F-35A vs B vs C

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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zero-one

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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 16:41

marsavian wrote:it needs to have the best dogfighting skills if attackers just have to be destroyed to protect the carrier group.


Actually he may be on to something here, maybe its just not the best choice of words. If you remember in the JSF prototype stage, it was the Navy who actually increased the maneuverability requirement.

This prompted Boeing to change their design from a tailless delta wing configuration to a tailed configuration, they decided between a Pelican tail and a conventional tail. Fortunately the X-35 already met the increased maneuvering requirements and did not require such modifications.

Question is, why did the Navy increase the maneuvering KPP? I know a lot of people here cringe when they hear the word dogfight almost as if its a crime to mention the word in today's network centric, HOBS, HMD environment.

But maybe it was, if things did not go as we thought and we somehow ended up in another Vietnam where dogfighting was more common than initially anticipated then the USAF had no problem as they already had the Raptor which is an absolute monster in that environment. But what about the Navy, they would be left with no 5th gen dogfighter.

Anyway, thats just a theory, maybe the increased maneuverability requirement was for another reason that I can't think of right now. Fact is, the navy requested for it and the F-35C is designed to deliver it.
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 17:03

IIRC the USN required better manoeuvrability for carrier approaches - however I'm not staking anything with my memory.
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lbk000

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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 17:26

spazsinbad wrote:IIRC the USN required better manoeuvrability for carrier approaches

This matches what I know about it as well.

zero-one wrote:
marsavian wrote:it needs to have the best dogfighting skills if attackers just have to be destroyed to protect the carrier group.

Actually he may be on to something here, maybe its just not the best choice of words.

It's ridiculous how bent you guys are on interpreting things to fit your belief. Like, I don't know how I can fully express how far up the wrong tree you are barking. It's like you're trying to tell me the M4 without the ACOG is specially designed to be better at clubbing people with the buttstock.

The F-35 has no gun, all the missiles it carries are all-aspect designs -- there is nothing at all to gain from saddling up behind an opponent. Everyone's been working their asses off trying to come up with layers of defenses against having to enter the furball and here you are, interpreting it as the complete opposite just because you got the notion in your mind that it's a good thing to be 1500' behind an enemy.

This is not 5th generation combat. This is 1st, 2nd, 3rd, generation air combat. This isn't even 4th generation air combat. In 5th generation combat if you are 1500' on the enemy's tail he actually sees you then even though his radar didn't, so by George he's going to do something about it now. Good job! You've pissed away the invisibility you had by simply showing up. And because you're on a guy's tail he's going to tell all his buddies, "Blyaaat there's an F-35 on my tail!" and now you're getting dogpiled to death. Caesar was the most powerful man in Rome. Caesar also got dogpiled to death.

I was reading On Killing the other day and it, as well as a couple of other books around the topic, have a recurring theme of how important threatening displays are to our animal nature. Maybe this is part of the problem with how alien VLO is to some people. The F-35 is a killing machine first, a "hey back off" machine second. It's not very good at showing off how scary it is, because modern US military doctrine established that it wants to create a faceless, anonymous terror in the enemy, where they don't know what killed them, and they don't know what's going on, so they can't know how to counter it.

But you keep wanting to drag it down to a scenario where you can show off to the enemy "hehe look at me I'm in an F-35 and I'm killing you."
Last edited by lbk000 on 11 Nov 2018, 18:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 18:12

Any links for that, there were plenty of non maneuverable carrier planes. A3, E2, and yes even fighters like the F-4. I'd be hard pressed to believe that the original X-32 was even less maneuverable than the F-4, since the USAF and USMC did have maneuverability metrics too and apparently the X-32 could meet them, else that would suggest the USAF requirement was to have sub F-4 class maneuverability.

Anyway, I didn't know maneuverability was needed for carrier approaches at all. maybe handling sure but maneuverability?
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 18:19

zero-one wrote:Any links for that, there were plenty of non maneuverable carrier planes. A3, E2, and yes even fighters like the F-4. I'd be hard pressed to believe that the original X-32 was even less maneuverable than the F-4, since the USAF and USMC did have maneuverability metrics too and apparently the X-32 could meet them, else that would suggest the USAF requirement was to have sub F-4 class maneuverability.

