[Dutch F-35A Pilots] Out of the SHADOWS May 2018 PDF

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spazsinbad

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Unread post05 Apr 2018, 11:13

Out of the SHADOWS [SIX Page PDF attached]
May 2018 Frank Crébas

"...New jet, new missions
While technicians have gained valuable experience of turning spanners on the F-35, the four Dutch Lightning II pilots have striven to understand the aircraft from a tactical perspective. ‘We worked on getting a better understanding of how we can execute the D-SEAD [destructive suppression of enemy air defenses] mission — it’s a new mission set the F-35 brings to the RNLAF,’ adds De Smit. ‘Additionally, we have been looking at how we can execute mission concepts that are very familiar to us like close air support [CAS]. The new variable message format [VMF] is the new datalink protocol that we use to talk to ground forces. VMF is fully digital and enables us to send, in addition to voice commands, imagery back and forth to the JTACs [joint terminal attack controllers]. In addition, the synthetic aperture radar can make images from a long distance through the weather. This is a whole new aspect in the CAS mission and will be a game-changer in the dialogue between JTAC and pilot because it offers a new way of finding and verifying targets.’

Within the detachment, the 323rd Test and Evaluation Squadron (TES) commander Lt Col Ian ‘Gladys’ Knight is leading the way when it comes to Dutch experience with the F-35. ‘In CAS’, he says, ‘VMF gives us options for supporting ground forces in a way we never had in the F-16. Instead of using voice radios and getting eyes on the target using a targeting pod close-in, we’re able to use the SAR to make images of the target area and generate very accurate target co-ordinates. We pass these to the ground forces and confirm a target location using VMF from beyond visual range, assuring that enemy forces are not alerted to our air presence. All the while we can be flying in pretty bad weather with long on-station times. This would have been impossible to do with our F-16s.’..."
&
"...While a lot of missions are conducted with the JOTT partners, the Dutch F-35s periodically fly with the 148th Fighter Squadron ‘Kickin’ a$$’, the RNLAF’s F-16 training unit in Tucson, Arizona, to evaluate and validate new tactics. ‘The first time we got to test all these advanced capabilities to their fullest potential was about a year ago, with and against our F-16s in Tucson,’ says Knight.

‘The initial scenario was that our two F-35s would escort a four-ship of F-16s across a notional border and protect them against another eight-ship of F-16s simulating a modern adversary. A relatively inexperienced flight leader was in charge of the F-16s on our side and Lt Col Joost ‘Niki’ Luijsterburg, the Tucson detachment commander, was responsible for the adversaries. Up to this point we had only practised these scenarios in the simulators and while we had a decent game-plan, we were all anxious to see how the F-35 would perform in real life. We figured that the F-35’s stealth would keep us out of harm’s way for most of the fight, but that we also need to protect the friendly F-16s, maximize the lethality of their missiles and get them to the target.

To make this happen, we planned to initially use electronic attack against the adversary F-16s, see if we could avoid having them detect friendly fighters and datalink the location of the hostile aircraft to our F-16s. This way we could use the F-16s on our side to shoot down the initial wave of enemy fighters and keep our own missiles available once the ‘Blue Air’ F-16s had to focus on their target attack. The plan worked flawlessly.

‘In the debrief ‘Niki’ told us it was one of the most memorable sorties he had ever flown. Having previously worked in the F-35 program office he was elated to find out how effective the F-35 was, but at the same time he was frustrated by not getting a single shot off the rail against us, while getting killed multiple times. After that sortie it really hit us that the F-35 was going to make a big difference in how we operate fighters and other assets in the Royal Netherlands Air Force.’...
&
"...Dogfighting in the F-35...
...‘The F-35 is a very different aircraft, and it took pilots a while to adjust and figure out how to max-perform it. What didn’t help is that until about 18 months ago we were restricted in envelope, which meant we couldn’t pull as much g as we wanted to, nor fly with high-alpha. It was an eye-opener for all of us when those restrictions were lifted and we finally got to see the full potential. Actually, it was an eye-opener for a lot of adversary pilots as well.’

The F-35 is far larger than the F-16, and it carries twice as much fuel and three times the payload. ‘Consequently, the F-35 loses energy a bit faster than the F-16 at higher speeds,’ continues Knight. ‘But the slow-speed handling is amazing. The F-35 pilot has the option to continuously point the nose at the adversary, even at ridiculously slow speeds, which is a great capability to have in combination with high off-boresight missiles and a helmet-mounted sight. You need to be careful maneuvering the aircraft at higher speeds, because if you keep pulling back on the stick the aircraft will give you as much alpha as it can, but it will bleed a lot of energy in the process. It’s up to the pilot to recognize when to try to maintain airspeed and energy and when to give that away to prosecute with missiles or guns. I typically tell new pilots that the F-35 sits somewhere in between the F-16 and F/A-18 when it comes to within visual range maneuvering.’

