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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Unread post25 Jul 2018, 18:18

marsavian wrote:
Think Israeli F-35's on a mission to destroy the Iranian nuclear reactors. What would they do in that event? Load up 4 additional F-35's with 4 AMRAAM each?

Strike F-35s are not going to use their AMRAAMs unless fired upon. They will try to sneak in and out and use their AMRAAMs in a rearguard retreating action if they have to. They also have the cannon as a last self-defence resort. The targets will need to be hit and destroyed past any defending IADs, air superiority kitted out F-35s will be a luxury Israel can't afford on a mission with their limited numbers, only the USAF can afford that with stealthy F-22s flying top cover. Unstealthy F-15Is couldnt do it as they would give the mission away. As it happens the standard stealthy strike F-35 with two aamrams, cannon and EW is good enough to look after itself and especially as a networked hunting pack.

That's 4th Gen thinking.

AIM-120s and future missiles on the F-35 are opened up to scenarios such as this:

Multi-mission sortie tasking for Sortie 12:

4 Ship F-35A
Phase 1- EW penetration/Ingress with En Route Recon and BDA for Sortie 11
Phase 2- Final TGT solutions for Squadron Priority TGT list, updated from BDA and GM/EOTS/MADL/Link, deliver PGMs and assess
Phase 3- On call for AWACS shift to bump out 11 or re-direct to Air Dominance weapons contribute to the Air Dominance Sorties
Phase 4- Once Bingo, head to the tanker or RTB, with Opportunistic BDA and Recon on the way out/with EW against remaining IADS nodes.

For the flights that are configured for Air Dominance, they can use outbound surface-focused flights to launch weapons for them before or after their actions in the primary objective area.

This plays into the deception angle, and wreaks havoc on any air threats trying to make sense of where the threats are coming from. You can use the missiles from surface-focused or other aircraft in a mode that will activate the enemy's missile launch warning system, so that his flight will orient on that threat, opening them up to even more vulnerable approach to NEZ from the ambushers.

In that context, the AIM-9X seems more like a nice-to-have, than a need-to-have.
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Unread post26 Jul 2018, 04:57

Yes to that, though I think the 'big deal' aspect here is not that it's 9X, but that it's 9X BKII.

Having the pylons and missiles on the outer wings will degrade RCS somewhat. The extra standoff of BkII serves to mitigate that and thus supports valid VLO tactics with 4 BVR missiles, rather than two.

To make best use of the 9X BkII as BVR weapon you need to maintain the higher-altitude profile. Higher altitude improves fuel efficiency and range, increases endurance and loiter, improves sensor and comms footprints, keeps you further from ground sensors, reduces noise footprint. Thus maintains VLO better and negates performance envelope of most SHORADs, degrades energy and PK of MRADS (most high-end SAMs should already have been de-commed or strongly suppressed).

So via indirect implications, having the BVR-ready 9X BKII on the wing encourages superior SOP, superior VLO tactics which improves survivability, and increases system-of-systems impacts, while negating most of the IADS response opportunities, providing best opportunities for DAS seeing and ID-ing threat popups, earlier and more distant, allowing better responses.

You could do it with 2 slammers, but having the response options and self-escorting of another two BVR weapons helps free-up limited resources early on in the fight.

The update of EODAS makes 9X BkII on wing that much more desirable, and useful-to-have. Many years ago I had reservations about fitting pylons and 9X on the wing, it seemed an unnecessary compromise as it was only 'useful-to-have' in the early stage of the conflict when preservation of VLO was the most critical resource. Pylons clashed with that. But with the 9X BkII plus updated EODAS this becomes a useful-to-have and force-multiplier during the early phase of conflict.

Compelling, at this point, imo.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth


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Unread post26 Jul 2018, 13:47

Feel strongly the 9x is important to have. If nothing else, it gives the F-35 one more way to kill, while complicating the enemy's kill chain.

I also think carry 2 outboard won't compromise the RCS very much. I have no inside knowledge about that, but have to believe those canted pylons aren't there by accident, and there's a reason you only see 9x's on them...

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