Joint strike fighter program a 'failure' (from beloved APA)

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maus92

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Unread post08 Feb 2012, 23:23

hb_pencil wrote:
maus92 wrote:
southernphantom wrote:Wow, this is ******* hilarious. Everyone, please note that Harpoon is a computer game. A fairly realistic one, but I don't trust it to portray this accurately.

This would be like using Call of Duty or Ace Combat to try and prove the inferiority of the M4 or AIM-120. I used to have some faith in APA, but this is absolutely ridiculous :lol: :lol:


There is a profesional version of the simulation called "H3 MilSim" that is used by various navies and contractors.


Yeah, its a training aid. Nobody uses it to simulate the combat performance of a fighter that is still in development and who's performance figures have never been released publicly. Hell, its not even an optimal air to air combat simulator. I'd actually like to see what they did to stack the deck so badly vs the F-35. Was its emcon on active while the opponents on passive? What performance figures did they assign?

Its patently absurd and shows just how ridiculous this bunch is.


Yea, i agree. But it is very interesting if you ever get a chance to use it.
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Unread post09 Feb 2012, 00:22

maus92 wrote:
hb_pencil wrote:
maus92 wrote:
southernphantom wrote:Wow, this is ******* hilarious. Everyone, please note that Harpoon is a computer game. A fairly realistic one, but I don't trust it to portray this accurately.

This would be like using Call of Duty or Ace Combat to try and prove the inferiority of the M4 or AIM-120. I used to have some faith in APA, but this is absolutely ridiculous :lol: :lol:


There is a profesional version of the simulation called "H3 MilSim" that is used by various navies and contractors.


Yeah, its a training aid. Nobody uses it to simulate the combat performance of a fighter that is still in development and who's performance figures have never been released publicly. Hell, its not even an optimal air to air combat simulator. I'd actually like to see what they did to stack the deck so badly vs the F-35. Was its emcon on active while the opponents on passive? What performance figures did they assign?

Its patently absurd and shows just how ridiculous this bunch is.


Yea, i agree. But it is very interesting if you ever get a chance to use it.


I've used several different ones. Great fun for sure... I'd never go in front of a select committee and report what I did for fun on sunday afternoon.

The problem I have maus is that alot of critics have been quoting these guys verbatim for the past four years on why the F-35 is garbage. Alot of analysts knew they were wrong, but had difficulty parsing it out. I personally have better things to do than go and write an 10+ page paper discrediting everything some guy in Australia said. This is different... now an official government organ has a reason and opportunity to discredit them. I hope its not one of those bland, one page statements where they go and say "our experts say blah blah blah, our estimates blah blah blah" but an actual response that directly attacks some of their points. God knows the other partner countries would appreciate it, because these guys' ridiculous claims are being used by people who are experts in other aspects of national security policy but not in the minutiae of aerial combat.

In a way I'm actually surprised by this performance. Instead of being reasonable and reining in some of their rhetoric, they decided to double down on it and make even more preposterous claims... and put them on paper in the most obsequious fashion.
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Unread post09 Feb 2012, 00:55

'hb_pencil' said: "...In a way I'm actually surprised by this performance. Instead of being reasonable and reining in some of their rhetoric, they decided to double down on it and make even more preposterous claims... and put them on paper in the most obsequious fashion." A good ole Ozzie GOON Dummy Spit! :D
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Unread post09 Feb 2012, 03:32

hb_pencil wrote: In a way I'm actually surprised by this performance. Instead of being reasonable and reining in some of their rhetoric, they decided to double down on it and make even more preposterous claims... and put them on paper in the most obsequious fashion.


You wouldn't be surprised if you'd actually met the guy.

How can I put this delicately?

Er, if he were wealthy he'd be considered eccentric.

He's not wealthy...
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Unread post09 Feb 2012, 03:55

A few issues.

One, I think people who work in a field become polite and tolerant of alternative viewpoints and don't (publicly) call out BS for what it is. Some ignore APA, others are polite. It's time for both to stop.

