Pentagon’s Operational Test and Evaluation Report 2012 PDF

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maus92

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Unread post27 Jan 2013, 04:22

XanderCrews wrote:
maus92 wrote:
quicksilver wrote:
And SHs are NOT going to be flying CAPs for VLO strikers unless the intent is to provide missile sponges.


I haven't suggested that SH will fly CAP/Strike when when a mission requires VLO and evasion of detection (however, they could be used as diversions and feinting elsewhere, and later when defensives have been attritted.) As you know, there are other flavors of CAP that can be performed by non-stealth assets, like protecting the boats, E-2s, Growlers, etc. Bottom line, and the point of this discussion is F-35Cs will be used where it makes best use of their unique capabilities and where their limited numbers can produce the greatest effect.


I guess my question is just when the man in charge of the air campaign calls up the two USN carriers on seen and says what can you give me? and they say "20 F-35s the first 72 hours, and then 100 after that" does the air commander say "wait what!?" And then the Navy explains that Super Hornets are "good enough," provided the missions are cherry picked.

We could probably debate this all day I just think its odd that there is "Good enough*" and "Good Enough" If the best thing the Super Hornets can do is orbit the fleet until things calm while the F-35C/growler get the missions is that really good enough? And when does some bean counter decide that it makes more sense to have fewer carriers with more F-35s on them?

13.5 billion dollars for an aircraft carrier packed with "good enough" ? If Lockheeds numbers are to be believed and the JSF is 4 times better than legacy assets even one gator ship with a 6 aircraft detachment is swinging a "24 aircraft stick" or two super hornet squadrons worth... Now I know its not quite a 1:1 measurement.

But if it is as you say, an even ratio; That on day three an F-35 and F/A-18E/F are the same, then that doesn't help the navy either. If the F-35B brings the same advantages and then more of a an F-18E/F, without a super carrier, catapults or wires, that could raise some uncomfortable questions.

I am not saying that the F-35B will end the super carrier or that the USN should get F-35Bs/Tripolis. I am not saying that, but the USN will no longer be able to point to STOVL and say "thats a compromised aircraft" They are flying plenty of "compromised/good enough" aircraft of their own if the plan is to wait 3 days for the "real jets" to kick down the door. If the F-35B is easier and safer to land aboard ship too, then that becomes interesting too. I never thought I would see the day where the Navy would say after some of our aircraft and all the Amphib carriers jets beat em down we will send the rest. Traditionally it was the CVN beating em down and then the harriers going in.


If the Navy could afford to equip all air wings with the latest and greatest jets, then they would be building something different than the F-35C and we would not be having this debate. But the way forward was cast back in the Clinton Adminstration when it was considered a good idea to develop a common airframe for uncommon modes of operation, and has lead us to where we are now. Many - myself included - believe if the Navy was allowed to develop its own airframe, a more suitable aircraft than F-35C would be on decks now with the Supers. But clearly that's not happening, so we will have to wait another 10 years for a SH replacement to start coming online.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post27 Jan 2013, 04:53

maus92 wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:
maus92 wrote:
quicksilver wrote:
And SHs are NOT going to be flying CAPs for VLO strikers unless the intent is to provide missile sponges.


I haven't suggested that SH will fly CAP/Strike when when a mission requires VLO and evasion of detection (however, they could be used as diversions and feinting elsewhere, and later when defensives have been attritted.) As you know, there are other flavors of CAP that can be performed by non-stealth assets, like protecting the boats, E-2s, Growlers, etc. Bottom line, and the point of this discussion is F-35Cs will be used where it makes best use of their unique capabilities and where their limited numbers can produce the greatest effect.


I guess my question is just when the man in charge of the air campaign calls up the two USN carriers on seen and says what can you give me? and they say "20 F-35s the first 72 hours, and then 100 after that" does the air commander say "wait what!?" And then the Navy explains that Super Hornets are "good enough," provided the missions are cherry picked.

