F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

F-35 Armament, fuel tanks, internal and external hardpoints, loadouts, and other stores.
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blindpilot

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Unread post04 Aug 2016, 18:27

hornetfinn wrote:
mixelflick wrote:
les_paul59 wrote:... not a better equipped aircraft for a wvr engagement than an f-35 with the helmet, das, and 2 aim 9x sidewinders.


... Do the two 9x's negate its stealth advantage? I'd imagine only Lockheed/the Air Force knows, ...


... I'm sure nobody is telling us any figures anytime soon...


We'll likely never have a clue, until we notice every sortie starts going out with 2 9X's (or not) even for penetration into heavily denied areas. That would be the clue ...

BP
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durahawk

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Unread post04 Aug 2016, 18:44

blindpilot wrote:We'll likely never have a clue, until we notice every sortie starts going out with 2 9X's (or not) even for penetration into heavily denied areas. That would be the clue ...

BP


Even if it has a low impact on radar signature, I'm just not sure it's an operational risk worth taking when you have 2+ AMRAAMS already in the internal bay and can fly completely slick in a denied environment. It's for this reason I regard this AIM-9X integration with the F-35 as nice to have in it's bag of tricks, but not particularly operationally useful. By the time the F-35's are going to be strapping on external pylons, I don't envision there being a whole lot of Air to Air threats being left save maybe a stray helicopter that wasn't positioned at a major airfield. I may very well eat my own words on this, but I think the chances of an F-35 actually employing a 9X in combat will be very, very low.

The 9x is no doubt a formidable close range weapon, but why get close if you don't have to? BVR shots will always be preferable and fit much more naturally into the F-35's CONOPs.
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Unread post05 Aug 2016, 10:22

Excuse me, but Im going to add the beaten to death ad nauseam pic here.
it would be really nice to have 4XAMRAAM and 2X AIM9-X in the bay. The side winder supports a lock on after launch mode.
The missile can even be fire from a submarine. There is no reason why you couldn't get a variant of the missile to either launch from a trapeze or ignite after ejection.


TEWKSBURY, Mass., Feb. 6, 2006 /PRNewswire/ -- A Raytheon-led team
successfully launched an AIM-9X from a stationary, vertical platform last
November. The missile successfully locked on after launch and hit its target
in a test of its potential launch from a submarine. The test was conducted for
the Naval Sea Systems Command at the U.S. Army's McGregor Test Range in New
Mexico Nov. 19, 2005.
A successful test firing matures the technology that will provide the Navy
with a new capability when the Joint Battlespace is near the coast at a
fraction of the cost of developing a new weapon system. The new system is an
existing launch capability married to a proven weapon fired from a submarine
at periscope depth.


http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases ... 13777.html
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hornetfinn

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Unread post05 Aug 2016, 10:27

I think it really depends on a situation and mission. For F-35 going to bomb some ground target in heavily defended areas will likely not carry any external weapons at all as they most likely will not need more than those two AMRAAMs and preserving minimum signature is most important. For F-35 doing Counter-air missions, like Fighter Sweep or Fighter Escort and especially Defensive Counter-air (DCA), might well carry 4-6 internal AMRAAMs or Meteors and 2 external AIM-9X or ASRAAM missiles. There the increased signature is not that much of a problem as it will most likely still have very low signature and having two more weapons might be handy.
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popcorn

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Unread post05 Aug 2016, 11:33

It should be noted that the jet will know its rcs with different external combat loads. Barracuda will detect the types and strengh of any radars in the vicinity. The pilot will make informed decisions based on the threat situatuon displayed on his PCD.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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zero-one

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Unread post05 Aug 2016, 14:46

durahawk wrote:
The 9x is no doubt a formidable close range weapon, but why get close if you don't have to? BVR shots will always be preferable and fit much more naturally into the F-35's CONOPs.


Preferable, but lets face it preferable isn't always what happens.
Now I know I might get a lot of flack for this, but I'm just bassing this on the limited info that I know.

In the Guld of Sidra incident in 1981, E-2C hawkeyes detectected, tracked and identified the bandits from well beyond anyone's visual range.
They were declared hostile after multiple warnings were ignored.

