again.
Also, it's not something a pilot can "accidently" do - it takes two distinct, deliberate actions to engage, so "I just pulled too hard" wouldn't fly. As far as using it in real no-kidding wartime, I really don't have any insight, but I guess the same "damage instead of total destruction" justification could, at least theoretically, be applied.

I'm not nearly as familiar with the FLCS on the F-16.

F/A-18s have flown past 9.5Gs, inspected and flown again without damage. One of our jets pulled 9.8Gs when an aggressor pilot departed trying to avoid a mid-air. The jet didn't have wing tanks or stores during the mishap. The Navy grounded the jet and the depot found no bending or cracks but still kept the jet in storage. We got the jet delivered in a crate, and after a full structural inspection and standard SLEP, the jet was cleared for chase duties and flew for years.

My understanding is that most damaging over-G mishaps are not caused by pilots "pulling back too hard" but exceeding the rolling G limit at high alpha with stores on the wings. Also, wake turbulence causing a departure from controlled flight has permanently grounded jets before.

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

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2014, 22:16
by Gums
Salute!

Better get John Will in here to tell all about rolling gee/rate effects.

We didn't get modified FLCS laws for a few years. We were treating the jet as if it was the A2A loadout, which was unrestricted. Our straight ahead gee was not limted, but AoA limit was reduced, as was roll rate when pulling. The additional control law was as much about departures as it was about stress on the wings.

The F-35 has the benefit of the old dogs at Ft Worth that have not retired ( like John-boy has), plus over 30 years of experience with the Viper. Secondly, the stores for most missions are internal and close to the centerline. That should give the jet better, less-limiting roll versus gee than the Viper or the Superbug.

Gums...

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

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2014, 07:18
by johnwill
neurotech wrote:As I understood, the F-16Ns were retired early because they didn't allocate funds to fully inspect and refurbish the jets. Those jets were flown hard, but with minimal external stores. It would have made economic sense to keep them flying, if budgeted.


Long story there, I'll try to be as brief as possible. The design mission usage of the F-16A/B was 55% air to air, 45% air to ground, but the F-16N was used almost 100% air to air in aggressor training. Some parts of the airplane had an easier time of that (weapon hardpoints, for example), but some parts had a more severe experience of high g events. The N airplanes were delivered with titanium wing attach brackets in place of aluminum brackets on the A/B. The Navy would not pay for a full analysis and durability test of those parts, since they were easily inspected. Bad idea, as the brackets started cracking at a relative young age.

But there is more to the story. USAF uses a structural technology called fracture mechanics to track crack growth and allows airplanes to keep flying with cracks so long as the cracks remain within specified lengths. The Navy, being old fashioned and ultra conservative still used fatigue crack rules which say that any crack is reason for grounding. Because fatigue analysis and test is much more primitive than fracture mechanics, it requires a more conservative approach. So if USAF had those same F-16N airplanes, they would not have grounded them.

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

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2014, 07:30
by johnwill
Raptor_claw wrote:The essence of this question gets back to the "design g usage spectrum" that johnwill referred to just above. When you design a structure you have to have some estimate as to how it's gonna be used. To really oversimplify: let's say the customer lays out the expected usage (say, based on every 10 flights): max G once , 80% G three times, to 50% six times, and the rest of the time it's just tooling around at "low" G. So, you design the structure based on that usage. If you have that requirement, but you actually design it to go to max G every flight, then you would have over-designed, and the extra weight is hurting something else (performance, most likely). On the flip side, if the customer requirements call out a more modest usage spectrum and then they wind up flying much more aggressively, there's gonna be problems.


Excellent explanation in layman's terms, raptor claw. I would not have been able to do that without getting far too complicated. There's hope for you flight control troops yet.

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

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2014, 08:02
by johnwill
Gums wrote:Salute!

Better get John Will in here to tell all about rolling gee/rate effects.

We didn't get modified FLCS laws for a few years. We were treating the jet as if it was the A2A loadout, which was unrestricted. Our straight ahead gee was not limted, but AoA limit was reduced, as was roll rate when pulling. The additional control law was as much about departures as it was about stress on the wings.

The F-35 has the benefit of the old dogs at Ft Worth that have not retired ( like John-boy has), plus over 30 years of experience with the Viper. Secondly, the stores for most missions are internal and close to the centerline. That should give the jet better, less-limiting roll versus gee than the Viper or the Superbug.

Gums...


As usual, Gums is right on target. High g rolls are usually more critical to a structure than a straight pullup or level turn. The air to air F-16 requirements were 9g turn and a 5.86g full stick 360 roll with at any internal fuel load, speed,or altitude. Critical structure in the turn is bending moment in the wing root. High g roll critical structure is the entire wing in combined bending and torsion (twist), bending in the horizontal tails, and bending and torsion in the vertical tail and aft fuselage. You can tell from the critical areas that high g rolls are important for almost the entire airplane. Wing torsion comes from the deflected flaperons loading the wing trailing edge. H tail loads are from differential deflection for rolling and symmetric deflection to trim the g. V tail loads are from using the rudder to minimize sideslip in the roll.

The F-15 also encountered problems with high g rolls in service. Without any g or roll limiters, it was not difficult to overload the airplane, usually in a high g roll. Damaged wings resulted in MDD coming up with an overload warning system that gave the pilot a clue when he was applying too much roll command at high g.

The modified FCLS control laws Gums mentioned were needed for maintaining control with heavy external loads while rolling at low airspeeds. Those lower roll rates naturally resulted in lower wing and hardpoint loads.

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

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2014, 14:21
by sferrin
disconnectedradical wrote:
Raptor_claw wrote:
disconnectedradical wrote:Raptor_claw, I'm curious about your statement that g-limits of modern flight control systems like on the F-22/F-35 is not as conservative as they were in the F-16. I'm not quite sure what you mean by that. I mean, aren't they all just limited to 9 g?
I wasn't referring to the g-limits being less conservative, I was alluding to the margin in the structural design. There has been a trend toward reduced margins in certain regards, in the never-ending quest to limit weight. The justification (as I understand it) has a lot to do with the increase in complexity and fidelity of the structural models (predictive, math models, not physical ones) and the massive increase to the sheer quantity of analysis that can be generated with the computing power available now.


Interesting. I guess it's more dangerous and risky nowadays to over-g an F-22 than an F-16.



I would be surprised if an F-22 couldn't handle more G's than the F-16. That F-22 mentioned earlier pulled a LOT of G's to be put on the shelf.

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

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2014, 16:15
by maus92
johnwill wrote:
But there is more to the story. USAF uses a structural technology called fracture mechanics to track crack growth and allows airplanes to keep flying with cracks so long as the cracks remain within specified lengths. The Navy, being old fashioned and ultra conservative still used fatigue crack rules which say that any crack is reason for grounding. Because fatigue analysis and test is much more primitive than fracture mechanics, it requires a more conservative approach. So if USAF had those same F-16N airplanes, they would not have grounded them.


Interesting. I wonder if the F-15 that snapped in half inflight was under a monitoring program.

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

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2014, 17:45
by outlaw162
Its primary justification is to give the guy a little more capability if he finds himself headed at the ground and thinks he can't avoid it.


....it takes two distinct, deliberate actions to engage....


That's comforting. :shock:

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

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2014, 19:18
by johnwill
maus92 wrote:
johnwill wrote:
But there is more to the story. USAF uses a structural technology called fracture mechanics to track crack growth and allows airplanes to keep flying with cracks so long as the cracks remain within specified lengths. The Navy, being old fashioned and ultra conservative still used fatigue crack rules which say that any crack is reason for grounding. Because fatigue analysis and test is much more primitive than fracture mechanics, it requires a more conservative approach. So if USAF had those same F-16N airplanes, they would not have grounded them.


Interesting. I wonder if the F-15 that snapped in half inflight was under a monitoring program.


Yes it was, since all AF fighters are monitored. The problem with the F-15 was not a design or severe usage situation, but an unknown manufacturing flaw that resulted in an undersized cockpit sill longeron for some airplanes. All structural analysis and test of a good longeron showed no problems. So there was no reason to suspect it would fail in flight, therefore it was not monitored or inspected closely. I believe the F-16 was the first AF airplane to be designed to fracture mechanics criteria, so the F-15 (at least early ones) may have been designed to fatigue criteria.

Fracture mechanics was initially developed to help solve a severe cracking problem with F-111 wing pivot high strength steel parts. The steel was extremely strong, but small cracks could grow very fast and result in failures. It could be described as "brittle", since it behaved something like glass - very strong, but intolerant of cracks.

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

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2014, 22:21
by basher54321
johnwill wrote:
neurotech wrote:As I understood, the F-16Ns were retired early ........

Long story there, I'll try to be as brief as possible. The design mission usage of the F-16A/B was 55% air to air, 45% air to ground, but the F-16N was used almost 100% air to air in aggressor training.......


Hi I picked the following off the net years ago (Link is now dead).

Is he correct about the claimed 800KIAS overstress?

