F-35A vs KF-X

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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maro.kyo

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Unread post17 Oct 2020, 16:21

madrat wrote:It lacks sawtooth edges in quite a few places. Maybe its more like Su-35S in RCS than F-22A...


If the RCS is any bigger than the Super Bug or Rafale I'll eat my hat. The developers have already disclosed that they are confident the RCS will be smaller than the Super Bug based on the simulations of the C109 model and RCS tests of the scaled model.

milosh wrote:They talked about phases, so first phase have low RCS airframe but external weapons. Second phase will have weapon bay (there is space for it) but no advanced RAM, only third phase can be consider real steatlh.

That was what they said earlier maybe they changed it.


Block 1 has basic surface attack capabilities and has A to A capabilities. Scheduled to be developed by 2026. 20 airframes to be manufactured in this config.

Block 2 has full surface attack capabilities both ground and maritime, will have additional weapons integrated for those mission profiles and will be developed by 2028. 100 airframes to be manufactured in this config and the first 20 airframes will be upgraded to this standard. There are already talks to expand the airframe numbers to replace the F-16PBs, the non-KF-16 older falcons in ROKAF.

Block 3 is what KAI and ADD are planning to make full VLO stealth, internalizing the sensors, targeting pod and antennas that were exposed (Block 1 and 2 do have conformal antennas, it's just that not all of them are internalized, notably the EOTS and IFF antennas in front of the cockpit or RWR antennas sticking out on the tail wings) thus integrating the IWB on the provisioned space which is going to be half empty in block 1 and 2. The part of the space left empty will be allocated for the gun magazine and MEL, although the space fore MEL is literally very small and the KF-X will have more than 500 rounds be able to be loaded, so with reduced space for the gun magazine I expect that magazine capacity to be closer to F-35's in the block 3.

There will be film based RAM and RAS on block 1 already, including FSS radome and the wind edges made as RAS, and RAM applied across the whole wing. It has -10 dB energy absorbing capability across for the whole X-band and 5GHz range and -7 dB up till 12GHz. Figures from official patents and research papers regarding KF-X. Not only the RAM and RAS performance figures but a lot of technology regarding KF-X are made public either in for of research papers or thesis, you just need to speak Korean and have enough time to dig in. Also it was previously planned to have both the targeting and navigation pod just like the LANTIRN system but soon the navigation pod was dropped because those features could nowadays be served by the radar and other sensors thanks to the software and AESA.

The AESA will have 130 ish tracking range, mentioned by Hanwha and ADD themselves thus confirmed by calculation based on the TRM output power and TRM numbers.

Block 3 would also see other advancements including the application of meta materials, full-digital AESA which every TRM has its own channel, directed high-capacity datalink, etc, all crucial for real 5th gen capabilities which are already under basic development separate from the KF-X program itself budget wise.

The reason RoK is doing this on block basis and planning quite an incremental leap is due to political opposition (unlike what some members think in this forum) and having a low-risk program. S.Korea cannot endure the same kind of delays any recent fighter jet programs were faced with, ones like Rafale's delays in the 90s or F-35s delays in the 2010s. In other words, the current block 1 and 2 are extremely low risk programs almost guaranteed close to none delay. Surely, if you are developing 4.5th gen aircrafts 30 years after the US and 20 years after Europe it could be anything but risky.

Even those news in the earlier days of the program about ToT concerning the 4 critical technologies have been very misleading and I still see, up to this date, that many foreign military enthusiasts are stuck with old news. The truth is, Korea was already developing those critical avionics since as early as mid 2000s, and the developers were quite confident about the capabilities to develop such technologies. The actual technology Korea requested as an offset was not the technology of those components themselves but the technology and knowhow to integrate those avionics into one system, including the sensor fusion technique. Obviously it was declined by the US but here we are without any problems just yet.
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maro.kyo

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Unread post17 Oct 2020, 16:45

https://blog.naver.com/jhst3103/221326531470

Good read if you are interested. He have summarized the program based on the press release and various other sources made public. A lot of images so it would still be a lot to gain for you guys even when you don't speak Korean or not trust the translators much. It's not like Korea is Turkey and is making ridiculous promises the whole time or staying super secretive of anything regarding the project or have shady Qatari money involved in the program, etc etc. In fact I think Korea is one of the most transparent in running the military R&D program thanks to immense pressure from the parliament and the public. Sometimes that pressure affects the program in the wrong direction, notable our UAC programs but it's working just fine as a deterrent for big programs like these turning into a money pit so there is that. Well, you know unless its a highly classified weapons like ballistics missiles of course.

