What if F-35s were available in a Desert Storm Scenario?

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
  • Author
  • Message
Online

SpudmanWP

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 7752
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2006, 19:18
  • Location: California

Unread post09 Aug 2018, 01:03

That is the cockpit of a very early F-35, perhaps even AA-1.

The center and far right areas are different than current, Block 3F jets.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
Offline
User avatar

element1loop

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 852
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2015, 05:35
  • Location: Australia

Unread post09 Aug 2018, 04:06

'War and Peace' ... by F-35


The original dedicated 'lone-wolf' stealth attack light tactical bomber, the F-117A, removed the wingman and operated as a true mini-bomber. It was a bit like a slow LO F-111, which used low-level masking to sneak in and strike and thus hide RCS. And it's not just that a wingman could not help, it's that they were not even needed, if you used the aircraft as designed, and remained stealthy.

In my view 'swarming', or else grouping of 'flights', is an out-moded earlier-gen concept that is not an efficient use of what 5th-gen VLO and systems make possible.

'Flights' are obvious, they create local transient air superiority conditions that quickly fades. They mostly don't create a sustained presence (unless CAP etc.), just partial coverage within a limited time window ahich is mostly in transit.

But if there are no specific wingmen, and a sqn is more-or-less equi-distantly distributed, over a wide region or country it can innately become a sustained presence, more or less everywhere, all the time,with little need to deconflict, except for tanking etc. In fact F-35 has the tools to reliably 'see and avoid', and to coordinate and self-organise more smoothly.

In short, grouping innately creates localised time-limited air superiority, but eliminating groups or wingmen in the case of 5th-gen, innately creates distributed sustained air dominence with sensors, weapons and shooters everywhere almost all the time.

F-35 is capable of sustainimg distributed networked air dominence everywhere--24/7. No multirole tactical jet has had that capability prior but F-35 changed this. All you have to do is eliminate the now unnecessary connected wimgmen and restructure how you apply the F-35, and slot in older types with it.

What follows is a simplified general concept of this which can be altered in any way required, as the battle evolves.

So, we have ~300 total F-35 (as opposed to ~1,850 DS aircraft) and this consists of sqns of 25 jets for 12 sqns. You run these jets in 3 attack 'shifts' every 24 hrs, or 100 jets (4 sqns) per 8hr 'shift'.

So each shift of 8 hrs of sustained TOT is further divided into 4 x 2hr blocks.

So each of the 12 squadrons operates for only 2hrs per 24hr period. But for that entire 2hrs they loiter over a target and drop at least 1 bomb every ten minutes. i.e. no less than 12 x A2G weapons per mission, of appropriate mix for the targets, intel and locale.

The battle manager identifies 25 priority DISTRIBUTED targets within theatre and assigns only one fully-loaded F-35 to loiter over each priority target at FL400, and drops one bomb on a target at that location every ten minutes (obviously this will vary with conditions, etc.) in 25 separate distributed locations for every 2hr period. Then the next sqn takes over.

Besides the obvious accrued destruction of targets and fires, etc., this creates the overwelming impression of a sustained presence 24hrs a day. Thus, each of the targets would be hit with 144 bombs each 24hrs, until the battle manager reprioritizes and repositions the 25 F-35s to different targets.

This reinforces the impression of a sustained presence. Plus a pilot can briefly dive 10k ft under power to break the sound barrier then climb back to FL400 in time to drop another bomb. On the ground all you hear is sustained loud explosions, 24/7--everywhere!

No one can sleep, no one can think straight, as soon as they move a bomb hits them. This goes on for days, everywhere, without a moment of relief.

The impression is not of mere air raids, with gaps, but an unending total dominence of the airspace.

If opfor taxis out a jet at a base you hit it with an AIM-9X, before it can get off the ground (i.e. faster than falling a bomb on it). It burns there and nothing can be done. If a fire truck appears, follow its data-logged track back to its track origin, and bomb the base's fire station. Just make it seem impossible to do anything.