Two, APA members were used by an Australian political party to drum up public support for possibly buying the F-22, a position that party took in opposition to the governing party but never planned to implement. This gave APA credibility.

Three, APA members stood to gain financially from refurbishing the F-111 instead of buying new. That is left out and it should be fair game.

One APA member attacked an Australian defense worker on another message board with messages that were later removed, it appears out of charity, as the messages were the incoherent ramblings of a madman or someone who was drunk. Some have speculated that both factors are involved.

Peter Goon posts on boards regularly and it is easy to find out his handle. I say no one lets him get away with this one.
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Unread post10 Feb 2012, 05:27

I have read all of the replies.
How about some of the experts? talking some Facts. Not just "its all Bullshit", Russian lies", 'Kopp is an idiot", "the simulation software is crap etc." or nitpicking. Tell us what the truth is.

From looking at the APA stuff it appears they make the following main assumptions.
If the scenario is completely wrong it will be in those initial assumptions. Everything depends on the data put in mainly.
1] The SU35 has an altitude advantage and all operators will obviously use that to there advantage.
2] The SU 35 has the advantage of supercruise - limited but it has it.
3] The SU35 has a considerable agility and speed advantage at altitude because of its 3D Vectoring and Wing and airframe design.
4] The Su35 or his wingman or other SU35's will have picked up the F35 on radar before or at about the same time as the F35 can effectively launch.
In his mind obviously that effectively negates most of the stealth advantage of the F35. Pointless being able to see the SU35 if your kill probability is so low all you will do is waste one of your precious missiles and let him know you are there. [Sukoi claims the IrbisE can pick up a .01sq.metre target at up to 90km - [a baseball]- what the F35 is we don't know for certain?
Some say "golf ball front on". What can the SU do at 30nm [50km].

APA obviously assumes the SU35 will know the F35 is there one way or another before or at about the time the F35 can effectively launch at 20nm. The scenario was not based on 1 on 1. Flying as a group where they have a much better chance of picking up the less stealthy sides of the F35 etc. is obviously part of this scenario.

The key to the whole thing is the effective range of the AIM120D against a SU35 operating in a way that best suits its strengths.

If the maximum effective kill range of the AIM120D when launched from below at an aircraft with the agility and speed of a SU35 at altitude is only about 20nm and with a very low kill at that range then it makes sense.
Not the 200-1 or whatever it was but it certainly is in there with a good chance.
He also obviously believes the SU35 will eat the F35 close in if missiles from both sides fail. [Back to the Vietnam scenario.]

There are many possibles in the next 5 years - better US missiles - same for the SU35 and also a better ASEA Radar and Engine from the Pak Fa program.
Best to leave them out.
2020 when both could or should be available in reasonable numbers.

What is the truth?
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Unread post10 Feb 2012, 08:31

No expert, but very good at spotting logical anomalies...

1] The SU35 has an altitude advantage and all operators will obviously use that to there advantage.
From what I've read the F-35 has the service ceiling advantage.

2] The SU 35 has the advantage of supercruise - limited but it has it.
This will get it to the fight faster, but its fuel consumption at max mil is going to be higher than the F-35's. In the simulation the sukhois were loaded to the hilt with missiles too, so its fuel efficiency will be quite low. From a model I've been working on (based on APA's own data), fuel consumption is pretty critical for the scenario.

4] The Su35 or his wingman or other SU35's will have picked up the F35 on radar before or at about the same time as the F35 can effectively launch.
This part I found very strange. Data on APA's site says that the flanker would spot the f-35 headon on with l-band at about 130km and with the engagement radar at 37km. A non-afterburning aircraft target with IRST from 35km and from the rear at 90km.

So, why are all the F-35's launching at 37km. Was one of their assumptions that the F-35's had to make visual confirmations before firing? Did every single one need to make visual confirmation even though their buddies are being shot at?

