US Navy/Marine F-35B/C vs Bad guy F-35a?

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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rowbeartoe

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Unread post28 Feb 2020, 06:09

Hi everyone.

I've been convinced and educated from experts on this site over the years that our F-35s have several advantages in air to air combat over current China/Russia stealth fighters.

I hope this never happens of course, but the question I have is another less possible situation I don't believe has been discussed? What if one of our partner countries who have purchased the F-35a variant goes into combat against our Navy/Marine F-35 jets? Assuming this could result in dog fights, would the A model have the edge? Would this be an example of having a gun becomes the deciding factor? I believe the C model could have some low speed maneuver advantages?

Also I'm not sure if our partners use the same type of air to air weapons or if they have other differences?

Thank you everyone- and forgive me if this has been discussed before.
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optimist

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Unread post28 Feb 2020, 06:38

The US will send the kill switch signal and it would fall from the sky. :mrgreen:
The f-35 fire control system won't launch a missile at another f-35. I don't know about the gun system.
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weasel1962

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Unread post28 Feb 2020, 10:11

It could happen in red flag exercises where differing F-35s are on opposing sides.

The B has a marginal thrust weight advantage although the A has better sustained energy due to its higher fuel capacity (which interestingly would better simulate what would happen if a B faces a J-20). Otherwise the only critical difference would be pilot capability. The external gun will likely have some impact to B performance for A2A.

It would also be interesting if (or when) the Brits bring their Bs with the meteor. Too bad the Bs can't viff.
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steve2267

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Unread post28 Feb 2020, 16:03

optimist wrote:The f-35 fire control system won't launch a missile at another f-35.

Source?
weasel1962 wrote:It could happen in red flag exercises where differing F-35s are on opposing sides.

Wouldn't that be a pickle... F-35 refuses to fight another aircraft because it's mission data files identify the aircraft as friendly. Already have had examples where an F-35 does not identify a ground installation as a threat because they cobbled together a ground installation to represent a threat, but did not use actual threat hardware.

weasel1962 wrote:The B has a marginal thrust weight advantage although the A has better sustained energy due to its higher fuel capacity (which interestingly would better simulate what would happen if a B faces a J-20). Otherwise the only critical difference would be pilot capability. The external gun will likely have some impact to B performance for A2A.

It would also be interesting if (or when) the Brits bring their Bs with the meteor. Too bad the Bs can't viff.


I am not following on the B having a marginal thrust weight advantage. Can you elaborate? F135-PW-100 has higher thrust rating than F135-PW-600 (in conventional mode). F-35A has lower empty weight. So?

I disagree with the external gun hindering the Killer Bee. The gunpod has shown better accuracy than the -A in tests, and the pod is rated to the full 7g capability of the aircraft. So whatever the Bee can do without the gun, it can fly with the gun. It also has more bb's than the -A. But the gunpod will add ~1000lb of weight to the Bee, whereas the gunweight is already in included in the -A.

The -A may have an initial rate advantage in a break turn, at a merge, but I am unsure if that will yield much of an angles advantage? I strongly suspect the B will rate with the -A in a turn. The Sea Lightning should have a turn / rate advantage over the -A, though. Low speed maneuvering should be a wash, or advantage Sea Lightning. Am guessing the -A would need to emphasize slightly better acceleration and 9g performance -- slashing type attacks -- and blow through?

I think it comes down to pilot skill, and perhaps unit-level tactics or acumen.
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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mixelflick

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Unread post28 Feb 2020, 16:48

Thought for sure the A had the best thrust to weight ratio? It's probably highly dependent upon how much internal fuel is remaining.18,000lbs in the A is one thing. 7000lbs is quite another, and obviously ups the thrust to weight ratio.

Which is important, but t2w isn't everything. I see the gun issue as a wash. Given what's known, it would probably come down to the pilot...
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rowbeartoe

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Unread post29 Feb 2020, 02:14

I disagree with the external gun hindering the Killer Bee. The gunpod has shown better accuracy than the -A in tests, and the pod is rated to the full 7g capability of the aircraft. So whatever the Bee can do without the gun, it can fly with the gun. It also has more bb's than the -A. But the gunpod will add ~1000lb of weight to the Bee, whereas the gunweight is already in included in the -A.


Thank you for this.

But wouldn't the gunpod take away stealth advantages? Also, how likely would the navy launch F-35's with gun pods if they had to engage in F-35a jets?
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Unread post29 Feb 2020, 02:34

steve2267 wrote:I disagree with the external gun hindering the Killer Bee. The gunpod has shown better accuracy than the -A in tests.


That's strictly A2G.
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optimist

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Unread post29 Feb 2020, 03:47

steve2267 wrote:
optimist wrote:The f-35 fire control system won't launch a missile at another f-35.

Source?


friend or foe,


weasel1962 wrote:It could happen in red flag exercises where differing F-35s are on opposing sides.

Wouldn't that be a pickle... F-35 refuses to fight another aircraft because it's mission data files identify the aircraft as friendly. Already have had examples where an F-35 does not identify a ground installation as a threat because they cobbled together a ground installation to represent a threat, but did not use actual threat hardware.


That's what I said, isn't it ?
red air would have to have their ID changed in the base, US only level and not identified as a F-35. For a bad operator, the US could overwrite their friend or foe at the base level



weasel1962 wrote:The B has a marginal thrust weight advantage although the A has better sustained energy due to its higher fuel capacity (which interestingly would better simulate what would happen if a B faces a J-20). Otherwise the only critical difference would be pilot capability. The external gun will likely have some impact to B performance for A2A.

It would also be interesting if (or when) the Brits bring their Bs with the meteor. Too bad the Bs can't viff.


I am not following on the B having a marginal thrust weight advantage. Can you elaborate? F135-PW-100 has higher thrust rating than F135-PW-600 (in conventional mode). F-35A has lower empty weight. So?

I disagree with the external gun hindering the Killer Bee. The gunpod has shown better accuracy than the -A in tests, and the pod is rated to the full 7g capability of the aircraft. So whatever the Bee can do without the gun, it can fly with the gun. It also has more bb's than the -A. But the gunpod will add ~1000lb of weight to the Bee, whereas the gunweight is already in included in the -A.

The -A may have an initial rate advantage in a break turn, at a merge, but I am unsure if that will yield much of an angles advantage? I strongly suspect the B will rate with the -A in a turn. The Sea Lightning should have a turn / rate advantage over the -A, though. Low speed maneuvering should be a wash, or advantage Sea Lightning. Am guessing the -A would need to emphasize slightly better acceleration and 9g performance's you
Jun -- slashing type attacks -- and blow through?

I think it comes down to pilot skill, and perhaps unit-level tactics or acumen.

Because of the wing, I think the C we'll put on the better airshow and dog fight
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weasel1962

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Unread post29 Feb 2020, 15:31

That's what a lot of people don't realise. The takeoff weight of the B is lighter than the A. It's heavier excluding fuel but lighter if A is fully loaded. Remember, the MTOW of the A is 70k, B at 60+k...

As to thrust, I realised older data used to put both engines at the same thrust value. However checking the latest, the 100 is placed at 43k whilst the 600 is at 41k max thrust class. If that's the case, then the A has the slight tw advantage even with the heavier weight assuming same weapons load out.
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Unread post29 Feb 2020, 16:29

The OWE of the C is about 5K# more than the A. You may wanna rethink your opinions.

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