M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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gta4

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Unread post31 Mar 2017, 15:41

All online military enthusiasm made combat simulations of F-35 vs Su-35, such as the following, make one critical mistake:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-M9jA1INk8&t=3s

They assume that the military speed of F-35 is very slow and thus could not outrun Su-35, making the hit-and-run tactic useless.

Given the most updated military speed of the F-35 is Mach 1.2, Su-35(with AA loadout) needs briefly engage in A/B to catch up with F-35. Making its infrared signature more obvious. Su-35 could be easily picked up with DAS.

The lock-on-after-launch (LOAL) capability of aim-9x block2 allows it to turn 180 deg (a reversal) and shoot bandits in the rear hemisphere of F-35. There is one more thing to notice: when a missile is launched to tail-chase a bandit, its effective range is greatly reduced. Even R-77 has a range of 5 km at low altitude:

Image
(This is the case when the laucher and the target are all @ M0.9. if both are at higher speed the range will shrink more)

However, when a missile turns 180 deg and engage a chasing bandit, it actually engages the target head-on, resulting in extended range. If my memory serves, aim-9x block2 successfully engaged a target 10 miles (16 km) away and behind the launcher, in early 2013.

In this scenario, aim-9x block2 out-ranges R-77. That is a fun fact.

So when a F-35 uses the hit-and -run tactic against two Su-35s, the chasing Su-35s could be picked up easily with DAS far away, and will be engaged by aim-9x block2 well beyond the range of R-77.

With supercuise+DAS, one F-35 could solo at least two Su-35s without exposing itself to any danger.
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playloud

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Unread post31 Mar 2017, 16:21

When I spoke to an F-35 pilot at Nellis this year, I asked him about that M1.2 supercruise stat. He said the F-35 cannot supercruise straight and level. He did tout the acceleration of the F-35 though, saying he out-accelerated an F-16 that only had a centerline tank. He said he believed if the Viper was totally clean, it would be an even match in terms of acceleration, though he has never tested that specific scenario.
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Unread post01 Apr 2017, 01:24

playloud wrote:When I spoke to an F-35 pilot at Nellis this year, I asked him about that M1.2 supercruise stat. He said the F-35 cannot supercruise straight and level. He did tout the acceleration of the F-35 though, saying he out-accelerated an F-16 that only had a centerline tank. He said he believed if the Viper was totally clean, it would be an even match in terms of acceleration, though he has never tested that specific scenario.


Did he say the F-35 cannot "supercruise", or that it cannot "sustain a speed above Mach 1.0 straight and level under military power"? After all, some in the USAF define it as Mach 1.5 or higher to count as "supercruise".

On a side note, there's the other quote about how the F-35 can use a "teensy-weensy" amount of afterburner to sustain supersonic speeds. I wonder if it has more to do with flying at cruise (i.e. most distance per fuel consumed). For subsonic cruise, the cruise speed is based on balancing out induced drag and parasitic drag; at speeds below the cruise speed, induced drag rises rapidly, while at speeds above the cruise speed, parasitic drag rises rapidly. For supersonic speeds, the increased drag in the transonic region should mean that there's a region above it where the drag is less. So I wonder if the F-35 uses a bit of afterburner to be at that speed, i.e. so it's not necessarily that it can't stay supersonic under military power, but "why would you want to" if adding a very small amount of afterburner makes it more fuel-efficient.
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Unread post01 Apr 2017, 20:33

vanshilar wrote:
playloud wrote:When I spoke to an F-35 pilot at Nellis this year, I asked him about that M1.2 supercruise stat. He said the F-35 cannot supercruise straight and level. He did tout the acceleration of the F-35 though, saying he out-accelerated an F-16 that only had a centerline tank. He said he believed if the Viper was totally clean, it would be an even match in terms of acceleration, though he has never tested that specific scenario.


Did he say the F-35 cannot "supercruise", or that it cannot "sustain a speed above Mach 1.0 straight and level under military power"? After all, some in the USAF define it as Mach 1.5 or higher to count as "supercruise".

On a side note, there's the other quote about how the F-35 can use a "teensy-weensy" amount of afterburner to sustain supersonic speeds. I wonder if it has more to do with flying at cruise (i.e. most distance per fuel consumed). For subsonic cruise, the cruise speed is based on balancing out induced drag and parasitic drag; at speeds below the cruise speed, induced drag rises rapidly, while at speeds above the cruise speed, parasitic drag rises rapidly. For supersonic speeds, the increased drag in the transonic region should mean that there's a region above it where the drag is less. So I wonder if the F-35 uses a bit of afterburner to be at that speed, i.e. so it's not necessarily that it can't stay supersonic under military power, but "why would you want to" if adding a very small amount of afterburner makes it more fuel-efficient.


