F-35 Fifth Gen and new way of thinking

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element1loop

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Unread post18 Sep 2017, 05:40

BP:
"All 4th gen ideas ... ... are strictly forbidden!"


I realised after I said, "... this is where the 'C' would be nice ... ", that you could achieve the same wagon-wheels and effects with:

4 x Shornets (DEAD and JSOW)
1 x Growler (DEAD)
1 x B-1B (SDB)
1 x F-35C (SDB or JSOW)

Per wagon-wheel, plus added flexibility.

You get the same sort of firepower, some less weapon numbers on wing, but replacements are sustainable 24/7, plus you need the Growler out there in that area anyway, so you use just one ISR-role F-35, instead of 4, per wagon-wheel.

In other words, you don't and can't know how to use the limited number of F-35s, until you task them with 4th gens and a noise maker as well, thus making them effective, and almost a useful.

As the force-mix changes via more F-35s being built. the 5th gens, as actual Airpower (as opposed to ISR role) emphasis must change also. But for now, without the 95% non-LO 4th gens integrated, how can you develop 5th gen CONOPS in any practical way?

I realised you have to understand how to make the entire joint force operate, else your options become very limited fast, and F-35s used inefficiently. And if you don't include navy Shornets, you're missing out on a lot of clout and E-noise that can allow you to use the F-35s that you do have, to the best effect(s).

With the limited number of F-35C used in SA/ISR target prioritisation roles this frees the B for coastal and hinterland attacks plus smashing naval bases, and the A for interior pre-PBI task and suppressing SAMs and COMs. Thus allowing F-15s and F-16s to smash the airfields and kill logistics and rotor-wing. While F-15s and F-16s also occupy the N-S race tracks south of DMZ.

That way you can make the most out of every F-35 you have available, 24/7, until operational numbers rise, past say 500, at which point their baseline strike Airpower starts to be felt also, whilst getting even better at DataPower coverage.


An aside - best to keep in mind that B-2, and future B-21, are night time only for availability to cover NK, thus limiting their suitability in a 24/7 boost-phase solution, leaving just the weapons on the F-35 as the only abailable 24/7 'solution' platform (for now), simply because there are not enough F-22As (120 or less available globally, at any given time) to be splitting their dominance role to include BPI.
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Unread post18 Sep 2017, 08:48

blindpilot wrote:
popcorn wrote:The advent of 5gen combat systems has to be causing quite a churn in the thinking and planning of potential adversaries. One wonders to what extent their war planners and specially their pilots are being briefed on the capabilities of the 5Gen platforms and how they would hope to counter these.


I don't know if you have ever tried to play a multi player online game with unbearable latency, but when we're talking about SA in the 5th Gen environment, that's close to the problem even closely competitive approaches will face and honestly, when that happens to me in an online game ... I just quit, because I can't play. They'll have to go asymmetric in any counter planning. You can't play half a step behind. Almost as good with a well trained pilot for example will not cut it.

MH
BP



That's a great analogy. Should prettty much mirror the results from F-22 vs 4gen exercises where the mismatch was so lopsided in favor of the Raptor. Any pilots that survive a combat encounter with a 5gen figjter may need some serious counselling and medication. :devil:


http://www.businessinsider.com/psycholo ... ter-2017-5
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post18 Sep 2017, 17:10

popcorn wrote:
blindpilot wrote:I don't know if you have ever tried to play a multi player online game with unbearable latency, but when we're talking about SA in the 5th Gen environment, that's close to the problem even closely competitive approaches will face and honestly, when that happens to me in an online game ... I just quit, because I can't play. ..
BP

That's a great analogy. Should pretty much mirror the results from F-22 vs 4gen exercises where the mismatch was so lopsided ...
http://www.businessinsider.com/psycholo ... ter-2017-5


I found that insider article interesting because of the type of "counter strategy" Russian/Chinese/critics etc. always talk about. Using secret low freq/microphones/triangulation of mach wakes ... whatever .... to find the stealth fighter.