Anyway, I didn't know maneuverability was needed for carrier approaches at all. maybe handling sure but maneuverability?

But handling is maneuverability. You'd be surprised how well slow straightwings like an A-10 can turn. The F-4 has a lower wing loading than even the FA-18. When you hear those garbled accounts (how many times have they been passed down through know-nothings again?) about F-4's losing dogfights in Vietnam, keep in mind that those fights were against MiG-17s which are practically sailplanes with turbines strapped to them. They're even better at handling at low speeds which is why F-4 pilots were told not to play chicken limbo against them. F-4s could play the turn game against the MiG-21MF and win, but guess what, the Vietnamese never turned in a MiG-21 because they knew that if they did they'd lose the precious few they had. So no the "unmaneuverable F-4" is yet another myth perpetuated by ignorance.

Once asked a P-3 pilot if he was concerned about adversary escorts since his aircraft couldn't outrun or outturn them. He gave me a laugh and told me that they're the ones that have trouble staying in the air as slow as he can.
Last edited by lbk000 on 11 Nov 2018, 18:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 18:26

lbk000 wrote:It's ridiculous how bent you guys are on interpreting things to fit your belief. Like, I don't know how I can fully express how far up the wrong tree you are barking.


I can see this is quickly gona drag down to beating the dead horse argument of dogfight relevance again. Lets just stop it from here.

The F-35 or any other 5th gen for that matter will not go out there looking for dogfights. It will go out, play to it's strengths of S.A. and Stealth kill and go home hopefully without ever being seen, doing evrything necessary to AVOID dogfights as much as they can

Thats the whole purpose. I agree with that. Nobody in this thread so far has said that the F-35 was meant to dogfight so lets keep tempers here in check, some people read the word dogfight and tempers suddenly flare like it's an unthinkable scenario.

Dogfighting is a last resort, an unlikely but possible last resort.

But Hostage says, as do other senior Air Force and Marine officers, that an F-35 pilot who engages in a dogfight has probably made a mistake or has already broken through those IADS lanes and is facing a second wave of enemy aircraft.


https://breakingdefense.com/2014/06/gen ... -starts/3/
2 things here:
1. Mistakes happen, missions don't always go perfectly according to plan all the time.
2. Do we really expect just one wave of enemy aircraft all the time?
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lbk000

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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 18:33

zero-one wrote:2. Do we really expect just one wave of enemy aircraft all the time?

Yes and no. There will be diversions but your defense is already faulty if it did not make the enemy to concentrate their force. See Russian attack -- the actual attack window is a coordinated launch inside 2 minutes. In order to make sure everything lands, launch platforms need to be at the same place at the same time when it happens -- so essentially it's a single wave where it really matters. If you break the wave below the critical threshold, you've defeated the attack.

You should also be thinking of the reverse -- do you expect just one wave of defenders all the time?
Again, it's a team game. If wanks slip by for some reason, you don't run them down. You hand it off to the next guys in line. And so on. F-14 FAD strategy was already staggered, with defending waves layered one after another. And this was the 1970s.
Once Hornets were added to the mix, they got to be in charge of intercepting AShMs that managed to get launched.

Nowhere in the playbook is an F-14 charging in and bat turning onto the rear of a Tu-22M (mind you those things have tail guns) or whipping around and lighting the cans to run down a Kitchen that slipped by, despite the fact that among the teen series the F-14 had one of the best low speed turning capabilities of all. It's. Just. Not. Relevant.
Last edited by lbk000 on 11 Nov 2018, 18:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 18:43

lbk000 wrote:F-14 FAD strategy was already staggered, with defending waves layered one after another. And this was the 1970s.


True but in the end all USN F-14 kills were from dogfights weren't they. Point is, yes the F-35 will not be there to dogfight, but IF that occasion does arise, again thats a big IF, well all I'm saying is that the F-35 is well suited for that worse case scenario.