I tried to be very specific when speaking to him, and he definitely was saying the F-35 could not maintain Mach 1.0 (topping out at Mach .98-.99), straight and level, in dry thrust , and said he believed the engine software could probably be modified to push it over the edge (at the expense of engine life).

Here are my notes from that night. I wrote this back at my hotel.

This F-35 pilot (formally a Viper pilot) spent a good while speaking with me.

I will bullet point some of what he said.

* He has never compared acceleration against a "clean" F-16, but has done so against an F-16 with nothing but a centerline tank. F-35 wins that. He believes a completely clean F-16 would give comparable acceleration to an F-35.

* In a pure dogfight situation, he rather be in an F-35 than an F-16. The great acceleration with the high alpha/low speed handling give it the edge in his opinion.

* If he had to go to war tomorrow, we would rather take the F-35 in its current (Block 3i) condition, than an F-16.

* I asked him about the weapon bay overheating, and the need to open the bay from time to time. He laughed and basically said that wasn't a thing. He said if a cooling fan malfunctioned, there are procedures for shutting down systems to reduce heat, but every jet has those procedures. There is no need to open the bay door.

* He said he has heard (hearsay) that some F-22 pilots would actually like the smaller (but newer) APG-81.

* He doesn't think Saab can compete, with the exception of intelligence recording, which the new jet excels at. He said a similar ability to record and download this data for further review won't be in the F-35 until Block 4.

* As for the rest of the Gripen, he has very doubts about some of their claims, as he has spoken with their engineers, and was smelling some bullshit. By that, I mean he said the simulations they ran were so obviously flawed, they can't be taken seriously, and the engineers were clearly saying what the marketing team told them to say, but it didn't hold up under scrutiny.

* I asked about the Mach 1.2 supercruise stat, which I've been reluctant to use in my arguments, given only one source had been found for it. He said the F-35 can't supercruise. He said It can hold .98 or .99 Mach flying level, without burners, but to hold supersonic, it would need to be in a slight dive (1-2 degrees) or use very light burner. He said that could probably change, if they tweaked the software for the engine, giving more thrust, but reducing engine life.

* He believes adding missiles externally is fine, and would still rather be in an F-35 with external load, than say a Super Hornet.

* I knew he wouldn't answer this, but I tried anyway. I mentioned I heard the APG-81 has great jamming capability, but was wondering if the F-35 could jam in directions other than forward. He said he couldn't talk about that. No surprise there.

* He talked about targeting through clouds, and how well the ground radar mapping works. He said it's accurate enough to easily identify a truck through cloud cover. Basically, you have an accurate ground map, you put your cursor where you want the bomb to land, and the appropriate coordinates are transferred to the bomb. The bomb hits where you pointed.
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Unread post01 Apr 2017, 21:21

playloud wrote:* He doesn't think Saab can compete, with the exception of intelligence recording, which the new jet excels at. He said a similar ability to record and download this data for further review won't be in the F-35 until Block 4.

I think this a major point of interest!

How can we read this? Can we assume the F-35 is able to sense at least the same detail but not being able to "map" that for later analysis? Are we speculating here about thread libraries?
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Unread post01 Apr 2017, 21:35

botsing wrote:
playloud wrote:* He doesn't think Saab can compete, with the exception of intelligence recording, which the new jet excels at. He said a similar ability to record and download this data for further review won't be in the F-35 until Block 4.

I think this a major point of interest!

How can we read this? Can we assume the F-35 is able to sense at least the same detail but not being able to "map" that for later analysis? Are we speculating here about thread libraries?

That's how I interpreted it.
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Unread post01 Apr 2017, 22:17

:applause: :mrgreen: :devil: Thanks for your notes 'playloud'. :applause: :cheers: PLAY LOUDER! TURN IT UP TO 11! :roll: :doh: :mrgreen: :twisted:
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post01 Apr 2017, 23:11

Hi playloud,

My interpretation of the news about the F-35 "Mach 1.2 supercruising" (during 150 mile dash) is the following:
- The F-35 accelerates using afterburner to Mach 1.2.
- Once it reaches Mach 1.2 the throttle is reduced to MIL power.
- The aircraft (F-35) maintains a supersonic speed during a dash of 150 miles, likely losing speed very slowly (during the 150 mile dash) until it eventually gets to subsonic speed (in case afterburner isn't used again).

Did the pilot what you spoken with gave some indication that what I mentioned above could be possible?
If the above isn't possible than what was the origin of the "F-35 Mach 1.2 supercruising during 150 mile dash" news (which came up in the airforce-magazine)?
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post01 Apr 2017, 23:14

ricnunes wrote:Hi playloud,

My interpretation of the news about the F-35 "Mach 1.2 supercruising" (during 150 mile dash) is the following:
- The F-35 accelerates using afterburner to Mach 1.2.
- Once it reaches Mach 1.2 the throttle is reduced to MIL power.
- The aircraft (F-35) maintains a supersonic speed during a dash of 150 miles, likely losing speed very slowly (during the 150 mile dash) until it eventually gets to subsonic speed (in case afterburner isn't used again).

