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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Elite 1K

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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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