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

Variants for different customers or mission profiles
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steve2267

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Unread post10 Apr 2018, 17:22

I will be interested to read quotes, blurbs, or stories from Killer Bee pilots regarding DACT BFM over time. Many people regard the Aye model as the air-to-air beast of the flock, though some point to the better turn performance of the Cee (though we have yet to see numbers). After all... how can a 7g F-35B possibly compare to the 9g F-35A?

I think that all goes to how you fight the jet. Will Lt Studly honk the F-35A all over the sky at 9g all the time to win his BFM bragging rights? Or will Major Benthar relax a bit back to 7g and find that to be the "sweet spot" for most BFM maneuvers? If so, then the Killer Bee should be pretty much just as lethal.

Two other notes: Dolby Hanche commented about how quickly the F-35 slows down, and how important that can be. He described having little trouble "sticking like glue" on other aircraft -- so it sounds like saddling up was "easy" for him. Secondly, from an F-16 E-M diagram, 9g at about 0.8 Mach (460 kts-ish?) yields 18.5°/sec turn rate. But at 0.6 Mach (340 kts-ish?), 6.3g yields 17.5°/sec. (For reference: download/file.php?id=26968&mode=view). My point being that a 7g F-35B may very well "essentially rate with" an F-16 by flying slightly slower.

The ace in the F-35's hand, though, appears to be that the pilot can knock off another 50-100 knots and slice inside the other guy's turn (out radius him). As QS noted elsewhere, radius also kills. And he's got the smash to get his speed back toot suite.

Of course, these words are just the ramblings of an old aero engineer with no BFM experience, but who sees hints of spectacular ("eye watering") performance in quotes here and there.

It was fun to read Knight's comments about the adversary aircraft stripping down clean to try to avoid "getting gunned" by us. Sounds like "no kill like a gun kill" is still at play. I look forward to future snippets and stories of F-35 BFM prowess. If I get any, and am free to share, I will to be sure.
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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steve2267

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Unread post10 Apr 2018, 17:27

zero-one wrote:exactly, I often think of the JSF concept phase to go something like this:

Airforce: We want a stealth F-16 and we don't want to hang all kinds of pods and EFTs on it but we want it to go as far as if it had 3 tanks and maneuver as if it had no tanks.

LM: We can do that,
*takes an F-16, integrates all sensors inside. increases wing area by ~60%, increases thrust output by ~60% and increases fuel by 250%

Navy: but we want hornet like high alpha

LM: *adds 2 tails
"happy now?"


A minor nit -- I will note that the F-117 and F-22 both had twin tails. So I think the "stealth" part required the two tails. JohnWill noted one F-16 concept from the late 60's early 70's was a canted, twin tail, single engine design. So my slight alteration:

Marines: but it has to land like a Harrier

LM: tosses in a lift fan

Navy: but we want hornet-like nose pointing and really slow, stable approach speed.

LM: slightly increases tail size, increases wing area
"happy now?"
:mrgreen:
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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zero-one

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Unread post10 Apr 2018, 17:32

Good one.

I also want to point out that the empty wing loading figure of the F-16C and F-35A are exactly the same at 63 lbs /sq feet. That tells me that the viper was cleaely some sort of template
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Unread post10 Apr 2018, 17:38

zero-one wrote:
wrightwing wrote: Whatever the case may be, the F-35 is a challenging WVR foe for any aircraft, but its greatest strengths are situational awareness/information superiority.


Very true, but this one gets the most attention because it was one of the biggest criticisms that turned out to be flat out wrong.

Also, Situational Awareness and info gathering is upgraded, just look at how far the S.A of a current block 60 F-16 is to a block 40 (some of which are still in service). the difference is a world apart.

but the performance of the latest F-16 today to how it was in 1980s is still quite similar. So there is a sense that, if you're only advantage is S.A. then others will eventually catch up, but if you're slow and sluggish, theres no way you can catch up.


