VMFA(AW)-242 to swap F/A-18D for F-35B from October

F-35 unit & base selection, delivery, activation
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spazsinbad

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Unread post27 Aug 2020, 01:57

VMFA(AW)-242 to swap F/A-18D for F-35B from October
27 Aug 2020 ALERT 5

"At a meeting between Japan’s Ministry of Defense and Iwakuni City, defense officials explained that the U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18s based at MCAS Iwakuni will be replaced by the F-35B starting from October.

According to the Marine Corps’ 2019 Aviation Plan, the unit is supposed to transition to the F-35B from FY21 in the first quarter and reach full operational capability in the last quarter of the year."

Graphic: http://alert5.com/wp-content/uploads/20 ... an-pdf.png

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gc

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Unread post27 Aug 2020, 05:49

This is a significant acceleration of the VMFA-242 transition. They were initially slated to be amongst the last few USMC Squadrons to do so in 2030.

https://www.candp.marines.mil/Programs/ ... tion-Plan/
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spazsinbad

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Unread post27 Aug 2020, 06:52

USMC Aviation plan dated 25 Apr 2018 has been superceded: https://www.candp.marines.mil/portals/2 ... 085329-713
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Unread post27 Aug 2020, 13:15

spazsinbad wrote:USMC Aviation plan dated 25 Apr 2018 has been superceded: https://www.candp.marines.mil/portals/2 ... 085329-713


Thats exactly what i meant by acceleration of fielding of the F-35B for -242.
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jessmo112

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Unread post27 Aug 2020, 13:54

The pacific is heating up.
How many total F-35 combat ready squadrens do we have now?
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aussiebloke

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Unread post29 Aug 2020, 10:00

The U.S. Marine Corps expects in October to begin converting a second Japan-based squadron to new F-35B Lightning II stealth fighters.

That’s good news and bad. Good because the two-seat F/A-18D Hornets that Marine All-Weather Fighter-Attack Squadron 242 currently flies are old, tired and lacking in radar-evading qualities.

Bad because F/A-18s are the Marines’ main aerial ship-killers. And the F-35Bs can’t yet match that capability. This in a region teeming with Chinese warships.

More at:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2 ... -fighters/
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element1loop

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Unread post30 Aug 2020, 04:31

aussiebloke wrote:
... Bad because F/A-18s are the Marines’ main aerial ship-killers. And the F-35Bs can’t yet match that capability. This in a region teeming with Chinese warships.

More at:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2 ... -fighters/


Article linked wrote:... It’s not that the F-35B can’t sink ships with its laser- and GPS-guided bombs. But even the Joint Stand-Off Weapon glide-bomb lacks range compared to the sea-skimming Harpoon with its 150-mile reach. And the guidance kits on land-attack weapons usually are less than ideal for targeting ships at sea. What that means is that, for a few years at least, the Marines in Japan are going to lose much of their aerial anti-ship capability.


This paragraph is way off. F-35B has more range, it's VLO can defeat sensors and ESM can hold its radius from them, and can break weapon kill-chains easily, plus there's no indication that a dedicated USN JSOW ship-killing moving target variant will miss ships.

Silly slop.

David Axe [/wtf?]
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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marauder2048

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Unread post30 Aug 2020, 04:54

The F-35B is getting JSOW-ER externally.

AFAIK, the classic Hornets did not get Harpoon II+ which is the only one of practical use in those waters.

And where does Axe come up with a 150 nautical mile range for Harpoon?
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element1loop

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Unread post30 Aug 2020, 06:36

marauder2048 wrote:And where does Axe come up with a 150 nautical mile range for Harpoon?


As I remember RAN's "II" version was described as a 160 km range weapon. 150 nm = 278 km

JSOW-ER is 300 nm range = 555 km (in USN from late 2023)
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Unread post30 Aug 2020, 09:46

marauder2048 wrote:
And where does Axe come up with a 150 nautical mile range for Harpoon?


F-16 net?
http://www.f-16.net/f-16_armament_article12.html
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squirrelshoes

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Unread post30 Aug 2020, 12:34

There's a reason B-1B was moved to the front of the line for LRASM, to close this antiship capability gap in the short-term.

