Test pilot admits the F35 cant dogfight

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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boogieman

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Unread post21 Oct 2020, 23:55

zero-one wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:The "merge" will exist, however it will be unrecognizable compared to the past.


Thank you, this was my whole point, I'm not saying it will be like World war 2 or even Vietnam.....errrr wait scratch that,
my whole argument is that we shouldn't be dismissive, so as much as it won't likely be like Vietnam, I'm also not going to completely dismiss that.

I'm happy you made infantry as your point of reference, with today's modern handheld weapons you can theoretically kill the enemy from a kilometre away, operating word is "can" because even if it's possible, the enemey won't let that happen they adjust and CQB or close quarter battles is still a very common occurrence specially in an urban setting.

So yes theoretically you can eliminate the merge, but just like the infantry, the enemy will do its best to adapt and force it because that their best chance against 5th gens.

I don't think anyone is arguing that the merge won't ever occur, just that the way you approach it will have to be different. If your opponent can take a within-NEZ-shot at you over his shoulder after the merge, the "default" response of immediately turning back into him may not be appropriate. I would posit that at that point you are maneuvering in relation to the incoming missile(s) (defensive) rather than the bandit (offensive) at that point. If you are capable of taking within-NEZ shots at him over your own shoulder as well, then that only strengthens the imperative to keep the nose pointed away from the bandit and create more distance to escape the WEZ. The alternative to this might be to try and stick as close to the bandit as possible to stay inside his missile Rmin, but, aside from being very difficult (next to impossible if he decides to blow through), this would also potentially stifle your own offensive options and - perhaps most importantly - leave you extremely exposed to being killed by third parties.

The only caveat to this would be the need to deploy countermeasures like ALE-70 (towed decoy) which may mandate a beaming maneuver with respect to the incoming missile(s). No matter which way you cut it, the entire complexion of the WVR fight is turned on its head because two of traditional dogfighting's underpinning assumptions (forward firing aircraft and a "safe" 6 o'clock control zone) no longer apply.
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Unread post22 Oct 2020, 00:37

“I don't think anyone is arguing that the merge won't ever occur, just that the way you approach it will have to be different. If your opponent can take a within-NEZ-shot at you over his shoulder after the merge, the "default" response of immediately turning back into him may not be appropriate. I would posit that at that point you are maneuvering in relation to the incoming missile(s) (defensive) rather than the bandit (offensive) at that point. If you are capable of taking within-NEZ shots at him over your own shoulder as well, then that only strengthens the imperative to keep the nose pointed away from the bandit and create more distance to escape the WEZ. The alternative to this might be to try and stick as close to the bandit as possible to stay inside his missile Rmin, but, aside from being very difficult (next to impossible if he decides to blow through), this would also potentially stifle your own offensive options and - perhaps most importantly - leave you extremely exposed to being killed by third parties.

The only caveat to this would be the need to deploy countermeasures like ALE-70 (towed decoy) which may mandate a beaming maneuver with respect to the incoming missile(s). No matter which way you cut it, the entire complexion of the WVR fight is turned on its head because two of traditional dogfighting's underpinning assumptions (forward firing aircraft and a "safe" 6 o'clock control zone) no longer apply.“

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Unread post22 Oct 2020, 00:42

“...in order for sustained air to air operations to occur the enemy must have a way to replenish and generate sorties...”

x2! Airfields would go down very early...

“The "merge" will exist, however it will be unrecognizable compared to the past.

The entire point of maneuver is for the fighter to bring weapons to bear. if the weapons can be brought to bear from any aspect, there is no longer a need to maneuver.”

This too...(as b’man has pointed out as well).
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XanderCrews

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Unread post22 Oct 2020, 03:53

zero-one wrote:as your point of reference, with today's modern handheld weapons you can theoretically kill the enemy from a kilometre away, operating word is "can" because even if it's possible, the enemey won't let that happen they adjust and CQB or close quarter battles is still a very common occurrence specially in an urban setting.


I'm going to drop the infantry metaphor because its just going to great a giant side show distraction.