Fortunately LM in their foresight, didn't design the F-35 in such a manner, where SA, was its only advantage. It has kinematic, SA, stealth, EA/EA, spherical engagement, range, payload, etc.... advantages.
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Unread post10 Apr 2018, 21:23

hornetfinn wrote:
usnvo wrote:While that may be true (although I note it is a patent application and not a production radar specifications so the actual capability of the APG-81 is still in question) it doesn't change the basic fact that is still above the
frequency bands of AEW and early warning radars, especially 2D ones.


Sure and there is definitely reason to have systems like Growler and/or NGJ against them. Of course those low band radars are very large, expensive and low in numbers. They can only provide early warning and direct higher frequency radars and thus are less dangerous. Of course F-35 EW suite should be able to detect them and know their effective Most threatening radars operate in frequencies where F-35 EW system is likely effective.

True that it was a patent application, but those are not made just for fun. That was 30 years ago and AESA technology has evolved immensely during that time. They realised that narrowband radar and wideband EW functions can be done with single system even with technology at the time and made a patent application for that. Of course radar requires a lot of power and EW systems generally require a very wide bandwidth. However increasing power is difficult without narrowing bandwidth as is widening bandwidth without lowering power. I bet that AN/APG-81 has the best performance in X-band and likely jamming power will get lower as frequency gets lower. What the limits are is really difficult to say and I'm sure we'll likely never get definitive answer to that.


Well, you have an entirely different understanding of patent applications than I do. This was not only not state of the art 30 years ago, it was by definition future stuff or they wouldn't have patented it. It may not have been achievable by engineering 30 years ago and may not be achievable now. That is how patents work. Until you see what the state of the art is today, we don't know if that was a pipe dream or a reasonable way to proceed that was adopted.

The APG-81 definitely has more powerful jamming in X band for no other reason that the beam width and side lobes will increase immensely, decreasing power density, as you move away from the base frequency. That will also make your jamming much easier to detect and track.

I agree with your statement of search radars which just strengthens my point that even if you are visible to the low frequency air search radars, having control of the X-band, where all the targeting radars, airborne radars, and missile radars are, gives you a dramatic advantage. Imagine the AIC discussion with the 8 F-16s in their example, "Roger, six bandits inbound, buster 235 for 135, be advised they will get a couple of shots off before you can even detect them, hope that's not a problem".
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element1loop

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Unread post11 Apr 2018, 01:08

Given the first priority of attack is to use standoff D-SEAD weapons to knock the EWR radars down, in a high-intensity penetration fight as prepatory to bombardment proper, seems the combo of VLO, MDF-cued EW/ECM, stealth tactics, and especially radial-distance management, are all you need to get that done.

Therefore masking with EMS trickery is to manage a popup's effectiveness, before they are (shortly) killed. Do we think A2A popups are likely to sneak past a network of wide-open 'formations' of 5th-gen sensors, fused? Nope.

So the electronic masking is mostly about making VLO work better, especially against SAMs, until you adjust your radual distance. As you've pointed out, engagement via X-band radar is likely to get the SAM D-SEAD quick, or to put it defensive quick, as you increase F-35s radial distance to SAM, where upon you let standoff weapons take the risks for you, on an auto-geolicated and ISR-ed and classified SAM. Shoot and scoot is out for it, as it will be seen, tracked and killed.

With the 4th-gen situation, if you got shot at by a prior undetected radar SAM, you had to get out of its engagement range fast, while dodging SAMs, generallg freaking out and getting exhausted plus lower energy and fuel through high-Gs. So SA and radial distance was and is the natural solution.

But that's not the same case now, given the quality of F-35 sensor fusion, MADL, SA, MDF-cues, and auto-geolocating. Yes, the SAM launchers may be distributed, widely, every way you turn, but Is not the F-35 now much more a danger to a SAM radar popup than the SAM system is to the F-35? And can the radar(s) see you every way you turn? And is OPFOR going to risk all its SAM system's radars in one ambush action? Not very likely.

So if you have almost immediate SA, precision geolocation and classification, you can also almost immediately fire a weapon at the SAM popup---first. Even if it's the slammer you use to put it defensive, as you either go for higher radius, or eliminate other parts of the SAM with your other weapons.

