Marine's declare IOC

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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spazsinbad

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Unread post05 Aug 2015, 17:44

'MD' because we were on our Beecroft Armament Range on the north arm of Jervis Bay not far from NAS Nowra with small townships on the northern edge of the range, we had to use a specific dive direction. For practice weapons dropped individually on the 'circles' with fall of shot recorded it was nornoreast or thereabouts. For live weapons things were more problematic depending on size, and if rockets such as Zunis, we had different targets (sometimes a small island just offshore there - off the vertical cliffs) requiring a more easterly course, so windage was compensated as briefed whilst attack direction had to be specific so as to stay within the confines of the small range with weapons live etc. I'll post a map soon. The range is no longer in use these days I think but of course still off limits due to unexploded stuff. The range was also a ship gunnery range. As the crow flies the range is about fourteen NM from NAS Nowra top left of second map whilst the widest east west part of Jervis Bay is about five NM with a scale approx. 7NM near Google Earth Logo btm rt.
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BeecroftRangeJervisBayNorthArm.gif
NowraBeecroftJervisBayGoogleEarth.jpg
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Unread post05 Aug 2015, 19:22

spazsinbad wrote:'MD' because we were on our Beecroft Armament Range on the north arm of Jervis Bay not far from NAS Nowra with small townships on the northern edge of the range, we had to use a specific dive direction. For practice weapons dropped individually on the 'circles' with fall of shot recorded it was nornoreast or thereabouts. For live weapons things were more problematic depending on size, and if rockets such as Zunis, we had different targets (sometimes a small island just offshore there - off the vertical cliffs) requiring a more easterly course, so windage was compensated as briefed whilst attack direction had to be specific so as to stay within the confines of the small range with weapons live etc.


That makes sense. Any kind of run-in restrictions, training or real world, could very well leave you with the crosswind puzzle to solve in addition to all others. And having the discipline to be able to keep the pipper tracking right or left of the target and parallel to it, releasing when at the analyzed RAP, took alot to accomplish. Because it's so natural to want to drive the pipper through the target, and being offset from it (or even forcing yourself to drop past the target, if you were shallow/slow in your dive and had to compensate for the artificial-track the pipper traveled due to pilot's error)......even though you know that's where the pipper needs to be on release, it just seems counterintuitive at the moment sometimes. When the Mk76 / BDU33 hits and emits its smoke from the spotting charge, on target; that's pretty satisfying a feeling. All accomplished with no electronic help of any kind. Just you and your experience.
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Unread post08 Aug 2015, 20:41

A 'disused' old airfield (only suitable for purpose described) was the Jervis Bay Airfield seen on the southern arm of Jervis Bay. Here JINDIVIK jet powered target aircraft were launched from a wheeled dolly (left behind) to then be radio controlled from the ground. The Jindiviks would go out into the missile/air to air range a very large wide corridor going south-east from JB (also called the Jervis Bay Missile Range). Every A4G pilot had to fire an AIM-9B at a flare target towed by the Jindies at least once per year. The targets recorded a bunch of stuff acoustically and on film as well as the radio conversations between A4G and ground controllers. Plonking 'shadowers' or Badgers was the main task of the 'Fleet Defence' A4Gs onboard with the capability to carry four underwing AIM-9Bs.
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Unread post08 Aug 2015, 20:42

AFAIK this is the last reference to 'lightning strikes' viewtopic.php?f=22&t=27661&p=297372&hilit=Lightning+Strike#p297372 so this is why this little ditty is posted here. The three page PDF attachment has the story. Lightning strikes can cause a lot of mayhem and not just on the aircraft but to the aircrew.
BLAMMO!
Nov-Dec 2012 LCdr. Zachary Kirby APPROACH USN Flight Safety Magazine

“...Lightning can seriously damage an aircraft, especially sensitive electronic systems on Prowlers [EA-6B]. We are continually at risk; even the most mundane flights can become exciting or even catastrophic. I wasn’t prepared to be hit by lightning, and although I now know what it entails, I’m not sure I could ever be prepared....”