They still train for it extensively, why?
Well heres a hint, adversaries know they have no chance against an F-22/35 in BVR, so they will do everything possible to get into that merge, and most of the time they'll be dead before they get there, but the Russians and Chinese aren't dumb, somehow, someway, a few of them might slip through and thats the reason why F-22 and 35 crews are still trained for ACM so when that lucky guy does come within eyeball range he'll realize he wasn't so lucky after all.
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 18:58

Are you trying to say that the Navy, because it cares about retarded Libyans so much, would sacrifice a nearly 2-fold decrease in acceleration compared to the F-35A, just so they can bat turn around better? Despite the fact that F-35 has the freedom to approach from any angle and so no need for a frontal merge and a bat turn?

Furthermore, given that the Air Force is and has always been the service most concerned about having the edge in any regime of air combat, you would think that if the F-35C's turning capability was actually significant that the Air Force would have adopted it instead. You suggest that the Air Force does not train in BFM?
There are all these new and wondrous ways to prosecute WVR from HOBS capability to the F-35A's powerslide capability enabled by it's rapid energy gain and loss dynamics; trying to argue that the F-35C was designed to be a "WVR monster" is a nonstarter because being a WVR monster today and tomorrow is bigger than simply having a big wing.

Give it up already, the real answer why the F-35C has a big wing is more simple and more mundane than you'd like it to be.
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 19:23

^^ Not sure how my statements came off as that. but no.
If anything I'm suggesting that the F-35 and F-22 are designed not to have weaknesses in air combat. BVR or WVR, missiles or guns they are designed to have generational leaps in capability in all types of fights.
'
You maybe under the illusion that the F-35 was never meant to have combat maneuverability because the USAF and USN were certain that it would always be able to sneak up on opponents until it is retired from service. That was what it was designed for but combat maneuverability was considered as a fail safe should it be needed.

I'm sorry but Sometime People are so bent on ruling out dogfights that they'd rather believe the increase in maneuverability was done for carrier approaches and not ACM. Extensive high AOA and high G test for carrier approaches???
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 19:37

zero-one wrote:I'm sorry but Sometime People are so bent on ruling out dogfights that they'd rather believe the increase in maneuverability was done for carrier approaches and not ACM. Extensive high AOA and high G test for carrier approaches???

That's absolutely mandatory to test. Why wouldn't you test to know the limits of a different design and the limitations it would impose? The larger lifting surface of the wing will put on more G's because you're not bleeding the energy as rapidly when you load it up in a turn.

The fact of the matter is that Navy aircraft, by nature of the service are, by necessity, and history bears this out, heavier and slower, with consequently worse sustained dogfighting characteristics than any land-based counterpart design. This is okay and you don't need to make any mental gymnastics to live with it because the sacrifice is all worth it to have that mobile airstrip, because being there is what counts. The P-51 was not exactly a better maneuvering aircraft than the Bf109, but unlike the Spitfire, it could be there over Berlin and that meant that the Bf109s and Fw190s couldn't do their thing. It doesn't matter that the F-22 can flip over your head and onto your tail if it's stuck over at Alaska and you're in Guam. But even if you can't win the 1v1s, if you have the capability to be there it means your friends can also be there, and you all can give them the good old gang bang. Less honor, more profit.
So the logistics of carrier aviation are not glamorous but they're a big deal. The boat might be anywhere, and if you're in the tropics where the heat makes the air thin, you can't just ask for a longer airstrip to work it out. When the Russians sent their Yak-38s around to Vladivostok they discovered near the equator that their lift engines were gasping and their dinky wings weren't enough to take off with any more than 2 Aphids. If you're having landing accidents because at low speeds your small wings are struggling for air, your aircraft won't be there when things actually go down.

This is your problem, you think that shooting people down is the only thing that matters.
Amateurs talk tactics...
Last edited by lbk000 on 11 Nov 2018, 20:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 20:12

lbk000 wrote:. 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.