I would not waste my time though to translate the whole thing only to get flamed as "jobs program supporter" here :D
Last edited by maro.kyo on 17 Oct 2020, 17:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post17 Oct 2020, 17:12

zero-one wrote:Well block 3 may be built in the mid 2030s time line. So its basically asking them to build a 4.5 gen fighter today. Something they are well capable of with some outsourced parts like engines.

In my opinion, Their F/A-50 is quickly becoming the premier light fighter and successor to the F-5E.

They may also have far less requirements than the JSF program. No commonality with naval versions, engine may be the GE-414, radar may be outsourced as well.

Unlike US planes where everything is built from scratch, S.Korea may get plenty of outsourced components ala Gripen.

If you ask me, they may be looking for a plane that can simply match the F-35 in A-A with half the A-G capabilities.


Matching F-35 in AA would be very demanding already and I still think apart from maybe the upgraded J-20s in 2030s it would be hard for any fighter other than F-22 to match or exceed F-35's AA capabilities until the European and Japanese 5.5th gen fighter are out. Same goes for the KF-X, apart from those limited cases where KF-X is only armed with meteors under its belly in which KF-X might be able to match some aspects of F-35 thanks to superior kinematics capabilities it would be hard to go against F-35 in most of the scenarios. Then again there is an engine upgrade planned for the F-35 as well in the future so the F-35 may even catch up on that regard as well.

Comparing it to Gripen, most of the key avionics of KF-X are developed and manufactured domestically so there is far more independence in that regard. There are some notable foreign components as well though such as the conformal antennas supplied by Cobham. All in all, not much of a good comparison IMO. If FA-50 gets the AESA and additional weapons integrated just like what's being discussed quite seriously atm, then it would be a better comparison to Gripen. Question is with all those new goodies integrated, will the FA-50 stay competitive enough price wise. We all know how it all went for the Gripen NG. I think replacing F-5's role as dirt cheap fighter for developing countries is enough when the FA-50 gets AMRAAM in block 20. KAI has recently integrated the targeting pod so its going the right direction it seems. EL/M-2032 is still a decent scalable radar although mechanical.
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Unread post19 Oct 2020, 12:22

maro.kyo wrote:
mixelflick wrote:Still not buying it..

This appears to be an F-22/35 hybrid, with external weapons and quite likely under-powered if they stick with the proposed engines. But perhaps performance is just a small part of the objective. Someone said it before - it's a jobs program. That's what it looks like, anyway..

I understand some countries might not want (or can't get) an F-35, and want something a little more capable. Thing is, those aircraft are out there TODAY (from a variety of countries). Upgraded F-15's, 16's and 18's from the US. Later tranche Typhoons, Rafale's and of course all of Russia's 4++ gen Flankers and now (supposedly) the Mig-35. The Phillipines were used as an example.. I actually think Gripen might be a good fit for them. One of the few air arms in that category, but I can't see them flying and fighting effectively in F-35's, KF-X's etc.. Especially given what they're flown in the past.

I'll give the South Korean's this though: They're cutting metal and appear to be serious about it. I read where in additon to ordering engines, they've settled on a radar, Meteor/other advanced weapons and have their timeline. I did note however in said timeline a bit of "concurrency".

Since they're working with LM on this project, I find it hard to believe someone wouldn't avoid that mistake again...


Man still up to that stupid narrative?

First off, KF-X has a better T/W ratio than Super Bug, F-35, F-16, EF-2000, Rafale and even has a better mil power TW ratio than F-15E. You just want to flame any non-US fighter jet program and gotten so far with your preference that you are simply blinded by your own narrative. Sort your stuff out. Kinematics wise it's a decent fighter jet to say the least.