Source: http://www.public.navy.mil/comnavsafece ... ov-Dec.pdf (2.8Mb)
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Lightning Strike Prowler EA-6B APPROACH 2012_Nov-Dec.pdf
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Unread post09 Aug 2015, 02:10

XanderCrews wrote:
geogen wrote:
3F Fully operational capability probably won't be achieved until 2020 at the earliest, and perhaps not even until 2021 or 2022.


Based on what?


And more than the performance related issues, it is arguably more the restricted combat capability in not being able to match all the systems and munitions -- which the existing AV-8B II has combat capacity to employ -- which is a bigger issue. e.g., CBU munitions are a considerable deterrence and capability which the Harrier II can employ, as are stand-off Maverick missiles vs high-speed moving targets. Those and other weapons most likely won't be cleared for operational capability on F-35B jets until at least achieving full operational 3F and possibly even block 4.


The Irony of talking about "performance related issues" while comparing a freaking Harrier to an F-35B is beyond the pale.

Allow me to aware everyone on Geogen. he tried this in another thread as well. Nothing Geogen enjoys more than trying to find things the F-35 can't do (or things he thinks it can't do) and then try and portray it as inferior. This is extremely comical for people in the know, its like watching a virgin describe how he had relations.

Geogen isn't aware that CBUs are extremely out of favor and rarely used these days. He also isn't aware about the Maverick. Watching him try and create FUD from pure ignorance is amazing. In another thread he tried to paint the Marine F-35 not using Harpoons as a huge downgrade from current Marine Harriers. Little did he know that USMC Harriers don't carry harpoons, and he had basically used Wikipedia as a guide that said Harriers use Harpoons, and then tried to use that against the F-35. oopsie daisy. Rather than simply ASK, he decided to take an inaccurate wiki entry and use it. He will use anything he can find, even untrue things, or his own newly invented standards. If the Harrier has superior cockpit air conditioning, he will use that. He won't use the Harrier safety record, or attrition, or heavy maintenance, or extremely unforgiving flight characteristics, or its own performance limits. He isn't going to discuss logical trade offs like an adult. He is actually going to try and convince you that since an F-35 can't carry a Harpoon (yet) that the myriad advantages it enjoys over the Harrier is irrelevant.

He recently accused Lt Gen Davis of violating national security with no basis for doing so; This is typical Geogen, he makes a bold claim and then went confronted on that claim he disappears faster than Houdini flying an F-22. He has claimed there is a fighter Gap (the USAF shows that not to be so) he has claimed a Tomcat would cost less to maintain than an F-35C then provided no evidence when asked, he has made so many claims... He thinks that if he lies politely, then it is acceptable

He is ignorant to point of silliness, and if anyone can spare a few dollars he could desperately use a thesaurus. Please for the good of us all! He uses about the same dozen "buzz words" incessantly, he posts the same things over and over often verbatim. He is arguably the most useless poster on an otherwise very helpful forum full of actual professionals. Arguably.

I refuse to put him on my ignore list, because I can always use a laugh. I wouldn't mind seeing him banned, but I would miss the obnoxious claims and science fiction aircraft.



Please sir, this is a place for debate. I'm not impressed with your style.

Regardless, are you arguing that a Harrier with Maverick AGM is not a credible capability still today? In either anti-ground, or anti-surface?

Also, I would disagree with you and suggest CBU and derivatives are still an essential and critical deterrence and capability today -- even if not used much (not sure) in current actions vs extremist groups.

And btw, I was using Military dot com site as a reference and yes, you are correct, I conceded the point that possibly the site was incorrect - not knowing the data intimately - in implying that USMC Harrier's could indeed have the capability to additionally employ HARM and the Harpoon. Thanks for the discussion and have a good one.
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Unread post09 Aug 2015, 03:11

geogen wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:
geogen wrote:
3F Fully operational capability probably won't be achieved until 2020 at the earliest, and perhaps not even until 2021 or 2022.


