Test pilot admits the F35 cant dogfight

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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madrat

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Unread post23 Sep 2020, 13:18

F-35A has an internal gun. That speaks volumes.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post23 Sep 2020, 13:39

element1loop wrote:Which kinda makes F-16's turn radius performance completely irrelevant to winning in 2020 A2A fighting.

F-35A performance is needed to defeat missiles, and most of that is done via LO, plus radius and aspect management (MDFs again) and direction and altitude change if fired on, plus EW. So basically the F-35 pilot is not going to be thinking an F-16 has any chance to beat it. It's entirely possible to fly the F-35 in a way to deny the F-16 any advantage at all. And why wouldn't you?


I agree and I'd add DAS, networking, advanced sensor fusion with automated control of sensors and one of the best countermeasures packages around (chaff, flares, towed decoys and DIRCM in the future) to the equation. F-35 pilot will have a superb SA all the time no matter what it goes against. This includes knowing when a missile is launched against it and keeps a constant eye on that missile or any number of missiles. With the F-35 sensor suite and sensor fusion, it will detect, track and identify all targets faster and more accurately than pretty much anything flying now or in the near future. This includes both friendly and enemy aircraft and missiles. I think all this will have very profound effect on aerial combat with F-35 no matter if it's BVR or even WVR dogfight situation. F-35 maneuverability is built around these capabilties and it's obviously very good even on legacy metrics like STR and ITR. But the maneuverability is mostly there to both allow faster engagements by itself and avoid possible enemy missiles shot at it. I think the capabilities of F-35 will get comparatively better and better with more complex and difficult situations with large number of threat systems and friendly units.
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boogieman

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Unread post23 Sep 2020, 23:29

Yes, for the record everyone is preaching to the converted for my part. BFM becomes even more redundant when you consider pairing AIM260 with DAS. If the latter is agile enough (seems likely) even a solitary F35 will have a 360 degree WEZ in WVR. Without so much as turning their head, the pilot simply picks their target from the list and fires, with no maneuvering into a firing position required.

That said, I think the reality here is something that “Chip” Berke captured rather well on the Fighter Pilot Podcast’s F35 episode – BFM is generally a bad way to obtain favourable kill ratios for everyone nowadays. Even if you are winning a (vanishingly rare) in-the-phonebooth turning fight you are still anchoring yourself to a single opponent to the detriment of your energy state and SA. In an operational context this constitutes a gift-wrapped invitation for other bandits to pick you off from outside that phonebooth.
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element1loop

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Unread post24 Sep 2020, 00:24

madrat wrote:F-35A has an internal gun. That speaks volumes.


Not really, its what's required for intercept action short of shooting down an aircraft, such as ADIZ intercepts and warnings to non compliant aircraft flying over restricted airspace, etc. Without a gun, what's the next option? What does speak volumes is the lack of a USAF gun shoot-down since the Vietnam war.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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steve2267

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Unread post24 Sep 2020, 05:19

Then there was that interview with a (younger) Panther driver and the question was asked, something about tactics and techniques to enable the F-35 to gun enema aircraft from out-of-the-proverbial-LO-sun such that the enema never new he was a target. The topic arose as a way that Panther drivers might increase their magazine capacity given their internal AA missile loadout of four slammers (at that time.) As I recall... the reply was a wink and a nod... or I think the young pilot just smiled.
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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Unread post24 Sep 2020, 11:26

boogieman wrote:Yes, for the record everyone is preaching to the converted for my part. BFM becomes even more redundant when you consider pairing AIM260 with DAS. If the latter is agile enough (seems likely) even a solitary F35 will have a 360 degree WEZ in WVR. Without so much as turning their head, the pilot simply picks their target from the list and fires, with no maneuvering into a firing position required.

That said, I think the reality here is something that “Chip” Berke captured rather well on the Fighter Pilot Podcast’s F35 episode – BFM is generally a bad way to obtain favourable kill ratios for everyone nowadays. Even if you are winning a (vanishingly rare) in-the-phonebooth turning fight you are still anchoring yourself to a single opponent to the detriment of your energy state and SA. In an operational context this constitutes a gift-wrapped invitation for other bandits to pick you off from outside that phonebooth.