Major Flatley points out that this can actually be a negative. "KNOWING" there is an F-22/35 out there can actually be a negative as your focus and situational management gets sucked into tunnel visioned panic. You see/hear a stealth fighter at every blip and burp of your sensors. You see him when you drop your pen to the floor. IE. - "What was that!" Rather than methodically using whatever tools you have, including a calm attentive focus, you go chasing rabbits.

Things like low freq radars are not necessarily the answer. The AWACS calling out the presence somewhere of an F-22 for the F-18 only made it worse. It won't help if you can't exploit it with your own resources, including Mark 1 eyeballs, and ability of your missiles to lock on and engage. You are chasing ghosts on a screen that already happened a second ago. That's deadly.

FWIW,
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Unread post18 Sep 2017, 17:33

element1loop wrote:BP:
"All 4th gen ideas ... ... are strictly forbidden!"


I realised after I said, "... this is where the 'C' would be nice ... ", that you could achieve the same wagon-wheels and effects with:

4 x Shornets (DEAD and JSOW)
1 x Growler (DEAD)
....

In other words, you don't and can't know how to use the limited number of F-35s, until you task them with 4th gens and a noise maker as well, thus making them effective, and almost a useful.
...


Ok, I'm going to call out a warning, if not a foul here. Certainly Red Flag etc. has shown that the F-35 makes the 4th gen aircraft more effective. I'll not even argue that. But that is not the subject of this thread.

To help frame it. let's look at the discussion Popcorn and I am having above. Using an AWACS with sensors that can "detect but not track," the F-22 creates a dangerous trend away from the reality of 5th gen.

In the example above Major Flatley discusses the disruptive effects (also in another dogfighting article linked at that page) and how the rules change.

Sooooo ... how I look at that in this thread is ...
You can't just jump into a 5th gen furball, like a Kodiak bear grabbing at jumping salmon in a river, .. if you want your 4th gen to have a chance, or for that matter if you want to maximize your 5th gen advantages. The rules changed. So for both the 5th gen and 4th gen adversary, you have to imagine and create a different environment. Think Killer Whales herding fish into a trap managing the situation rather than diving into it. Flatley points out that this is where the F-35 started eating Red Flag adversaries for lunch. Now the Red F-15/16's are going to have to figure out how they might herd possible contacts instead of lighting burners and pulling 9 Gs. (and slapping at salmon) Because that isn't going to work. It doesn't mean you won't light burners, or pull 9G's. You will. But for totally different reasons.

MHO,
BP
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Unread post18 Sep 2017, 18:02

blindpilot wrote:...
You can't just jump into a 5th gen furball, like a Kodiak bear grabbing at jumping salmon in a river, .. The rules changed... have to figure out how they might herd possible contacts instead of lighting burners and pulling 9 Gs. (and slapping at salmon) Because that isn't going to work. It doesn't mean you won't light burners, or pull 9G's. You will. But for totally different reasons.
MHO,
BP

element1loop wrote: ... how can you develop 5th gen CONOPS in any practical way?


So let's take this and look at 5th gen technique defending a CTF from J-20's I AM NOT going to use my E2C/Ds,F18 E/Gs to set a picket fence. I'm not going to try and "Jam" anything. If I use a Growler (remembering the AF said they didn't want them anywhere near their F-35As) it will be as the wall of a funnel, creating a bubble of RF nudging "any" J-20's that might be out there down the pipe to an escorting Aegis Destroyer. My 4th Gen will be that. Simply RF pop up noise makers nudging the J-20 down a pipe of my own making. Now they will have teeth. They will certainly be cleared to shoot down any J-20s that get in range and that their missiles can get a lock on. That's why the J-20 won't go there.

I am not going to go chasing contacts and tracks. That's 4th gen thinking, and it may not work. I will feed that info into the SA web that says, "There's at least one heading down the pipe. Head's Up!" I will circle other 4th gen RF bubbles behind and on the other side of the possible contact.
5th gen stealth funnel.jpg
5th Gen Defensive Funnel

My F-35Cs and NIFC-CA Aegis ships will be trap setters at the apex of the funnels. And the apex of those funnels will not be anywhere near the CVNs. It will be at a kill zone outside the Carrier group, at a place of my choosing. If I am flying F-35Cs into a target area, I'm going to have that possible enemy tactic in the back of my mind, watching where and how I go. I'm not going to worry about big old WWII radars that cruise missiles can take out.