We could probably debate this all day I just think its odd that there is "Good enough*" and "Good Enough" If the best thing the Super Hornets can do is orbit the fleet until things calm while the F-35C/growler get the missions is that really good enough? And when does some bean counter decide that it makes more sense to have fewer carriers with more F-35s on them?

13.5 billion dollars for an aircraft carrier packed with "good enough" ? If Lockheeds numbers are to be believed and the JSF is 4 times better than legacy assets even one gator ship with a 6 aircraft detachment is swinging a "24 aircraft stick" or two super hornet squadrons worth... Now I know its not quite a 1:1 measurement.

But if it is as you say, an even ratio; That on day three an F-35 and F/A-18E/F are the same, then that doesn't help the navy either. If the F-35B brings the same advantages and then more of a an F-18E/F, without a super carrier, catapults or wires, that could raise some uncomfortable questions.

I am not saying that the F-35B will end the super carrier or that the USN should get F-35Bs/Tripolis. I am not saying that, but the USN will no longer be able to point to STOVL and say "thats a compromised aircraft" They are flying plenty of "compromised/good enough" aircraft of their own if the plan is to wait 3 days for the "real jets" to kick down the door. If the F-35B is easier and safer to land aboard ship too, then that becomes interesting too. I never thought I would see the day where the Navy would say after some of our aircraft and all the Amphib carriers jets beat em down we will send the rest. Traditionally it was the CVN beating em down and then the harriers going in.


If the Navy could afford to equip all air wings with the latest and greatest jets, then they would be building something different than the F-35C and we would not be having this debate. But the way forward was cast back in the Clinton Adminstration when it was considered a good idea to develop a common airframe for uncommon modes of operation, and has lead us to where we are now. Many - myself included - believe if the Navy was allowed to develop its own airframe, a more suitable aircraft than F-35C would be on decks now with the Supers. But clearly that's not happening, so we will have to wait another 10 years for a SH replacement to start coming online.


Thats a good point, I'm sure if it had been given the choice the USN would go with a top level performer rather than something like an improved hornet with toed out pylons, that is exceeded by the F-35C they don't want. You also point out that the Navy can't afford the latest and greatest and yet they would have developed something better than the F-35C which they can also not afford.
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Unread post27 Jan 2013, 05:21

The USN / USMC have proved that they work together. Why not have the CVNs packed to the gunnels with Shornets the USN 'claim' to love and let the LHAs packed with what they need including F-35Bs provide the stealth? Win/Win? No? :D However we know that all the senior USNers want the F-35C and have said so in public. OMG we even have the USMC getting F-35Cs to help out the CVNers. GeeGOSHgolly! :devil:
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Unread post27 Jan 2013, 15:52

spazsinbad wrote:However we know that all the senior USNers want the F-35C and have said so in public. :devil:


Public statements are routinely quite different than private conversations. Like interviews with test pilots who extoll the qualities their jets, then in later reports we find out that transonic acceleration is not so great, it buffets more than expected, etc. The point is that public statements by officials - which include pilots - are carefully crafted, and in some cases, "clarified" by spokesmen later. Think about what would happen to a test pilot who criticized his ride - he would be out faster than a F-35 can accelerate.
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Unread post27 Jan 2013, 18:32

maus92 wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:However we know that all the senior USNers want the F-35C and have said so in public. :devil:


Public statements are routinely quite different than private conversations. Like interviews with test pilots who extoll the qualities their jets, then in later reports we find out that transonic acceleration is not so great, it buffets more than expected, etc. The point is that public statements by officials - which include pilots - are carefully crafted, and in some cases, "clarified" by spokesmen later. Think about what would happen to a test pilot who criticized his ride - he would be out faster than a F-35 can accelerate.