Korea already is planning to buy 60 F-35As and is also planning to buy 20 additional F-36Bs for the AC so it's not even understandable why you are so unsatisfied on that side as well. Also, it's not like some other ministry other than MoD that is pushing for the KF-X program, especially it is the ROKAF who is pushing for the KF-X not Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. What's very ironic is that the "jobs program" narrative that you are pushing so often was the KF-16 program during the early 2000s, because back then MoTIE pushed through and funded the production of additional 20 airframes of KF-16s which frankly, the ROKAF was opposing. Woopsy, your narrative bites you.

I've written this before on this forum and would reiterate, that after T-50 and FA-50 program, ROKAF was very convinced that having a domestic jet was better long run than just out right buying everything from foreign suppliers. Currently T-50 variants have the highest operating figures within ROKAF of over 90%. None of the other jets come any close. Also, this year the maintenance costs for the 20 or so F-35As that ROKAF possess have been made public in the parliament and it was almost double that of F-15K per airframe, which the ROKAF was already mentioning (F-15Ks) as having "high maintenance fees".

"Mistake" lmao. RoK is just playing safe. It's not like it's 2030 and suddenly every 4.5th gen fighters are all obsolete. It's not like ROKAF would be using KF-X to go do some IA mission over Beijing or something. Remember N.Kor was, is and will going to be the main target of ROKAF.

You may place your doubts about KF-X being any cheaper than F-35 and I also doubt it being able to be sold outside of Korea and Indonesia but I am quite sure maintenance-wise it will be cheaper. All the logistics from various international suppliers could be avoided for a lot of critical components. We have already witnessed the sh*t show that Turkey was involved in on the JSF's side. Now that Turkey is out it is unlikely same kind of risk arises yet again but who knows, politics within US could be the problem later on.

Also, what makes operating F-35s difficult is the security standard and F-35 only services the US is demanding its operators, driving the cost very high. Of course it is still worth those cost but it's not like Korea could operate so much without sacrificing other things. We already know that the upgrading cost of block 3F aircrafts into block 4 would be in the region of $ 30 million IIRC. F-35 simply is a money pit. Don't think experts are so stupid so you could just simply counter argue them all by saying its not rational to not "just buy F-35". I've said this in this thread in the past and also have said the same thing in the F-3 thread.

Also as if the US would allow Korea to integrate Korean armaments in the F-35. You are the one doing the same mistake you did judging the F-3 program. ROKAF is already developing a stealth ACM based on the technologies gained by the offset of buying Taurus missiles, supersonic air-launched ASM based on SASM they were developing for over a decade and is even planning to develop hypersonic air to surface missile, anti radiation missile and other armaments and evaluating the possibilities of developing escort jammer based on the KF-X. Remember that the US is very hesitant in selling Prowler overseas to those who are not the member of the Five-Eyes like the Aussies. Korea wasn't even able to get HTS pods for its KF-16 wild weasels. With KF-X they would be a least able to do something regarding these matters.


Stupid narrative? Hardly..

It's a paper airplane until such time as they prove otherwise. Yes, they're cutting metal - but you're acting like it just aced flight testing, all avionics are sound/working as advertised and weapons integration complete. They can throw all the $ in the world at it, and it still has a long way to go. A REAL long way. BTW, where are these kinematically superior KF-X's flying right now? Oh that's right, how about NOWHERE...

And I have bias toward US aircraft? Really?? I regularly rail against the Hornet/Super-Hornet... is that some non-US bird, or is it built by one of America's biggest defense contractors?

Building a quasi stealth aircraft is questionable today. In 10 years it's going to be pathetic, and doubtful anyone other than South Koreans are going to buy it. And that assumes it works as advertised, or even makes it to production (two highly questionable assumptions)..
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Unread post20 Oct 2020, 05:22

maro.kyo wrote:https://blog.naver.com/jhst3103/221326531470

Good read if you are interested. He have summarized the program based on the press release and various other sources made public. A lot of images so it would still be a lot to gain for you guys even when you don't speak Korean or not trust the translators much. It's not like Korea is Turkey and is making ridiculous promises the whole time or staying super secretive of anything regarding the project or have shady Qatari money involved in the program, etc etc. In fact I think Korea is one of the most transparent in running the military R&D program thanks to immense pressure from the parliament and the public. Sometimes that pressure affects the program in the wrong direction, notable our UAC programs but it's working just fine as a deterrent for big programs like these turning into a money pit so there is that. Well, you know unless its a highly classified weapons like ballistics missiles of course.