Of course you will not initiate a sustained attack in that way, you would do what 'gums' suggests, and use a couple of sqns to disconnect the IADS in one hour, then impose the continuous distributed attack. You've kicked the ants nest, so just rapud kill the responding ants, until they just stop responding, and become non-reactive.

i.e. no 'waves' of attacks, just a continuous ruinous noisy bombardment and many sonic booms distributed everywhere, all at once, without relent. Any military movement or E-M squeak gets hit.

After 4 days of that who would not want it to stop? You may be bouncing rubble by then, and 'wasting' bombs, but you made the point, this is everywhere, you can't stop it. We can sustain it, but you can't keep taking it. All night, and all day, any weather--no end.

In the prior 4th gen attacks there were always long periods of not much, and predictable but limited periods of heavy attack. An opfor could take advantage of breaks to keep the fight going, maintain morale, provide a sense of purpose and focus.

But if you instead don't concentrate the attacks in time and space, but just hit relentlessly everywhere, all the time, they can never get anything going.

There's no question of who is strong and who is weak. Precondition for agreeing to end it.

The self-escorting F-35, as a VLO tactical bomber, is the first jet that has the potential to achieve such a level of sustained attack (even in two or three theaters simultaneously).

300 jets, less support, and fuel and weapon use is much less than used by 1,850 DS aircraft, over seven weeks.

Apply it for 4 days, no sleep, no supply, no comms, the opfor military is largely destroyed, no possibility of winning or of riding it out. So declare a 3hr unilateral ceasefire, declare your preferred outcome, to be agreed to within that period. If not, repeat for another day, etc.

The important thing would be to make sure the political/elite class suffers just as much as the military and everyone else (i.e. just short of decapping leadership), so that they also will want it to end. So make it a sustained hell until they break.

There's no need to give the opfor room to think or act effectively when you can sustain 1 bomb every 10 mins at 25 priority targets 24hrs a day, and surge heavier raids on particular targets, in parallel (i.e. heavy bomber attacks, rocket artillery, etc.).

Could Bagdad have held out like that for 7 weeks? Would you have needed 7 weeks to prep a ground attack? Would troops not have been ready to surrender en-masse earlier?

This is a very crude example of the concept, it could be scaled or made as refined as you wish for effects. A persistent distributed light tactical F-35 bomber fleet (small or large force) would be an irresistable attack.

And if an F-35 needs help, it comes fast, from three or four different distributed directions. Whatever was giving trouble is thus immediately surrounded by more F-35s. Then back to bombing again. i.e. The distributed continuous targeting of MADL-connected solo jets is the quickest possible way to get backup to arrive where and when you need it. i.e. it becomes actually impossible for the backup F-35s to ever be far awaynin time or space. Wingman not required, as every F-35 is your wingman, in that 2hr attack.

This produces the most dominent air attack and imposed presence possible. It is also the most mutually supporting. It is vastly more disruptive to the opfor than the 3rd-gen strike-packages, or the multirole 4th-gen transient strike presence, with large gaps. The 5th-gen VLO-MADL distributed data platform allows the pilots to grab an opfor by throat, pin it to the floor, don't let go, choak it out fast and end it quicker.

If you're thinking loitering daylight attack is a mistake, can an F-15 lock-on and hit an LM fifth-gen easily, even when it is close and clearly visible? 40K ft is still 12km away from sea level in the vertical. It's a tiny jet, EA, VLO. Yes, it can do 24/7 attacking, from Day-1, while loitering near a targeted defended-base for two hours of sustained hits, near to best-loiter-speed, for the ISA, altitude and weight.

At the end of a two hour sustained TOT attack, you tank and RTB the remaining 22 hrs. Rinse 'n repeat until a ceasefire agreement is reached.