Or... were the F-35's all being spotted by IRST because of their "hot radomes"? Why wouldn't lead F-35's be running passively with "cool radomes" with some guys back out of range painting targets and providing mid-course updates for them? That's the way the F-22 works in A2A isn't it? The F-35 has the same comms technology and the same VLO advantage, why fly it like a 4th gen.

Does their simulation have each group of 4 flying line abreast with the F-35's using normal 4th gen tactics or something? What would be wrong with f-35's taking a shot at maximum possible range and speed to force the sukhois to evade, losing altitude, speed, inititiative and exposing aspects which give a much larger radar return.

Their simulation showed in the log that the F-35 detected the presence of bogies from 100's of km's away with ESM. Did they assume that the location of the flankers was not triangulated, because the F-35's didn't speed up to engage the flankers, nor did they gain altitude?

Their simulation showed f-35's jinking 90 degrees as they got closer to the flankers. Why were they doing that? The F-35 has a 60 degree arc in front (according to apa) where its vlo. Why would it give up its position by jinking and showing off its high RCS side aspect so close to the enemy. Their computers which calculate their best approach based on RCS would have been saying "That's it, I quit, you're a dumb@rse!" to the pilots.

It seems to me that the flankers in their simulation were being flown by professionals, and the F-35's were being flown by monkeys who had monkeys for trainers.

Using data from APA's site, I've done a few little spreadsheets and diagram sims which show that no-way, no-how has the flanker got any recourse to a VLO fighter (even a slower one) that doesn't want to engage in a dogfight. Even if all 4 F-35 missiles miss, the flanker doesn't have enough fuel to get itself into missile range trying to tail-chase the F-35. Goon seems to forget that the further the flankers run from home, the sooner they have to turn around to go back for fuel. He also forgets that a flanker under full throttle is using a LOT more fuel than an F-35 under full throttle (about 30% more).

Other aspects he doesn't take into account... He assumes that all emissions can be detected in his simulations and articles, irrespective of frequency hopping...etc. He never mentions that madl cannot be detected unless the beam is pointed at you. Would be interesting to read the logs in their simulation for the flankers.... bet you a million $ that the flankers detected all the f-35's by esm.

Typical of APA, they present a bunch of data, then selectively ignore the parts that don’t suit their argument until they come up with a conclusion that completely contradicts the data. Their whole site is covered with these contradictions…

Eg. F-35 is pointless against low frequency radar because of Rayleigh scattering and it being small, and fighter sized
… and then …
F-22 can operate inside an IADS that uses low frequency radars.

Not much thinking going on at the think tank I’m afraid.
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Unread post10 Feb 2012, 09:05

rkap wrote:I have read all of the replies.
How about some of the experts? talking some Facts. Not just "its all Bullshit", Russian lies", 'Kopp is an idiot", "the simulation software is crap etc." or nitpicking. Tell us what the truth is.


As an someone who professionally studies procurement, military strategy and the F-35 program, I've been posting quite a bit about cost, management and industrial benefits of the program. The costing is horribly biased as I noted above, using the Weapon system cost as the flyaway.

I've used Harpoon... I've done statistical analysis and examined engagement histories as a paid professional. Frankly, the combat scenario they undertook is completely unrealistic. I won't go into its details like you have... my experience with Russian electronics and research suggests low levels of reliability and lagging development. Nor can I really believe your assertion that both the F-35 and the Su-35 would detect each other at the same time. That's ignores the network oriented design and doctrine of the F-35 or a whole bunch of its capabilities.


Here is something you should consider. How many combat engagements since WWII had 240 aircraft operating per side in a engagement at the same time? None. And even during large scale engagements what were the loss rates? Maybe 10% at most. This simulation assumed PKs in excess of 50%... which frankly is not credible for Russian missile systems given reports from India or other combat engagements.

Let me make a broad point. Personally I really strive to be non-biased when it comes to my analysis. I have criticized the government at several points and even published a book that was fairly negative in its view. However I do support the F-35 program on its merits, with qualifications. I've studied dozens of programs in the past and while I don't believe everything I hear, the F-35 is actually very good value for money.