The bolded part was mind blowingly profound.


zero-one wrote:^^ Not sure how my statements came off as that. but no.
If anything I'm suggesting that the F-35 and F-22 are designed not to have weaknesses in air combat. BVR or WVR, missiles or guns they are designed to have generational leaps in capability in all types of fights.
'
You maybe under the illusion that the F-35 was never meant to have combat maneuverability because the USAF and USN were certain that it would always be able to sneak up on opponents until it is retired from service. That was what it was designed for but combat maneuverability was considered as a fail safe should it be needed.

I'm sorry but Sometime People are so bent on ruling out dogfights that they'd rather believe the increase in maneuverability was done for carrier approaches and not ACM. Extensive high AOA and high G test for carrier approaches???



Theyre always going to test the flight envelope. We even do that with Helicopters. They tested the Osprey a lot. it wasn't for dogfighting


Not all BVR fights go WVR. Not all WVR results in turns. Not all Turns become dogfights. Not all dogfights go to guns. Not all guns make hits. And the better and more manueverable fighter doesn't always win.

Now I really make people mad and ask what happens if an F-35 loses a dogfight? Does the world stop? If its a war with China or Russia does the world notice because its the largest global conflict in history? We are going to take hits. ITs the same argument ive had with F-35B "haha you won't be so smug when you lose some to enemy arty!" If I'm fighting an enemy thats competeting locating and using arty on me, theres a much bigger war at hand and that will be just another day on the line.

theres a weird zero defect mentality creeping in. "LOL stealth isn't perfect since you lose an F-117 in kosovo!" indeed stealth isn't perfect, but it is a vast improvement on survivability. but if we suffer one loss the whole endeavor is over? Are F-15Es tainted since we lost those in 1991? What airplane or design concept can we go back to where we didn't suffer a loss short of SR-71?

I don't know how we can say the F-35 is for a war with China or Russia but we can't lose even one. If we go to war with those people we are going to get some bloody noses, folks. We aren't going to crush them with no loss. There will be losses, deaths, and set backs. Against lesser opponents F-35 will be fine.

In fact an F-35 could shoot down 10 Mig-29s tomorrow and the internet would still tell you its just a fluke and doesn't prove anything. The F-35 sucks in the air. the end. Those Mig-29s were monkey models, the pilots were a joke, anyone could have done that. etc etc. These days it might just be dismissed as outright propaganda in fact. "LOL show me the migs"

ok here is gun camera footage

"thats photoshopped"
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 20:34

squirrelshoes wrote:
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.

I never said it was as I was just clarifying the Combat Radius differences between the A2G and A2A configs.
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Unread post11 Nov 2018, 21:04

ElBeeKay... I dunno why you go on and on... it's like talking to a box of rocks. I do appreciate your comments re: the nasal radiator way of doing things, and the team elements of FAD. If you're ever in Denver, beer's on me. And I don't buy the cheap stuff -- just ask Gums and Blind.
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 post11 Nov 2018, 22:14

Give it up already, the real answer why the F-35C has a big wing is more simple and more mundane than you'd like it to be.


Agreed but it does not hurt that as a byproduct it gives useful turning ability that could come in useful in close combat or even long range combat where something as mundane as a quick 90-180 degree turn is required to get good missile position first. I get that a planned attack and defense is all about mass structured layers but sometimes attack and defense are surprise encounters to the other side and in an arena as dispersed and wide and long as the South East Pacific maybe concentration of forces may not be possible in time and the forces at hand, F-35B/C, have to ensure destruction of enemy attackers at range from the fleet or base.

Carrier F-35 will almost certainly be carrying sidewinders and/or gunpod on CAP duty as the slight degradation in RCS relative to their opposition will take a back seat to the extra firepower needed if combat is required on interception. No-one is arguing that maneuverability is as important as it was in the last century in this age of BVR detection and kills and networked assets but it may still be a useful attribute to have if an encounter with an enemy has to have a definitive end there and then and BVR tactics and weapons have not done the job for you. All models of the F-35 have competent enough maneuverability so that their pilots can still believe they are in a good fighter and so can have less apprehension prosecuting missions that may involve enemy contact all the way up to a merge.
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