That's "Thinking Fifth Gen"!

Will it work. I don't know,
but that is how we have to start thinking, working out procedures and ops, testing and exercising, and tweaking into effective CONOPS.

MHO
BP
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Unread post21 Sep 2017, 06:11

blindpilot wrote:My F-35Cs and NIFC-CA Aegis ships will be trap setters at the apex of the funnels. And the apex of those funnels will not be anywhere near the CVNs. It will be at a kill zone outside the Carrier group, at a place of my choosing. If I am flying F-35Cs into a target area, I'm going to have that possible enemy tactic in the back of my mind, watching where and how I go. I'm not going to worry about big old WWII radars that cruise missiles can take out.

That's "Thinking Fifth Gen"!

Will it work. I don't know,
but that is how we have to start thinking, working out procedures and ops, testing and exercising, and tweaking into effective CONOPS.

MHO
BP


What's the role and mission of the J-20 out there? Very unlikely it's there to kill jets, or E-2s, etc.

The aim in any fight is to knock the other guy down and flatten his nose out, to be left laying unconscious, or in so much pain he can not effectively fight anymore. Capitulation not required - that's a 'win'.

That J-20 guy wants to win that fight, so is the J-20 pilot going to cooperatively fly (take a preferred swing) in the direction where you electronically 'suggest'?

I don't think so.

I'm always focused on what's actually needed, here and NOW, and soon (i.e. to not be the guy on the bar floor, at the end of the fight). That comes from having to think about a small force that does not have an excess of options or assets, nor the latitude to experiment theoretically in less than ideal ways, to take a big risk of being hit first, or to take less than a sure-footed focused swing (or concept of swinging).

I'm happy to switch to observer mode after this 2-cents if I'm missing the point of your topic BP, no problem.

To me the J-20 in your figure is not out there to tangle with combat or support aircraft, it wants to be effective via hitting the CNV, on the metaphorical nose, in a knock-out punch. That's what the Chinese investment in the J-20 was for (in my estimation). They are not going to muck about chasing electronic phantoms, or stumbling about into predictable trap attempts.

Above all that J-20 wants to remain unseen and undetected, to get in that big surprise hit, so what is a wall of noise or even limited and directed noise going to do to change that? Put him off his game a bit maybe.

Detection and tracking is what matters (well, duh!).

So where is he going to fly? What will be his approach? What tactics? What weapon? What targeting data or Intel?

He will have a waypoint to go to and a search area, and 'good-enough' Intel, and possibly some rather questionable sensor data or chirps, which he will presume are probably decoys/distractions. He needs to isolate where the CNV is and go towards there and fire, unseen, and vamoose (instead of where you electronically suggest he should fly).

And how long are you going to be waiting around with that 'funnel'? What's your real imperative? Catch J-20s that way, if it's combat ops already? Or blow up its shelters and runways?

The J-20 closes and fires unseen or else he will get a round-house King-hit instead, and end up on the floor. But he will believe he can win, and the state has provided a tool to do it, and he's not going to be side-tracked so easily.

Such propositions can get much too clever, and just over-think it, loosing sight of the point of why that enemy 5th-gen is out there.

A sub, or Sat, or non-combatant 'ally's' civil flight, or hydrophones thrown off a trawler, could have the CNV located, if not tracked, and providing good-enough current attack Intel to the J-20 pilot.

So I would attempt to disrupt his comms with EA, if possible.

The motive and objective of the J-20 are more-or-less known. The weapon load of the J-20 is not, but can be deduced, or even presumed. Its pilot's Intel quality is unknown. It's sensor data is going to be limited and questionable to the pilot, as he will expect deceptions. But in the end it will probably be a bit of a stab in the dark with a volley of quasi-LO missiles.

