weasel1962 wrote:CAP not ideal to be too far from the CVBG. Need to be able to vector to any direction.

Logically, it makes sense to be ~50nm-100nm away max. If the inbound aggressor is in the same direction, its still able to intercept at 500nm going outbound. If the aggressor comes in from the opposite direction, then CAP u-turns to tackle in the opposing direction.

Even if C can do 2.5 hrs TOS, it wont cos CAP won't wait to bingo fuel otherwise there's no ability to intercept. That's where buddy refuel and in near future the huge, huge benefit of MQ-25 comes in. They're going to keep CAP fully fueled and ready to go.

I wasn’t speaking to CAP considerations, only to the idea (expressed earlier in the thread by yourself and wrightwing) that the jet is capable of ~2.5hrs on station at ~500 miles distant from its launch point — wherever that launch point might be. To wit (and I quote) —

WW — “If we use some deductive reasoning, we can conclude that an F-35A will likely have 2.5hrs on station at >750km.”

1962 — “Assume 1500nm range. 300+kts cruise speed yields close to 5 hours. Take 1+hr to get to 750km and another 1+ back. 2.5 hours on loiter before tanking should be achievable.”

IMNSHO, that notion is demonstrably...generous. But let’s be a little more precise with our numbers. (Bar tender...new napkin please). 750 kilometers is actually very close to 400 nautical miles. That’s about an hour (.8hrs) out and an hour back from a given launch point. We have a general idea how much JP the jet will burn at max range cruise and max endurance Mach numbers at assumed optimum cruise altitudes at or above 30K’. What the discussion didn’t consider is how much fuel it takes

for start, taxi, takeoff and climb to altitude and for recovery, landing and reserves; I’ll be generous and call the front end of that 2K#. Someone else here said fuel reserves are 2.5K; we didn’t get to parse that but let’s use it anyway. That means that from the 19.5ishK# of JP we have at startup, I’m gonna subtract 4.5K# to get to what I have for transit to/from and on-station time. Simple math tells me that’s ~15K#.

So, let’s say 4K (5K/hr times .8hrs) out, and 4K back, and we now have ~7K# to work with on station. Even here at the f-16.net watering hole, I can’t divide 7 by 4.5 (assumed max end fuel burn) and get 2.5. But that’s just my math...