But only after they fired an Atol missile were the F-14's cleared to fire back.

The incident happened again in 1989 with 2 Mig-23s, they were detected and identified well beyond 50 nautical miles
away but the kill was only acheived within 1.5km.

Lastly with the 1st AMRAAM kill over Iraq, watching the actual HUD video now posted on youtube, the Mig-25 went into the no fly zone but was detected well before he entered it.
just before the shot the F-16 pilot said "VID on the boggey" which to me sounds like he visually identified it.

So I think, unless its an all out war, where ROEs are relaxed, maximum tollerance is usually practiced
and the actual shot usually takes place well inside the WVR environment.

In these instances the shooters had enough SA of where the target is, what it was and if they were hostile or friendly.
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Unread post05 Aug 2016, 19:55

Comparing the situational awareness of an f-35 at 3f configuration and beyond with the situational awareness an f-14 had in the 80's is not a very informed comparison.

The F-35's sensors can verify a target being hostile in so many more ways than an f-14 could have at the time.

And unlike the f-14 scenario you just shared, the enemy will most likely not have a clue that the f-35 is even in the area, let alone be able to target the f-35.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post05 Aug 2016, 21:31

zero-one wrote:
durahawk wrote:
The 9x is no doubt a formidable close range weapon, but why get close if you don't have to? BVR shots will always be preferable and fit much more naturally into the F-35's CONOPs.


Preferable, but lets face it preferable isn't always what happens.
Now I know I might get a lot of flack for this, but I'm just bassing this on the limited info that I know.

In the Guld of Sidra incident in 1981, E-2C hawkeyes detectected, tracked and identified the bandits from well beyond anyone's visual range.
They were declared hostile after multiple warnings were ignored.

But only after they fired an Atol missile were the F-14's cleared to fire back.

The incident happened again in 1989 with 2 Mig-23s, they were detected and identified well beyond 50 nautical miles
away but the kill was only acheived within 1.5km.

Lastly with the 1st AMRAAM kill over Iraq, watching the actual HUD video now posted on youtube, the Mig-25 went into the no fly zone but was detected well before he entered it.
just before the shot the F-16 pilot said "VID on the boggey" which to me sounds like he visually identified it.

So I think, unless its an all out war, where ROEs are relaxed, maximum tollerance is usually practiced
and the actual shot usually takes place well inside the WVR environment.

In these instances the shooters had enough SA of where the target is, what it was and if they were hostile or friendly.


In these cases external carry is irrelevant anyway so what's the point? You need to be 100 percent stealth until the bad guy can see you anyway?

This scenarios have never made since to me. If the job is WVR ident. Then it really doesn't matter how the missiles are carried.

So we are straining to find a scenario in which the F-35 must remain stealthy, and yet reveal itself to the enemy before it shoots? How are we escorting these Libyans without them seeing us when the whole point of an intercept and escort is to show you are there especially visually?


I'm just struggling to see the issue here. If I am missing something let me know. But the libyans are actually a really poor example from what I can tell.

You can't have it both ways. You can't say "it's not all out war, yet we have to be full LO as if it was and still WVR ID the target since it's peace, when in that case the target is also able to see you WVR and thus F-35 is exposed anyway

It's war and everything is tucked in, or its peace and you can hang external and WVR. Which is basically unnecessary but whatever
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Unread post05 Aug 2016, 21:57

In today's world, does an IRST qualify as VID?

I guess it all depends on the ROE.
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Unread post06 Aug 2016, 02:59