[
So yes theoretically you can eliminate the merge, but just like the infantry, the enemy will do its best to adapt and force it because that their best chance against 5th gens.


How is their "best chance"? I challenge that entire assumption. US pilots have lost like 2 aircraft since 1973 in dogfights, and I'm giving the benefit of the doubt to the alleged downing of Scott Speicher to even make it that. Theres absolutely no evidence in my mind that WVR is any less deadly. The F-35 and F-22 can maneuver, the pilots are trained, I have no idea why we think "AHA! if I can get within visual of those dastardly Americans they don't stand a chance! I've got that F-22 in a dogfight! this will end well!!"

recent history says they all just die anyway.

My issue is this. Theres a chance we are 100 percent wrong on all of this. the future is Battle of Britian 2.0.

but assuming its not, I really have no idea how much of my force and training I'm supposed to be throwing into the very slim chance an F-35 finds itself all alone in a vertical scissors with a Flanker. I really don't get it. are we supposed to be perfect? even in Korea where the K/D was 12:1 in favor, the bad guys still got 1. We've lost more F-15s to training accidents than we have air combat. we lose pilots and airplanes via attrition year after but the idea that an F-35 might get into a dogfight and not win, is supposed to stop the presses. I really don't care.

If im in a war with a near peer, yeah I'm gonna lose some aircraft. This idea that I'll lose 100 fighters to various kinds of peacetime oopsies over the years, but losing just one in a dogfight is "the end" is ridiculous. This is like a combination lock. They have to get 4 numbers correct to get 1 kill. Thats not sustainable. if it ends up being 10 kills for every 1 I lose, even if the 1 I lose is in the most humiliating dogfight embarrassment ever, I'll take it. 10 kills is more than 1. They'll run out long before I do.

I'm a crappy boxer. Luckily for me combat isn't usually determined by boxing. I'll bet on me with a rifle every time though. So I'm willing to win 100 gunfights if it means I lose a boxing match here and there.

I simply refuse to believe in a "quadruple" failure. especially when one of those links is well trained, not stupid, far more hours in cockpit, pilot. Most nations don't have our level of pilot expertise so even if everything went to hell technologically, I'm betting the pilots will make it work and when the day until we can refine and reform. Thats the way granddaddy did it against the Zeros. The US just has an immense and unbelievable pilot program. Thats what all the dogfight practice is about in the first place. We aren't even neglecting it.

BVR= just kill them
WVR= Just kill them
Swirling dogfight= just kill them

The end isn't in doubt. we may lose some yes. We lose some now even in peace. they're basically a footnote. People don't talk about Scott Speicher when we talk about 1991.
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Unread post22 Oct 2020, 04:06

'zero-one' said earlier: "...So yes theoretically you can eliminate the merge... the enemy will do its best to adapt and force it [the merge?] because that [is] their best chance against 5th gens." As has been explained now more times than I can count & explained by the knowledgeable people in their replies here again 'the merge' as you call it ain't gonna happen. Whatever THEORETICAL scenario you can devise relies upon the enemy aircraft being itself invisible to an F-35.
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Unread post22 Oct 2020, 13:30

XanderCrews wrote:How is their "best chance"? I challenge that entire assumption.


I'm saying this as opposed to the alternative. If you are a Russian or Chinese or North Korean pilot, what do you think the chances are that you can kill an F-35 from BVR, 5% maybe 6, from WVR you may have a 15% chance of success, it's still extremely low but if I'm the Chinese, I will focus our entire training syllabus and strategy on how I can get to WVR where my chances are slightly higher.


I agree with all your other points, I'm just saying lets not be too dismissive, another thing that we seem to be dismissive of is the "hit the breaks and he'll fly right by" maneuver , I'm guilty of this as well, if you're thinking cobra, you're probably an airshow fanboy. Little did I know that maneuver was actually used in combat

Here Capt. Randy Cunigham recounts how his maneuver was what inspired the producers in Top-Gun to put it in the film
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WkjdZHkOIY&t=17s

Yes its very rare, but it happens, thats my whole point, I'm not saying anyone is wrong, I'm just trying to keep it in check.
when someone says, this "can't" happen, it can be a very dangerous assumption, thats all this is.
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Unread post22 Oct 2020, 13:32

spazsinbad wrote: As has been explained now more times than I can count & explained by the knowledgeable people in their replies here again 'the merge' as you call it ain't gonna happen.