Which brings me to (wait for it): The Worst Overstress I Ever Had
...
And so it came to pass one day that I, in an F-16N, and my wingman, in an F-5E, were fragged for a 2v2 sweep mission against a pair of Homestead Air Force Base F-16s. Long story short, we gained an offensive advantage at medium range, and our adversaries were forced to run away, which the F-16 does wonderfully well.
And I attempted to catch them, which the F-16 does equally well. Leaving my F-5 wingman panting in the dust, I gained radar locked on a guy several miles away, hauling the mail and going for the deck. He was out of range for a missile attack, but I could hear him and his wingman chattering on the radio. They had lost visual mutual support, and were attempting to regain situational awareness and formation.
I was going 800 knots, which was as fast as you were allowed to go. If my man turned so much as 30 degrees or so to rejoin with his wingie, I would be all over him like a cheap suit. Like white on rice. Like a bad rash. Like… you get the picture.
So yeah, I was bringing the heat.
It’s a lot of fun to go that fast, down low, with your adversary right there in front of you, totally defensive and your finger on the trigger. There is a buzzing sound in the inlet, and your canopy howls with the dynamic stress of the airflow. The wave tops below flash by like the trestles on a high-speed train.
At that speed, you are unconcerned with virtually anything but that which is right in front of you. Things behind you will not be a factor (unless you turn, oh please turn) and things beside you will soon be behind you.
The fighter’s wingie called on the radio and said he was right three o’clock, one mile. The lead called “blind,” meaning he didn’t him.
“HAH!” thought I, “not only is he defensive, but he is blind as a bat!”
“RIGHT THREE O’CLOCK, WINGFLASH!” the wingie emphasized his position call by rocking up on his wing, at ninety degrees to the horizon – showing himself in planform for his lead – a wingflash.
“Blind!”
And that sort of put me to thinking. Even Elmer Fudd should have been able to see an F-16 in planform from 1 mile away.
So if the wingie was flying along beside an F-16, and that F-16 was not his lead, then who could he be flying next to?
A quick glance to my right three o’clock told me who.
Apparently the same notion worked its way through the wingie’s wetware, since as I began my rapid windup break turn into him, he began to turn into me.
At least I’m pretty sure he did. Because that’s when the lights went low.
The F-16N was rated for 9 g’s. You could easily get more, at 800 knots. I did.
At very high g, and especially at high g-onset rates, the blood drains from your head to your lower extremities. Your optic nerves are especially sensitive to blood loss, so your vision progressively narrows until it looks like you’re peering at the world through soda straws – all peripheral vision is lost. And if you keep it up, pretty soon the lights go out, and sometimes when that happens you lose consciousness. When that happens, your limp hands fall from the controls until you regain consciousness. Sometimes you wake up dead.
Your g-suit is specifically designed to combat that tendency, by forcing air into it’s bladders from a weighted (and g-sensitive) valve, the blood is forced back into your upper torso, where by galvanic contortions (not unlike dealing with the worst case of constipation in medical history), you attempt to move it a little higher. And all the while, your average 175-pound pilot feels the apparent weight of 1960 pounds pushing him down in his seat. His ten-pound head will feel like it weighs 110 pounds (and gets kind of hard to move around).
That’s at 11.2 g’s.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before that this hurts. A lot. In a really, really good way, normally. You live for pulling g’s, as a fighter pilot.But 11.2 g’s isn’t normal.

Somehow my new adversary and I manage to blunder into a merge without clacking into one another. I ease g for a moment at the merge to check his intentions, and see him going vertical.Which is a good thing, because that means you’ll lose airspeed, even in an F-16. And I don’t want any more airspeed. I want to make the bad thing stop.So I join him in the vertical, still pulling hard for a while, because you don’t lose 800 knots right away. We get into a particularly violent and thankfully, short fight, in which I emerged victorious (hey, it’s my story). Shortly after that, his lead shot me like a coward, in the back, from my six o’clock, and unobserved.But that’s his story. And that’s all I have to say, about that.

Good clean fun, and I’m off to the field with my wingman in tow. On the way back, I’ve got to call maintenance and confess my fault (“forgive me, base, for I have sinned.”)”620 five minutes out, down jet.”"What are you down for?”"Overstress.” Here’s where I might get lucky. Maybe they don’t ask me how bad the overstress was – I’d only ever heard of one overstress worse than that. Maybe all the ready-room cowboys lining the wall around the SDO desk won’t get to hear what a plumber Lex is.

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

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2014, 22:34
by spazsinbad
What a great story from LEX - Vale. BZ Sir. :mrgreen:

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

Unread postPosted: 20 Feb 2014, 00:16
by johnwill
The F-16 g limiter is not perfect and it can be defeated by a small amount, maybe .6 to .8 g. There is no way it would let you go to 11.2g in a turn. However there are two factors which may have led him to believe he did. First, his g meter is in the HUD and is driven by an accelerometer in the HUD electronics. The flight control accelerometer is about 5 feet behind the pilot, so those two units may give different values. Second, if he was rolling at high g, the roll rate and acceleration may affect either accelerometer and result in false readings. Pitch acceleration can also make false g reading.

So he may well have seen 11.2g but he likely did not really get there.

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

Unread postPosted: 20 Feb 2014, 00:42
by Gums
Salute!

John-boy points out what we saw in the early days on FCF's.

The maximum displayed gee would vary from 8.7 or so to 9.2 or so when doing the "bat turn". The HUD display retained the max gee for the mission and another display for current gee. Then there were the recorders we had that no other jet had at the time. So you couldn't fool the accident board or anyone else. One of them was in the ejection seat and the solid state memory had lottsa stuff on it.

I never saw anything above 9 gees on my tapes, and I pulled very hard on one particular mission in a break turn. So onset rate might account for an excursion above 9 gees if you are going the speed of stink.

Gums recalls....

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

Unread postPosted: 20 Feb 2014, 04:50
by lamoey
Gums wrote:John-boy points out what we saw in the early days on FCF's.

The maximum displayed gee would vary from 8.7 or so to 9.2 or so when doing the "bat turn". The HUD display retained the max gee for the mission and another display for current gee. Then there were the recorders we had that no other jet had at the time. So you couldn't fool the accident board or anyone else. One of them was in the ejection seat and the solid state memory had lottsa stuff on it.

I never saw anything above 9 gees on my tapes, and I pulled very hard on one particular mission in a break turn. So onset rate might account for an excursion above 9 gees if you are going the speed of stink.


I once saw 9.9g on the hud tape after an FWIT mission in Denmark in 85'. When the pilot, Tank-Nilsen, told me about this I must have displayed doubt because he grabbed my arm and pulled me in to the Ops room to show me the HUD tape. Low and behold, while being real close to an Eagle, at 6 o'clock, the G indicated flickered a lot and the max G indicated stopped at 9.9. Who knows if that was as far as the display could go. Needless to say, being the lone Norwegian flight control guy at this NATO FWIT competition, I was not popular when we had to take the Viper apart for a full G-check, to be ready for the next days missions.

I conferred with my superiors in Norway and the available documentation. I found that the system could on rare occasions allow up to 9.5G, and full G check starts at 9.8G. There were no error lights or messages of any kind, so to make the squadron and the pilot happy I changed the main FLCS computer. However, it all happened again the following day, so my standing in the bar fell even lower. I started to search for where the G indication in the HUD came from and found it was not from the flight control system, but a separate accelerometer in front of the cockpit, handled by the radar guys that was responsible for the HUD. I asked them the change their accelerometer and the problem was eliminated. I don't remember how much G was pulled, but it was cool to see 9.9G and the two Eagle burners up close on the HUD tape.

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

Unread postPosted: 20 Feb 2014, 20:11
by basher54321
Great discussion - thanks guys

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

Unread postPosted: 21 Feb 2014, 15:41
by rkap
spazsinbad wrote:OK now you say what if a merge is inevitable. I say 'get it out of your head'. The F-35 ain't gonna merge. OK? :D


Are you saying they will abort.

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

Unread postPosted: 21 Feb 2014, 19:30
by spazsinbad
'rkap' I'm not sure if you read all the posts on the forum or only visit irregularly not reading threads. Whatever. However in simple terms I'll restate what is said over and over and not just by me. The F-35s will be in groups of four, co-operating together to dictate terms of any BVR engagement to do their work as required. No need to merge - ever. Go figure.

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

Unread postPosted: 22 Feb 2014, 23:44
by zero-one
spazsinbad wrote:'rkap' I'm not sure if you read all the posts on the forum or only visit irregularly not reading threads. Whatever. However in simple terms I'll restate what is said over and over and not just by me. The F-35s will be in groups of four, co-operating together to dictate terms of any BVR engagement to do their work as required. No need to merge - ever. Go figure.



The problem a lot of people have about the "never merge" statement is, it has yet to happen.

Not only that but it is a statement that has been repeated over and over again since the advent of BVR air-air missiles.

Who knows, maybe this time around it will finally become a reality.

But until then "Never say never" (not a fan of Justin Beiber just so we're clear)

Here's a thought though, the fact that even Raptor pilots hone their skills continiously practicing on the Merge speaks volumes on what the possible scenarios are. Unless we're sugesting that they simply like to waste gas.

The insistance on placing a gun on even the most sophisticated 5th gen fighters underscores the need for a weapon within the R-min range.

So, unless we can convince the USAF/USN/USMC to stop wasting gas on 1v1, gun fighting and merge fights,

since hey, the F-35 will never need it anyway, I think it would be safe to assume that they still consider it a possibility and it would be best for us to respect their assesment instead of trying to make up our own.

The enemy always has a vote in the battlefeild, and it will not always pan out entierly the way you planned.
Right now the Enemy will do everything they can to force a megre, because that is the only way they can atleast have a chance against F-22/35s.

We often think of Migs and Sukhois as low tech airshow planes but they're not, with their arsenal of modern sensors, avionics, data linking, proper GCI support and competent pilots, sure, they may be successful in forcing the Merge at times.

But again they will only give the F-35s more ways of killing them once they do get into the merge.

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

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2014, 00:26
by spazsinbad
Probably this idea has been restated a few times also. Fighter pilots train for all situations - even unlikely scenarios. ACM is an excellent way to get to know your aircraft. DACT is an excellent way to get to know your aircraft against dissimilar aircraft. And on and on. However the plan is as I described. Then there are fallback plans, then there is.... I'm reminded also of RED FLAG scenarios where adversaries against the F-22 became fed up with being taken out of the game without ever seeing the F-22s. And so it goes. Then there is the RAAF exchange pilot in an F-15 complaining about not being able to lock up on an F-22 in DACT (because I guess the rules of the DACT allowed this to occur). The frustration with the F-22 when you are against it must be incredible. Sure we will wait for the F-35. And we will hear about the ACM/DACT & Red Flags and whatnots.

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

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2014, 01:00
by zero-one
Thats right, I agree that going into a merge against an F-22\35 is highly Improbable ,

Infact the only likely way for you to get close to the F22/35 is if they choose to, perhaps because they ran out of AMRAAMs or because of ROEs or what not.

But remember, the F-22/35 is not getting any stelthier, Detection technology and computer filtering however are progressing like crazy these days,

So again, preparing for the "unlikely scenario" may be the smart thing to do

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

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2014, 01:42
by spazsinbad
However, the F-35 will be dictating what the section of 4 F-35s will do. They will choose NOT TO MERGE and do whatever else it takes to win and go home. Fighter pilots are out to win and not out to drag their fanny around waiting for a merge. OK?

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

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2014, 10:01
by cola
So, the F35 pilots will choose not to merge even if the enemy broke the perimeter versus AWACS, tanker, JSTARS, or some other high value target like a carrier for example.
That's reassuring to know, but I'm not sure how well would that sit with the tactical control. :)

C'mon Spaz, you can do better than this...