I would not waste my time though to translate the whole thing only to get flamed as "jobs program supporter" here :D



https://www.koreaaero.com/EN/Business/KF_X.aspx
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Unread post20 Oct 2020, 05:25

Never understood the logic of building the KF-X without an internal Weapons Bay. Even if later models do incorporate it... :|
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Unread post20 Oct 2020, 11:24

mixelflick wrote:
maro.kyo wrote:
mixelflick wrote:Still not buying it..

This appears to be an F-22/35 hybrid, with external weapons and quite likely under-powered if they stick with the proposed engines. But perhaps performance is just a small part of the objective. Someone said it before - it's a jobs program. That's what it looks like, anyway..

I understand some countries might not want (or can't get) an F-35, and want something a little more capable. Thing is, those aircraft are out there TODAY (from a variety of countries). Upgraded F-15's, 16's and 18's from the US. Later tranche Typhoons, Rafale's and of course all of Russia's 4++ gen Flankers and now (supposedly) the Mig-35. The Phillipines were used as an example.. I actually think Gripen might be a good fit for them. One of the few air arms in that category, but I can't see them flying and fighting effectively in F-35's, KF-X's etc.. Especially given what they're flown in the past.

I'll give the South Korean's this though: They're cutting metal and appear to be serious about it. I read where in additon to ordering engines, they've settled on a radar, Meteor/other advanced weapons and have their timeline. I did note however in said timeline a bit of "concurrency".

Since they're working with LM on this project, I find it hard to believe someone wouldn't avoid that mistake again...


Man still up to that stupid narrative?

First off, KF-X has a better T/W ratio than Super Bug, F-35, F-16, EF-2000, Rafale and even has a better mil power TW ratio than F-15E. You just want to flame any non-US fighter jet program and gotten so far with your preference that you are simply blinded by your own narrative. Sort your stuff out. Kinematics wise it's a decent fighter jet to say the least.

Korea already is planning to buy 60 F-35As and is also planning to buy 20 additional F-36Bs for the AC so it's not even understandable why you are so unsatisfied on that side as well. Also, it's not like some other ministry other than MoD that is pushing for the KF-X program, especially it is the ROKAF who is pushing for the KF-X not Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. What's very ironic is that the "jobs program" narrative that you are pushing so often was the KF-16 program during the early 2000s, because back then MoTIE pushed through and funded the production of additional 20 airframes of KF-16s which frankly, the ROKAF was opposing. Woopsy, your narrative bites you.

I've written this before on this forum and would reiterate, that after T-50 and FA-50 program, ROKAF was very convinced that having a domestic jet was better long run than just out right buying everything from foreign suppliers. Currently T-50 variants have the highest operating figures within ROKAF of over 90%. None of the other jets come any close. Also, this year the maintenance costs for the 20 or so F-35As that ROKAF possess have been made public in the parliament and it was almost double that of F-15K per airframe, which the ROKAF was already mentioning (F-15Ks) as having "high maintenance fees".

"Mistake" lmao. RoK is just playing safe. It's not like it's 2030 and suddenly every 4.5th gen fighters are all obsolete. It's not like ROKAF would be using KF-X to go do some IA mission over Beijing or something. Remember N.Kor was, is and will going to be the main target of ROKAF.

You may place your doubts about KF-X being any cheaper than F-35 and I also doubt it being able to be sold outside of Korea and Indonesia but I am quite sure maintenance-wise it will be cheaper. All the logistics from various international suppliers could be avoided for a lot of critical components. We have already witnessed the sh*t show that Turkey was involved in on the JSF's side. Now that Turkey is out it is unlikely same kind of risk arises yet again but who knows, politics within US could be the problem later on.