Aghhh. This "visual ID" thing is a non-issue. The requirement is for POSITIVE ID. Once upon a time the only way to positive ID an enemy was to visually ID them. This has not been true since late SEA and with the introduction of Combat Tree. The last US Mig shoot down by the last Ace was BVR with positive ID via the system and early AWACs coordination. If there is ever a Visual ID requirement again it will be a political directive over and above required military diligence. In that case we can get better politicians very easily to solve such a political problem. How long would such a rule stand once knowledge of it spread? What politician in uniform or out could stand for extending such protections to the enemy by putting our own at greater risk than necessary?
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Unread post06 Aug 2016, 03:08

smsgtmac wrote:Aghhh. This "visual ID" thing is a non-issue. The requirement is for POSITIVE ID. Once upon a time the only way to positive ID an enemy was to visually ID them. This has not been true since late SEA and with the introduction of Combat Tree. The last US Mig shoot down by the last Ace was BVR with positive ID via the system and early AWACs coordination. If there is ever a Visual ID requirement again it will be a political directive over and above required military diligence. In that case we can get better politicians very easily to solve such a political problem. How long would such a rule stand once knowledge of it spread? What politician in uniform or out could stand for extending such protections to the enemy by putting our own at greater risk than necessary?


This.

If you need WVR it's conditions short of full conflict. IF its short of full conflict you can throw the external weapons on.

I think libya was actually a case of deliberately showing the flag. We wanted them to know we were there.
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Unread post06 Aug 2016, 04:15

The Armed Services are voting with their budgets on this issue. The spending on more powerful sensors, networked sensor fusion, launch-on-remote complemented by third-party targeting, etc. validate the doctrine to engage foes at distance. Technology and innovative thinking has shifted the paradigm but let others draw the wrong lessons from past conflicts.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
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Unread post06 Aug 2016, 05:59

XanderCrews wrote:I'm just struggling to see the issue here. If I am missing something let me know. But the libyans are actually a really poor example from what I can tell.

You can't have it both ways. You can't say "it's not all out war, yet we have to be full LO as if it was and still WVR ID the target since it's peace, when in that case the target is also able to see you WVR and thus F-35 is exposed anyway

It's war and everything is tucked in, or its peace and you can hang external and WVR. Which is basically unnecessary but whatever


Well, what I was trying to say was, you can't always shoot at something BVR even if you are 100% sure they are hostile.

I just took the F-14 examples as they seem to validate the point. The Tomcats knew way beforehand what they were up against but they still got into the merge.

There was no need for that, the Su-22s and Mig-23s were both detected, identified and classified as hostile long before they reached vissual range. But for some reason the Tomcats were either restricted to fire or made a concious effort to reach the merge for some reason.

Come to think about it, a 5th gen did the exact same thing with the F-4s over Iran. I expect the F-35 to do the same in an interdiction mission.

This was all a response to the question that "is carrying a 9x externally necessary when it increases your RCS".

My answer is yes, because you can't always choose the range at which to shoot at, even if you detect them far away enough and classify them and determine them as hostile, sometimes you need to show "the flag" just like what the Raptor did.
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Unread post06 Aug 2016, 18:15

zero-one wrote:
There was no need for that, the Su-22s and Mig-23s were both detected, identified and classified as hostile long before they reached vissual range. But for some reason the Tomcats were either restricted to fire or made a concious effort to reach the merge for some reason.



Best info I have on this - in 1981 the F-14A pilots were not allowed to fire unless fired upon according to the ROE at that time - and even seem to have been unsure and in discussion after the Su-22 fired at them (head on with a rear aspect missile).

In 1989 the ROE was apparently relaxed because they were aware Libya now had MiGs with all aspect Radar Guided missiles - so the F-14As ( Neither had AIM-54) fired on the MiG-23MFs at about 10 miles with 2 x AIM-7 that both missed and the fight got in close.

In 1981 there was a period where US aircraft intercepted Libyan Fighters at close range on a regular basis - they were not at war and it was only the Su-22 event that got out of hand it appears (some others nearly strayed)



If true the story of the F-22 v Iranian F-4 is demonstration (to me) of how much things have changed from the 80s and how easy it was for the F-22 to not only get in close but be in total control at all times in an intercept against a 3rd Gen fighter with GCI system. In the same situation an F-35 could just sit off the guy in AIM-120D range if he has that level of control. This wont always be the case but by then it could also be carrying next gen missiles I guess.
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Unread post10 Aug 2016, 15:18

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases ... 11224.html

The U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) successfully test-fired three AIM-9X® Block I missiles from an F-35A aircraft at airborne targets, resulting in direct hits.


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