Based on what?


And more than the performance related issues, it is arguably more the restricted combat capability in not being able to match all the systems and munitions -- which the existing AV-8B II has combat capacity to employ -- which is a bigger issue. e.g., CBU munitions are a considerable deterrence and capability which the Harrier II can employ, as are stand-off Maverick missiles vs high-speed moving targets. Those and other weapons most likely won't be cleared for operational capability on F-35B jets until at least achieving full operational 3F and possibly even block 4.


The Irony of talking about "performance related issues" while comparing a freaking Harrier to an F-35B is beyond the pale.

Allow me to aware everyone on Geogen. he tried this in another thread as well. Nothing Geogen enjoys more than trying to find things the F-35 can't do (or things he thinks it can't do) and then try and portray it as inferior. This is extremely comical for people in the know, its like watching a virgin describe how he had relations.

Geogen isn't aware that CBUs are extremely out of favor and rarely used these days. He also isn't aware about the Maverick. Watching him try and create FUD from pure ignorance is amazing. In another thread he tried to paint the Marine F-35 not using Harpoons as a huge downgrade from current Marine Harriers. Little did he know that USMC Harriers don't carry harpoons, and he had basically used Wikipedia as a guide that said Harriers use Harpoons, and then tried to use that against the F-35. oopsie daisy. Rather than simply ASK, he decided to take an inaccurate wiki entry and use it. He will use anything he can find, even untrue things, or his own newly invented standards. If the Harrier has superior cockpit air conditioning, he will use that. He won't use the Harrier safety record, or attrition, or heavy maintenance, or extremely unforgiving flight characteristics, or its own performance limits. He isn't going to discuss logical trade offs like an adult. He is actually going to try and convince you that since an F-35 can't carry a Harpoon (yet) that the myriad advantages it enjoys over the Harrier is irrelevant.

He recently accused Lt Gen Davis of violating national security with no basis for doing so; This is typical Geogen, he makes a bold claim and then went confronted on that claim he disappears faster than Houdini flying an F-22. He has claimed there is a fighter Gap (the USAF shows that not to be so) he has claimed a Tomcat would cost less to maintain than an F-35C then provided no evidence when asked, he has made so many claims... He thinks that if he lies politely, then it is acceptable

He is ignorant to point of silliness, and if anyone can spare a few dollars he could desperately use a thesaurus. Please for the good of us all! He uses about the same dozen "buzz words" incessantly, he posts the same things over and over often verbatim. He is arguably the most useless poster on an otherwise very helpful forum full of actual professionals. Arguably.

I refuse to put him on my ignore list, because I can always use a laugh. I wouldn't mind seeing him banned, but I would miss the obnoxious claims and science fiction aircraft.



Please sir, this is a place for debate. I'm not impressed with your style.

Regardless, are you arguing that a Harrier with Maverick AGM is not a credible capability still today? In either anti-ground, or anti-surface?

Also, I would disagree with you and suggest CBU and derivatives are still an essential and critical deterrence and capability today -- even if not used much (not sure) in current actions vs extremist groups.

And btw, I was using Military dot com site as a reference and yes, you are correct, I conceded the point that possibly the site was incorrect - not knowing the data intimately - in implying that USMC Harrier's could indeed have the capability to additionally employ HARM and the Harpoon. Thanks for the discussion and have a good one.



The Maverick missile is incredibly dated right now; there hasn't been a new Maverick missile purchase by the US military for years; practically every contract for the past decade has been about converting one type of missile for another type, or seeker replacements.

CBU usage; there is major concerns with using cluster bombs in coalition missions with allies that have signed the Ottawa Treaty and/or the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM). Practically every US ally is a party to either the Ottawa Treaty, or the CCM. As such, using such weapons within coalition missions is a political minefield for the US.
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Unread post09 Aug 2015, 03:28

geogen wrote:
Please sir, this is a place for debate.



