F-35 internal fuel, range

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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optimist

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Unread post07 Feb 2020, 03:57

mozza wrote:At this point i have to ask this: Why on earth IN THE REAL WORLD you want to carry 2 2000lb bombs on internal fuel at 750/800 without in fligth refuelling, what is the purpose of that ? Maybe i'm just dumb but i don't see the operational purpose of this setup..?
And if it's to strike Russia it's not with some F-35 that you gonna do that, you're gonna be nucked way before any F-35 can drop any bombs... ^^
No offence to the F-35 fanboys i'm just curious about this requirement of 2 2000 lb bombs?

and don't forget that it's an unescorted requirement too. I'd read the link at the page, for much more.

https://www.airforcemag.com/PDF/Magazin ... ighter.pdf
O’Bryan certainly couldn’t go
into the subject of the fighter’s
EW/EA suite in any detail, or
the way it might coordinate with
specialized aircraft such as the
E-3 Airborne Warning and Control
System, RC-135 Rivet Joint, E-8
JSTARS, or EA-18G Growler
jammer aircraft.
He did say, however, that F-35
requirements call for it to go into battle
with “no support whatever” from these
systems




When it comes to electronic combat,
the F-35A will make possible a new
operational concept, O’Bryan said.
The goal is not to simply suppress
enemy air defenses. The goal will be
to destroy them.
“I don’t want to destroy a double-digit SAM for a few hours,” he
said. “What we’d like to do is put a
2,000-pound bomb on the whole complex and never have to deal with that
... SAM for the rest of the conflict.”

At present, that is difficult to do.
Adversaries, O’Bryan pointed out,
recognize that the basic American
AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation
Missile has a light warhead able to do
little more than damage an air defense
array. Thus, they have adapted to the
threat by deploying spare arrays with
their mobile systems.
The hope is that the introduction of
the new F-35 will put a stop to that
practice.
The effect of the F-35’s stealth, EW/
EA capabilities, and powers of automatic target recognition and location
in all weather will offer conventional
“deterrence” on an unprecedented
scale,
Aussie fanboy
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quicksilver

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Unread post07 Feb 2020, 05:16

Ok...

The internal weapons load (ie the principle A-G signature-controlled configuration) was defined in the USG requirements development process. It may or may not have relevance in the REAL WORLD depending on the circumstances. As such, along with many other quantifiable metrics, it provides a reference for performance comparisons that are popular here in the public domain. No assumption is made about whether or not REAL WORLD circumstances might compel the use of such a load at such a distance from home plate.

There is a wide range of aviation experience resident amongst the participants on this site — government civilian, military (a variety of nations), industry, technical, operational, and some generally avid enthusiasts about military aviation.
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Unread post09 Feb 2020, 07:15

mozza wrote:
hornetfinn wrote:I tried to find out what kinds of weapons each aircraft could carry with their fuel loads. Correct me if my findings are incorrect. Each one is assumed to carry targeting pod.

Rafale with 3 2,000l EFTs:
- Zero 2,000lb bombs or heavy cruise missiles like Apache
- 2 1,000lb bombs or anti-ship missiles like Harpoon or Exocet
- 7 500lb bombs or air-to-ground missiles
- 6 MICA missiles

EF Typhoon with 3 EFTs:
- 2 heavy cruise missiles like Storm Shadow or Taurus
- 4 anti-ship missiles like Harpoon
- 4-6 LGBs or JDAMs (probably depends on their size)
- 8 AMRAAM/Meteor and 2 ASRAAM

JAS Gripen E with 3 EFTs:
- 2 2,000lb bombs or missiles
- 4 NSM, but no RBS-15 anti ship missiles
- 4 SDBs or similar (twice that without centerline EFT)
- 4 air-to-air missiles (say 2 AMRAAM/Meteor and 2 AIM-9X/IRIS-T)