Which is of course very different from the Super Hornet, where Test Pilots raved and its performance fell short:

spazsinbad wrote:'elp' quoting similarly - with more - here in the Comments section: [ AS 'HOBO' SUGGESTED above "...This seems to be one of ELP's favorite quotes..." ] Thanks and the 'hobo' long quote of deficiencies was excellent. [from GAO report PDF at url titled "June 1996 NAVY AVIATION | F/A-18E/F will Provide Marginal Operational Improvement at High Cost]

Super Hornet purchase to go ahead 19 Mar 2008

http://kalimna.blogspot.com.au/2008/03/ ... ahead.html Ain't the interbabble magic? :D

COMMENTS:
"ELP said...
It is unfortunate that senior Defence leadership has been de-skilled so much that they can't do any analysis past what a Boeing sales rep shows them.

Fancy avionics alone does not a combat jet make. Here is some interesting reading on Australia's prize acquisition:

-Bill Sweetman, Just How Super is the F/A-18E/F?, Interavia Business & Technology, April 1, 2000-

-The Navy and Boeing have intensified a propaganda campaign. Unfortunately, the campaign is likely to damage their credibility in the long term, because it focuses on a few basic statements which don't mean anything like as much as the casual reader is meant to think.

For example: "The airplane meets all its key performance parameters." This is true. In 1998 -- as it became clear that the Super Hornet was slower, and less agile at transonic speeds than the C/D -- the Navy issued an "administrative clarification" which declared that speed, acceleration and sustained turn rate were not, and had never been, Key Performance Parameters (KPP) for the Super Hornet. Apparently, some misguided people thought that those were important attributes for a fighter.-

-Bill Sweetman, Watch Your Six Maverick, Interavia Business & Technology, February 1, 2000-

-The Navy's operational evaluation (Opeval) of the Super Hornet ended in November, and the report is expected late in February. It will probably find the Super Hornet to be operationally effective and suitable, because the impact of any other recommendation would be devastating, but the Navy will have to do some deft manoeuvring to avoid charges that the report is a whitewash.-

-Bill Sweetman, Super Hornet gathers speed, but critics keep pressure on, Interavia Business & Technology, March 1, 1999-

-The Pentagon has conceded that the MiG-29 and Su-27 can out-accelerate and out-turn all variants of the F/A-18 in most operating regimes, and that the E/F in turn cannot stay up with the older C/D through much of the envelope.

Navy data from early 1996 (published in a General Accounting Office report) showed that the new aircraft was expected to have a lower thrust-to-weight ratio than the late-production (Lot XIX) F/A-18C/D with the General Electric F404-GE-402 engine. Its maximum speed in a typical air-to-air configuration would be Mach 1.6, versus Mach 1.8 for the smaller aircraft. In the heart of the air-combat envelope, between 15,000 and 20,000 feet and at transonic speed, the Lot XIX aircraft would hold a specific excess power (Ps) of 300 ft/sec out to Mach 1.2, while its larger descendant could not hold the same Ps above Mach 1.0.-"
_______________________

http://ericpalmer.wordpress.com/2010/09 ... -military/
_________________________

JUST GOOGLE THIS STRING FOR MANY MORE! EELLLPPPP! "Bill Sweetman, Watch Your Six Maverick, Interavia Business & Technology, February 1, 2000" :D (don't use the quote marks)



Also maybe pilots feel that there is a trade off, like the sub sonic performance is worth better behind the boat handling? Or that is it similar to the F-18E/F they are used to? Its not exactly a secret that one of the reasons the USN loves the Super Hornet is for its solid safety record not is high end top speed. After all:

maus92 wrote:(the Navy tends to favor low speed agility because they feel most dogfights degrade into this regime eventually.)


If you want to say that the USN would pursue a different fighter than the JSF had it never been invented that is obviously true, but its a real pie in the sky idea that they would create a superb yet cheap 5th generation fighter all alone having just finished the very design-safe Super Hornet. Please don't point to the Super Hornet, which was the Navy's last fighter built just for them, as some kind of sign that the USN was on the verge of producing some super fighter if not for Clinton's JSF.