Did the pilot what you spoken with gave some indication that what I mentioned above could be possible?
If the above isn't possible than what was the origin of the "F-35 Mach 1.2 supercruising during 150 mile dash" news (which came up in the airforce-magazine)?

The entire dash, can be done at M1.2. The F-35 doesn't slow down during the dash. It can maintain M1.2 in dry thrust. It doesn't necessarily have to use A/B to get to M1.2 either, it could accelerate from a shallow dive.
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Unread post01 Apr 2017, 23:39

wrightwing wrote:The entire dash, can be done at M1.2. The F-35 doesn't slow down during the dash. It can maintain M1.2 in dry thrust. It doesn't necessarily have to use A/B to get to M1.2 either, it could accelerate from a shallow dive.


AFAIK that maneuver is employed with AB but still consumes less fuel than if attempted in level flight.
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Unread post02 Apr 2017, 00:14

This is a reference: http://www.airforce-magazine.com/Magazi ... ghter.aspx [of course it does not work now so I'll post a PDF if article cannot be found otherwise]

YEP some nice batard put a PDF of the article here: download/file.php?id=21348 (PDF 409Kb)
The F-35’s Race Against Time
Nov 2012 John A. Tirpak Executive Editor; Air Force Magazine Vol. 95, No. 11

"...The F-35, while not technically a “supercruising” aircraft, can maintain Mach 1.2 for a dash of 150 miles without using fuel-gulping afterburners. “Mach 1.2 is a good speed for you, according to the pilots,” O’Bryan [Lockheed Martin Vice President Stephen O’Bryan, the company’s point man for F-35 affairs] said....

...There is a major extension of the fighter’s range if speed is kept around Mach .9, O’Bryan went on, but he asserted that F-35 transonic performance is exceptional and goes “through the [Mach 1] number fairly easily.” The transonic area is “where you really operate.”

In combat configuration, the F-35’s range exceeds that of fourth generation fighters by 25 percent. These are Air Force figures, O’Bryan noted. “We’re comparing [the F-35] to [the] ‘best of’ fourth gen” fighters. The F-35 “compares favorably in any area of the envelope,” he asserted."

Source: download/file.php?id=21348 (PDF 409Kb)
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post02 Apr 2017, 00:26

Maybe it depends on the load and fuel state.
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Unread post02 Apr 2017, 02:29

ricnunes wrote:Hi playloud,

My interpretation of the news about the F-35 "Mach 1.2 supercruising" (during 150 mile dash) is the following:
- The F-35 accelerates using afterburner to Mach 1.2.
- Once it reaches Mach 1.2 the throttle is reduced to MIL power.
- The aircraft (F-35) maintains a supersonic speed during a dash of 150 miles, likely losing speed very slowly (during the 150 mile dash) until it eventually gets to subsonic speed (in case afterburner isn't used again).

Did the pilot what you spoken with gave some indication that what I mentioned above could be possible?
If the above isn't possible than what was the origin of the "F-35 Mach 1.2 supercruising during 150 mile dash" news (which came up in the airforce-magazine)?

He didn't give any such indication. He appears to definitely contradict the magazine's claim. Unless the magazine was using a weird definition of "supercruise" anyway.
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Unread post02 Apr 2017, 04:24

Additionally, that 150nm range is in context of a combat radius, rather than a hard limit. A pilot could likely maintain M1.2 for more than 150nm, if they were willing to trade off some range.
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Unread post02 Apr 2017, 10:18

playloud wrote:
* I asked about the Mach 1.2 supercruise stat, which I've been reluctant to use in my arguments, given only one source had been found for it. He said the F-35 can't supercruise. He said It can hold .98 or .99 Mach flying level, without burners, but to hold supersonic, it would need to be in a slight dive (1-2 degrees) or use very light burner. He said that could probably change, if they tweaked the software for the engine, giving more thrust, but reducing engine life.


There's two problems with that though.

1. It depends on your starting condition assumptions. If you start at subsonic and stay at mil power, you might hold at a certain Mach that's subsonic. But if you start supersonic, say start at Mach 1.5, then go to mil power, and see what speed it eventually settles down to (assuming not F-22), you may hold at a supersonic speed. So it depends on if the context was settling down from supersonic or starting at subsonic.

2. A plane that's at Mach 0.98 or 0.99 should already be experiencing a lot of drag since it's in the transonic regime. I would think (but obviously may be wrong) that at a higher Mach number the drag would be less. So I don't really see why a plane could hold Mach 0.98 or 0.99 but not a Mach in the low supersonics.
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