Maybe it's a soft mission-kill for one F-35, but the SAM radar is dead, and the other missions succeed and survive.

Far better to be an aggressive SAM killer than a spooked target.

Auto jam-masking does its job, and a system of systems completely altered the 4th-gen's dynamic, eliminating the advantage of the popup, and permits fast aggressive killing of popups.

Totally reverses the popup's prior ambush advantages.

So, in a battle context, the EW/ECM is one of the incidental automated tools for the pilot to manage with good tactics and weapons, using MDF-guided cueing, plus all-seeing SA displayed within helmet-view, as pilot immediately goes agro to prosecute the popup.
Last edited by element1loop on 11 Apr 2018, 13:01, edited 1 time in total.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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hornetfinn

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Unread post11 Apr 2018, 11:04

usnvo wrote:
hornetfinn wrote:
usnvo wrote:While that may be true (although I note it is a patent application and not a production radar specifications so the actual capability of the APG-81 is still in question) it doesn't change the basic fact that is still above the
frequency bands of AEW and early warning radars, especially 2D ones.


Sure and there is definitely reason to have systems like Growler and/or NGJ against them. Of course those low band radars are very large, expensive and low in numbers. They can only provide early warning and direct higher frequency radars and thus are less dangerous. Of course F-35 EW suite should be able to detect them and know their effective Most threatening radars operate in frequencies where F-35 EW system is likely effective.

True that it was a patent application, but those are not made just for fun. That was 30 years ago and AESA technology has evolved immensely during that time. They realised that narrowband radar and wideband EW functions can be done with single system even with technology at the time and made a patent application for that. Of course radar requires a lot of power and EW systems generally require a very wide bandwidth. However increasing power is difficult without narrowing bandwidth as is widening bandwidth without lowering power. I bet that AN/APG-81 has the best performance in X-band and likely jamming power will get lower as frequency gets lower. What the limits are is really difficult to say and I'm sure we'll likely never get definitive answer to that.


Well, you have an entirely different understanding of patent applications than I do. This was not only not state of the art 30 years ago, it was by definition future stuff or they wouldn't have patented it. It may not have been achievable by engineering 30 years ago and may not be achievable now. That is how patents work. Until you see what the state of the art is today, we don't know if that was a pipe dream or a reasonable way to proceed that was adopted.

The APG-81 definitely has more powerful jamming in X band for no other reason that the beam width and side lobes will increase immensely, decreasing power density, as you move away from the base frequency. That will also make your jamming much easier to detect and track.

I agree with your statement of search radars which just strengthens my point that even if you are visible to the low frequency air search radars, having control of the X-band, where all the targeting radars, airborne radars, and missile radars are, gives you a dramatic advantage. Imagine the AIC discussion with the 8 F-16s in their example, "Roger, six bandits inbound, buster 235 for 135, be advised they will get a couple of shots off before you can even detect them, hope that's not a problem".


Well, it's not really a question if that is achievable or not. It definitely is as there have been very widebad T/R modules available for a long time. It's basically a compromise between bandwidth and output power and later modules have improved both a lot. But I agree that radar requirements very likely narrow the achievable total bandwidth of the AN/APG-81 to less than what dedicated EW systems can do. Of course the best performance is in the X-band where the system is most likely optimized for. That's also where the most dangerous and numerous systems are. Jamming low frequency radars is more difficult for many reasons, but naturally those are also less numerous and do not present similar threat.

I see many advantages in dedicated jammer systems like NGJ or currently the Growler. One beauty of F-35 is that it can carry NGJ to support other F-35s and be far more effective and survivable than current dedicated jammer aircraft.
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Unread post24 Aug 2018, 06:12

I like to post this vid when F-35 haters show up:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Kg-ztkPDok
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wrightwing

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Unread post24 Aug 2018, 06:57

The APG-81 isn't the only source of jamming/electronic attack. The ASQ-239 also has jamming capabilities.
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Unread post24 Aug 2018, 09:32

wrightwing wrote:The APG-81 isn't the only source of jamming/electronic attack. The ASQ-239 also has jamming capabilities.