:roll:
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Unread post27 Jan 2013, 19:13

@f414: The Navy went with the SH because they had two major problems. F-14D production capped, and retirement coming up fast, and the cancelled "insanely expensive" A-12. I like like the F-5 & YF-17 designs, but the A-12 deserved to get cancelled. As you say, the Super Hornet was intended to be "design-safe". Stung by the A-12, The Pentagon wouldn't have allowed Boeing/McDonnell Douglass to make a 5th Gen F-22 class Navy jet. Corp. A 5th Gen F-22 class jet, would be more than the "corporate funded" budget would support, so a 5th Gen F-22 class export fighter was a non-starter.

@maus92: The F-35 is overall a great jet. Test pilots are given PR help.. and try and stick to what is authorized for release. I concur that if a test pilot made public statements criticizing his ride, he'd be out.
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Unread post27 Jan 2013, 20:03

Once again we are back to 'no one can be believed' on the F-35 except....? I claim bollocks on the claim about deceitful test pilots in public. Sure there are topics that cannot be discussed and generally they generalise. They know that eventually all will be revealed - if only in NATOPS or other non-public reports whatever - where it matters. Also these same pilots are aware that from day to day things change to improve the aircraft - software fixes or longer term hardware fixes - which they test and test again and retest. So what may not be perfect today will be perfected soon enough - as they are only too well aware - unlike others. Performance shortfalls would be classified surely, until made public through leaks or official reports, or requests to downgrade KPPs if relevant. Why would we expect them to reveal this probably classified minutiae in the meantime? Oh right - they don't talk directly to the likes of 'maus92' - what a shame - how scandalous.
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Unread post27 Jan 2013, 20:10

On the general subject of joint development, the production numbers that I get are: 1198 F-15s to 712 F-14s, and 4500+ F-16s to 1480 F-18s (not Supers).
Looking at that, the "high" numbers are less than 2-to-1 Air Force to Navy, but the "low" numbers are more like 3-to-1. What is the -A to -C ratio for the F-35, more like 10-to-1?
The larger the ratio of conventional to CATOBAR, the more the Navy wins by piggybacking on the Air Force effort.
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

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Unread post27 Jan 2013, 20:36

@spazsinbad: I'm not sure who you were directing your "no one can be believed" comment. Display/test pilots were told to avoid making contradictory statements in public. Deceptively vague statements are SOP, but avoid contradictory statements.

A significant amount of information is tagged "FOUO" initially, then released. Declassifying SECRET information involved more red-tape, so they tend to use FOUO for things that could be later released.

@count: Remember that the F/A-18 is an effective "semi-prepared" highway/runway fighter aircraft. I wonder that even with the lower acceleration, if the F-35C is more suited than the F-35A for such operations.

One big issue in 4.5/5th Gen fighter development, is that there is limited software/avionics compatibility between different aircraft. F/A-18s, F-15s, F-16s, and F-22, F-35s. Since most newer jets run on PowerPC processors, and common use interfaces, I think that there is room for improvement, without constraining future programs.

Edit: I did not imply "deceptive" as a negative or suggest dishonesty. They just avoid giving out actual concrete numbers, unless directly cleared to do so.
Last edited by neurotech on 27 Jan 2013, 21:49, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post27 Jan 2013, 21:31

'neurotech' opines: "...Display/test pilots were told to avoid making contradictory statements in public...." Seems reasonable but how do you know this and why oh why is this a problem. Blabbing about stuff that is of no concern except when appropriate and cleared to do so is standard. OMG. I lived in the military in the NON-interbabble age when 'need to know' was standard. S-2 and Wessex pilots/aircrew would tell me NOTHING about their ops (unless we all were at a general briefing when cleared to do so). Otherwise blabbing about shite outside closed doors was a 'hanging offence'. Loose lips sink ships. But today we ALL NEED TO KNOW every damn thing NOW! What a joke. And get accused of being deceptive otherwise. What a joke. Get real.