Everytime someone tries to "debate" you disappear. Your version of debate is making decisive claims about things you don't understand, and when challenged simply leaving. We are still waiting for you in several threads in fact. This has been your MO for years.

I want an answer to my question BTW.


I'm not impressed with your style.


I'm not impressed with people who accuse others of violating national security with zero evidence. Where is that in the "debate" sir? too late to pull that card.


Regardless, are you arguing that a Harrier with Maverick AGM is not a credible capability still today? In either anti-ground, or anti-surface?


Not what I said and not going to waste my time with an explanation to you either.

Also, I would disagree with you and suggest CBU and derivatives are still an essential and critical deterrence and capability today -- even if not used much (not sure) in current actions vs extremist groups.


Disagree all you want, they are practically last resort for all the trouble they cause. They have to be treated like Landmines, there are still areas where they were dropped decades ago that are off limits. Not surprisingly area weapons have fallen out of favor for precision. There are also treaty implications.

And btw, I was using Military dot com site as a reference and yes, you are correct, I conceded the point that possibly the site was incorrect - not knowing the data intimately - in implying that USMC Harrier's could indeed have the capability to additionally employ HARM and the Harpoon. Thanks for the discussion and have a good one.


I'm glad you concede the point, but this a bad habit you constantly repeat on this forum. If I want fiction I will look elsewhere. Moreover the issue isn't a bad site its your attitude. You took this piece of what turned out to be false info and threw it like a rock. You essentially take anything, including measurements you actually invented yourself (strategic ferry range?) and use it to try and make the F-35 come up short.

Its over. the JSF won.
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Unread post09 Aug 2015, 05:47

XanderCrews wrote:Disagree all you want, they are practically last resort for all the trouble they cause. They have to be treated like Landmines, there are still areas where they were dropped decades ago that are off limits. Not surprisingly area weapons have fallen out of favor for precision. There are also treaty implications.


CBU is a great weapon, but you're absolutely correct that it has some serious limitations in a number of ways. Granted, the SUU-65 based munitions (-87) have a lower dud rate than the older SUU-30 based CBUs (52/58), but they are indeed still a minefield for any force that has to move through an area they were dropped in. Excellent weapon for something like CSAR support for taking out troops and AAA, where there's a singular objective. And that is all part and parcel from the treaty problems you mention, that have some serious political implications.

The AGM-65 is nice, but I agree that it's dated. The latest and greatest when I was leaving was the H/K, but now even those are dated, and they're pretty much limited to hard targets and vehicles/armor. That was for the EO/IR ones, which we never used for CAS; I don't know the employment ROE for the laser Mavericks due to how they guide.

Harrier is a good bird. Has its limitations in VTOL just like the B-model F-35 will have similar, but probably improved upon from what's been learned from the Harrier. But VTOL will always be limited when used. Since Harriers have been employed in a conventional aircraft sense in their use, the F-35 will carry either similar or possibly more munitions.

Time will tell.
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Unread post09 Aug 2015, 08:55

MD wrote:
Harrier is a good bird. Has its limitations in VTOL just like the B-model F-35 will have similar, but probably improved upon from what's been learned from the Harrier. But VTOL will always be limited when used. Since Harriers have been employed in a conventional aircraft sense in their use, the F-35 will carry either similar or possibly more munitions.

Time will tell.


I was under the impression the marines always used the Harrier in STOVL for operations and that the F-35B would be used the same. From what we know about the vertical thrust both aircraft are capable of you VTOl with limited fuel or weapons, in the F-35's are its like 5,000lbs of fuel and a internal combat load is all it could prob manage.
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Unread post09 Aug 2015, 09:14

'MD' STOVL is the word - SHAR pilots (Brit/RN Harriers) bristle if VTOL is used.
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Unread post09 Aug 2015, 09:30

geforcerfx wrote:I was under the impression the marines always used the Harrier in STOVL for operations and that the F-35B would be used the same. From what we know about the vertical thrust both aircraft are capable of you VTOl with limited fuel or weapons, in the F-35's are its like 5,000lbs of fuel and a internal combat load is all it could prob manage.