Also, what makes operating F-35s difficult is the security standard and F-35 only services the US is demanding its operators, driving the cost very high. Of course it is still worth those cost but it's not like Korea could operate so much without sacrificing other things. We already know that the upgrading cost of block 3F aircrafts into block 4 would be in the region of $ 30 million IIRC. F-35 simply is a money pit. Don't think experts are so stupid so you could just simply counter argue them all by saying its not rational to not "just buy F-35". I've said this in this thread in the past and also have said the same thing in the F-3 thread.

Also as if the US would allow Korea to integrate Korean armaments in the F-35. You are the one doing the same mistake you did judging the F-3 program. ROKAF is already developing a stealth ACM based on the technologies gained by the offset of buying Taurus missiles, supersonic air-launched ASM based on SASM they were developing for over a decade and is even planning to develop hypersonic air to surface missile, anti radiation missile and other armaments and evaluating the possibilities of developing escort jammer based on the KF-X. Remember that the US is very hesitant in selling Prowler overseas to those who are not the member of the Five-Eyes like the Aussies. Korea wasn't even able to get HTS pods for its KF-16 wild weasels. With KF-X they would be a least able to do something regarding these matters.


Stupid narrative? Hardly..

It's a paper airplane until such time as they prove otherwise. Yes, they're cutting metal - but you're acting like it just aced flight testing, all avionics are sound/working as advertised and weapons integration complete. They can throw all the $ in the world at it, and it still has a long way to go. A REAL long way. BTW, where are these kinematically superior KF-X's flying right now? Oh that's right, how about NOWHERE...

And I have bias toward US aircraft? Really?? I regularly rail against the Hornet/Super-Hornet... is that some non-US bird, or is it built by one of America's biggest defense contractors?

Building a quasi stealth aircraft is questionable today. In 10 years it's going to be pathetic, and doubtful anyone other than South Koreans are going to buy it. And that assumes it works as advertised, or even makes it to production (two highly questionable assumptions)..


Oh, I see, trying to get derailed from the point of contention? Smart move mate. It was not me but you who've started the argument based on some sort of preassumption that "it is going to underpowered". I'm giving fact based counter argument on your point. Now see what you're doing.

I never argued anything saying the plane is already flying or it will be mass produced starting next year, or hardly anything that absurd. I've even expressed my opinion a few times in this forum that I highly doubt that this plane would sell outside of Korea.

In the same time you are either greatly exaggerating how much it would take to complete this plane from now. It's less than 6 years from today with the prototype coming out just next year. The reason the Koreans are making this plane as 4.5th gen first hand, which you highly criticize, is due the same reason you argue about delays and funds. Like I've said, they're playing it safe. Nothing more, nothing less.

Funny how you sound like you have infinite trust in those LM TA personnel but cannot trust them in this occasion.

On top of that all of the avionics are going through flight test just well either on those Israeli test birds or T-50s so, although it's true that not all avionics are completed but it ain't far off. At least the AESA is already done.

Also you seem to have forgotten the fact that France is planing to buy Rafales until around/ beyond 2030 and USN is buying those SH block 3s beyond mid 2020s, same story with USAF and F-15EX. Brits are continuing their Eurofighter Tranche 3 program with the new ECRS Mk.2 and so are the Germans.

"Two highly questionable assumptions" lol. You just don't know much about this program and it's so easy to know that from your replies. If you know nothing, just accept that and move on. It' good for the forum and also you have the benefit of not acting like a clown.

My final advice is to read the comments fully. One of the basics when arguing with someone.
Last edited by maro.kyo on 20 Oct 2020, 12:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post20 Oct 2020, 11:37

Corsair1963 wrote:Never understood the logic of building the KF-X without an internal Weapons Bay. Even if later models do incorporate it... :|


That's in order to mitigate the risk of having something going wrong during the weapons release. Like I've said the Koreans wanted to make this program as close to risk-free as possible so it would only be understandable by seeing it that way.

They have 10 additional years to prepare for a more advanced iteration of the jet which would eventually replace the KF-16 so....
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Unread post20 Oct 2020, 23:09

maro.kyo wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:Never understood the logic of building the KF-X without an internal Weapons Bay. Even if later models do incorporate it... :|


That's in order to mitigate the risk of having something going wrong during the weapons release. Like I've said the Koreans wanted to make this program as close to risk-free as possible so it would only be understandable by seeing it that way.