Except it already did,
Look back at Ret. Col Terry Scott's account on how F-22s have "merged" with Su-35's over Syria and "performed very well"
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Unread post22 Oct 2020, 13:45

quicksilver wrote:The entire point of maneuver is for the fighter to bring weapons to bear. if the weapons can be brought to bear from any aspect, there is no longer a need to maneuver.”

At reduced Pks of course

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sTsjQ_ud8E&t=1646s

Tom Morganfeld wrote:The question is, "how important is maneuverability to a modern fighter" I don't know of a fighter where maneuverability wasn't important. now if you get decent weaponry then it takes away the need for maneuverability TO A CERTAIN EXTENT but if its an air to air fighter it has to be able to turn and point it's nose


Being an F-35 test pilot, knowing more about the aircraft than most non military personnel, I think this holds a lot of water
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Unread post22 Oct 2020, 15:32

zero-one wrote: it can be a very dangerous assumption, thats all this is.


but its not a "dangerous assumption" in the first place.


This is based on the idea that somehow the US is at a disadvantage WVR. its not. Theres no evidence of that.

F-22- hyper manueverable
F-35A is roughly equal to an F-16 and outperforms most contemporaries close in.

we teach WVR, we practice WVR, we have things like red flag and top gun.

What more do you want? Thats my point. how many more hours and training am i supposed to dedicate to training a skill we already have even more?

Your entire argument hinges on the idea that:

A. The merge is inevitable
B. we will inevitably be at a disadvantage when it does.

Theres no evidence of that. theres no reason to think that our gear or our personnel are somehow weak sauce the second the enemy visually acquires us. this is Vietnam baggage thats being retreaded.

most fighter pilots around the world are not picked based on merit. its politics and familial connections. That Saudi Prince in an F-15 is not there because he is just a monster behind the stick. China has the same problem. Connected pilots fly Flankers. the scraps get the old junk. the US for the most part still works on merit.

You've accepted a false arguement and are no debating on the assumptions there in. even the "haha mauneverability still matters!!" good thing the F-35 and F-22 can maneuver then, correct? what more do you want? the F-35A can ONLY pull 9.9G? should it be 12 or something? am I doubling Red Flags? opening more advanced pilot schools like NSAWC? making more aggressor/adversary units? how much time and effort and money am i supposed to pour into a situation we can already handle well enough?
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zero-one

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Unread post22 Oct 2020, 15:46

XanderCrews wrote:This is based on the idea that somehow the US is at a disadvantage WVR. its not. Theres no evidence of that.
A. The merge is inevitable
B. we will inevitably be at a disadvantage when it does.



All of these are your words not mine. I have never once said that the US is at a disadvantage in WVR nor did I say it was inevitable. (What I said is that it CAN happen)

What I'm saying is, forum people, like you and me seem to dismiss the possibility far more often than actual pilots. Actual pilots talk about it like it can really happen, but over at f-16.net, a lot of folks (not you) seem to think that the merge is some sort of fantasy that can't happen.
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Unread post22 Oct 2020, 15:58

zero-one wrote:I'm saying this as opposed to the alternative. If you are a Russian or Chinese or North Korean pilot, what do you think the chances are that you can kill an F-35 from BVR, 5% maybe 6, from WVR you may have a 15% chance of success, it's still extremely low but if I'm the Chinese, I will focus our entire training syllabus and strategy on how I can get to WVR where my chances are slightly higher.


I really hope they are that stupid.

All of these are your words not mine. I have never once said that the US is at a disadvantage in WVR nor did I say it was inevitable. (What I said is that it CAN happen)


I said it could happen and would be completely different than what you are thinking.


