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

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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count_to_10

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Unread post23 Feb 2014, 23:31

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.
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

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zero-one

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Unread post24 Feb 2014, 00:45

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.
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Unread post24 Feb 2014, 01:34

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:
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Unread post24 Feb 2014, 01:58

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:
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Unread post24 Feb 2014, 03:25

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.
--The ultimate weapon is the mind of man.
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Unread post24 Feb 2014, 03:32

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.
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Unread post24 Feb 2014, 13:41

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.
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Unread post24 Feb 2014, 14:16

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.
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Unread post24 Feb 2014, 20:54

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
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Unread post24 Feb 2014, 22:58

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.
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Unread post24 Feb 2014, 23:50

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.

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Unread post25 Feb 2014, 00:52

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
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Unread post25 Feb 2014, 01:54

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
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Unread post25 Feb 2014, 03:11

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"
"There I was. . ."
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Unread post25 Feb 2014, 03:46

The F-101 was impressive in many respects.............(and often overlooked)
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