Every time I've seen the Harrier in theatre, they've seemingly been used almost as a conventional aircraft....or more STO, and normal landing. Haven't seen any pure STOVL, but that doesn't mean it's not used. But then again, the Marines haven't been operating their birds in a true FARP-type environment; all Harrier land based Harrier operations have been from established airfields with runways, in our recent wars. Of course, ship based, that's another story and more of the STOVL world.

spazsinbad wrote:'MD' STOVL is the word - SHAR pilots (Brit/RN Harriers) bristle if VTOL is used.


That makes sense. I'll utilize the correct nomenclature then. :)
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Unread post09 Aug 2015, 09:35

:mrgreen: 'MD' I wuz WHACKED via e-mail at the start of my many discussions with ex-A4G pilots who went to the SHAR [Sea Harrier RN FAA] (after our fixed wing folded in 1984) when I used the incorrect term VTOL (sadly still used today by journos). Also our exchange program of A4G pilots before that time included Oz pilots going to USMC Harriers with USMC pilots flying our A4Gs in VF-805 onboard.
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Unread post09 Aug 2015, 10:07

spazsinbad wrote::mrgreen: 'MD' I wuz WHACKED via e-mail at the start of my many discussions with ex-A4G pilots who went to the SHAR [Sea Harrier RN FAA] (after our fixed wing folded in 1984) when I used the incorrect term VTOL (sadly still used today by journos). Also our exchange program of A4G pilots before that time included Oz pilots going to USMC Harriers with USMC pilots flying our A4Gs in VF-805 onboard.


Did you guys (or even the Aussies) have any of your pilots do exchange tours over to USN/USMC A-4 VA/VMA squadrons back then?

I guess the USMC had an exchange with the Argie's A-4s at the time the Falklands started, but I believe they were non-combatants...or maybe even removed back to the USA quickly. :)
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Unread post09 Aug 2015, 10:34

My A4G instructor (who had been SNO Senior Naval Officer at RAAF Pearce in 1968 as senior RAN FAA [Fleet Air Arm] instructor of two - had himself been a Gannet pilot earlier) was the first exchange pilot over in USA on East Coast (I can look up the details to be sure) with TA-4Js. This pilot did the second A4G OFS beginning 1969 as I arrived at NAS Nowra from RAAF Pearce (basic / advanced pilot training). He was then A4G instructor for the third OFS (I was the most junior pilot on this Operational Flying School course) beginning of 1970. This instructor then went over to USN instructing on exchange c.1971 for one year or so. He flew the A-7 also because the USN fleet Skyhawk squadrons were winding down then. He also trained as an LSO just for the heck of it and later after returning to Nowra became first the CO of VC-724 then CO VF-805 (a few years later).

Otherwise the exchange pilots from RAN FAA side rotated with USN pilots at first (who often were operational other type pilots but trained on Skyhawk earlier) and then USMC as noted in the later years. For a brief time it was planned that the A4G would be replaced by SHARs and HMAS Melbourne with HMS Invincible (but the Falklands War put paid to that idea) because the Brits no longer wanted to sell us the through deck cruiser after that and we relinquished our claim on her.

That is the first I have heard of USN Skyhawk pilots on exchange with Argentine Skyhawk pilots. I guess google might clear that up - but I do not know. An Argentine Admiral visited VF-805 at NAS Nowra when I was in the squadron. He wanted to know about our A4G ops on similar carrier to their own but only our CO was allowed to speak to him (late 1971).