Knight divulged a little more information about flying basic fighter maneuvers (BFM) in an F-35. ‘When our envelope was cleared to practise BFM we got the opportunity to fight some fourth-generation fighters. Remember, back then the rumors were that the F-35 was a pig. The first time the opponents showed up [in the training area] they had wing tanks along with a bunch of missiles. I guess they figured that being in a dirty configuration wouldn’t really matter and that they would still easily outmaneuver us. By the end of the week, though, they had dropped their wing tanks, transitioned to a single centerline fuel tank and were still doing everything they could not to get gunned by us. A week later they stripped the jets clean of all external stores, which made the BFM fights interesting, to say the least…

‘High-g maneuvering is fun, but having high fuel capacity and the ability to carry lots of stores is great too. During the weeks when we were flying BFM we also needed to drop a GBU-12 [laser-guided bomb] on the China Lake weapons range. Back in our F-16 days we’d have had to choose, since there is no way you can BFM with a bomb on your wing, let alone having the fuel to fly both missions in a single sortie. With the F-35, however, this isn’t much of an issue. On one of the sorties, my colleague, Maj Pascal ‘Smiley’ Smaal, decided he would fly BFM and still have enough fuel to go to the range afterwards and drop his weapon. During the debrief, the adversary pilot told us he was confused as to why we went to the range after the fight. When ‘Smiley’ told him that he was carrying an inert GBU-12 the entire time and that he then dropped it afterwards during a test event, the silence on the other end of the line was golden.’..."

Source: Combat Aircraft May 2018 Vol.19 No.5
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Last edited by spazsinbad on 06 Apr 2018, 02:04, edited 1 time in total.
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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steve2267

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Unread post05 Apr 2018, 14:08

But... but... but... it can't turn!

:roll:
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, add dollop of F-117 & gob of F-22, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well, then bake. Whaddya get? An F-35.
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Unread post05 Apr 2018, 15:14

Very cool! The clearest indication to date how the F35 (at least the A variant) performs in BFM/Dogfights. Loving how the adversary pilots initially underestimated the F35 in BFM.....their flippant attitude quickly changing to exasperation and surprise lol :mrgreen: . And the F35 performing BFM competently whilst carrying GBU 12s internally......damn!!!! As Lt Col Ian “Gladys” Knight inferred....love to see a fourth generation platform try to do that!
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Unread post05 Apr 2018, 19:38

Mimicking a Growler against adversary aircraft ... amazing.

While a lot of missions are conducted
with the JOTT partners, the Dutch F-35s
periodically fly with the 148th Fighter
Squadron ‘Kickin’ a$$’, the RNLAF’s
F-16 training unit in Tucson, Arizona,
to evaluate and validate new tactics.
‘The first time we got to test all these
advanced capabilities to their fullest
potential was about a year ago, with and
against our F-16s in Tucson,’ says Knight.

‘The initial scenario was that our two
F-35s would escort a four-ship of F-16s
across a notional border and protect
them against another eight-ship of
F-16s simulating a modern adversary. A
relatively inexperienced flight leader was
in charge of the F-16s on our side and Lt
Col Joost ‘Niki’ Luijsterburg, the Tucson
detachment commander, was responsible
for the adversaries. Up to this point we
had only practised these scenarios in the
simulators and while we had a decent
game-plan, we were all anxious to see
how the F-35 would perform in real life.
We figured that the F-35’s stealth would
keep us out of harm’s way for most of the
fight, but that we also need to protect the
friendly F-16s, maximize the lethality of
their missiles and get them to the target.

To make this happen, we planned to
initially use electronic attack against the
adversary F-16s, see if we could avoid
having them detect friendly fighters and
datalink the location of the hostile aircraft
to our F-16s. This way we could use the
F-16s on our side to shoot down the initial
wave of enemy fighters and keep our own
missiles available once the ‘Blue Air’ F-16s
had to focus on their target attack. The
plan worked flawlessly.

‘In the debrief ‘Niki’ told us it was one
of the most memorable sorties he had
ever flown. Having previously worked in
the F-35 program office he was elated to
find out how effective the F-35 was, but
at the same time he was frustrated by not
getting a single shot off the rail against us,
while getting killed multiple times. After
that sortie it really hit us that the F-35 was
going to make a big difference in how we
operate fighters and other assets in the
Royal Netherlands Air Force.’
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castlebravo

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Unread post05 Apr 2018, 20:31

marsavian wrote:Mimicking a Growler against adversary aircraft ... amazing.