Super Hornet with 3 EFTs:
- 2 2,000lb bombs or heavy missiles
- 6 1,000lb bombs or missiles
- 8 AMRAAM and 2 AIM-9X

F-35A without EFTs
- 6 2,000 lb bombs
- 2 NSM and 4 heavy cruise missiles
- potentially up to 32 SDBs
- potentially up to 12 AMRAAM/Meteor and 2 AIM-9X/ASRAAM

Su-30MKI without EFTs
- 3 1,500kg bombs
- 8 500kg bombs
- up to 32 light bombs like 100 kg OFAB-100-120
- up to 6 RVV-AE/SD and 4 R-73

I don't know how much each loadout reduces range but it seems clear that carrying 3 heavy EFTs will restrict weapons carriage capability a lot. Rafale can theoretically carry a lot of stuff, but in reality is restricted to lighter weapons or give up a lot of fuel and range. F-35A/C can carry about the same as the much bigger Su-30MKI.

If we did the same scenario with say 4 2,000lb class weapons or similar heavy loadout, F-35 and Su-30MKI would likely have clearly the longest range. All others would give up two EFTs to be able to do that. Comparatively worst loadout for F-35 would be large numbers of 500lb bombs. Most of these aircraft could carry about similar number of them and it would signficantly affect F-35 stealth, although probably not totally eliminate the advantages as it doesn't need to carry EFTs or targeting pod.

Yeah i have to correct you on some points, first Rafale can carry Meteor too and F-35 can't (it's a project like the EFT but nothing real for now they are too busy trying to make the things works like it should) secondly Rafale can carry 2 heavy payloads Like Cruise missiles or heavy bombs even with 3 EFT and the Eurofigther can't, he has to sacrifie one of his 3 wet point to carry a cruise missile and i think it's the same for the Gripen and finally Rafale has 5 wet points so he can theorically carry 5 EFT plus 4 or 6 AAM which give him more range (btw i don't know why someone want to do that).
Oh and i don't even mention the CFTs and the last 2 hard points on the wings than even French air force don't use because it's considered as an overkill and just mean more fatigue on the airframe in regard to the considered sufficiant current payload capability..

I just post some pictures to proove it:
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
2CFT, 3 EFT, 2 cuise missiles, 2 AAM:
Image


The large 2000L tanks are dubbed subsonic, but were cleared for mach 1.3 during Afghanistan war.
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Unread post10 Feb 2020, 02:06

spazsinbad wrote:Please clarify for more old eyes: is that centreline fuel tank 'just a fuel tank'? or a buddy refuel tank? Thanks for reply.


That's a 2000 l fuel tank.
And a Rafale C. I don't think the French Air Force uses the buddy refuel tank. They have dedicated tankers unlike their French Navy colleagues.
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Unread post10 Feb 2020, 02:09

notam123 wrote:The large 2000L tanks are dubbed subsonic, but were cleared for mach 1.3 during Afghanistan war.


I thought it was 1.4 M but OK, it doesn't really matter.

Also, please cut the quote...
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Unread post10 Feb 2020, 02:22

eagle3000 wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:Please clarify for more old eyes: is that centreline fuel tank 'just a fuel tank'? or a buddy refuel tank? Thanks for reply.


That's a 2000 l fuel tank.
And a Rafale C. I don't think the French Air Force uses the buddy refuel tank. They have dedicated tankers unlike their French Navy colleagues.

Thanks for clarification.
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Unread post10 Feb 2020, 02:24

Gums wrote:Salute!

At mozza

The 2 x 2000 eggs are just there as an old requirement. Actual loadout for the "real" war would most likely be a slew of the SBD's and maybe the new 'winders or a coupla Slammers, or maybe not, and let others do the sweep/cap/escort/....... The big JDAM or laser stuff would be for very high value targets that required the stealth and F-35 ability to get the weapons right on target.
In another world I flew an attack plane in combat that could do with two 500 pounders what it took an F-4 or F-105 to do with a dozen or more thousand pounders. After our first mission up north, one of our ex-Thud drivers commented that if his old outfit would have had our systems, they would not have had to return time and again and a lot less of our friends would not have had their paid vacation in Hanoi.

