Test pilot admits the F35 cant dogfight

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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geforcerfx

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Unread post02 Mar 2016, 20:58

nathan77 wrote:
Here's how I see it; imagine 4 F-35's go up against 4 SU-35's.
The F-35's with the stealth and sensor advantage has the 'first look, first shot' advantage, and fires the first volley of missiles against the SU-35's. The SU-35's detect the incoming AMRAAMs; and know that they have been targeted by stealth aircraft (probably F-35's). The SU-35's pilots, believing their aircraft has the kinetic advantage, choose to attempt to close the distance and force the merge. However, that would mean that they have to foolishly fly head-first towards the incoming AMRAAMs. So even if one SU-35 is very lucky, and the missile misses, what about his wingmen? Chances are his wingmen wouldn't be so lucky. So now when the merge occurs, he'll be at a 1 vs 4, or 2 vs 4 disadvantage against the F-35's. And I don't care how much better the SU-35's performance is meant to be; it's not THAT good. Outnumbered, they'd be easy pickings.

And even if the SU-35's chooses not to engage and run from the AMRAAMs, and are successful in all surviving - by the time the missiles have run out of legs, the F-35's would be long gone.


Close the distance on what? They detect the amramm, if they didn't detect the launch they have no idea where the f-35s are, they have a rough directional idea. If the f-35s are split up by 30-40 miles and you go chasing one set in one direction you just opened your self up to side shots from the remainders and have taken your radar out of the equation on those two aircraft, who now have a lovely radar picture of the side/rear of your aircraft. The only smart thing to do if you got ghosts firing on you is gtfo, try and regroup and hope what ever it was ain't chasing you.
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count_to_10

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Unread post03 Mar 2016, 00:44

It gets worse if the AMRAAMs can pull the torpedo trick of changing direction to approach the target from a completely different baring than the launching platform. Though you may accomplish the same thing by sending one F-35 out to fire all of it's missiles from one direction and run, while the rest of the pack waits in ambush.
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geforcerfx

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Unread post03 Mar 2016, 00:57

count_to_10 wrote:It gets worse if the AMRAAMs can pull the torpedo trick of changing direction to approach the target from a completely different baring than the launching platform. Though you may accomplish the same thing by sending one F-35 out to fire all of it's missiles from one direction and run, while the rest of the pack waits in ambush.


The mind games that stealth brings to bvr is truly limitless, I can't imagine the frustration / fear of having to fight something that you can see with your eye or any of your sensors.
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optimist

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Unread post03 Mar 2016, 01:25

I would assume the F-35 at the back would have his radar working, feeding to the other 3 or more. If there were off board sensors, that would also add to the picture.
we all need to broaden our systems within systems view and not get stuck in just one. The f-35 firing its own or another f-35's missile, might not be first choice. The USMC say ARGUS and sm's are there to be used and ships carry a few more missiles than a plane. they are also talking about having missile UAV mules.
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Unread post03 Mar 2016, 01:31

optimist wrote:I would assume the F-35 at the back would have his radar working, feeding to the other 3 or more. If there were off board sensors, that would also add to the picture.
we all need to broaden our systems within systems view and not get stuck in just one. The f-35 firing its own or another f-35's missile, might not be first choice. The USMC say ARGUS and sm's are there to be used and ships carry a few more missiles than a plane. they are also talking about having missile UAV mules.

I envision a X-47B scaled up to be around E-2 Hawkeye size in dimensions (with wings folded) with a single F135 engine, basic sensors and a whole lot of carrying capacity.

20,000 lb empty, 70,000 lb max take off weight

Two models, one is a dedicated Refueling model, the other a ammo truck in the sky
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Unread post03 Mar 2016, 02:03

The F35 in WVR combat really sounds just like a Hornet. Especially in a multiple bandit or 2 v 2, 3 v 3 engagement, it seems like the F-16 should be able to hold its own or more if it sticks to energy fighting basics. Any Hornet that can't keep up with its nose pointing is going to get nailed by gun or AIM-9X.
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Unread post03 Mar 2016, 02:29

derphurf wrote:The F35 in WVR combat really sounds just like a Hornet. Especially in a multiple bandit or 2 v 2, 3 v 3 engagement, it seems like the F-16 should be able to hold its own or more if it sticks to energy fighting basics. Any Hornet that can't keep up with its nose pointing is going to get nailed by gun or AIM-9X.