Totally agree. I see DAS as a really great system which gives totally new and unique capabilities. Like you said, over the shoulder shots will be totally possible using it. This kind of capabilities have already been demonstrated by legacy fighters using either off-board targeting like another fighter or pilot looking at target. DAS just makes this targeting capability far more effective, much faster and much more precise. Of course off-board targeting and helmet-cueing can still be used also. But DAS has constant full sphrere vision with uniform resolution while a human pilot can only see about 1/3 of that in low resolution (peripheral vision) with something like 1/1000 of that in high resolution. Naturally DAS can also track almost limitless number of targets in all directions whereas human being can only track a very low number of targets in basically one direction. And Next-Generation DAS will have twice the range and was it 5 times the resolution. That's pretty impressive given that no other fighter has anything like the current DAS nor are they planned. Of course F-22 and Rafale have MLDs with spherical view, but they are really only MLD/MAW systems which is only small portion of DAS capabilities.

Of course turning the fighter towards the target has the benefit of giving the missile longer range and more energy to go after the target as the missile doesn't need to turn while the short-burning rocket motor is burning. Here I see the high instantaneous turn rate and high-AoA capability very useful. But I think that kind of maneuvering will be very rare in F-35 as it indicates that the F-35 was somehow surprised and I think it will be very hard to do with all the systems it has.
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Unread post24 Sep 2020, 11:46

hornetfinn wrote:Totally agree. I see DAS as a really great system which gives totally new and unique capabilities. Like you said, over the shoulder shots will be totally possible using it. This kind of capabilities have already been demonstrated by legacy fighters using either off-board targeting like another fighter or pilot looking at target. DAS just makes this targeting capability far more effective, much faster and much more precise. Of course off-board targeting and helmet-cueing can still be used also. But DAS has constant full sphrere vision with uniform resolution while a human pilot can only see about 1/3 of that in low resolution (peripheral vision) with something like 1/1000 of that in high resolution. Naturally DAS can also track almost limitless number of targets in all directions whereas human being can only track a very low number of targets in basically one direction. And Next-Generation DAS will have twice the range and was it 5 times the resolution. That's pretty impressive given that no other fighter has anything like the current DAS nor are they planned. Of course F-22 and Rafale have MLDs with spherical view, but they are really only MLD/MAW systems which is only small portion of DAS capabilities.

Agreed. To my mind there have been a number of paradigm shifts in the domain of WVR combat. From guns to (mostly rear aspect) guided missiles. From rear aspect to (reliable) all aspect missiles. From basic all aspect missiles to HOBS + HMD. Now we are moving from HOBS to spherical missile cueing, where the HMD is an optional component.
hornetfinn wrote:Of course turning the fighter towards the target has the benefit of giving the missile longer range and more energy to go after the target as the missile doesn't need to turn while the short-burning rocket motor is burning. Here I see the high instantaneous turn rate and high-AoA capability very useful. But I think that kind of maneuvering will be very rare in F-35 as it indicates that the F-35 was somehow surprised and I think it will be very hard to do with all the systems it has.

Agreed, although with a missile like JATM even this may not be necessary. If it has the agility (TVC), it ought to have both the speed and the range to nail anything in the WVR arena pretty much regardless of aspect or orientation. Pointing the nose at the target is always preferable of course but we are poised to reach a point where pK will be well and truly high enough without it.
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element1loop

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Unread post24 Sep 2020, 16:46

boogieman wrote: Agreed. To my mind there have been a number of paradigm shifts in the domain of WVR combat.