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

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2014, 10:08
by spazsinbad
IF posters want to choose simple environments constantly, such as such and such against a single F-35, for some mythical 1v1, then that is my response and I do not expect anything from you whatsoever. Complex situations are just that and were not mentioned so why comment? There will be a zillion scenarios. Posters constantly pick the '1v1' and I choose not to engage. My own quote bears repeating:
"...do whatever else it takes to win and go home. Fighter pilots are out to win and not out to drag their fanny around waiting for a merge. OK?"

All your base are mine.

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

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2014, 11:27
by cola
But there's nothing mythical or endemic about (BAR)CAP or escort of high value targets.
These are your everyday DCA missions and are in fact, probably the most flown op.missions (in peace for sure), even as we speak.

"...do whatever else it takes to win and go home. Fighter pilots are out to win and not out to drag their fanny around waiting for a merge. OK?"

Can't agree more, but on many occasions this just isn't possible and you need to accept enemy dictating tempo from time to time (even during a single sortie) and be ready for it and this is why you need performance.

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

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2014, 11:34
by spazsinbad
So nothing said that is positive about the situational awareness of the F-35s has sunk in yet along with the situational awareness of the assets supposedly being protected by said situationally aware F-35s. As I mentioned you can mention a zillion buzzwords and attempt to look smart whilst the F-35 will do the talking, walking and chewing gum at the same time.

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

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2014, 11:59
by cola
spazsinbad wrote:So nothing said that is positive about the situational awareness of the F-35s has sunk in yet..

But there's nothing to sunk in and that's the point...yes, JSF will probably have the best SA when enters service, but when you defend a high value target (sea, ground or air) you're bound to its constrains not yours and you can't play cat and mouse with the enemy fighters like you usually would, but need to draw the fire away and counter and for that you need performance, performance and more performance, to remain in one piece.

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

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2014, 12:03
by spazsinbad
Well that is a lot of words to describe very little of substance. I'll not play further - too late for me this night.

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

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2014, 13:52
by gtx
zero-one wrote:So again, preparing for the "unlikely scenario" may be the smart thing to do


That's a ridiculous statement. If we were to follow that I guess we should start designing aircraft to face invading space aliens...

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

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2014, 15:47
by delvo
What's supposed to be special about the "protecting a valuable asset" scenario? You still don't want to let enemy shooters get close. You still want to stand back and take them down from a distance. Why would protecting a valuable asset make you want to charge right up to them or let them charge right up to you?

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

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2014, 16:24
by cantaz
Wait, merge is two sided. Both sides have to want to turn towards one another.

If the enemy is trying to rush AWACS or tankers, he isn't going to really want to merge. Merging with the F-35s will just give time for the targeted assets to turn tail and run, and this is a significant problem given the distance the enemy must cover just to reach the targets. Trying to leave a rear guard to distract the F-35 won't work because we can agree that the F-35's superior SA (even without the AWACS) will allow the flight to realize who's a distraction and who's a threat to the assets.

The enemy is likely going to try and blow past the F-35s after exchanging some head-on shots. At least in a straight run they possibly have a top speed advantage over the F-35, though diminished somewhat by the extended range needed to reach deep into US air area of operations. The problem is surviving that initial exchange without dying or losing too much energy, but achieving those will be darn hard and rather mutually exclusive. Maneouvring to avoiding those AMRAAM will bleed off energy.

If the enemy has enough energy to blow past the F-35s and proceed to target, they will and try to leave the F-35s in the dust. No merge, just some AMRAAM-faceplants.

If the enemy doesn't have much energy after dodging those missiles, the F-35s will have the option to jump all over them to prevent the enemy from continuing. The enemy needs to break clear to continue to their actual targets, or else their mission fails, so any intent to merge and stay there is very one-sided.

If you get your merge, it'll be the F-35s forcing to enemy into it. So the F-35 is still achieving its designed intent of being able to dictate the engagement in this scenario because the scenario doesn't mean what you think it means.

Trying to design scenarios to force the F-35 into an unfavourable merges by introducing external pressures on the F-35 needs to account for how those same external pressures would affect the enemy's position on whether to merge and maintain. Saying the F-35s needs to protect AWACS also means the enemy must attack the AWACS, not try and force a tango with the F-35s.

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

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2014, 16:59
by zero-one
spazsinbad wrote: They will choose NOT TO MERGE and do whatever else it takes to win and go home.


That depends on the pilots themselves on the ROE or in the situation itself, who are we to dictate what the pilots will choose to do in certain situations.

Maj. Paul Moga once said
"If I can't acomplish the job BVR, I'll commit to the Merge and take him out up close and get the Job done"
No problem, no talk about doing what ever fancy stuff it takes to stay out of a merge at all cost.

So atleast in that statement we can say that F-22 pilots WILL CHOOSE TO MERGE if needed, although this may not be prefered, they will have little trouble with it.

this is what 5th Gen platforms give us, the ability to do the mission with full confidence that you can come out on top regardless of the type of fight.

We are not trying to force the F-35 into a merge scenario, all we are saying is that the F-35 can hold its own if such a scenario does occur.

On the otherhand we should stop forcing the F-35 into such a limited spectrum of aircombat, IT WAS NOT MADE STRICTLY AS A BVR ONLY AIRCRAFT

The thing can actually hold its own better in a gun fight than dedicated dogfighters like the F-16 or F/A-18

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

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2014, 17:08
by zero-one
gtx wrote:
zero-one wrote:So again, preparing for the "unlikely scenario" may be the smart thing to do


That's a ridiculous statement. If we were to follow that I guess we should start designing aircraft to face invading space aliens...


We were refering to a "Merge" scenario.

If you are saying that a merge is as improbable as Aliens coming out of Warp space to invade us, then this is pretty much the same way people thought about WVR scenarios back in the 60s?

Back then they said it was highly unlikely and nearly impossible, we all know what happened.

This was repeated in the Gulfwar, when coalition forces had unparalleled S.A. provided by AWACs and other assets, but then again the "unlikely scenario" still happened.

What if people said back then that WVR was so unlikely that we should stop wasting JP-8 for it.Considering that most of the Eagle's 100+ kills occured in those highly unlikely "alien invasion" type scenarios, WVR is science fiction :bang:

Thats why today, practically nobody talks like that anymore, we prepare for every scenario no matter how unlikely, because in War, the unlikely may become common practice.

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

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2014, 17:13
by cola
delvo wrote:What's supposed to be special about the "protecting a valuable asset"...?

There's nothing special about it, but you don't get to choose parameters of fight. The enemy does.
This is DCA by definition and is way more demanding on both pilot and the plane, than OCA.

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

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2014, 23:17
by arkadyrenko
The F-35 is supposed to be around for 30 - 50 years. In those 30 - 50 years, the enemy won't just be 4th gen SU-27s or 35s. There will be PAK-FAs, and J-20s, and all the other fifth gen fighters.

Right now, saying that the F-35 will choose not to merge fits the reality of the threat, assuming no strategic-technological surprise with respect to Electronic Warfare.

In the future, when the enemy does have stealth aircraft with advanced sensors and electronic warfare has advanced further, then the statement "the F-35 will choose not to merge" is much more problematic.

So, questions about the F-35's kinematics are less important now but the kinematics (and internal system growth factors) will become more important as the threat improves.

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

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2014, 23:26
by spazsinbad
'arkadyrenko' said:
"...In the future, when the enemy does have stealth aircraft with advanced sensors and electronic warfare has advanced further, then the statement "the F-35 will choose not to merge" is much more problematic.

So, questions about the F-35's kinematics are less important now but the kinematics (and internal system growth factors) will become more important as the threat improves."

I'll assume the 'western' (not the enemy) state of the art will improve fighter/avionics and otherwise also - keeping an edge? And not just for the F-35 improvements but for new aircraft for the 'westerners' also? The beat goes on - never ending change and change again.

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

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2014, 23:31
by count_to_10
arkadyrenko wrote:The F-35 is supposed to be around for 30 - 50 years. In those 30 - 50 years, the enemy won't just be 4th gen SU-27s or 35s. There will be PAK-FAs, and J-20s, and all the other fifth gen fighters.

Right now, saying that the F-35 will choose not to merge fits the reality of the threat, assuming no strategic-technological surprise with respect to Electronic Warfare.

In the future, when the enemy does have stealth aircraft with advanced sensors and electronic warfare has advanced further, then the statement "the F-35 will choose not to merge" is much more problematic.

So, questions about the F-35's kinematics are less important now but the kinematics (and internal system growth factors) will become more important as the threat improves.

Probably not. By the time a real stealthy threat arises, weapon advances will likely make kinematics mostly irrelevant, as no amount of maneuvering will allow you to escape once you are anywhere near visual range. It will be counter-measure-on-counter-meassure, with the aircraft trying to make themselves as inconspicuous as possible.

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

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2014, 00:45
by zero-one
count_to_10 wrote:Probably not. By the time a real stealthy threat arises, weapon advances will likely make kinematics mostly irrelevant, as no amount of maneuvering will allow you to escape once you are anywhere near visual range. It will be counter-measure-on-counter-meassure, with the aircraft trying to make themselves as inconspicuous as possible.


That is a possibility, if ultra long range directed energy weapons become a reality then no one can maneuver away from a beam type weapon.

On the other hand the immediate future could be the exact opposite, guided missiles may be less and less effective shortly,

DFRM jammers are already predicted to make current Advanced radar guided A-A missiles blind, and DIRCM can already blind even the best Focal plane arrey sensors.

So in contrast to your prediction, we may see a future where the most effective A-A weapon may once again be the gun.

Ofcorse all of these are guess works for now.

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

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2014, 01:34
by cantaz
zero-one wrote:So in contrast to your prediction, we may see a future where the most effective A-A weapon may once again be the gun.


In a future where the RF and IR spectrum is all denied to hell, rather than guns being back at the forefront, missile guidance will just shift to laser beam riding. Hard to jam a laser, especially if its seeker is looking backwards. DIRCM technology is already inadvertently demonstrating the eventual viability for HOBS laser designation.

Not to leave the gun out completely, it could also benefit from laser guidance, if smsgtmac ever gets his idea patented. :mrgreen:

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

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2014, 01:58
by spazsinbad
Just wait until we perfect 'worm hole tech' - appear here - appear there - appear everywhere the missile ain't - as a defensive measure. Offensive? I'll leave that to the boffins here:

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

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2014, 03:25
by smsgtmac
arkadyrenko wrote:The F-35 is supposed to be around for 30 - 50 years. In those 30 - 50 years, the enemy won't just be 4th gen SU-27s or 35s. There will be PAK-FAs, and J-20s, and all the other fifth gen fighters.