Thus certain options are available, and certain actions must be taken to get a 'surprise' 5th-gen hit using an unknown 5th-gen-ish passive ASM weapon.

Yes, I'd make noise to frustrate or negate active sensors and comms, limiting recon and C&C, as this is not just about using air combat between 5th gen jets, in a Joint operational context. The regional EA has more than one Joint purpose and imperative.

I would not make active ship or intercept-able aircraft emissions (nothing new there), even the E-2 is not desirable, except as a mostly passive command platform.

I might however investigate the potential of creating an EW very-long-baseline VHF radar interferometer network using barges placed across a region, or islands, or even on unmanned ships to defeat J-20 LO approach, and tactical movement, thus allowing vectored F-35B/C DAS and EOTs interceptions, detection, tracking and passive engagement (and of course provide an alert to the ships).

i.e. see the first punch coming, side step it, get in the first punch yourself ... then smash its airbase and J-20 shelters with the second punch.

That would have been my preferred first move, but the reality of events and diplomacy constrain that safer pre-emption option, so my first combat action had better be the most effective and the least, "... Will it work. I don't know ...", type option.

I understand your desire to explore the intriguing options here. To me it requires focused reality-checks, like the observation a wagon-wheel approach with Shornets, rather than F-35 works just as well, and frees up many F-35s in each 24hr period, for more 5th-gen oriented combat leverage. i.e. I can do more with the limited number of 5th-gens, once I determine how I can free up the still very limited numbers of 5th gens available.

In other words, I am thinking of here and NOW. For as you also said at the beginning of thread, the F-35 is here now, not later, so now is the time for the discussion of concepts for its operation. Does that not imply a context of examinations of operating actually NOW?

In future (five years from now) the limited numbers of now will not be a consideration, hence the statement of how can I practically develop CONOPS if I don't know how many F-35s I'll have available for 5th gen tasks, and opportunities? Hence the need to not assign them to roles or tasks that other jets can do, using other existing assets - now.

As I see it the US does not have a full-blown pending problem of 5th-gen CONOPS to the same extent some of its allies do. The US is using the same basic F-35, in three services, hence JOINT strike fighter. And your force does not become 5th-gen dominated until well after 2030 (about a decade after some allies).

To me it's a more immediate factor, it has to be practical, it can not be theoretical flourishes, it has to take into account limited resources corralled to maximise the biggest, most timely and most precise punch achievable, in the shortest possible time.

If J-20s show-up, adjust, no biggie - as you said, manage the flow, not all claw.

So I can't practically ignore the existing Joint force of now, especially if 95% of the available JOINT force is neither LO or 5th gen, if we're really considering the operation of F-35 that has arrived in operation.

That also is part of "Thinking Fifth Gen", at least in a context that's meaningful to me.
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Unread post21 Sep 2017, 17:14

element1loop wrote:
blindpilot wrote:That's "Thinking Fifth Gen"!
Will it work. I don't know,
but that is how we have to start thinking, working out procedures and ops, testing and exercising, and tweaking into effective CONOPS.
MHO
BP


What's the role and mission of the J-20 out there? ... That J-20 guy wants to win that fight, so is the J-20 pilot going to cooperatively fly (take a preferred swing) in the direction where you electronically 'suggest'? ... I'm always focused on what's actually needed, here and NOW, and soon (i.e. to not be the guy on the bar floor, at the end of the fight). That comes from having to think about a small force that does not have an excess of options or assets, nor the latitude to experiment theoretically in less than ideal ways, to take a big risk of being hit first, or to take less than a sure-footed focused swing (or concept of swinging). .....So where is he going to fly? What will be his approach? What tactics? ... The motive and objective of the J-20 are more-or-less known. ... But in the end it will probably be a bit of a stab in the dark with a volley of quasi-LO missiles.... I might however investigate the potential of creating an EW very-long-baseline VHF radar interferometer network using barges placed across a region, or islands, or even on unmanned ships to defeat J-20 LO approach, and tactical movement, ... In other words, I am thinking of here and NOW. For as you also said at the beginning of thread, the F-35 is here now, not later, so now is the time for the discussion of concepts for its operation. Does that not imply a context of examinations of operating actually NOW? .....So I can't practically ignore the existing Joint force of now, especially if 95% of the available JOINT force is neither LO or 5th gen, if we're really considering the operation of F-35 that has arrived in operation.