The SEAD mission seems very appealing to this old curmudgeon, and I dream about being up in Route pack 6 way back then with a F-35 and not even needing HARM or Standard missiles. Cruise about, target a site with one of those little SBD's, then again, and then again. Plenty of gas because I didn't need to hook up on the way in or out. A decent speed most of the time, but could go fast and turn real good if a bandit got me visually ( unlikely with my sensors).

Gums sends....


I am sure you can elaborate on this....

Yet, older weapons didn't have the accuracy of todays weapons. So, they often carried larger weapons to improve the odds of getting a kill....

Which, is why today the F-35 will more often than not. Carry a larger number of smaller 250 - 500 lbs class PGM's like the SDB II's. Far more than 2,000 lbs or even 1,000 lbs class of weapons.
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Unread post12 Feb 2020, 09:39

Which, is why today the F-35 will more often than not. Carry a larger number of smaller 250 - 500 lbs class PGM's like the SDB II's. Far more than 2,000 lbs or even 1,000 lbs class of weapons.


I haveto fully agree on 1000 lbs class. Smaller weapons (from 200 to 500 class) are doing the job. 2000 lbs is a trickier problem as a class by themselves.
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Unread post13 Feb 2020, 23:09

notam123 wrote:
Which, is why today the F-35 will more often than not. Carry a larger number of smaller 250 - 500 lbs class PGM's like the SDB II's. Far more than 2,000 lbs or even 1,000 lbs class of weapons.


I haveto fully agree on 1000 lbs class. Smaller weapons (from 200 to 500 class) are doing the job. 2000 lbs is a trickier problem as a class by themselves.



Lets not minimize the very important role that 2000lb bombs have or may have on modern and future aerial warfare.

I'll basically re-post one of my past posts that I posted on another thread about this subject but with a few modifications:

2000lb bombs are extremely useful to destroy several types of hardened targets and large targets. Very large targets such as factories or industrial complexes and military complexes falls into this category. Since such targets are very big and/or cover large areas (some of them actually HUGE), using 2000lb bombs is far, far more effective than using 1000lb bombs, this not to mention smaller SDBs or 500lb bombs.
Certain or even many bridges, namely bigger and more resistant ones designed to withstand very big earthquakes and winds such as for example suspended bridges could also in theory be much more effectively destroyed by using 2000lb bombs instead of 1000lb bombs or other smaller ordinance.

Another example of a very important target: Runways.
2000lb bombs creates much larger craters compared to 1000lb bombs which makes the former much, much more effective than the later in terms of putting runways out of action.
And speaking of runways, we must speak of airbases which usually have Hardened Aircraft Shelters or Hangars which of course due to being "Hardened" can be much more effectively destroyed by using 2000lb bombs instead of 1000lb bombs.

After speaking of Hardened Aircraft Shelters/Hangar we must also mention Bunkers. Those 2000lb bombs can be fitted with very effective penetrator/Bunker-Buster warheads which are useful to take out the many of the most resistant bunkers.

And the list could go on and on. Basically 2000 pounders are the weapons of choice against static targets where collateral damage isn't an issue. And by the way, 1000 pounders don't fare much better compared to 2000 pounders when it comes to the prevention of collateral damage (while being far less effective against static targets compared to 2000 pounders).
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post14 Feb 2020, 12:12

Exactly what i meant. Albeit more argumented .
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mozza

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Unread post17 Feb 2020, 22:28

ricnunes wrote:Lets not minimize the very important role that 2000lb bombs have or may have on modern and future aerial warfare.