Right now, saying that the F-35 will choose not to merge fits the reality of the threat, assuming no strategic-technological surprise with respect to Electronic Warfare.

In the future, when the enemy does have stealth aircraft with advanced sensors and electronic warfare has advanced further, then the statement "the F-35 will choose not to merge" is much more problematic.

So, questions about the F-35's kinematics are less important now but the kinematics (and internal system growth factors) will become more important as the threat improves.


My signature line is my weapons philosophy. I 'grok' tech evolution and obsolescence.
Setting aside the minor points that I consider the PAK-FA a fifth-gen poseur more than fifth gen (seen too many LO system designs up close and personal) and the post J-10s are almost certainly just half-steps to the ChiCom's ultimate objective, I presume there will be continual advances on both sides of the equation: measure and counter-measure now and forever. The part of that measure-countermeasure cycle people seem to always forget or gloss over is that the US does not field long-lived weapon systems without preplanned survivability upgrades, and continual assessment for timing the implementation as part of the operational life planning assumptions.
I see some people have already brought up future weapons. They too are subject to countermeasures, and ultimately everything is made obsolete. The key is maturing your weapon systems so that in any 'game' you get the first and last move. The U.S. is very good at it, and no matter how good parasite nations get at copying, they will always be at least a half step behind so long as we (U.S.) do not stagnate. The tech that may make the F-35 obsolete probably does not even exist yet, and I won't state in a public forum what factors could cause the US to lose its technological edge, lest some useful idiot not see it as a warning but a roadmap.

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

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2014, 03:32
by smsgtmac
spazsinbad wrote:Just wait until we perfect 'worm hole tech' - appear here - appear there - appear everywhere the missile ain't - as a defensive measure. Offensive? I'll leave that to the boffins here:

I never get tired of that one. :lol:
I swear on my honor, if that isn't a recording that played during a filmstrip lecture on navigation I watched in missile school, it is the closest thing on this planet to it.

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

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2014, 13:41
by hornetfinn
arkadyrenko wrote:So, questions about the F-35's kinematics are less important now but the kinematics (and internal system growth factors) will become more important as the threat improves.


When somebody makes an aircraft with comparable or even better RF and IR stealth, sensors, sensor fusion and targeting systems, then yes of course it will. No such aircraft seem to be even in drawing boards yet, so I bet it takes quite a long time before that happens. Of course F-35 avionics will improve also and not stand still. Given it will be the most produced fighter aircraft since F-16, I bet it will be improved a lot.

I don't understand how F-35 internal system growth is somehow limited? It definitely has quite a lot of internal space.

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

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2014, 14:16
by zero-one
I'd just like to add a few things regarding Kinematic concerns.

Right now the F-22 and the F-35's kinematic capabilities are more than adequate for the current and immidiate future threats it was designed to take out.

According to Billy Flynn, the F-35 matches or considerably exceeds the aerodynamic performance of the best 4th gen fighters in combat configuration.

He did not name them specifically as it may draw a ton of flack from the thousands of 4th gen pilots, maintainers, engineers and the like. (already Super Bug and Typhoon pilots seem to counter his claims without proper basis)

Anyway, most pilots say that the Lightning can deliver F-16 like performance in a turning environment. The only way that an F-16 can out turn an F-35 is if you stripped it clean, and even then the advantage may not be that large.

Considering that an F-16 can accurately replicate the performance of a Mig-29 and exceed it in some regeimes, and considering that the 29 is probably the best tight turner without TV in the Russian airforce.
(Russia has many TYPES of TV equiped fighters but very few aircraft actually equiped with TV)

thus the F-35 will be more than a match for a Fulcrum even if it fought it at its strength.

But the F-35 has so many other strengths to compliment its Kinematic capabilities, so right now, nothing really comes close.

Once the potential adversary begins to feild Fighters that will heavily outclass the F-35's kinematic capabilities, guess what, the F-35 will evolve.

The Advent engine is already under development, light weight materials can maintain or even reduce the aircraft's overall weight. Cuda may further reduce the F-35's combat configured weight. And really when it comes to Kinematics, its all about how you push your weight around.

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

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2014, 20:54
by zero-one
Ive read this article a few years back and have been looking for it since. Without a point of comparison, I can't tell if the values mentioned are good or not.


military.com wrote:
F-35 Air Combat Skills Analyzed

The aircraft can also reach a 55-deg. angle of attack in trimmed flight, while most fighters, excluding the F/A-18, are limited to 30 deg. The exact performance of the current F-35A configuration -- also known as the 240-4 -- are classified. But a similar earlier standard (240-3) was credited with a maximum speed of Mach 1.67; acceleration from Mach 0.8 to Mach 1.2 at 30,000 ft. in 61 sec.; a top turning speed of 370 kt. at 9g and 15,000 ft.; and a sustained turn capability of 4.95g at Mach 0.8 and 15,000 ft. Moreover, an aircraft with those performance figures would carry two beyond-visual-range AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (Amraams) in the internal weapons bay.


Read more here http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,186349,00.html

How well does an F-16 block 50 stack up to these figures

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

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2014, 22:58
by basher54321
zero-one wrote:Ive read this article a few years back and have been looking for it since. Without a point of comparison, I can't tell if the values mentioned are good or not.

How well does an F-16 block 50 stack up to these figures

Limited information really - only more figures to speculate on (that may not be accurate anyway) - so for example take sustained turn just by itself:

http://elementsofpower.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/the-f-35-and-infamous-sustained-g-spec.html

That acceleration figure in the article you found is close to the original requirement + the revised figure from the DOTE report of about 63 seconds for the F-35A up to 108 secs for the F-35C (no weight given!)

At lower altitudes and different acceleration boundaries the times could differ again one way or the other.

They could probably dive the F-35 to get an extra .07 from up high sure - you would hope it had some safety speed margin in there anyway.

The max sea level requirement for speed was M1.06 - but at the end of the day what metrics are more important today? - when designing the F-35, stealth & endurance were deemed far more important than being slightly faster in a drag race.
20 years down the line it might get a better TW if that's deemed of any relevance I'm sure.

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

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2014, 23:50
by Gums
Salute!

I think Zero's numbers are a good reference point.

A sustained 5 gees is brutal, been there and done that. 9 gees for more than 10 or 15 seconds is worse, and you don't need that unless desparate for a kill or on the defensive. At the time ( 1980), nobody else in the world could come close.

The accel numbers must be pure level flight, and I went thru the mach easily by just unloading a bit. At 35,000 feet or so, I would take students up to 1.1 or so, then come outta burner and zip along - family model with centerline tank. Same technique - unload a bit and maybe lose 500 feet. In the VooDoo we climbed at 0.9 and bunted over passing 20,000 feet. Sucker went thru the mach before we even got back to level flight and then we continued on up to 50,000 feet ( actually 49,500 to stay "legal") at 1.3M. Impressive, I gotta tellya. Standing start to 35,000 feet in about 2 minutes. Hell, on the runway we went to 200 mph in about a half a mile on a cold day. The rule was no A/B takeoff once computed roll was less than 2,000 feet ( rotate at 155 knots and lift off about 175). And this was back in 1966.

The new jet will do just fine. If for some reason it winds up in a knife fight then I also think it will do just fine.

Gums opines...

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

Unread postPosted: 25 Feb 2014, 00:52
by basher54321
To compare with another reference - the given 30kft Block 50 numbers at Max over M0.8 - M1.2 (default temperature)

A-A - 4 x AIM-120 & ECM Pod or Centreline tank
DI 50 (24,000 lbs) = ~31 secs
DI 50 (28,000 lbs) = ~37 secs

A-G - 2 x AIM-120, ECM Pod, 2 x 370 Tanks, 2 x GBU-31, 1 x TP +Pylons
DI 200 (38,000 lbs) = ~174 secs

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

Unread postPosted: 25 Feb 2014, 01:54
by basher54321
Gums wrote: In the VooDoo we climbed at 0.9 and bunted over passing 20,000 feet. Sucker went thru the mach before we even got back to level flight and then we continued on up to 50,000 feet ( actually 49,500 to stay "legal") at 1.3M. Impressive, I gotta tellya. Standing start to 35,000 feet in about 2 minutes. Hell, on the runway we went to 200 mph in about a half a mile on a cold day. The rule was no A/B takeoff once computed roll was less than 2,000 feet ( rotate at 155 knots and lift off about 175). And this was back in 1966.

The new jet will do just fine.

Surprised you flew the F-101B - assumed only Canada got those. It carried quite a bit of fuel so assume it was clean most of the time - have only ever seen centre line tanks on it.

Gums wrote:
If for some reason it winds up in a knife fight then I also think it will do
just fine.

Amen to that

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

Unread postPosted: 25 Feb 2014, 03:11
by sferrin
basher54321 wrote: Surprised you flew the F-101B - assumed only Canada got those.


Why would you assume that?

"The F-101B was made in greater numbers than the F-101A and C, with a total of 479 being delivered by the end of production in 1961.[37] Most of these were delivered to the Air Defense Command (ADC) beginning in January 1959"

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

Unread postPosted: 25 Feb 2014, 03:46
by Corsair1963
The F-101 was impressive in many respects.............(and often overlooked)

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

Unread postPosted: 25 Feb 2014, 04:11
by sferrin
At one point they actually looked at a variant with a pair of J75s. :shock:

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

Unread postPosted: 26 Feb 2014, 14:58
by basher54321
sferrin wrote:
basher54321 wrote: Surprised you flew the F-101B - assumed only Canada got those.


Why would you assume that?

"The F-101B was made in greater numbers than the F-101A and C, with a total of 479 being delivered by the end of production in 1961.[37] Most of these were delivered to the Air Defense Command (ADC) beginning in January 1959"


Is way off my radar - I do have some SAC documents for the A/B/C but have found this here http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_fighters/f101_3.html

I suppose the B still had the pitch up problem?

Do love the way you had internal weapons carriage and an IRST - 2 pros of the F-35

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

Unread postPosted: 26 Feb 2014, 18:28
by Gums
Salute!

Before we get back to the never-ending 1 v 1 discussions for the Stubby, some things from the past are relevant to us in 2014.