That also is part of "Thinking Fifth Gen", at least in a context that's meaningful to me.


Actually your post is the type of back and forth that needs to be shaken out BEFORE we implement a CONOPS exploiting the new system of systems. So I see your answer as a part of that discussion. So your post seems on target to me for that reason. I would also consider that if you have a world class sniper, you don't necessarily say that you would rather send in a Tank Platoon to an urban battlefield. You might use the tank for other purposes, and have the sniper set the kill zone.

As to the bar fight analogies, my training was in Judo, Jujitsu, and natural stance Isshin Ryu styles, not boxing or Taekwondo-type power styles, soooo ... I may be a bit slanted that way. However, to the point of the thread, the best Mixed Martial Arts guys, train and use both. :D :D

MHO
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Unread post21 Sep 2017, 18:10

element1loop wrote:What's the role and mission of the J-20 out there? ...

Above all that J-20 wants to remain unseen and undetected
... And how long are you going to be waiting around with that 'funnel'? What's your real imperative? ... So where is he going to fly? What will be his approach? What tactics?


As to the specifics of the example proposal above, perhaps it's better not to characterize it as waiting around in a "well laid trap," and see it rather as what is typically known in land warfare as terrain exploitation, or setting the battlefield.
Classic Stealth penetration.jpg
Normal stealth penetration flight

So what is the J-20 going to do? Well we have the classic "weave between the diminished radar coverage ingress" to the target. That is a classic stealth attack from the F-117 to the up coming B-21. So in the example we have a typical fleet deployment above. The element we add is how to exploit the F-35C. I propose we have him exploiting the Blue X kill zones where we pretty much know the J-21 will be trying to take. Now hopefully our (and I'm guessing the near peer adversary also hopes) our radar coverage circles, and alternative ISR (Satellite, DAS etc.) will actually be able to track the J-21 as he weaves through the radars. But the point is you set the battlefield for where the enemy will go and insert the 5th gen F-35C with DAS etc. into the kill zones ... ie. down the valley between the mountains, and create ambush points rather than climb over the mountains trying to find the enemy to attack face to face. I'd rather smack him on the back of the head, where he doesn't even see me coming. "Mano a Mano" has a habit of getting hit by the lucky shot.

These type of land battle techniques are emerging in 5th gen tactics. The idea of out ranging with sensors and weapons, as a way to "see first, shoot first, kill first" (4th gen thinking) needs to be fine tuned into a SA battlefield management philosophy, where you do in fact "see first," and then manage a "best shot," and "no escape zone" assured kill. That's the dialogue that needs to evolve in our CONOPS.

MHO,
BP

PS NOTE: This (fleet defense) is just an example case of using fifth gen thinking. It is not meant to imply ignoring other mission sets, interdiction, SEAD/DEAD, CAS, A2A CAP, etc. Those also need to be thought through similarly.
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Unread post26 Sep 2017, 20:39

5th gen operations may evolve to pair F-35’s with stealthy recce assets like the RQ-170 to have persistent surveillance and stealthy strike capabilities along with the ability to hit time critical targets regardless of weather or time of day. The F-35 by using stand-off weapons like AGM-158 will have the ability to hold leadership targets at risk during daylight. Nothing like hitting a capital city unannounced at high noon. This pairing would be great for finding the TEL’s of the ballistic missiles as well. Reassigning the target selection of inbound JASSM’s, Tomahawks and JSOW C-1’s could also be a role F-35’s can play using its sensors to determine if a target has already been destroyed and freeing assets for other aim points. Finally, although a bit fanciful, the teaming above could be used to destroy the bad guys boomers in the shallow littoral that are too protected by airpower and ASW assets to risk P-8’s or an SSN. It would take work to modify the RQ-170 to act as a sonobuoy radio relay and provide a means of dropping them along with a torpedo or CASTOR mine from the F-35 but why not?
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Unread post26 Sep 2017, 23:55

wolfpak wrote:5th gen operations may evolve to pair F-35’s with stealthy recce assets like the RQ-170 to have persistent surveillance and stealthy strike capabilities ... It would take work to modify the RQ-170 to act as a sonobuoy radio relay and provide a means of dropping them along with a torpedo or CASTOR mine from the F-35 but why not?