So that's the bare bones concept which should have little difficulty winning the air component of the DS campaign, and much faster than 6 to 7 weeks. It maximises both the A2A and A2G potential of the jet, and the sensor coverage and fused picture. It effectively merges (eliminates) many basic roles, while the traditional concept of a wingman evaporates into a more mutual backup and support, while using the jet to address every emerging threat directly, immediately, before an opfor can take the initiative or do anything effective. Let alone try to attrite F-35s.

Seeming to be everywhere and hitting everything continuously will create strong psychological effects also, not just the weapon effects, and assault on the senses effects. So that can also speed along a strong hope/desire for accepting ceasefire terms earlier.

Not fair to compare what F-35s could do to what 3rd and 4th gens actually did in Desert Storm. Will another military be unfortunate enough to have a political leadership who decides to directly challenge an F-35 airforce or coalition in a battle of respective force?

You'd think not ...

____
Edit: .... typos by the dozen.
Last edited by element1loop on 09 Aug 2018, 07:47, edited 1 time in total.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
Offline
User avatar

blindpilot

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1127
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2013, 18:21
  • Location: Colorado

Unread post09 Aug 2018, 05:19

Interesting thoughts element. I would add, however that your 3*8/4*2 etc. shuttle is still stuck in 4th gen thinking. The presence is a mesh network, through which resources (F-35s and even 4th gen tagalongs) flow like a fluid. There is an intake into the mesh and an orderly flow out (ie. RTB etc.). Keep in mind (imagine the environment) that aircraft on the runways, are already "plugged in" and part of the mesh, perhaps being tasked before they even go wheels up. And aircraft going home, can reply while egressing with "shots/bombs over the shoulder," since they are still part of the system of systems. It's a blob of fluid with a self restoring characteristic.

We still have a long way to go, before we shake off the old ways of thinking.

FWIW MHO,
BP
Offline
User avatar

blindpilot

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1127
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2013, 18:21
  • Location: Colorado

Unread post09 Aug 2018, 05:40

blindpilot wrote:Interesting thoughts element. ... It's a blob of fluid with a self restoring characteristic.
We still have a long way to go, before we shake off the old ways of thinking.
FWIW MHO,
BP


Fifth gen conops will work something like this.

1. What is the desired effect ? To have a steady rain of explosions//target destructions every ten minutes.
2. Tasking. Send in the blob.
3. How fast will the blob exhaust its resource of time and weapons.
4. How much will that cause the blob to "leak out."
5. That's the answer to how much input you will need to provide the blob.
6. How fast can exhausted resources regen into the blob to offset that?
7. How many resources are then still needed to be added to balance the output/input sustaining the blob over duration.
8. Task that many resources to the input locations.

9. Feed the blob. Love the blob. Embrace the blob.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TdUsyXQ8Wrs#
[Young Steve McQueen takes on his first leading role as, um, Steve, a spunky teenager/(lieutenant) with plenty of heart. Steve sees the blob kill the local doc, but darn it, none of the town's adults(4th gen Lt. Colonel aces) will believe him! Yup, it's up to the teens (lieutenant kid pilots) to save the day!]

MHO anyway,
BP
Offline
User avatar

element1loop

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 852
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2015, 05:35
  • Location: Australia

Unread post09 Aug 2018, 07:13

I thoroughly agree re the blob concept BP, that is the way to organise and scale.

What I was attempting to illustrate is how a more limited resources fight could address priorities and maintain continuous presence, with a smaller force, such as in a multi-theatre conflict context.

But yes to sustained blobbing-up.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
Offline

lrrpf52

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 281
  • Joined: 29 Mar 2018, 01:52

Unread post09 Aug 2018, 15:49

SpudmanWP wrote:That is the cockpit of a very early F-35, perhaps even AA-1.

The center and far right areas are different than current, Block 3F jets.

