F-35A vs B vs C

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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lbk000

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Unread post08 Nov 2018, 23:05

Anyone who can't VID a Russian or Chinese anticarrier attack on the scope deserves to be sunk.
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marsavian

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Unread post08 Nov 2018, 23:05

Nothing to do with video games but all the actual F-14 combat encounters ever recorded and the majority were dogfights starting at BVR. You do not want opposing aircraft to get comfortable enough to start releasing their attack munitions at range or even closer, take them out before they start doing that and giving your ship defences problems they could well do without. It's about position and time and intercepting invariably turns into dogfighting when attacking aircraft cannot be permitted to proceed on their mission. Stealth just makes the BVR intercept more easier and clinical but does not preclude WVR interception if the BVR was not completely successful.
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Unread post08 Nov 2018, 23:12

lbk000 wrote:Anyone who can't VID a Russian or Chinese anticarrier attack on the scope deserves to be sunk.

You made me giggle (& I'm not insulting any country or part of any country by doing so) along with your other comments.
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Unread post08 Nov 2018, 23:23

Since EOTS allows VID at 40+nm, yeah.
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lbk000

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Unread post09 Nov 2018, 00:30

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:Since EOTS allows VID at 40+nm, yeah.

A proper attack is, to say the least, "very loud." Talking about VIDing hostile bombers at 40nm is about as silly as putting a stethoscope to the ground at the front row of a Metallica concert. Or Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

"Kamikazes: The Soviet Legacy" by Maksim Y. Tokarev sheds some insights into an anticarrier strike:
https://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-r ... 67/iss1/7/
(Tokarev, Maksim Y. (2014) "Kamikazes: The Soviet Legacy," Naval War College Review: Vol. 67 : No. 1 , Article 7. )

Firstly, the scale of an earnest attack attempt on a US CVBG cannot be understated. For just the bomber component,
The doctrine for direct attacks on the carrier task force (carrier battle group or carrier strike group) originally included one or two air regiments for each aircraft carrier—up to seventy Tu-16s. However, in the early 1980s a new, improved doctrine was developed to concentrate an entire MRA air division (two or three regiments) to attack the task force centered around one carrier. This time there would be a hundred Backfires and Badgers per carrier, between seventy and eighty of them carrying missiles.

Large numbers were necessary additionally because, despite the Backfire's ability to carry up to 3 missiles,
...in anticipated real battle conditions, seasoned crews always insisted on just one missile per plane (at belly position), as the wing mounts caused an enormous increase in drag and significantly reduced speed and range.

For protection, the already large signatures of the massed bomber groups would be further augmented by copious quantities of ECM, of both active and passive variety:
...the incoming Backfires had to be able to saturate the air with chaff.

Lastly, there had to be a set choreography to ensure a successful attack:
To know for sure the carrier’s position, it was desirable to observe it visually. To do that, a special recce-attack group (razvedyvatel’no-udarnaya gruppa, RUG) could be detached from the MRA division formation. The RUG consisted of a pair of the Tu-16R reconnaissance Badgers and a squadron of Tu-22M Backfires. The former flew ahead of the latter and extremely low (not higher than two hundred meters, for as long as 300–350 kilometers) to penetrate the radar screen field of the carrier task force, while the latter were as high as possible, launching several missiles from maximum range, even without proper targeting, just to catch the attention of AEW crews and barrier CAP fighters. Meanwhile, those two reconnaissance Badgers, presumably undetected, made the dash into the center of the task force formation and found the carrier visually, their only task to send its exact position to the entire division by radio.
[...]
After the RUG sent the position of the carrier and was shattered to debris, the main attack group (UG, udarnaya gruppa) launched the main missile salvo. The UG consisted of a demonstration group, an ECM group armed with antiradar missiles of the K-11 model, two to three strike groups, and a post-strike reconnaissance group. Different groups approached from different directions and at different altitudes, but the main salvo had to be made simultaneously by all of the strike groups’ planes. The prescribed time slot for the entire salvo was just one minute for best results, no more than two minutes for satisfactory ones. If the timing became wider in an exercise, the entire main attack was considered unsuccessful.