The VooDoo had several aspects we see today. Many lessons-learned.

- Mutli-mode, multi-sensor fire control system. So the IRST could work with the radar or by itself if stealth was a player. Range was a problem, and usually the IRST by itself was really only good for the two heaters. No biggie, as you could either see the tgt or briefly switch on the radar to ensure within range. A sneaky mode was IR tracking and radar in search mode. The tgt would assume you weren't tracking and then BAM! Two Aim-4C heaters on the way. The IRST was also very good at low altitude in a look-down mode when compared to the radar. Once locked on, you could then slave the radar to get range/overtake data. Cool. And this was all there in 1965 - 66. IRST was in the Double Ugly, but then absent for too long, IMHO.

- Internal carriage. Really great for drag reduction, and nowadays the LO concept. The heaters were recessed on one side of the rotary bay and had trapeze doofers when you fired one.

- Automated or AP delivery modes. The AP had a "coupler" to steer to the computed firing range and "center the dot". I fired my first Genie using it and the sucker when right by the drone before it exploded at the calculated time-of-flight ( smoke, not a nuke, heh heh). Engage the coupler and hold the trigger down.

- Limiter. Yep, we had the first flight control limiter to prevent departures. Two modes - one with AP in use and one when manually flying the beast. It took over 60 pounds to pull back thru the limiter, and it was easy to tell you shouldn't pull back anymore. The AP modes also had a gee limit and pitch rate limit besides the AoA limit. CCS ( control stick steering) was an attitude hold mode, so relaxing the stick held you at pitch and bank. Full AP included the basic altitude and heading hold, plus a mach hold for climbs.

- A relief tube!!! Just kidding, but I hope the Stubby has one. Any plane with a decent range offers many opportunities to "relieve" yourself, and that funnel was a blessing. We even had an inadvertant ejection in a Viper a few years back 'cause the dude didn't know how to properly use the piddle pack ( didn't disable the ejection seat, or hit the canopy switch or .....). Of course, there was the usual comments about his physical dimensions of the organ involved, heh heh.

- Big motor(s). Ain't no substitute for excess power, and we had it. Below 3,000 pounds of fuel we had better than one-to-one T/W. So we climbed as well as the Viper I flew years later, and we could sustain a turn well, tho' we were talking only 2 or 3 gees at high altitude. Once up there, you can pull the power way, way back and save gas.

So we now return you to our current program.

Gums sends...

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

Unread postPosted: 26 Feb 2014, 23:49
by basher54321
Priceless thanks Gums - had no idea that capability existed in the 60s - slewing the radar to an IRST!

Mind boggles as to what the modern ones are like based on that - the F-35s going to have some cool toys to play with!

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

Unread postPosted: 27 Feb 2014, 00:52
by spazsinbad
Gums, The things we did not know back in the day eh. (Refering to those upside down on the other side of the world then.) :D

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

Unread postPosted: 27 Feb 2014, 04:53
by Gums
Salute!

When I read about all the nifty things the Stubby has and is supposed to do, I makes me think of "back to the future".

We all must realize that the U.S. and NORAD ally we had up north - the RCAF, were defending North America from the "Red horde". Think about it. How many countries would permit another country to fly across them with live nuclear weapons? We did that every day from several bases along our northern border - the B-52 "chrome dome" mission. We interceptors couldn't do it for several reasons.

A lotta U.S. $$$ went into our air defense jets. We had awesome radar systems and performance. We even had secure , jam-resistant datalink with the ground control sites. So we would get steering and altitude commands to get to the threat buffs without using our UHF radio. Our jet and the F-106 could even couple the A/P to get us into position where the back seater could get a lock-on. Our radar had a hydraulically tuned magnetron that resembled the current spread-spectrum doofers. We could tranmit across a few megahertz bandwidth pulse by pulse. "Norm" was about 1,000 hz shifts per pulse and then we had two higher rates, heh heh. So our radar looked like random noise to the bad guys until we locked on. And this was 1966.

And then came that stupid war, and the only good avionics suite until the Raptor was in the A-7D/E Sluf. The Stubby looks more like the Sluf than anything I have seen since then. Imagine our projected map display right under our radar screen, plus a cosmic nav system with both inertial and doppler, plus computed weapon delivery that gave raw nuggets 15 meter accuracy on their first hop. Oh yeah, a fan motor that gave us great legs.

My gut tells me that Subby will do just fine as long as the pilots use their brains as well as all the electronics.

Gums...

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

Unread postPosted: 27 Feb 2014, 06:02
by spazsinbad
Now you tell us.... :doh: :D

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

Unread postPosted: 27 Feb 2014, 13:06
by cantaz
Gums, is there a definitive Voodoo book you'd recommend? I've seen a couple on Amazon, but I don't know if they're any good. Thanks.

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Mar 2014, 23:11
by av111
To those worried about the A2A strength of the F35, a huge advantage of the F35 in A2A that people forget is sheer numbers.

A10 - 350
F15- 450
F16 - 1240
F22 - 195
F18 - 800

F35- 2400

So in terms of Pure A2A the current make up is 450 F15's and 200 F22's. The F22's will be kept, so in essence you are only losing 450 F15 pure A2A fighters.

The F35 will replace the whole fleet of aircraft with 2400 F35's. In a pure air fight, numbers do matter.

So although some people question the out and out A2A capability of the F35, and thinking that A2A capability is compromised ,the truth is that the compromise ends up being a strength due to the numbers it allows you to build.

At the end of the day pure A2A has never been been the overriding strength of the US airforce. The F15 was a strong fighter but you wouldn't say absolutely dominant during its life.

Of the biggest direct rival of A2A, the T50, Russia only plans to buy 150-200. The F35's A2A dominance on a holistic basis as a military, not just 1 on 1, in my opinion is unquestioned because of its compromises to perform multi roles, because it means that there will be 2400 units available.

The last A2A project only saw 200 units built.

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Mar 2014, 12:03
by zero-one
Thats a good point AV111 and welcome to the club.

In my case, my only concern is that I'm not an American, but my country does have strong ties with the US.

The F-35 looks like the best fighter out there for us.

And maybe someday our airforce will consider buying it. My country isn't very far from China, and they have been very aggresive lately.

I'm almost 100% certain that our air force will not have as many assests as the PLAAF/PLAN combined, so our best bet is to get the absolute best A-A aircraft out there to guard our skies.

I want to make sure that the Lightning can cut it against some advanced 4.5 gen and 5th gen threats

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Mar 2014, 15:41
by av111
In truth dogfights in modern warfare are obsolete. There will be no chasing each other around the sky because electronic capability and weapons have changed.

In todays A2A environment it is all about stalking your prey rather than getting into a fist fight.

The most important aspect ultimately is the missiles, software, visibility, awareness, stealth, given the well known phrase that the first person to shoot wins the fight. The whole battle is conducted on a display screen not out the cockpit window.

Even if a plane flew like a brick, if you gave it the most advanced missiles and radars, it will shoot its enemy out of the sky.

At the end of the day fighters today are flying missile launchers, the software and equipment does all the work. The F35 doesn't even need to be behind its target. With a 360 field of view it can target and shoot a plane behind it due to the new capability of the radar and missile system.

Secondly the F35 will be able to hunt in a pack. It doesn't just fly on its own. Information can be fed from one fighter to another in the air. This type of networking changes the face of the battlefield and is what advances the first look, first shot ability.

And its these types of capability that makes it a Gen 5 fighter, not just the commonly thought advancement of stealth.

Maneuverability is no longer the overriding factor in A2A, situation awareness and the weapons are far more important than the airframe and engine power.

The biggest threat to the F35 in the air is not the maneuverability of its competitor but the capability of enemy radar, awareness and missiles. And by the same effect these are the factors that pilots of Sukhoi T50's will fear too.

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Mar 2014, 19:55
by neurotech
av111 wrote:In truth dogfights in modern warfare are obsolete. There will be no chasing each other around the sky because electronic capability and weapons have changed.

In todays A2A environment it is all about stalking your prey rather than getting into a fist fight.
......
And its these types of capability that makes it a Gen 5 fighter, not just the commonly thought advancement of stealth.

Maneuverability is no longer the overriding factor in A2A, situation awareness and the weapons are far more important than the airframe and engine power.

The biggest threat to the F35 in the air is not the maneuverability of its competitor but the capability of enemy radar, awareness and missiles. And by the same effect these are the factors that pilots of Sukhoi T50's will fear too.

I see your new here :D

Many have said "dogfights in modern warfare are obsolete" or similar and proven wrong. Remind me why TOPGUN was created?

In a hypothetical CAS scenario: A pair of A-29 (turboprop) attack aircraft would be capable of shooting down a F-35 if the F-35 gets forced into a merge and runs out of energy and room to maneuver. eg. The F-35 rolls in behind the lead A-29, and the second A-29 sandwiches him in. This tactic worked for A-1 Skyraider (Sandy) CAS/RESCAP planes in Korea against MiGs.

The reason why the F-35 has the edge over other jets like the Sukhoi T50 is that it has EODAS. In the only confirmed case of a 4th gen fighter US fighter getting shot down by a MiG, the F/A-18 flown by Capt. Scott Speicher apparently had a inoperative Radar Warning Receiver. This is a major reduced situation awareness, that resulted in the death of the pilot.

The advanced technology of the F-35 won't make dogfights obsolete, just different. It is highly likely that the F-35 will operate under restrictive Rules of Engagement that disallow BVR engagements and require Visual ID of targets.

If a F-35 encounters a tactical transport or ELINT aircraft as a target, the pilot would have to be 110% sure it isn't an airliner and they can't do that from BVR. A hostile jet fighter could be flying low, using terrain for cover until the F-35 approaches to check VID the tactical transport, and then engage the F-35 in close. The resulting dogfight with a 5th gen F-35 would still occur.

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Mar 2014, 20:11
by Gums
Salute!

You are correct, Neuro. The ROE is gonna be a problem.

Only scenario I see with a bonafide BVR shot is from the Cee model defending the CV task force. Another possibility is one which tracks the bandits from takeoff and they are heading to a friendly target.

Once there is a merge, one must be careful hosing off a Slammer without making sure the target is a bandit.

Gums....

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Mar 2014, 20:44
by smsgtmac
The advanced technology of the F-35 won't make dogfights obsolete, just different. It is highly likely that the F-35 will operate under restrictive Rules of Engagement that disallow BVR engagements and require Visual ID of targets.