In the late 1970s because Skyhawks and Trackers were no longer available for LSO training in the USofA, Argentine Navy LSOs were trained at NAS Nowra I'm told but I know very little of this (out of the RAN by mid 1975). Our Tracker LSOs would familiarise themselves in our TA4G before going to USA to train as LSOs in the Skyhawk (Trackers not available then in USN). So all this stuff becomes very complicated very quickly. To this day our RAN FAA Helo pilots are trained in basic/advanced fixed wing flying in the RAAF then they get transitioned to helos at NAS Nowra. These days NAS Nowra will become the helo training facility for RAN and ARMY helo pilots (RAAF had to give their helos to ARMY back in the early 1980s I think) because they will fly a common helo the MRH-90 from our LHDs. So it goes.

Again later exchange pilots/LSOs under training flew the A-7 but none of our pilots were in operational squadrons. And our jet instructor pilots were trained by the RAAF as Qualified Flying Instructors (some went on to be Instructors of QFIs) which is different to the USN way of pilot instruction (RAN FAA / RAAF more like the RN FAA / RAF model).

The first USN exchange pilot was a Vietnam Skyhawk veteran from HANCOCK days. Earlier the first USN pilot (not exchange) was USN Vietnam Skyhawk experienced also - he helped set up the A4G with the first OFS (on then 805 Squadron in 1968) and then the two RAN instructors (trained on A-4s in USofA) came over to be CO/XO (SP Senior Pilot) of VC-724 and this USN pilot trained the no.2 OFS as described. Then the exchanges started. We had two civilian engine/ electrical contractors helping out also until about mid 1969 or so. It was a hectic few years for various reasons - a small number of aircraft tasked to do a lot and initial bad spares support from USN (because their system could not cope with our small requests) plus add in the Vietnam War taking up vital Skyhawk spares (whether we liked it or not). After the war finished and A-4s were on the way out of operational USN service then we got heaps of stuff for free (150 gallon drop tanks was a classic example).

We always had our AWIs (Air Warfare Instructors) trained in UK with the RN FAA at Lossiemouth until that training commenced at NAS Nowra in 1974. A lot of ex-RN FAA jet pilots transferred to the RAN FAA in the early 1970s because the RN FAA was being wound down (a long story indeed). A lot of these pilots were AWIs and had experience on several RN jet types including Phantom F-4Ks, Sea Vixens and Buccaneers etc. Towards the end of the 1970s early 1980s there was an RN exchange jet pilot from SHARs who started the A4G OFS but then went back to UK for the Falklands War. At the same time the RAN exchange pilot on SHARs was told that he was not going to the Falklands but of course was able to provide a lot of info about Skyhawks (I am guessing) to RN FAA at that time. Later still just before it all stopped (fixed wing) there was a RAAF exchange jet pilot on OFS which he also did not complete - going back to the RAAF (because it was all coming to an end). Meanwhile the very junior RAN A4G pilot on exchange with the Miracles (RAAF Mirage IIIO) went on to transfer to the RAAF and then - today - he is the CDF (Chief Defence Force) AM Binskin ('Binnie' to all and sundry).
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Unread post10 Aug 2015, 02:59

That is exceptionally interesting and very informative Spaz, thank you for taking the time to write that. I love reading about that kind of history, especially with allied Air Forces and Navies sharing the same type of aircraft and how they interacted. Very interesting too the history behind the RN carrier fleets prior to the SHAR days, and how that seemingly disappeared from their fleets. Seems to be somewhat the same with the RAN. What a shame.

I know the USN began phasing out the A-4 in the early 70s from frontline VA squadrons. The USMC held on to a few in their VMA squadrons into the '80s if I remember right, with the last reserve A-4 VMA squadron holding out to the early '90s. So what a nice run for a great aircraft.

I would love to find, but can find little on the subject of, Kuwaiti AF A-4 Skyhawk operations in the first Gulf War. I can remember being at Al Jaber airbase in the late '90s in support of Southern Watch, and right next to our A-10 parking area were hangars containing retired Kuwaiti A-4's, being held for sale to Brazil I believe is what our maintenance folks told us (Kuwait was flying F/A-18s at the time).

I'm guessing there was no exchange with them or with Israel.
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