Beyond the large movements of large aircraft, there were other tells presaging an attack:
...SSGNs were evidently considered in the West to be the safest asset of the Soviet Navy during an attack, but it was not the case. The problem was hiding in the radio communications required: two hours prior to the launch, all the submarines of the PAD were forced to hold periscope depth and lift their highfrequency-radio and satellite communication antennas up into the air, just to get the detailed targeting data from reconnaissance assets directly


While certainly adversary capabilities have advanced beyond Soviet era capabilities and their attendant shortcomings, so has American ISR. As good old Boromir once said, "One does not simply spring a surprise attack to sink a carrier."

--

To understand the other end of it, USN FAD doctrine required a rather unique sort of interceptor that isn't really in line with the point defense interceptor familiar everywhere else. The F-14 is a slow aircraft. Yes, it could fly fast, but that's not the real use case (the F-14's top speed limits got ratcheted down lower as its career went on). FAD was a role where the aircraft wasn't even an interceptor; it was a proxy platform that launched the interceptor proper -- that being the AIM-54 Phoenix. And so the F-14 was truly most in its element just floating around for hours at a time down at Mach 0.4 or so, like a big overgrown sailplane because loiter time is the key concept of FAD. The longer and further you can hang out from the carrier, the safer the carrier is from assailants.

So if you want to talk about the virtues of Big Wing Charlie then that's the line of thinking you should be exploring along with other mundanities of daily operation, not turn rates. Believe it or not, being safe at landing on a carrier is a pretty big deal because you cause the boat more trouble than 2 MiG-23's ever will if you crap things up with a bad landing.
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Unread post09 Nov 2018, 17:57

Thank for that understanding of how the USN protects its carriers, or protected as the case may be with F-14's.

I wonder if the US Navy is increasing its stock of SM-6's, or expanding the number of launch platforms? Given the range, speed and overall deadliness of that system it would make sense. Especially given how the F-35 can communicate/call shots with it.

So at the end of the day we have a stealth fighter flying lazy circles say, 600 plus miles from the carrier with a half dozen AIM-120D's and the ability to call in SM-6 shots. It has not dozens, but hundreds of ways to locate, ID and otherwise keep track of the enemy (be it fighters, bombers, cruise missile's etc). The enemy won't ever see it, so they likely won't have activated their ECM/ECCM, chaff/flares or other defensive systems. The first time they'll know they're under attack is when AIM-120D's/SM-6's slam into them.

Do I have that right?
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Unread post10 Nov 2018, 01:25

mixelflick wrote:The enemy won't ever see it, so they likely won't have activated their ECM/ECCM, chaff/flares or other defensive systems.

I think this is the only part that's wrong. There is the possibility of a pure LO offense that runs as passively as possible (think J-20 packs), the saturation ability of a relatively small quantity of elite units may be of dubious value against a well protected target such as a USCVBG. I think that it's an extremely risky thing to do, and no planner would seriously entertain such a gamble against capable opponents.
More likely an adversary will use combined forces which include traditional, high visibility units to ensure the widest spread of threats in order to saturate the entire defensive capability spectrum and ensure success of the strike. To that end, I think ECM can be safely assumed to accompany any attempt. When we talk about the efficacy of F-35 LO, one of the things established is that LO is made better by ECM, so even a pure LO offense has all to gain from accompanying ECM.

The enemy will come, horns blaring and drums banging, they're gonna have their EW cloud because there's just no hiding an attack like that, and the CVBG will have its EW cloud up, and the F-35 is going to negate the enemy's EW by getting in there and bringing out that all important targeting data for everyone else.

And then there's the fringe scenario that a couple fighters will be dispatched by a government wholly unaware of the sheer technological gulf between them and the US, and then they will be unceremoniously intercepted and escorted away (because they wouldn't even be able to see the F-35 nevermind satisfy retaliation RoE).