What I'm saying is, forum people, like you and me seem to dismiss the possibility far more often than actual pilots. Actual pilots talk about it like it can really happen, but over at f-16.net, a lot of folks (not you) seem to think that the merge is some sort of fantasy that can't happen.


I love a good appeal to authority as much as the next strosstruppen, but I'm saying its essentially irrelevant. and odds are it will not happen unless its an actual pitched big war against China or Russia or some other power that actually has numbers and some juice. and numbers that matter. Even if Russia decided to go to war over syria, they have a handful of aircraft on known airfields. air dominance in minutes.

Youre fretting over things we already do.

but muh guns. F-35 and F-22 have guns

but muh dogfight. the pilots are trained on dogfighting

but muh meaneuervability. both aircraft are maneuverable.

but muh experience. the pilots are trained in some of the most challenging environments imaginable

but muh vietnam. 50 years ago, and we've killed 60 since, with zero loses save for one assumed loss n 1991.

but muh unknown unknowns. good luck with that, there are always unknown unknowns, the whole idea is no one can predict such things.
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Unread post22 Oct 2020, 16:09

We’ve been over all of these things with you before zero.
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Unread post22 Oct 2020, 16:33

quicksilver wrote:We’ve been over all of these things with you before zero.

yes, you have had this conversation with me before, but you know what, you will have it again, its a cycle

1. someone(not you) says its impossible
2. I say it's just unlikely but very possible
3. People seem to largely agree

then a few months later someone says it's impossible again. so yes, we've had this before and I won't be surprised if we have this again
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Unread post22 Oct 2020, 16:40

XanderCrews wrote:Youre fretting over things we already do.

but muh guns. F-35 and F-22 have guns

but muh dogfight. the pilots are trained on dogfighting

but muh meaneuervability. both aircraft are maneuverable.

but muh experience. the pilots are trained in some of the most challenging environments imaginable

but muh vietnam. 50 years ago, and we've killed 60 since, with zero loses save for one assumed loss n 1991.

but muh unknown unknowns. .


Again all your words not mine. The USAF knows what they are doing, they know it's a serious possibility, my problem is with some Forum people, (not you) those that say,

"As has been explained now more times than I can count & explained by the knowledgeable people in their replies here again 'the merge' as you call it ain't gonna happen"

Thats my problem, where does this idea come from? the USAF definitely doesn't think this way, I can quote multiple pilots who said that the merge is still possible, so where are these forum people getting these ideas?
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Unread post22 Oct 2020, 17:10

zero-one wrote:Again all your words not mine. The USAF knows what they are doing,


Thats my point. they can do WVR if its needed anyway which means you're just upset at this point that they refuse to recognize your arguement on an internet forum.



Thats my problem, where does this idea come from? the USAF definitely doesn't think this way, I can quote multiple pilots who said that the merge is still possible, so where are these forum people getting these ideas?


There are things called "professional disagreements." Wherein, despite our best brain-washing efforts, some people in uniform have different opinions on different subjects. We keep trying to beat the humanity out of them, but despite our best efforts the individual opinions remain. Nonetheless, Beatings will continue.

There are people in the air force who think pilots are completely obsolete, or very nearly so. Pilots disagree.

which "air force says" am i to believe?

There are people in the navy who believe the twilight of the CVN is at hand. there are others who think its only getting better. Which "Navy says" am i to believe?

FFS look no further than the F-35 itself. opinion throughout the services is not uniform. You think every pilot out there approves of the F-35? every official? every general or flag?


its very simple:

1. the "merge" is going to become ever more rare, for various reasons
2. when and if the merge does occur, it will be nearly unrecognizable compared to the past
3. the result will be the same.

so why the f**k should i care? especially when i feel we are as prepared as we've ever been for such a slim possibility? (could our time not be better elsewhere?)

We still teach "combatives' and "hand to hand" and whatever theyre calling them these days as always, but at one point its time to focus on what one is more likely to see. (hell combative are now mainly taught to foster aggression, not even to impart practical fighting skills. its far more mental than anything else. I can only yell and stab a tire so many times)
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