Yes, I think it is AA-1. I doubt they put 6 switches and rheostats that had to be manipulated or checked in order to ensure that all the various exterior lights were off though. Maybe it's more like, "HAL, make sure we're in full spectrum emissions discipline during ingress. We can pop some AESA blasts periodically as part of the MADL sequence of course." Done in brevity codes with the voice recognition.

"Dave, I've turned off the nav lights for you with wheels up."

"Thanks HAL. Set a course for the Dagobah system."
Offline

lrrpf52

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 281
  • Joined: 29 Mar 2018, 01:52

Unread post09 Aug 2018, 16:35

blindpilot wrote:
blindpilot wrote:Interesting thoughts element. ... It's a blob of fluid with a self restoring characteristic.
We still have a long way to go, before we shake off the old ways of thinking.
FWIW MHO,
BP


Fifth gen conops will work something like this.

1. What is the desired effect ? To have a steady rain of explosions//target destructions every ten minutes.
2. Tasking. Send in the blob.
3. How fast will the blob exhaust its resource of time and weapons.
4. How much will that cause the blob to "leak out."
5. That's the answer to how much input you will need to provide the blob.
6. How fast can exhausted resources regen into the blob to offset that?
7. How many resources are then still needed to be added to balance the output/input sustaining the blob over duration.
8. Task that many resources to the input locations.

9. Feed the blob. Love the blob. Embrace the blob.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TdUsyXQ8Wrs#
[Young Steve McQueen takes on his first leading role as, um, Steve, a spunky teenager/(lieutenant) with plenty of heart. Steve sees the blob kill the local doc, but darn it, none of the town's adults(4th gen Lt. Colonel aces) will believe him! Yup, it's up to the teens (lieutenant kid pilots) to save the day!]

MHO anyway,
BP

One thing really stuck out to me from General Horner's comments about ODS and the Counter Air mission for targeting air bases/runways. When presented with the pencil-pusher matrices for effects that were quantified as x number of holes in the runway as a measure of success, he responded with:

"I want ZERO of our strike and attack aircraft to be jumped by interceptors. That's our metric."

Because of his combat experience from Vietnam and decades of service in the USAF, he had seen how well-intended doctrine and seemingly-logical tactics and strategies had failed in the past, and wanted to get down to the important focus on what they were really aiming to do.

When you tell the opening night F-15C, F-15E, F-111F, Tornado GR.1 IDS, and A-6E communities that your mission statement is to prevent enemy interceptors from doing their job, it changes the whole dynamic of the Operations Orders. In short, he let his people know that he is trusting them with the tools, training, and unit-level leadership to get a life-and-death job done.

I've seen this from a leadership perspective over the years. You get a school-trained commander who does everything by the book, has checked the boxes, and devised a textbook OPORDer, yet there is a disconnect with what we are actually doing in terms of organized physical violence by one tribe against another.

The great commanders, who are few and far between, have a keen warrior's sense of what it takes to instill the important planning, contingency planning, and motivation in their subordinates to accomplish the mission as a life and death action. The school planning and NATO format orders are simply templates that a much larger-than-life purpose is channeled through.

I think telling all the opening night ODS pilots that they were looking at projected losses of 100 aircraft put the fear of God into everyone, and they took the mission that much more seriously. Notice how the F-117A pilot said he couldn't believe that they didn't lose anybody.

Horner also spoke about not bragging about ODS, and not reading too much into it. When handing JSF capabilities to air planners and pilots, then trusting them to get the mission done, it will be more about the culture. I've heard a lot of problems with the way USAF culture has degraded over the past decade. Even with a change for the better in culture, if turds have been allowed to rise into key leadership positions, it is extremely toxic for an organization.

What you end up with in a positive swing in the culture is good National leadership and great entry-level/junior combatants, with a heavy mid-layer and field-grade military leadership who are problems. We saw that in OIF in 2003 big time at least on the Army side.
Previous

Return to General F-35 Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: jbgator, krorvik, lamoey, quicksilver and 12 guests