The subjective concept of WVR fighting and tactics is being made meaningless as well by the combo of spherical and long-ranging IRSTs, plus day and night long range remote 'visual' imaging observation. Plus IR WVR missiles that can now reach past the range of an AIM-120A. Plus BVR range and tactics has become a 'visual' imaging fight now. F-35 has knocked down these divisions and done the same thing, as per the recent discussion about ARH and SARH losing, or blurring their meaning, also.
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Unread post17 Oct 2020, 17:20

I mean ever since the FA-18E/F the doctrine was way more focused on the post-stall agility maneuvers than sustained. The question would rather be if it's possible to install the rails for sidewinders on the doors of the weapon bay so that F-35 could launch those missiles while pulling off those impressive high AOA maneuvers. We all know that the integration of ASRAAM and Sidewinder internally was cancelled a few years ago so I wonder if they have plans in the near future. Or maybe it's just that its unnecessary all together. TBH I would arm my F-35s with 4 AMRAAMs or 6 after the upgrade even when I have the choice to have 2 Sidewinders instead.
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Unread post17 Oct 2020, 19:42

maro.kyo wrote:I mean ever since the FA-18E/F the doctrine was way more focused on the post-stall agility maneuvers than sustained. The question would rather be if it's possible to install the rails for sidewinders on the doors of the weapon bay so that F-35 could launch those missiles while pulling off those impressive high AOA maneuvers. We all know that the integration of ASRAAM and Sidewinder internally was cancelled a few years ago so I wonder if they have plans in the near future. Or maybe it's just that its unnecessary all together. TBH I would arm my F-35s with 4 AMRAAMs or 6 after the upgrade even when I have the choice to have 2 Sidewinders instead.


I think you missed the point. If you get into a dog fight in a stealth fighter you did something drastically wrong. Also you don't want to get anywhere near the stall speed in a dogfight as that would make you a sitting duck.
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Unread post17 Oct 2020, 21:27

alloycowboy wrote:
maro.kyo wrote:I mean ever since the FA-18E/F the doctrine was way more focused on the post-stall agility maneuvers than sustained. The question would rather be if it's possible to install the rails for sidewinders on the doors of the weapon bay so that F-35 could launch those missiles while pulling off those impressive high AOA maneuvers. We all know that the integration of ASRAAM and Sidewinder internally was cancelled a few years ago so I wonder if they have plans in the near future. Or maybe it's just that its unnecessary all together. TBH I would arm my F-35s with 4 AMRAAMs or 6 after the upgrade even when I have the choice to have 2 Sidewinders instead.


I think you missed the point. If you get into a dog fight in a stealth fighter you did something drastically wrong. Also you don't want to get anywhere near the stall speed in a dogfight as that would make you a sitting duck.


That is correct but you know, we are discussing that very ultra slim possibility of F-35 actually being put in a dogfight. Also, Thanks to all the off bore aiming techniques and high-g SRAAMs post-stall maneuvers have more importance than what you might think. But I do agree that getting into the situation where you have to do those post-stall maneuvers or dogfights in the first place is quite a desperate one. Thus

TBH I would arm my F-35s with 4 AMRAAMs or 6 after the upgrade even when I have the choice to have 2 Sidewinders instead.


this.
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Unread post17 Oct 2020, 22:38

Perhaps the next AAM to enter production will have a dual-mode seeker.
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Unread post17 Oct 2020, 22:49

squirrelshoes wrote:Perhaps the next AAM to enter production will have a dual-mode seeker.


Yeah. It's called JATM. It was mentioned upthread.
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Unread post18 Oct 2020, 02:41

boogieman wrote: From guns to (mostly rear aspect) guided missiles. From rear aspect to (reliable) all aspect missiles. From basic all aspect missiles to HOBS + HMD. Now we are moving from HOBS to spherical missile cueing, where the HMD is an optional component.


yep

Phase 1: turn the airplane

Phase 2: turn your head

Phase 3. no need to turn anything
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Unread post18 Oct 2020, 03:17

PHASE ???: via HMDS & a button click pilot can view vHUD 6 O'clock volume with notations....

http://www.slideshare.net/robbinlaird/t ... t/download (PDF 0.5Mb) [now attached bekuz SLIDEs go OFF soon]
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F-35vHUDdisplayBehindHMDS.gif
thef-35cockpitapproach-120417081628-phpapp01.pdf
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A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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