I would only modify that statement so that it reads "not very restrictive Rules of Engagement that allow BVR engagements with positive ID of targets".

I don't think it can be emphasized enough that today's BVR is not the same as in days past. In all likelihood, the track that is targeted was acquired early - perhaps as it left its runway, and has been tracked continuously. Its information was passed to all the F-35s in range to do anything about it and presented as a synthetic target even before the onboard systems ever picked it up. When it comes to determining who's 'blue' and who's 'red', we employ a robust multispectral approach to battlefield management: an area where we work very hard to maintain our technological edge. The fog of war will always be there, but it's getting patchier and thinner in real-time application thereof.

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 00:20
by neurotech
smsgtmac wrote:
The advanced technology of the F-35 won't make dogfights obsolete, just different. It is highly likely that the F-35 will operate under restrictive Rules of Engagement that disallow BVR engagements and require Visual ID of targets.


I would only modify that statement so that it reads "not very restrictive Rules of Engagement that allow BVR engagements with positive ID of targets".

I don't think it can be emphasized enough that today's BVR is not the same as in days past. In all likelihood, the track that is targeted was acquired early - perhaps as it left its runway, and has been tracked continuously. Its information was passed to all the F-35s in range to do anything about it and presented as a synthetic target even before the onboard systems ever picked it up. When it comes to determining who's 'blue' and who's 'red', we employ a robust multispectral approach to battlefield management: an area where we work very hard to maintain our technological edge. The fog of war will always be there, but it's getting patchier and thinner in real-time application thereof.

The political restrictions will dictate the RoE more than the technical capability. Classic example was the F-14 had TCS "video" for target ID at "BVR" range, but wasn't allowed to engage BVR during the Gulf War because the IFF was incompatible. An E-3 could have tracked a target since takeoff, and vectored an F-14 to the target, except the RoE still wouldn't allow a BVR engagement with the F-14s IFF.

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 00:24
by SpudmanWP
Don't forget that the F-35 uses over three times the amount of info to ID a target than even the F-22 uses (per the Australian Parliamentary Testimony).

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 00:46
by exosphere
Doesn't the EOTS system also allow for BVR visual identification? Even the DAS system, which is a wide-angle close-range system, provides pretty awesome resolution (you can clearly see wave caps and small moving vehicles from a pretty good distance away), and the EOTS is designed for narrow-image, long-range operation, so it should be much better. Since the EOTS can be slewed to the radar and has digital zoom capabilities, it would seem to be a great way to get a VID on a target a long way out after it is initially detected on radar. The EOTS, like most IRST systems, would probably be a poor system to detect other aircraft, since it has a narrow FOV, but it should be great at identifying unknown targets.

I think I saw a video somewhere showing an EOTS image where individual windows on a building were visible 50+ kilometers away. The image switched to a residential area, and I could literally count the shingles on roofs. That system is amazing...

Personally, I'd say that between the EOTS, NCTR, track correlation (i.e. if no friendlies are scheduled to fly near an area where a contact has been detected, the contact probably isn't a friendly), and IFF (which I've heard can be unreliable, but is probably at least somewhat useful), the F-35 should have a pretty good capability to identify targets at long range. Of course, I don't have any direct experience with military equipment or ROEs, so this is all just me postulating on a subject I don't have an incredible amount of experience about.

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 01:18
by count_to_10
As has been mentioned, target ID is no longer the pilot on his own -- it is now a system-of-systems thing.

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 01:42
by popcorn
The sensor suite on the F-35 is no doubt the most advanced and comprehensive tech flying today and for the foreseeable future. What makes it even worse for foes is that individual jets will enjoy a shared COP leveraging the aggregate capabilities of other friendly assets, providing an unmatched appreciation of the battlespace. Fighting smarter beats fighting harder. Also, aside from greater awareness, Sensor fusion and LPI/LPD data links results in a more resilient system, able to overcome even DRFM tech as revealed in the Oz Parliamentary session Spaz referred to.

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 01:48
by exosphere
count_to_10 wrote:As has been mentioned, target ID is no longer the pilot on his own -- it is now a system-of-systems thing.


With regards to that... I've heard that when two F-35s data link with each other, the information is displayed on each F-35s screen as if it is coming from the receiving F-35s own sensor suite, instead of being displayed on a separate screen. I've also heard that the information from the EODAS/EOTS/RWR/APG-81 is all displayed in an identical fashion (I.e. there isn't one kind of display for an EODAS track, one kind of display for a RWR bearing, and another kind of display for a radar track). Finally, I heard that the F-35s computer combines information from all the sensors and automatically adjusts them to provide the most accurate data without needing pilot interaction. Is all that true?

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 02:25
by spazsinbad
'exosphere' I have heard a lot of things but it is likely what you enquire about is true. :D You could search for 'sensor fusion' on the web or 'fusion' on this spider web to find out heaps. This forum is a vast HEAP of info about the F-35 gathered from all corners of - yes - the extraterrestialsphere. SLDinfo.com is a good place to start whilst the 'white papers' there - especially from LM will give you the gen. I'll post a linky for ye.....

http://www.sldinfo.com/whitepapers/flyi ... cture-cop/
&
http://www.sldinfo.com/whitepapers/the- ... on-engine/

There is an extra special one I'll get a link for soonish like. :shock:

The Impact of Advanced Fusion in 5th Generation Fighters on Combat Capability
by Michael Skaff, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
http://www.sldinfo.com/wp-content/uploa ... Fusion.pdf

Michael Skaff is Chief Designer of the F-35 cockpit from his F-16 background - he can be seen in several Ubend Videos showing his wares in the travelling F-35sim. There is an especially good one about how to VL the F-35B.

The very long thread about the HMDS has a bunch of FUZZed info and this is one example:

https://www.ncoic.org/apps/group_public ... 090225.pdf (7.8Mb)

Here you go for an explaino: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=20144&p=228550&hilit=Weigel#p228550
________________________

ADDITION: There are many possibilities - this PDF should be one of them - available here:

Advanced Fusion Avionics Suite 2011
http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_download-id-17620.html (PDF 2.4Mb)

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 03:07
by smsgtmac
neurotech wrote:
The political restrictions will dictate the RoE more than the technical capability. Classic example was the F-14 had TCS "video" for target ID at "BVR" range, but wasn't allowed to engage BVR during the Gulf War because the IFF was incompatible. An E-3 could have tracked a target since takeoff, and vectored an F-14 to the target, except the RoE still wouldn't allow a BVR engagement with the F-14s IFF.


We are not in any material disagreement. The question comes down to how much info is needed before it is a determined to be a Positive ID when still BVR? I would submit that if anything, our political masters these days have more faith in technology than they should, and unless something radically changes, the military will be more 'self-constraining' than 'being constrained' until they build the same degree of confidence in the new systems. There really is no comparison between the F-35 and all other aircraft in this area: everyone else has some serious catching up to do.

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 04:56
by neurotech
smsgtmac wrote:
neurotech wrote:
The political restrictions will dictate the RoE more than the technical capability. Classic example was the F-14 had TCS "video" for target ID at "BVR" range, but wasn't allowed to engage BVR during the Gulf War because the IFF was incompatible. An E-3 could have tracked a target since takeoff, and vectored an F-14 to the target, except the RoE still wouldn't allow a BVR engagement with the F-14s IFF.


We are not in any material disagreement. The question comes down to how much info is needed before it is a determined to be a Positive ID when still BVR? I would submit that if anything, our political masters these days have more faith in technology than they should, and unless something radically changes, the military will be more 'self-constraining' than 'being constrained' until they build the same degree of confidence in the new systems. There really is no comparison between the F-35 and all other aircraft in this area: everyone else has some serious catching up to do.

The main thing I don't agree with is the claim "dogfighting" is obsolete made earlier. An F-35 could likely obtain a positive ID with both ELINT and EODAS at longer range. The scenario like in Libya in 1981 where the Sukhoi kept turning towards the F-14s, then turning away, and that could result in a 5th gen F-35 getting uncomfortably close in a BVR engagement.

If multiple F-35s determine a jet is hostile, then that reduces the chance of a error by one pilot causing a "friendly fire" accident is reduced. By the time the F-35C goes to the fleet, Capt. Dorsey will have long retired and RF-4s will not be mistaken for targets. Over Kosovo in 1999, F-16 pilots themselves decided they'd rather fly low with greater threats, than accidentally target refugees towed behind a tractor.

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 07:58
by zero-one
Good point Neurotech

It also reminds me that back in 1981 and again in 1989, the Su-22s and Mig-23s the F-14s engaged were all identified as bandits well beyond visual range.

They could have been engaged at BVR ranges as well, and in one of those engagements an Aim-7 was launched but failed to track.

In the end, Sidewinders and the Tomcats maneuvering ability saved the day.

Watching an F-14 documentary, a Grumman test pilot said, "With the sensors and weapons that we have on this plane, the enemy would be dead long before he knew he was in a fight"

Sounds familiar? It should, those are the kinds of phrases used to describe 5th gen platforms.

Also. back in the 90s the USAF deactivated all their aggressor squadrons, perhaps as a cost saving measure but also perhaps because people again started thinking that dogfights are obsolete.

Now however, Aggressor squadrons are back, and equipped with state-of-the-art F-15s and F-16s instead of A-4s and F-5s.

The preferred tactic of the US is still BVR no doubt, and they will plan everything out for it to be that way, but war never goes entirely according to plan, and you wont always fight the way you prefer.

That’s why one of the requirements for the JSF program was to have a positive loss exchange ratio against advanced 4.5 gen threats in air combat maneuvering (ACM)

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 08:35
by spazsinbad
'zero-one': I'm not being facetious but curious. Is there a link for this F-35 requirement please? Tah.
"That’s why one of the requirements for the JSF program was to have a positive loss exchange ratio against advanced 4.5 gen threats in air combat maneuvering (ACM)."


I guess at some point when tactics are more public knowledge (RED FLAG) or whatever the USMC want to release beforehand (even though they do not have a requirement for ACM which has been acknowledged by them in their requirement for relaxed G specification etc. for the F-35B) we will know more to have a more informed debate about the F-35 and ACM. Just digging up old stuff with old tech is not really the way. This is new stuff ('yet to be proven' as ELP will have it) requiring new tactics. I look forward to knowing more about this aspect of the F-35. I can dream. :D :devil:

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 09:29
by zero-one
Hi Spaz, here's the best that I found on short notice.