I'll basically re-post one of my past posts that I posted on another thread about this subject but with a few modifications:

2000lb bombs are extremely useful to destroy several types of hardened targets and large targets. Very large targets such as factories or industrial complexes and military complexes falls into this category. Since such targets are very big and/or cover large areas (some of them actually HUGE), using 2000lb bombs is far, far more effective than using 1000lb bombs, this not to mention smaller SDBs or 500lb bombs.
Certain or even many bridges, namely bigger and more resistant ones designed to withstand very big earthquakes and winds such as for example suspended bridges could also in theory be much more effectively destroyed by using 2000lb bombs instead of 1000lb bombs or other smaller ordinance.

Another example of a very important target: Runways.
2000lb bombs creates much larger craters compared to 1000lb bombs which makes the former much, much more effective than the later in terms of putting runways out of action.
And speaking of runways, we must speak of airbases which usually have Hardened Aircraft Shelters or Hangars which of course due to being "Hardened" can be much more effectively destroyed by using 2000lb bombs instead of 1000lb bombs.

After speaking of Hardened Aircraft Shelters/Hangar we must also mention Bunkers. Those 2000lb bombs can be fitted with very effective penetrator/Bunker-Buster warheads which are useful to take out the many of the most resistant bunkers.

And the list could go on and on. Basically 2000 pounders are the weapons of choice against static targets where collateral damage isn't an issue. And by the way, 1000 pounders don't fare much better compared to 2000 pounders when it comes to the prevention of collateral damage (while being far less effective against static targets compared to 2000 pounders).

Yeah it's useful having this capability but let's be serious, it's not everyday that you want to drop a 2000 lb bomb from a strike fighter, you usually use cruise missiles from land or ships to do that since the big targets are well known, i think carrying some stealth cruise missiles or smaller ordinance in big number is more useful for a strike figther..
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Unread post17 Feb 2020, 23:09

mozza wrote:it's not everyday that you want to drop a 2000 lb bomb from a strike fighter, you usually use cruise missiles from land or ships to do that since the big targets are well known, i think carrying some stealth cruise missiles or smaller ordinance in big number is more useful for a strike figther..

I think you have this backwards. Until the F-35, you COULDN"T use a strike fighter to penetrate advanced IADS and drop the bomb on the target (which may be the IADS itself). You HAD TO use cruise missiles. There has been a graphic around as well that shows that direct attack (LGB, JDAM) is over an order of magnitude less costly than cruise missiles.
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Unread post17 Feb 2020, 23:16

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
mozza wrote:it's not everyday that you want to drop a 2000 lb bomb from a strike fighter, you usually use cruise missiles from land or ships to do that since the big targets are well known, i think carrying some stealth cruise missiles or smaller ordinance in big number is more useful for a strike figther..

I think you have this backwards. Until the F-35, you COULDN"T use a strike fighter to penetrate advanced IADS and drop the bomb on the target (which may be the IADS itself). You HAD TO use cruise missiles. There has been a graphic around as well that shows that direct attack (LGB, JDAM) is over an order of magnitude less costly than cruise missiles.


I'm going to disagree here, even though it may be debating shades of grey.

The F-117 was purpose built to drop 2000lb straight down someone's chimney, or target the NorthEast corner of THAT building... So I would say, "until the F-117, you COULDN'T use a strike fighter to penetrate advanced IADS and drop the bomb on the target..." Now, the F-117 may not be able to do it anymore today. Or it may not be able to continuously read the battlefield the way the F-35 can.

One way to look at the F-35 is to think of it as giving F-117 capabilities (only better) to the myriad of ubiquitous F-16's flying around out there. Every F-16 an F-117... that's a scary thought...
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post18 Feb 2020, 00:03

touche, the F-117 was the first, I had S-300 in mind but did not state as much.
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Unread post18 Feb 2020, 00:04

We’re quibbling here, but it’s a real stretch to call an F-117 a strike fighter; it was a low density, high demand, specialized mission aircraft. The real strike fighters (the teen series) had to bludgeon their way thru the IADs to get to the same target set the 117s went to the first night.
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