This lack of F-35B antiship capability is exactly that a short term problem that will be shared with UK until the weapons qualifications queue plays their song. JSOW, Spear, maybe even LRASM or JSM someday. If lots of Chinese ships needed to be targeted before then it would likely be B-1s doing the hauling while F-35s did the targeting, a couple of B-1s could bring 48 LRASMs to the fight which is a lot more antiship capability than an entire squadron of F-18Ds slinging harpoons.
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Unread post30 Aug 2020, 17:56

aussiebloke wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:
And where does Axe come up with a 150 nautical mile range for Harpoon?


F-16 net?
http://www.f-16.net/f-16_armament_article12.html


That's SLAM-ER. The Marines have Harpoon 1C. The latter has much shorter range.
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marauder2048

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Unread post30 Aug 2020, 18:04

squirrelshoes wrote:There's a reason B-1B was moved to the front of the line for LRASM, to close this antiship capability gap in the short-term.

This lack of F-35B antiship capability is exactly that a short term problem that will be shared with UK until the weapons qualifications queue plays their song. JSOW, Spear, maybe even LRASM or JSM someday. If lots of Chinese ships needed to be targeted before then it would likely be B-1s doing the hauling while F-35s did the targeting, a couple of B-1s could bring 48 LRASMs to the fight which is a lot more antiship capability than an entire squadron of F-18Ds slinging harpoons.


The loss of Harpoon 1C capability is no real loss in crowded asian shipping waters unless
the plan is that the Marines engage Chinese surface combatants after they've broken through
to the open ocean.
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element1loop

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Unread post31 Aug 2020, 01:39

marauder2048 wrote:
squirrelshoes wrote:There's a reason B-1B was moved to the front of the line for LRASM, to close this antiship capability gap in the short-term.


The loss of Harpoon 1C capability is no real loss in crowded asian shipping waters unless
the plan is that the Marines engage Chinese surface combatants after they've broken through
to the open ocean.


One hit with a modern anti-ship missile in the right place is likely to render most ships unable to fight, or even communicate and defend itself properly. We don't even need more missiles to sink those that are hit properly the first time. Why LRASM's passive imaging to target specific locations on each targeted ship class makes so much more sense.

A couple of JDAM-ER with laser guidance and RF kit options and 70 km standoff would be almost perfect for burning and sinking them from there. Just 1 x SH loaded with 2 x 2,000lb JDAM-ERs per ship, and they're probably done (for $100K tops). We could manufacture those kits like hot cakes.

It would be a terrible waste of missiles to keep hitting them with Harpoon, JSOW-ER, Tomahawk or LRASM until they sank or were dead in the water. No need. The need is to save those remainder missiles for DPRK or Iran, or anyone else who wants to be stupid, during the following 5 year period after defeating PLAN's surface fleet. We could win the war, but end up depleted.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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marauder2048

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Unread post31 Aug 2020, 08:56

element1loop wrote:One hit with a modern anti-ship missile in the right place is likely to render most ships unable to fight, or even communicate and defend itself properly. We don't even need more missiles to sink those that are hit properly the first time. Why LRASM's passive imaging to target specific locations on each targeted ship class makes so much more sense.

A couple of JDAM-ER with laser guidance and RF kit options and 70 km standoff would be almost perfect for burning and sinking them from there. Just 1 x SH loaded with 2 x 2,000lb JDAM-ERs per ship, and they're probably done (for $100K tops). We could manufacture those kits like hot cakes.


This was basically the orthodox USAF view in the late Cold War: an ASCM impact would typically result in a
mission kill on an enemy ship that would permit cheaper stand-in weapons to be employed for the coup de grace.

The issue with the non-datalinked Harpoon 1C is getting it to hit the right ship in the first place since
a deliberate or unintentional enemy countermeasure would be to mix the its surface combatant
within civilian traffic.

That the Marines didn't upgrade Harpoon IC to II+ or SLAM-ER* is, in my view, pretty telling.

* You do see the occasional photo of USCM F/A-18s with it.

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