They have 10 additional years to prepare for a more advanced iteration of the jet which would eventually replace the KF-16 so....


Funny, the US doesn't have any issues with weapons release from either the F-22 or F-35. Seems odd that it would be that great of a risk for South Korea?


Plus, no weapons bay could really hurt the KFX Export potential.... :shock:
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Unread post21 Oct 2020, 09:00

Corsair1963 wrote:
maro.kyo wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:Never understood the logic of building the KF-X without an internal Weapons Bay. Even if later models do incorporate it... :|


That's in order to mitigate the risk of having something going wrong during the weapons release. Like I've said the Koreans wanted to make this program as close to risk-free as possible so it would only be understandable by seeing it that way.

They have 10 additional years to prepare for a more advanced iteration of the jet which would eventually replace the KF-16 so....


Funny, the US doesn't have any issues with weapons release from either the F-22 or F-35. Seems odd that it would be that great of a risk for South Korea?


Plus, no weapons bay could really hurt the KFX Export potential.... :shock:



Obviously the F-22 or F-35 not having any problem is all thanks to extensive simulation and flight tests so that's what I mean. No IWB = no need to do all those flight tests for IWB = less money and time. I never thought this was so hard to understand that you even need to mix some light sarcasm into your comment. :doh:

Also, I think I've said this like hundred times in this forum, that I don't think the export prospects of KF-X ain't good, if not going to be thrashed by other 4.5th gen fighter jets. No need to reiterate the obvious.
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Unread post21 Oct 2020, 17:57

Corsair1963 wrote:
Funny, the US doesn't have any issues with weapons release from either the F-22 or F-35. Seems odd that it would be that great of a risk for South Korea?


Plus, no weapons bay could really hurt the KFX Export potential.... :shock:


KFX exports are far future, Korean AF will need nice amount of planes so that would make production busy for quite some time. And domestic order is done I think KFX version with weapon bay will be available.

As I understand, KFX have space for weapon bays in structure so it would be simple upgrade.
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Unread post23 Oct 2020, 15:21

Oh, I see, trying to get derailed from the point of contention? Smart move mate. It was not me but you who've started the argument based on some sort of preassumption that "it is going to underpowered". I'm giving fact based counter argument on your point. Now see what you're doing.

I never argued anything saying the plane is already flying or it will be mass produced starting next year, or hardly anything that absurd. I've even expressed my opinion a few times in this forum that I highly doubt that this plane would sell outside of Korea.

In the same time you are either greatly exaggerating how much it would take to complete this plane from now. It's less than 6 years from today with the prototype coming out just next year. The reason the Koreans are making this plane as 4.5th gen first hand, which you highly criticize, is due the same reason you argue about delays and funds. Like I've said, they're playing it safe. Nothing more, nothing less.

Funny how you sound like you have infinite trust in those LM TA personnel but cannot trust them in this occasion.

On top of that all of the avionics are going through flight test just well either on those Israeli test birds or T-50s so, although it's true that not all avionics are completed but it ain't far off. At least the AESA is already done.

Also you seem to have forgotten the fact that France is planing to buy Rafales until around/ beyond 2030 and USN is buying those SH block 3s beyond mid 2020s, same story with USAF and F-15EX. Brits are continuing their Eurofighter Tranche 3 program with the new ECRS Mk.2 and so are the Germans.

"Two highly questionable assumptions" lol. You just don't know much about this program and it's so easy to know that from your replies. If you know nothing, just accept that and move on. It' good for the forum and also you have the benefit of not acting like a clown.

My final advice is to read the comments fully. One of the basics when arguing with someone.[/quote]

Wow, you've convinced me then - I'm ready to buy one. Maybe a small fleet. You're so smart, I should have known KFX is just invincible, semi-stealth and all. So where is this wunderfighter flying again? S. Korea? The Far East? The Middle East? The West? Planet Earth?? Nope, the only place this fighter resides.... is in your head.

That's probably where it's going to stay too, "Mate"..
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