So I'd like to think I actually have a very good position to judge the methodology of others. In this case I look at Goon and Kopp's analysis and I can see someone who has skewed the variables to meet their pre-determined view. Actually it is ridiculous, especially to anybody who actually have done serious analysis in any aspect they talk about.

I get that you're very pro Russian aircraft, and so be it. But frankly, using this sort of analysis does not help your case whatsoever.
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Unread post10 Feb 2012, 14:01

rkap wrote:
What is the truth?


The truth is that anyone who proposes an engagement whereby 480 fighters line up opposite one another and fire missiles at each other until someone wins and they attempt to seriously portray this as representative of any sort of combat let alone modern air combat, is just plain nuts.

It's bad enough that someone is proposing that 240 SU-35 fighters will even actually exist, let alone be in-service by 2018.

The current build rate is 1 per year and based on current order - Russia is the only customer and has ordered 48 in total (though these have an unknown delivery timeline) is not likely to exceed 12 per year.

On top of which, China hasn't and likely won't ever buy any of them...

THAT is the truth.
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Unread post10 Feb 2012, 15:36

even a flight of 2 F-35s would have triangulated the Su-35s position via DAS and had targeting solutions well outside the Su-35s X-band solution range. They will also have bearing data on the Sukhois as soon as they emit and may be able to use EOTS to get required data at longer ranges. The simple facts are that the Su-35, while a serious threat to any gen 4/+/++ aircraft, has no ability to TARGET a VLO aircraft beyond 15~20 miles. And from the time they first get pinged by the L/X band radar the F-35 would have no problem accelerating to M1.6 and 40k+ feet to utilize the extended range of the AIM-120D and fire well beyond 20nm without emitting ANYTHING! All data that I have seen on the Russian L-bands suggest that they will detect the VLO fighters and maybe twice the range that the X-Band would (so 30~40nm, still within engagement range from a M1.6@40k -120D launch), but you still have to use the X-band for targeting. They can't get targeting data with the OLS-35 until about 15 miles, and the OLS-35 has a 10x7.5 degree FOV as opposed to 360x360 FOV for the DAS.

Best case scenario for the Su-35s? L-band to try and get a rough idea (40nm), OLS-35 to get a more exact idea (25nm), X-band targeting and missile launch (20nm)

Best case scanario for F-35s? Detect L-band transmissions (80nm), jam/EA the enemy radar, A/B accelerate to M1.6 and climb to 40k feet (assume 40 miles closure during that time, range now 40nm) tracking of Su-35s begins on DAS (50nm out), Launch AIM-120Ds, turn 45 degrees to reduce closer rates and enemy missile envelope while maintaining speed, 1st batch of missiles hit or miss while range to planes closes to around 25-30nm. Follow-up shot as needed, bug out, EODAS continues to provide targeting data on the now slower/lower Sukhois (they did have to evade after all) to the missiles via datalink as the shooters leave, presenting the toughest missile shots possible for the surviving Sukhois. APG-81 never had to emit other than for jamming. All data assumes equipment on BOTH sides works AS ADVERTISED by Lock-Mart/Sukhoi
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Unread post10 Feb 2012, 17:05

Sometimes there are 'official' rebuttals - here is a newsy one:

Defence backs new jet fighter BY DAVID ELLERY, DEFENCE REPORTER 10 Feb, 2012

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/na ... 51548.aspx

"Defence has rejected claims the F-35 strike fighter can’t protect itself in a dogfight against its Russian and Chinese rivals and that its stealth capability has been overstated by the manufacturer and the RAAF.

The allegations were made during presentations by Air Power Australia and Rep Sim Pty Ltd before the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade defence subcommittee on Tuesday.

"The criticisms are inconsistent with years of detailed analysis undertaken by Defence, the JSF program office, Lockheed Martin and eight other F-35 partner nations,’’ a Defence spokesman said.

See tomorrow's Forum lift out for more on the JSF (I wonder if it will be available online?)