....RQ-170 or ....MQ-25 Stingray (just hanging around the area, CVN and all)????
:)


.....QS-3 Viking; sonobuoys, mines, torpedoes, etc. CVN certified; long range, persistence. Flying 2019.
...later upgrades; MADL, AESA, EODAS, JPALS, etc.
:twisted:
Last edited by neptune on 27 Sep 2017, 06:10, edited 3 times in total.
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Unread post27 Sep 2017, 00:43

"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post28 Sep 2017, 07:37

Given the aircraft carries no external tanks (no use of weapon payload or pylons), and can potentially carry as many a 24 PGMs, I don't see why it can't operate as F-111s did:

1 x BOMBER (lone-wolf striker)

(Per load-out in this link: viewtopic.php?p=376825#p376825 )

So who needs the wingman, if you have LO and DAS, to keep from being surprised/jumped, plus has integrated CAP nearby, for example, operate a 24-aircraft squadron effort in this form:

15 x F-35 BOMBERS (lone-wolf but MADL connected)
4 x F-35 CAP
1 x F-35 Command and control

For 20 jets ... or as many as are available on that day, to act in BOMBER ROLE.

15 F-35 x 24 PGMs = 360 PGM Standoff weapons per sortie with the weapons able to fly from 15 distinct geographical locations simultaneously. Plus they have their own airborne strike command interfacing with HQ.

Thus 360 PGMs within a decentralised geographically distributed, but highly-connected and coordinated attack sortie, per squadron, per day, with self-provided CAP, per squadron.


EDIT: "to fly from 12 distinct geographical locations", ... to ... "to fly from 15 distinct geographical locations"
Last edited by element1loop on 29 Sep 2017, 04:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post28 Sep 2017, 15:05

element1loop wrote:Given the aircraft carries no external tanks (no use of weapon payload or pylons), and can potentially carry as many a 24 PGMs, I don't see why it can't operate as F-111s did:

1 x BOMBER (lone-wolf striker)

(Per load-out in this link: viewtopic.php?p=376825#p376825 )

So who needs the wingman, if you have LO and DAS, to keep from being surprised/jumped, plus has integrated CAP nearby, for example, operate a 24-aircraft squadron effort in this form:

15 x F-35 BOMBERS (lone-wolf but MADL connected)
4 x F-35 CAP
1 x F-35 Command and control

For 20 jets ... or as many as are available on that day, to act in BOMBER ROLE.

15 F-35 x 24 PGMs = 360 PGM Standoff weapons per sortie with the weapons able to fly from 12 distinct geographical locations simultaneously. Plus they have their own airborne strike command interfacing with HQ.

Thus 360 PGMs within a decentralised geographically distributed, but highly-connected and coordinated attack sortie, per squadron, per day, with self-provided CAP, per squadron.


I'm a little slow this morning. Coffee hasn't kicked in yet I guess. So please pardon the question...

which F-35 variant carries 24 precision guided munitions internally? I count eight (8) SDBs... or eight (8) SPEARs (UK, eventually). I can't figure out how you get to 24, internal only?
Take an F-16, stir in a little A-7, bake, then sprinkle on a generous helping of F-117. What do you get? An F-35.
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Unread post28 Sep 2017, 15:58

I think what he meant was that since the F-35 carries it's fuel internally then all of it's external wing stations can be dedicated to PGMs.
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Unread post29 Sep 2017, 00:37

Would be interesting to wargame some of these ideas in something like Command (probably the best option for public domain)...between all the people on F-16.net we could probably come up with some pretty good scenarios.
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