My comments are clearly directed. Thank you.
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Unread post27 Jan 2013, 21:46

neurotech wrote:
@maus92: The F-35 is overall a great jet. Test pilots are given PR help.. and try and stick to what is authorized for release. I concur that if a test pilot made public statements criticizing his ride, he'd be out.


Before I concur that the F-35C is a great jet, I prefer to wait until more examples are delivered and its performance and capabilities are more fully explored. While the avionics suite (once the software is fully developed and validated,) and stealth capability are certainly important advances, there are too many performance unknowns at this point: the disappointing transonic acceleration performance has been acknowledged, but I am concerned about further range adjustments. The hook situation looks much better: the re-profiled hook point seems to be more effective at grabbing the wire, and a re-valved snubber is coming. But they've probably extended the shaft as much as the can without having to redesign other parts that might affect signature.

The overriding problem I have with F-35C is that it doesn't adequately address the range issues that have been facing naval aviation since the A-6 and F-14 were (prematurely) retired (the SH is being an interim jet meant to replace old aircraft and reduce mx cost - which it has done well.) And with the refocus to the Pacific, the range issue becomes more glaring. I take the point that F-35C was never meant to replace those jets, but there is an unfulfilled need that is real if the US wants to pursue its new strategy effectively and with flexibility. The existence of the F-35C program distracts political attention and the funding required to address this need. The USAF has realized the need for longer ranged aircraft by issuing an initial requirement for LRS-B, and wanting it quickly.

What I hope will happen is the Navy procures a small number - 48ish - of F-35Cs to use in any contingencies that absolutely require stealth aircraft, and continue to procure SH. If LM can get their costs under control and reducing pricing down to Super Hornet levels, then buy more F-35Cs and fewer SH. I know the fanbase will complain that a reduced buy of Navy F-35Cs will adversely affect pricing (and procurement numbers) of the other variants, but I'd rather have another aircraft better matched to challenges that operations in the Pacific present.
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Unread post27 Jan 2013, 22:02

'maus92' in your scenario above will the USMC be excused from contributing any F-35Cs and substituting F-35Bs for an overall increased buy of F-35Bs for USMC as envisaged from the beginning?
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Unread post27 Jan 2013, 22:03

@maus92: Valid concerns, with regard to transonic acceleration, range and lack of validation of avionics.

I've heard persistent rumors that Boeing is discounting F/A-18Fs and/or doing corporate funded development of Block III+ avionics. I think that its realistic to assume the F-35C wont be FRP in 2015/2016. This gives a window for more SH purchases without major effect of the total buy.

It's not widely known, but some EA-18Gs flew transatlantic (no ALQ-99s on wings) from the US to their deployment location. They did not come over on the carrier, but used tanker/transport support to get there. Perhaps the USN should consider keeping the F-35Cs initially as an expeditionary force, and deploy them to the carrier when actually needed.
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Unread post27 Jan 2013, 22:41

Salute!

Hey, neuro! How do you think USAF got hundreds of Eagles and Vipers to Saudi back in 1990? Oh yeah, some F-117 jets. The days of hauling all the jets on the boat are long gone.

RE: transonic accel....... I'll bet that the profile was st-and-level and then gofor it. We who have done it know that all ya gotta do is reduce AoA by lowering the nose a tiny amount and shazaam!

I would not be worried as much about the aero or mechanical aspects of the F-35 as the cosmic avionics and helmet and such.

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Unread post27 Jan 2013, 23:06

Thanks Gums: "...RE: transonic accel....... I'll bet that the profile was st-and-level and then gofor it. We who have done it know that all ya gotta do is reduce AoA by lowering the nose a tiny amount and shazaam!" :D

See here for the 'cosmic helmut' badge for the FU F-35!: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... rt-30.html :D
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