Also 600nm out seems a bit far even for the F-35, iirc F-14 FAD patrol was 200 or 250nm out.
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Unread post10 Nov 2018, 08:47

lbk000 wrote:Here we are backsliding yet again into WW2 dogfight pursuit mindset...


Well not really, the Thread is "F-35A vs B vs C" to date, they have the exact same, sensor and avionics suite. So their BVR performance will be exactly the same.

The only thing we can talk about is flight performance and maybe range or maintenance. And as long as you're using moving objects like bullets and missiles to destroy other moving objects like aircraft. the nature of their movement will always affect the outcome. So Kinematics will matter, for BVR and WVR.

But I don't know maybe in the future some customer flying a specific model will require an avionics upgrade that the other services will not acquire or are unwilling to pay for. then we can start talking about Avionics.
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 03:16

mixelflick wrote:So at the end of the day we have a stealth fighter flying lazy circles say, 600 plus miles from the carrier with a half dozen AIM-120D's and the ability to call in SM-6 shots. It has not dozens, but hundreds of ways to locate, ID and otherwise keep track of the enemy (be it fighters, bombers, cruise missile's etc). The enemy won't ever see it, so they likely won't have activated their ECM/ECCM, chaff/flares or other defensive systems. The first time they'll know they're under attack is when AIM-120D's/SM-6's slam into them.

Do I have that right?

I don't think so. An F-35 that flies 600 miles away from the carrier isn't flying lazy circles, it's making plans to turn around and go home. That's the range of a strike sortie, not CAP. If enemy comes from another vector it wouldn't be available to support the CAG.

I'm also not sure you can discount them seeing an SM-6 before it hits them. Even if the SM-6 isn't using it's active radar because target cued from F-35 it's still a very large, hot object that would be approaching from their forward FOV where sensors are strongest. Radar, IRST, etc. could pick it up.
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 03:44

I'm wondering why this SM-6 cannot be fired from another ship resulting in a NON forward approach vector? Carrier pilots are sweating their fuel to return with sufficient according to circumstances and will call BINGO fuel to do so. However as the F-35C is a '3 wire machine' perhaps 'less fuel at mother' will be needed and then there will be JPALS & AUTO approach.
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 05:22

spazsinbad wrote:I'm wondering why this SM-6 cannot be fired from another ship resulting in a NON forward approach vector

0_923f5_4e8a4f98_orig.jpg

AIM-7F(M)_ranges.jpg

As you can see from the diagrams, range diminishes dramatically when the target isn't doing half the missiles work by flying towards it. If there's a ship so far off to the side that a missile will be coming in from abeam, then it means the enemy aircraft long already penetrated the perimeter and one is given to wonder why the defending ship didn't shoot sooner, before the enemy is flying past them.

When the enemy is coming at you with the bayonet charge you don't wait until they've already jumped into the trench with you to shoot.
Last edited by lbk000 on 11 Nov 2018, 05:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 05:37

squirrelshoes wrote:I don't think so. An F-35 that flies 600 miles away from the carrier isn't flying lazy circles, it's making plans to turn around and go home.


Its A2A combat radius is 740 nmi
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 05:41

SpudmanWP wrote:
squirrelshoes wrote:I don't think so. An F-35 that flies 600 miles away from the carrier isn't flying lazy circles, it's making plans to turn around and go home.


Its A2A combat radius is 740 nmi

There is a tradeoff here. Going out too far results in a relative decrease of coverage in both area and duration.
To use a sports analogy, a goalie risks a lot if he leaves the goal too far behind.

While sure the F-35 is a "star" quarterback, remember there are other valuable players in the game. Sure the APG-81 is good, and sure EOTS sees far, but E-2 and MQ-4 are dedicated ISR platforms that are there to see even farther so that the F-35 doesn't need to be farther.
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 06:23

Stingray will add another variable to the equation.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 14:37

SpudmanWP wrote:Its A2A combat radius is 740 nmi

A2A isn't flying lazy circles waiting to see if anything appears on the horizon within their loiter time.
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