The latest JSF criticism comes at a time when fears are growing in the Defence establishment that the Minister, Stephen Smith, is leaning towards a pre-emptive purchase of another 24 Super Hornets to prevent an air combat capability gap.

Defence and industry sources have told The Canberra Times these concerns have been overstated and there is no reason to believe the 100 JSFs detailed in Australia’s 2009 Defence White Paper can’t be delivered on time, on budget and able to do the job they were commissioned to do."
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Unread post10 Feb 2012, 17:14

This is now 'old' news however the URL / page may be where some APA rebuttal may appear:

CORRECTING THE RECORD http://www.defence.gov.au/dmo/ceo/recor ... fm#letters

"22 June 2011
Dear Sir,
Editor - The Canberra Times
Dear Sir,
I refer to a letter appearing in The Canberra Times on 22 June from Mr A Wilkinson regarding Australia’s purchase of the new fifth generation Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.

In his letter Mr Wilkinson compares the Joint Strike Fighter with the now-retired F-111 in terms of operational capability.

Having flown some 2,000 hours on F-111s, and having served as the Commanding Officer of an F-111 squadron and Officer Commanding 82 Wing, I agree that the F-111 was a formidable long-range strike platform in its time. It served Australia well for over thirty years in meeting Australia’s regional strategic needs, but it was an ageing aircraft – in the vintage category for a front-line combat aircraft. The F-111 would have been vulnerable in a future air combat environment dominated by fourth and fifth generation aircraft and modern air defence systems.

In this modern era of advanced air combat technology and multi-networked platforms, Australia’s requirement is for a cutting edge fifth generation aircraft that provides both fighter and strike roles. The F-111’s ability to penetrate modern air defence systems without an escort would be constrained, effectively limiting its range to that of its escort. While the F-35 will not have the range of the F-111, nor do other contemporary aircraft. The F-35’s range will be extended by using stand-off weapons and in-flight refuelling.

In terms of the ability to conduct strike missions, the F-111 relied on flying fast and low to survive and reach the target. New generation threats have required a new approach – utilising stealth and advanced long range sensors and weapons. The stealthy, fifth generation F-35 has been designed to deal with the future threat environment – threats from both the ground and from the air. The acquisition of 24 Super Hornets enabled the F-111’s retirement in 2010 and provided an appropriate and low risk bridging capability until the more capable F-35 arrives.

As Mr Wilkinson rightly points out, specific F-35 performance details are highly classified and tightly controlled to protect U.S. technology and avoid compromising a key defence capability. This unfortunately often leads to flawed analysis of F-35 capabilities due to incorrect assumptions, simplistic modelling, lack of operational analysis – basically, a lack of access to sensitive performance information. As a partner on the F-35 Program since 2002, the Government’s commitment to acquiring the F-35 is based on very detailed and ongoing analysis. The F-35 is the only multi-role fifth generation aircraft that meets our needs.

Air Vice-Marshal K. Osley
Program Manager New Air Combat Capability
Department of Defence"
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Unread post10 Feb 2012, 17:29

Now THAT'S what Im talking about! Thanks for sharing the rebuttals!
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Unread post10 Feb 2012, 17:30

tacf-x wrote: I'd imagine the Su-35S can exceed mach 1 with a realistic weapons load just like the F-15, but that's where the praise ends.


Not in dry thrust though. Afterburner doesn't count here, for the purpose of discussion, as the F-35 can use afterburner as well. The mistake the APA makes, is the conclusion that an Su-35 is going to be flying around supersonically, while the F-35 will be subsonic. As soon as you make this assumption, every one after that will be operating on flawed logic.

Even with supercruising abilities there's drag from external stores that will come into play and no flanker is going to be supercruising the whole time. F-35 will get the first look which is good enough to get the kill far earlier than the Flankers will so having a larger payload of medium range missiles means jack.


Another issue here, is the use of the term supercruising. APA uses it monolithically when talking about any aircraft other than the F-35.
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Unread post10 Feb 2012, 17:38

Don't forget that the EOTS can do a visual ID (if required by roe) at over 70km (as shown publicly in several vids).
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