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

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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spazsinbad

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Unread post23 Feb 2014, 01:42

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?
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cola

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Unread post23 Feb 2014, 10:01

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...
Cheers, Cola
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spazsinbad

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Unread post23 Feb 2014, 10:08

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.
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cola

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Unread post23 Feb 2014, 11:27

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.
Cheers, Cola
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spazsinbad

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Unread post23 Feb 2014, 11:34

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.
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cola

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Unread post23 Feb 2014, 11:59

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.
Cheers, Cola
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spazsinbad

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Unread post23 Feb 2014, 12:03

Well that is a lot of words to describe very little of substance. I'll not play further - too late for me this night.
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gtx

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Unread post23 Feb 2014, 13:52

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...
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delvo

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Unread post23 Feb 2014, 15:47

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?
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cantaz

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Unread post23 Feb 2014, 16:24

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.
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zero-one

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Unread post23 Feb 2014, 16:59

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
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Unread post23 Feb 2014, 17:08

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.
Last edited by zero-one on 23 Feb 2014, 17:13, edited 1 time in total.
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cola

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Unread post23 Feb 2014, 17:13

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.
Cheers, Cola
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arkadyrenko

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Unread post23 Feb 2014, 23:17

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.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post23 Feb 2014, 23:26

'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.
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