The writter seemed to be very knowledgable with the F-35 as he and Gums share the same comments at times.

Edward Wu Defence Watch Guest Writer wrote:The F-35’s Performance Parameters laid out in the Operational Requirements Document (ORD) sheds light on the exact performance requirements that are being demanded from the F-35.

The requirement for all three variants is to provide a platform that will have a positive exchange ratio during air combat maneuvering (ACM) engagements against “high performance threats that employ helmet mounted cueing and high off-boresight weapons.”4 Furthermore, the ORD goes on to state that the JSF must further possess high angle of attack (AOA) capabilities “similar in nature to (or better than) the F-18C

Adding link:
http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2014/02/ ... da-part-1/

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 11:13
by spazsinbad
OK thanks - I'll see what I can find. Anyone have a link to the JORD please?

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 17:08
by av111
neurotech wrote:I see your new here :D

Many have said "dogfights in modern warfare are obsolete" or similar and proven wrong. Remind me why TOPGUN was created?

If a F-35 encounters a tactical transport or ELINT aircraft as a target, the pilot would have to be 110% sure it isn't an airliner and they can't do that from BVR. A hostile jet fighter could be flying low, using terrain for cover until the F-35 approaches to check VID the tactical transport, and then engage the F-35 in close. The resulting dogfight with a 5th gen F-35 would still occur.


To clarify what I mean, I wouldnt suggest dogfights will never occur, what I mean is that dogfights will not be the main battle in the air to achieve air superiority. In terms of engagement for every 100 engagements, dogfights would only make a small proportion of the engagements in the air in future. The majority will occur BVR.

If what you are suggesting is that planes will all need to get visual confirmation before engaging then it would make pretty much most of the advances in the past 20 years obsolete and pointless. I guarantee your enemy will start shooting you BVR whilst youre just trying to get a closer look.

Sometimes the impression is that the maneuverability of the T50 means they will run into a fight chasing everyone swinging a baseball bat, when in fact they will tactically engage on a stand off basis too.

A T50 pilot is not going to rush in and put a giant bullseye marked on his head.

Even the F22 WVR is not absolutely dominant. It is still the best fighter but it will know its in a fight even against older fighters like the Typhoon , Rafale, Su27, and Migs, as it loses many of it advantages of being a 5th gen fighter when WVR.

I will also add that past strategy of air combat does not reflect on future air combat because the capability of effective BVR combat was not there that we see today on the F22 and the F35. BVR capability, although present in the past, was unreliable.

The advancement of technology has changed the game and its important to be ahead of the game dictating the terms. In terms of building a fighter for BVR or WVR, you would elect for BVR. If I flip the scenario and said Russia had dominant BVR aircraft and the US had dominant WVR aircraft you would feel extremely exposed.

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 20:57
by exosphere
Okay, disclaimer first: I know this is from Keypubs, and I know that makes it of dubious reliability, but I saw something interesting while I was perusing the forums (it's great entertainment value!). I saw a thread where they were claiming that IR stealth is "impossible", and that the F-35 and F-22 can thus be detected by IR systems. One of them posted a link to this video of the F-22 at the Farnborough air show and used it as evidence that IR stealth doesn't work, that the F-22 is virtually as visible as other non-VLO aircraft, and that the F-22's RAM coating actually makes it MORE visible to IR, because it is rough and thus causes more friction heating.



This was followed by much congratulating by the other Keypublicans about the wit and intelligence of the poster for bringing up such hard evidence.

Personally, I can think of a few things wrong with this "analysis", but I was wondering if I could get any feedback from the people on this forum, as I'm not an expert on aircraft design or air warfare, and I know there are at least a few people that post regularly here that are.

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 21:19
by spazsinbad
Firstly why disrail this thread with a post not related to topic? Secondly see the firstly. Thirdly why not search the forum? I will do that because I know this topic has been covered - ya think? Fourthly why not start a new thread for your unrelated question? Fifthly - I forget.

As I recall this special IR camera at the air display was on high gain at close range. DUH.

The same video is mentioned here.

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 21:48
by exosphere
spazsinbad wrote:Firstly why disrail this thread with a post not related to topic?


Sorry -- I thought this would be related to the thread since it's about the ability of the F-35 to hide from IRST sensors (I.e. the OLS) and thus be able to effectively conduct engagements without being detected. Anyways, that was what I was thinking as well -- the camera was at close range and was focused in on the F-22. I just didn't know the exact range, and I'm not sure how well optical detection scales with distance (I.e. how does a F-22's IR detectability at one or two kilometers scale to its detectability at BVR ranges), so I was wondering if anyone else had any answers.

If the post was really off-topic, feel free to have it removed/moved -- I just thought it related to the F-35s air to air capabilities. I didn't know I was derailing the thread.

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 22:18
by Lieven
spazsinbad wrote:Firstly why disrail this thread with a post not related to topic?


Now now, don't be to harsh on a newbie poster. I'm sure there was no bad intent. Also, thanks for pointing out that other thread and answering his question. :-)

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 22:41
by sprstdlyscottsmn
exosphere wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:Firstly why disrail this thread with a post not related to topic?


Sorry -- I thought this would be related to the thread since it's about the ability of the F-35 to hide from IRST sensors (I.e. the OLS) and thus be able to effectively conduct engagements without being detected. Anyways, that was what I was thinking as well -- the camera was at close range and was focused in on the F-22. I just didn't know the exact range, and I'm not sure how well optical detection scales with distance (I.e. how does a F-22's IR detectability at one or two kilometers scale to its detectability at BVR ranges), so I was wondering if anyone else had any answers.

If the post was really off-topic, feel free to have it removed/moved -- I just thought it related to the F-35s air to air capabilities. I didn't know I was derailing the thread.



Some one correct me if I am wrong, but thermal energy is a fourth order reduction with respect to distance. Thus doubling the range results in 1/16th the thermal energy making it to the sensor.

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 23:24
by count_to_10
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
Some one correct me if I am wrong, but thermal energy is a fourth order reduction with respect to distance. Thus doubling the range results in 1/16th the thermal energy making it to the sensor.

Radiated power goes as temperature to the fourth power. In vacuum, the power per unit area at a detector will go down as distance squared, but in atmosphere there will also be an exponential absorption/reflection fall off (the rate of which depends heavily on frequency, air composition, and air density).
So, halving the temperature results in 1/16th of the total power being radiated (and potentially much less than that at a given frequency), but doubling the range reduces the power received by the detector by at least three quarters, possibly more if the wavelength you are looking at is strongly absorbed by air.

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 23:44
by newmanfrigan
Also, you're relying on your amazing IRST system, getting ready to destroy the evil West with your coalition of like-minded partners, Russia, Serbia, Venezuela, Belarus, Iran and Syria. Everything's going great and stealth is a gimmick (and there are no gays in Russia).

...then it rains and IRST is on the blink. Gays are at the gates of Moscow.

Evil triumphs!

Your move...


On a less serious note: IR sig. reduction was part of the F-22, B-2, F-35 requirements. Figures are classified as far as I know.

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Mar 2014, 03:33
by smsgtmac
exosphere wrote:Okay, disclaimer first: I know this is from Keypubs, and I know that makes it of dubious reliability, but I saw something interesting while I was perusing the forums (it's great entertainment value!). I saw a thread where they were claiming that IR stealth is "impossible", and that the F-35 and F-22 can thus be detected by IR systems. One of them posted a link to this video of the F-22 at the Farnborough air show and used it as evidence that IR stealth doesn't work, that the F-22 is virtually as visible as other non-VLO aircraft, and that the F-22's RAM coating actually makes it MORE visible to IR, because it is rough and thus causes more friction heating.
...
This was followed by much congratulating by the other Keypublicans about the wit and intelligence of the poster for bringing up such hard evidence.

Personally, I can think of a few things wrong with this "analysis", but I was wondering if I could get any feedback from the people on this forum, as I'm not an expert on aircraft design or air warfare, and I know there are at least a few people that post regularly here that are.


Ah yes. I remember the thread Spaz linked to. Can't remember if I chimed in at the time, but most of all that big beautiful plume in the video disappears over a relatively short distance in free air. The natural constituents of the atmosphere absorb almost all of the IR emitted at just about the center frequency band of the exhaust plume. Conversely, the IR band (mid-high) from skin friction heating is where you find most IRST systems "looking". But unless your going supersonic low, you're probably not putting off much heat to detect.

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Mar 2014, 04:39
by exosphere
smsgtmac wrote:Ah yes. I remember the thread Spaz linked to. Can't remember if I chimed in at the time, but most of all that big beautiful plume in the video disappears over a relatively short distance in free air. The natural constituents of the atmosphere absorb almost all of the IR emitted at just about the center frequency band of the exhaust plume. Conversely, the IR band (mid-high) from skin friction heating is where you find most IRST systems "looking". But unless your going supersonic low, you're probably not putting off much heat to detect.


So, from what you guys are saying, it seems to me that the F-22 was in afterburner and going supersonic when the video was taken. Is that correct? I couldn't really tell...

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Mar 2014, 08:27
by zero-one
exosphere wrote:
So, from what you guys are saying, it seems to me that the F-22 was in afterburner and going supersonic when the video was taken. Is that correct? I couldn't really tell...


Not really, No aircraft is allowed to go supersonic at dispalys because the sonicboom may result in some broken windows and eardrums.

Fastest Ive seen was a Hornet calling out his speed up until he went to .98 Mach, then he immidietly pulled up to stop accelerating,

The commentator jokingly said "you don't want to break any windows don't ya?"
Pilot said "no sir that'd be a bad idea"

Anyway point is, at that distance, flying a display, accelrating here and there using AB all the time, its prety easy for an IRST to pick you up,

go out a mile or two away (still considered a phone booth fight) then it won't be so easy.

Even for the state of the art Aim-9X test seen here.
[YouTube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YMSfg26YSQ[/YouTube]


at about a kilometer or two away the F-4 looks like a big white blob, its not until you get really really close that its starts to look like a plane.

The F-22 and F-35 will be much harder to detect

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Mar 2014, 09:06
by zero-one
av111 wrote:The advancement of technology has changed the game and its important to be ahead of the game dictating the terms. In terms of building a fighter for BVR or WVR, you would elect for BVR. If I flip the scenario and said Russia had dominant BVR aircraft and the US had dominant WVR aircraft you would feel extremely exposed.