Cooperative EW. If an F-35 can hide an F-16 from other fighters, imagine how hard it is to track an F-35 being protected by another F-35. Now imagine how hard it is for the tiny little seeker head on an active guided missile to track an F-35 being protected by another F-35.
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Unread post05 Apr 2018, 20:49

It plays havoc with Home-on-Jam features as it can be jammed from multiple angles that turn off if the missile starts to point at the jammer.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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Unread post05 Apr 2018, 22:11

The ability to perform BFM (and being superior in the process) while carrying GBU-12s is indeed eye watering! :D

I wonder what the critics will say now? (This is a rhetoric question, BTW)

Thanks for sharing the article spazsinbad :thumb:
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Unread post05 Apr 2018, 22:50

:drool: :shock: :mrgreen: Apologies to F-14 Squadron VF-32 :devil: 8) :roll: That first one is a tiny woven badge image.

https://i.pinimg.com/236x/f5/08/47/f508 ... 3748cf.jpg Meanwhile back at the hooch.... Smaller GIF is my solution to 'transparent GIFs' which is: use Windows Colours Dummy! :doh:
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Last edited by spazsinbad on 05 Apr 2018, 23:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post05 Apr 2018, 23:54

LOL... Red Vipers couldn't even get off a single missile vs Blue in the process of getting whacked multiple times. Not looking good for those looking to turn and burn with the new jet. LOL.
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Unread post06 Apr 2018, 01:08

castlebravo wrote:
marsavian wrote:Mimicking a Growler against adversary aircraft ... amazing.


Cooperative EW. If an F-35 can hide an F-16 from other fighters, imagine how hard it is to track an F-35 being protected by another F-35. Now imagine how hard it is for the tiny little seeker head on an active guided missile to track an F-35 being protected by another F-35.


Just two F-35s hid four F-16s from eight other F-16s while ensuring they were hidden too. So they basically jammed eight radars ! Just how potent is this aircraft ?! Someone please send the answer to turkey loving 'fighter plane designer' Sprey as he was very worried at the time.
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Unread post06 Apr 2018, 03:38

Also, I find it interesting that the Dutch are planning to use their F-35A force as fighter escort for F-16 strikers. If you listen to any of the critics out there, you would think that the F-35 is a pure strike aircraft that isn't designed to an air to air mission.
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Unread post06 Apr 2018, 06:41

"The F-35 will never be able to out dogfight a Typhoon in a million years" yet here the F-35 was gunning "clean" F16's while carrying a "bomb" in its internal bomb bay! Sounds like they might have a chance with a Typhoon after all!
"The F-35 will never be able to provide CAS like the A-10"! Yet the F-35 can make digital maps of the battle space and exchanges these maps and videos with ground controllers. Thereby providing quicker and more accurate CAS to ground troops! Yeah the A-10 carries more gun rounds but the F-35 carries more bombs! That's what ground troops want, faster and more accurate (safer) bombs on target!
After expending their bombs they can stay to provide EW assistance to any 4th gen aircraft in the area! Also targeting info to 4th gen aircraft via link 16. Then go back and land vertically at their forward operating base just behind the front line, to refuel, rearm, and do it all again in a fraction of the time it takes other aircraft to return to a landing strip farther behind the front lines! It's a dog alright, TOP DOG!!!
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Unread post06 Apr 2018, 09:46

What makes F-35 really potent EW system is combination of stealth and SA. They can basically go close to enemy radars while friendly 4th gen aircraft follow them. So distance to radar from jammer is short, but distance from radar to targets is long (called stand-in jamming). This will also keep the jamming power very low and will make it very difficult to for enemy to detect the jamming. Especially so since F-35 can direct very tight jamming beams towards enemy in the frequency band where AN/APG-81 operates.

This is real big difference between legacy support jamming which has pretty much always been done with jamming aircraft standing well back to keep them away from enemy systems (stand-off jamming). This has required a lot of power which is easily detectable by enemy.

F-35 is like a wizard who makes everybody disappear from enemy...
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Unread post06 Apr 2018, 11:52

Damn!!!!!!!!! More surprises! The F35’s electronic warfare/electronic attack capabilities are much better than I expected (Growler Junior lol). Excellent networking capabilities as expected. A bit cliched but this aircraft (F35) can almost do everything!!!
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Unread post06 Apr 2018, 12:04

marsavian wrote:
castlebravo wrote:
marsavian wrote:Mimicking a Growler against adversary aircraft ... amazing.


Cooperative EW. If an F-35 can hide an F-16 from other fighters, imagine how hard it is to track an F-35 being protected by another F-35. Now imagine how hard it is for the tiny little seeker head on an active guided missile to track an F-35 being protected by another F-35.


Just two F-35s hid four F-16s from eight other F-16s while ensuring they were hidden too. So they basically jammed eight radars ! Just how potent is this aircraft ?! Someone please send the answer to turkey loving 'fighter plane designer' Sprey as he was very worried at the time.


Lol! We need to send a big fat crow to Pierre Sprey....because he definitely deserves it!! Eat it up!!! It’s terrible being senile/demented.......
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