The problem is the F-35 has similar acceleration to the F-16. The reason why the F-16 can do nasty speed tricks against the Hornet because it retains energy much better. However against the F-35, the F-35 is similar but the F-35 has better AoA and deceleration. So the F-35 is more capable than the F-16 in that reguard.
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Unread post03 Mar 2016, 02:50

armedupdate wrote:
derphurf wrote:The F35 in WVR combat really sounds just like a Hornet. Especially in a multiple bandit or 2 v 2, 3 v 3 engagement, it seems like the F-16 should be able to hold its own or more if it sticks to energy fighting basics. Any Hornet that can't keep up with its nose pointing is going to get nailed by gun or AIM-9X.

The problem is the F-35 has similar acceleration to the F-16. The reason why the F-16 can do nasty speed tricks against the Hornet because it retains energy much better. However against the F-35, the F-35 is similar but the F-35 has better AoA and deceleration. So the F-35 is more capable than the F-16 in that reguard.


Based on talks by F35 drivers, the F-16 still holds the advantage in retaining energy, however. Any high AOA manuever you do automatically puts you in a lower energy state
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Unread post03 Mar 2016, 02:52

spazsinbad wrote:
F-35 pilot: ‘Not all about numbers’ [LINKED IN POST IMMEDIATELY ABOVE]
09 Feb 2016 AIRheads/EH

"It’s when you climb into the cockpit and begin your startup. That’s where it begins. That’s where those often talked about 8 million lines of binary code show what they’re all about. That’s when the integrated systems come online on the large, glass touch-screen. That’s when the cleverness presents itself. No more navigating across the cockpit, reaching for the radios or engine instruments, it’s all right there in front you. The jet comes alive. Yes, Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) pilot Ian ‘Gladys’ Knight [& the PIPS] is impressed by the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II. Is everything perfect? No. But they’re working on it....

...However, not everything about the F-35 can be put into numbers and a first impression is one such thing. “I have about 100 hours on the F-35 now after flying 1,700 on the F-16 before”, says Knight. “On my first flight in the Lightning, I immediately noticed how smooth and easy the aircraft handles. It really is very solid and robust compared to the F-16. The first landing was already better than most of my landings in the Viper. I was genuinly impressed.”

Job
His job nonetheless, is to see if he can find anything wrong with it. “At Edwards, we find out how the aircraft behaves in an operational environment. We are all experienced weapon school graduates, but we are not test pilots. We develop, test and validate tactics that make the best use of the aircraft’s capabilities. There’s no reason for us not to be critical towards the aircraft. It is after all the aircraft Dutch pilots will go to war in for the considerable future.”

Air combat
According to Knight – who flew against a herd of modern fighter jets – not much seems wrong when it comes to air combat manoeuvring (ACM) in the F-35. “The F-35 performs similarly to the F-16 and F-18 and has it’s own strengths and weakneses. We try to take advantage of those strengths while avoiding that part of the envelope where other aircraft can beat us. That is what operational testing is all about: you take the aircraft with all it’s inherent strengths and weaknesses and come up with the best way to execute the mission.”

World of awareness
The F-35 can stand its own against F-16s, F-18s and probably the like. But were the stealthy Lightning II really shines, is being the eye in the sky that shares information with other aircraft, striking targets itself when needed and defeating or misleading threats before they get anywhere near. “This aircraft provides another world of situational awareness. Compared to that, the F-16’s capabilities are rudimentary and obsolete”, states Knight

Last year, the Dutch F-35s flew complex missions with their F-16 predecessors. The main focus was fourth and fifth generation fighter integration and interoperability. “It was a great experience and good to see the added value of the F-35. One F-16 pilot even described our F-35 capability as flipping on a light switch: without F-35s in the fight they were struggling in the dark, with F-35s by their side they had very high situational awareness.”...