Well actually the idea is to be domminant in all forms of combat.

No one wants to design a fighter that would compromise WVR in order to emphasize BVR or vise-versa,

Even the Russians dont want this, they are doing everything they can to make their fighters as effective in BVR as possible, investing in Ram-jet powered weapons, AESA radars for fighter and missiles.

The requirement for the F-22 was to be uncompromising in its close combat WVR capability even though most people believed it would never need this.

Plus when it comes to WVR, the US still has many advantages, one of which is training, American pilots spend around 300 hours a year in training while Russians only spend 100-150 hours.

So in combat, the US will not fight BVR while the Russians fight WVR, its going to be a mixed fight, both sides fighting long and close range. and today fighters are being designed to fight both types of fights as effectively as possible

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Mar 2014, 15:15
by hornetfinn
IR stealth is definitely not impossible and I'm sure most modern 4+ generation fighter aircraft do have some IR reduction measures. F-35 and F-22 seems to have more extensive measures to reduce the IR signature. Of course totally hiding IR signature is impossible but there are many ways to reduce the signature. Just like radar stealth, the aim is to reduce detection and tracking range and increase the effectiveness of countermeasures (like flares, DIRCM systems). A close range high end thermal camera will see stealth aircraft just as well as non-stealth ones as there is more than enough radiated energy available to it.

Basically IR stealth can be achieved by reducing the amount of radiated infrared energy through masking and cooling. F-35 engine is well buried inside the aircraft and nozzle seems to have several IR signature reduction measures. The nozzle is quite well hidden and It seems to have ceramic coatings that likely has low thermal conductivity to keep nozzle relatively cool. There are indications that there is exhaust cooling system, probably using engine by-pass air. It's likely that there is cooling systems to cool the hot exterior parts. I think it's likely that F-35 will be significantly more difficult to detect with IRST systems than 4th generation fighters. How much more is difficult to say.

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Mar 2014, 17:48
by sprstdlyscottsmn
if you watch the IR SU-35S display, it's mil power looks like the F-22 with the AB lit, and when the Su-35S had the AB lit it was just a huge flare.

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Mar 2014, 18:31
by castlebravo
hornetfinn wrote:IR stealth is definitely not impossible and I'm sure most modern 4+ generation fighter aircraft do have some IR reduction measures. F-35 and F-22 seems to have more extensive measures to reduce the IR signature. Of course totally hiding IR signature is impossible but there are many ways to reduce the signature. Just like radar stealth, the aim is to reduce detection and tracking range and increase the effectiveness of countermeasures (like flares, DIRCM systems). A close range high end thermal camera will see stealth aircraft just as well as non-stealth ones as there is more than enough radiated energy available to it.

Basically IR stealth can be achieved by reducing the amount of radiated infrared energy through masking and cooling. F-35 engine is well buried inside the aircraft and nozzle seems to have several IR signature reduction measures. The nozzle is quite well hidden and It seems to have ceramic coatings that likely has low thermal conductivity to keep nozzle relatively cool. There are indications that there is exhaust cooling system, probably using engine by-pass air. It's likely that there is cooling systems to cool the hot exterior parts. I think it's likely that F-35 will be significantly more difficult to detect with IRST systems than 4th generation fighters. How much more is difficult to say.


Another possibility is to use materials that have significantly reduced emissivity in the wavelengths that the Earth's atmosphere is transparent to. That won't help you much in the WVR fight, but could severely restrict the range that an IRST is effective against you.

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Mar 2014, 19:09
by av111
zero-one wrote:
av111 wrote:The advancement of technology has changed the game and its important to be ahead of the game dictating the terms. In terms of building a fighter for BVR or WVR, you would elect for BVR. If I flip the scenario and said Russia had dominant BVR aircraft and the US had dominant WVR aircraft you would feel extremely exposed.


Well actually the idea is to be domminant in all forms of combat.

No one wants to design a fighter that would compromise WVR in order to emphasize BVR or vise-versa,

Even the Russians dont want this, they are doing everything they can to make their fighters as effective in BVR as possible, investing in Ram-jet powered weapons, AESA radars for fighter and missiles.

The requirement for the F-22 was to be uncompromising in its close combat WVR capability even though most people believed it would never need this.

Plus when it comes to WVR, the US still has many advantages, one of which is training, American pilots spend around 300 hours a year in training while Russians only spend 100-150 hours.

So in combat, the US will not fight BVR while the Russians fight WVR, its going to be a mixed fight, both sides fighting long and close range. and today fighters are being designed to fight both types of fights as effectively as possible


In an ideal world you want to be dominant in everything, but the question is more along the lines of which is more important.

As you mention Russia are developing their own advanced radar and medium to long range missiles so the actions of the enemy give you an idea of where future air combat is heading.

Also like you say WVR pilot training and strategy is hugely important. In truth if the F22, F35, Typhoon, Rafale, Sukois and Migs met each other in the air WVR then the pilots of each plane no matter which one you flew would start to sweat harder because the dominance of the aircraft is not decisive. To some extent developing an aircraft for manoeuvrability WVR has gone as far as it needs to go.

However by building an aircraft that focusses more on BVR fighting this on the other hand will allow you to tip the balance more decisively for air superiority. If you build an aircraft that focusses on this sphere there is a greater reward to be gained in terms of dominating the skies.

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Mar 2014, 21:43
by count_to_10
castlebravo wrote:
Another possibility is to use materials that have significantly reduced emissivity in the wavelengths that the Earth's atmosphere is transparent to. That won't help you much in the WVR fight, but could severely restrict the range that an IRST is effective against you.

Ideally, you would like to transfer heat to as much air as possible (that T^4 pretty much dominates every other consideration), but if you could arrange to have a coating that had nice tall emission peaks in the absorption bands of O2 and N2, that would definitely help. H2O and CO2 are probably easier to do, but there isn't that much CO2 in the air, and the amount of H2O varies a lot.

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

Unread postPosted: 12 Mar 2014, 06:47
by XanderCrews
Finding a needle in a haystack isn't any easier even if it glows.

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

Unread postPosted: 12 Mar 2014, 07:12
by hornetfinn
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:if you watch the IR SU-35S display, it's mil power looks like the F-22 with the AB lit, and when the Su-35S had the AB lit it was just a huge flare.


Yes, there seems to be very little done in Su-35 to reduce IR signature. PAK-FA is pretty similar in that regard and J-20 doesn't seem much better. The tail section offers some masking effect, but otherwise only J-20 seems to have coating on the nozzles and has the most buried engine. I'd say F-22 and F-35 have much lower IR signatures than these competitors.

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

Unread postPosted: 12 Mar 2014, 09:53
by zero-one
av111 wrote:In an ideal world you want to be dominant in everything, but the question is more along the lines of which is more important.

As you mention Russia are developing their own advanced radar and medium to long range missiles so the actions of the enemy give you an idea of where future air combat is heading.

Also like you say WVR pilot training and strategy is hugely important. In truth if the F22, F35, Typhoon, Rafale, Sukois and Migs met each other in the air WVR then the pilots of each plane no matter which one you flew would start to sweat harder because the dominance of the aircraft is not decisive. To some extent developing an aircraft for manoeuvrability WVR has gone as far as it needs to go.

However by building an aircraft that focusses more on BVR fighting this on the other hand will allow you to tip the balance more decisively for air superiority. If you build an aircraft that focusses on this sphere there is a greater reward to be gained in terms of dominating the skies.


Thats correct, I simply wanted to counter my impression that you may be implying that Russian fighter's are more inclined towards the WVR fight and are thus dominant in that type of fight.

While American aircraft do not emphasize maneuverability and are therefore inferior in a dogfight.

Now it looks to me that you don't think that way at all, which is good.
Infact I think the west still holds a commanding lead in both BVR and WVR combat.
Now I'm not a westerner so I'm not simply saying that blindly.

For example
Russia may have many types of thrust vectoring equiped aircraft, but they have few actual TV equiped aircraft in service. I'm not sure how many of their Su-27SM2 actually have TV if at all. Their Su-30s only have them as an option, and they have less than 40 Su-35s on order.

The US only has 1 type of operational TV equiped fighter but has more than 180 of them to go around.

Furthermore, TV is only applicapble in certain maneuvers, other aircraft like the Viper, Rhino and Lightning 2 can perform other maneuvers very well without it.

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

Unread postPosted: 12 Mar 2014, 18:15
by exosphere
zero-one wrote:Russia may have many types of thrust vectoring equiped aircraft, but they have few actual TV equiped aircraft in service. I'm not sure how many of their Su-27SM2 actually have TV if at all. Their Su-30s only have them as an option, and they have less than 40 Su-35s on order.

The US only has 1 type of operational TV equiped fighter but has more than 180 of them to go around.

Furthermore, TV is only applicapble in certain maneuvers, other aircraft like the Viper, Rhino and Lightning 2 can perform other maneuvers very well without it.


On a side note, isn't TV a bit over-hyped? From what I've heard, TV helps if the original aircraft is unable to reach a high enough alpha to achieve its maximum lift using aerodynamic controls (for example, the F-16 achieves maximum lift at 32 degrees, but is limited to 25.5 degrees). However, if the aircraft is able to reach its max-lift alpha without TV, then the benefits of it are relatively low. TV would also help somewhat with post-stall maneuverability, but I seriously doubt stalling your aircraft would be a viable strategy in a multi-bogey WVR fight...

The one area where it seems a TV aircraft would have a definitive advantage over a non-TV aircraft would be really high altitude flight. At extremely high altitudes, where aerodynamic surfaces are less effective, TV would provide the aircraft with a better turning ability (I'm assuming this is why the F-22 has TV). This would be relevant in discussions about the F-35's maneuverability vis a vis, say, the unbeatable Su-xx Block CCCC 4.9999999+++++ Gen Super-duper-ultra-mega-flanker :roll: if it wasn't for the fact that it seems that most dogfights occur at relatively low altitudes, and not 70,000+ feet (nobody tell ELP :wink: ).

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

Unread postPosted: 12 Mar 2014, 23:03
by count_to_10
Actually, now that I have looked up the atmospheric abortion/transition details, it looks like O2 and N2 are negligible in the IR band. CO2 has a nice deep band, but most of the absorption is actually in the H20 bands (so long as you are at a low enough altitude to have much H20). Looks like you are probably going to be easier to see if you are cruising above 30,000 ft.