True. AFAIK, ASQ-239 actually is the source for jamming capabilities and APG-81 is basically just one antenna for it. Sure APG-81 has features designed to allow and maximize jamming capabilities, but it's the Barracuda which controls EW capabilities. APG-81 just provides big and very powerful antenna to ASQ-239 to do jamming in suitable frequencies. Of course the whole system is controlled by the fusion engine to maximize radar and EW (and possibly other) capabilties at the same time.
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Unread post24 Aug 2018, 09:48

Also, not to forget the ALE-70 TAD which is tied into the ASQ-239
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post24 Aug 2018, 16:58

hornetfinn wrote:
wrightwing wrote:The APG-81 isn't the only source of jamming/electronic attack. The ASQ-239 also has jamming capabilities.


True. AFAIK, ASQ-239 actually is the source for jamming capabilities and APG-81 is basically just one antenna for it. Sure APG-81 has features designed to allow and maximize jamming capabilities, but it's the Barracuda which controls EW capabilities. APG-81 just provides big and very powerful antenna to ASQ-239 to do jamming in suitable frequencies. Of course the whole system is controlled by the fusion engine to maximize radar and EW (and possibly other) capabilties at the same time.


Good catch guys. I'm still struggling to come up with an analogy for this 5th Gen paradigm that is embedded in the fabric of the F-35. No feature, no element of a system is disconnected from the wholistic character of the design. The undiscovered meaning of this continues to challenge how we are thinking about problems. The irony is that the Gen Z iphone fed babies will grasp it, and maybe without being able to explain it well to "Pops."

Fifth Gen and F-35 concepts are just beginning to emerge. What we do now know is that the whole is much, much bigger than the sum of the parts.

MHO,
BP
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Unread post25 Aug 2018, 02:11

Can we finally rename it to Alpha35?

Because i'm sorry, the little devil is now the man among the kids.

And they ARE ALL kids.
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element1loop

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Unread post26 Aug 2018, 06:05

blindpilot wrote:Fifth Gen and F-35 concepts are just beginning to emerge. What we do now know is that the whole is much, much bigger than the sum of the parts.

MHO,
BP


Over a decade ago now I remember reading a sour diatribe from a particularly myopic and strident geek-critic of the F-35A (an old poop) who dismissed F-35A VLO, sensor-fusion and networking as "mere digital-plumbing", and "some extra firing opportunities", and that it would still be limited and ineffectual due the number of weapons it carried, and by its much presumed (oh so obviously totally inadequate p:w) baseline fighter performance. According to him, F-35A was going to be a total fiasco, although he never was much of an airpower combat analyst.

I was repeatedly amazed that he completely failed to comprehend the synergistic tactical implications of such a jet. Which showed to me that even a computer-savvy and technically very informed person could still thoroughly fail to grasp the tactical advantages and opportunities of such a jet in a large-scale joint air-battle context. He simply didn"t understand that it could operate in a totally different way to prior aircraft. He just assumed it would slot into existing ways of doing things--merely evolutionary, rather than a discontinuity with the former conops, and air battle tactics.

So I think being younger, computer-savvy and coding-familiar, is just one pre-requisite. It still (obviouly) requires a certain rarer type of mind and traits, which the computerised experience during upbringing is more apt to bring to the fore, especially during the past 25 years or so. I'd say those types of minds naturally 'see' the potential of computers, and of networks per-sec (imagine the mind of a Bill Gates who envisioned and coded an entire operating system for disparate hardware, and then also having the traits of a tactical F-35 pilot .... system-of-systems tactical fight much?).

So if you get that sort of connective mind, then computer sharpen it, within the body of someone with the traits a fighter pilot ... well ... look out snoopy ... :crazypilot: :devil:
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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Unread post26 Aug 2018, 07:24

nutshell wrote:Can we finally rename it to Alpha35?


Or just rename it Alpha-Q.

Sorry, stupid internet handle joke.
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