...Feedback
What is there constantly in the F-35, is buffeting. It could be regarded as unwanted but it has its advantages, says Knight. “The vibrations are noticable for the pilot, but they are also a way of getting feedback. It’s like the jet is talking to you, a sort of flying by the seat of the pants. We are curious to know the effect of the vibrations on gun accuracy, though....

Source: http://airheadsfly.com/2016/02/09/f-35- ... t-numbers/


This! :devil:

Ian "Gladys" Knight nailed it!

Looks like the RNLAF F35 fighter pilots have no doubt that The Netherlands have bought the right aircraft after initial operational testing (this not even block 3F capability yet!).
Last edited by mk82 on 03 Mar 2016, 04:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post03 Mar 2016, 03:18

Is the F-35's acceleration better or the same or less than F-16. I believe this shows the F-35's acceleration is slightly less. Are the fighters loaded or not?
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Unread post03 Mar 2016, 04:22

Mac covered the acceleration issue on his blog. IIRC, a F-16 with clean except 2 wingtip AMRAAMs was the official program baseline, with a fully internally loaded F-35A being 8ish seconds slower. Thus the above table's "Tactical Mnvr Wt" where the F-35A is equal to a clean Viper (very close in drag to Viper + wingtip loads) is likely 50% fuel, possibly after bomb release (or pure AtA load).
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Unread post03 Mar 2016, 04:51

cantaz wrote:Mac covered the acceleration issue on his blog. IIRC, a F-16 with clean except 2 wingtip AMRAAMs was the official program baseline, with a fully internally loaded F-35A being 8ish seconds slower. Thus the above table's "Tactical Mnvr Wt" where the F-35A is equal to a clean Viper (very close in drag to Viper + wingtip loads) is likely 50% fuel, possibly after bomb release (or pure AtA load).


I would say 50% fuel load, that puts them, numbers wise pretty even with the F-16 having slightly better T/W and the F-35 having better wing loading.
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Unread post03 Mar 2016, 09:01

optimist wrote:The f-35 firing its own or another f-35's missile, might not be first choice. The USMC say ARGUS and sm's are there to be used and ships carry a few more missiles than a plane.


I have doubts about that 'Optimist' (despite the strong prevailing move to Joint engagements), for instance SM2 has a surface attack and even land attack capability but have they been used that way? Not to my knowledge. Why? My supposition is because ASM weapons have proliferated so much that no one wants to empty a VLS cell and use them for something other than naval defense if there's another weapon option available to hit a target. Maybe the US could get away with doing it, maybe, but I don't think anyone else can. Or that SMs will be first cab off the rank for assisting in an A2A fight. I could be wrong here but I don't see it panning out that way in a battle, where ships are also exposed and where their own magazine depletion state is critically important. Better off putting more and better missiles on the fighters.
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Unread post03 Mar 2016, 12:15

Anither consideation.You can buy 4 X AIM-120D for the cost of a single SM-6.
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Unread post03 Mar 2016, 14:53

element1loop wrote:
optimist wrote:The f-35 firing its own or another f-35's missile, might not be first choice. The USMC say ARGUS and sm's are there to be used and ships carry a few more missiles than a plane.


I have doubts about that 'Optimist' (despite the strong prevailing move to Joint engagements), for instance SM2 has a surface attack and even land attack capability but have they been used that way?


SM-2s have been used many times against ships/boats. Land targets less so (for obvious reasons). There was going to be an SM-4, an SM-2 specifically modified for precision land attack, but it was cancelled. Too small a warhead and couldn't hit a moving target on land. But SM-2s against boats? Yep.



They've also done them during SINKEXs. Also during Operation Praying Mantis they sunk several Iranian gunboats with them. A quote from that incident regarding the SM-2s in this role was, "by the time the Harpoons got there they were already under water".
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