GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

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popcorn

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Unread post28 Dec 2018, 04:26

There is the option of a topside LRASM launcher if the need arises.
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marauder2048

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Unread post28 Dec 2018, 06:08

weasel1962 wrote:Not an issue, just mount it on the fuselage. Same thing was done for the Singapore F-50 MPA mated with the Harp.




The P-8's fuselage stations have half the carrying capacity of the wing stations.
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weasel1962

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Unread post28 Dec 2018, 06:31

Not for the Aussie P-8s. Those can carry 2 Harps on the 2 forward fuselage stations (11 weapons station instead of 9). The P-8 has a strengthened fuselage. I suspect its just a question of certifying a pylon that can hold the weight.

See slide 46.
http://airpower.airforce.gov.au/APDC/me ... ol-PPT.pdf
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element1loop

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Unread post28 Dec 2018, 07:47

popcorn wrote:There is the option of a topside LRASM launcher if the need arises.


Yeah, I mentioned those earlier pop, they're the only option left to get to a long-range VLO missile in RAN. The issue there is the RAN avoids adding weight up high which is why ~900 lb NSMs will get the Harpoon quad pack replacements over LRASM.

They could however (in about 2045) mount another 2 x 8 cell short-packs either side, behind the Hunter funnels for 64 ESSM BKIII, and put 8 LRASM type weapons in the forward VLS cells but most probably lose the NSM quads above, to get the extra ESSMs due to the weight gains above CoG. But at least you'd be able to then accommodate 8 LRASM or later version. RAN seems to leave weight off (reduced harpoon number in quads) for fuel savings and stability gains in peace. In which case they could buy the NSM and quad packs and store them, train with them in simulations, then mount them again for higher tension periods or deployments to Gulf or SEA, etc. Something similar with DDGs.

In the interim it will be jets and drones with all the strike missiles.
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element1loop

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Unread post28 Dec 2018, 07:50

weasel1962 wrote:Not for the Aussie P-8s. Those can carry 2 Harps on the 2 forward fuselage stations (11 weapons station instead of 9). The P-8 has a strengthened fuselage. I suspect its just a question of certifying a pylon that can hold the weight.

See slide 46.
http://airpower.airforce.gov.au/APDC/me ... ol-PPT.pdf


Which is a curious structural contingency ... presumably there's a plan involving a more capable JASSM variant to come, which takes advantage of F-35 external pylons also. :wink:
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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Unread post28 Dec 2018, 09:42

element1loop wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:Not for the Aussie P-8s. Those can carry 2 Harps on the 2 forward fuselage stations (11 weapons station instead of 9). The P-8 has a strengthened fuselage. I suspect its just a question of certifying a pylon that can hold the weight.

See slide 46.
http://airpower.airforce.gov.au/APDC/me ... ol-PPT.pdf


Which is a curious structural contingency ... presumably there's a plan involving a more capable JASSM variant to come, which takes advantage of F-35 external pylons also. :wink:


JASSM-XR? https://www.popularmechanics.com/milita ... ded-range/
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ricnunes

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Unread post28 Dec 2018, 17:07

element1loop wrote:
ricnunes wrote:So I wouldn't rule out that the Australian Navy chooses the LRASM for use on its ships and their VLS cells ...


Don't hold your breath, we'd get SM6 and a VLS-ASROC first and it would be immediately blindingly apparent to all that there are nowhere near enough VLS remaining for a credible air defense if LRASM were in VLS as well. I am fully in favor of that missile being acquired but the only places LRASM may go is some combo of SuperHornet (it's a temporary fleet from here), F-35A (much more likely) and P-8A (very desirable) or a new armed version of MQ-4 (unlikely). No one's going to be putting LRASM on a RAN ship within my lifetime.


I do agree with you that purchasing of the LRASM missile is not a given for Australia and I also agree with you the LRASM would be more effective when carried by an aircraft like the P-8 as opposed to ships.
However the RAN ships will eventually need a future anti-ship missile to replace the current Harpoon and logic would say that like happens with the current Harpoon which is carried not only by the RAN ships but also by RAAF aircraft (like the Hornet) that the future Australian anti-ship missile could/would be also a common missile between both services and the LRASM would IMO be a fine candidate for this.
Having the RAN ships (Hunter and Hobart) plus the RAAF aircraft such as the P-8 or even the F-35 to carry the same missile type LRASM does bring its advantages.

IMO, an important factor for such decision (to equip ships with LRASM) could be very dependent if many or even most allied navies (such as US, UK, Canada, etc...) decide to adopt the LRASM as their own Harpoon replacement.
Or like happened and happens with the Harpoon, the LRASM becoming the "standard" anti-ship missile within allied navies.

Of course that I acknowledge that fitting the LRASM on the VLS does have the disadvantage of occupying cells that could otherwise be fitted with other missiles but on the other hand gives the advantage of not having or needing to have dedicated anti-ship launchers which brings economical advantages (not need to adquire and maintain the launchers) and like you later said and correctly so, it also gives better stability and performance to the ships (by not having the dedicated launchers onboard the ships).



element1loop wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:Pairing of the P-8 with the MQ-4C does make for a much longer endurance. Wonder if they will put the JASSM on the P-8? That would be better than the Harps.

Agree with posters on LRASM fit for Mk 41 launcher. Smallest Mk-41 version is 5.3m and fires the SM-2MR Blk IIIB which is 186 inches (4.7m). Probably software config. SM-6 will require longer Mk-41 mod (6.6m or 7.7m). Not sure which mod Hobart is equipped with.


Bottom line, despite being nominally 'multi-role' the 'AWD's are "air warfare destroyers" actually, and their VLS numbers are far less than was expected for that role, and much less than hoped for. It was widely recognized at the time of the competition win that the low cell numbers precluded Tomahawks unless the cell numbers were substantially upgraded at a later date. The same applies to LRASM on AWDs, and there's no indication such a cell number upgrade is coming.


Previously you mentioned about Australian potentially getting the SM-6. And like weasel1962 correctly said if you're adding SM-6 missiles to the Hobart-class destroyers (which makes sense since they are Air Defense Ships) then you'll be able to add LRASM missiles as well since the SM-6 missile with its length of 6.6 meters also requires at least a Tactical-length VLS or resuming the it has the same VLS requirements as the LRASM which again (and IMO) the Hobart should already have.


element1loop wrote:Same applies to the Hunter Class as their primary role and optimization is for ASW, not for closing in for striking with long-range missiles, and the low cell numbers reflect the lower emphasis on air defense needs, and a non-existent allocation of cells for long-range strike capability.


Well, here I disagree.
The Hunter class - which is based on the Type 26 GCS which stands for Global Combat Ship - isn't primarily or only optimized for ASW. Yes, its was designed to have a very quiet hull and while performing ASW it can run on electric drive and of course mounts a sophisticated ASW suite which probably makes it the best ASW ship nowadays and in the near future.
However the Type 26 (which again the Hunter is based on) is a truly Multi-Role ship (hence the Global Combat Ship name) with a very long range and endurance and is equipped with 24 cell Strike-Length VLS plus being a modular ship, namely with its modular space near the hangar which can carry stuff such as supplies, command&control modules, etc... If such a ship isn't designed for long range operations such as strike than I wonder what it would take to become such as ship?
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post28 Dec 2018, 23:29

http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... ility.aspx

"Although the F-35 has had fit checks of LRASM externally and can probably carry the weapon internally, the Navy’s threshold munition for the mission is the AGM-154 Joint Stand-Off Weapon, or JSOW, he said, noting that LRASM may be added later."

Thoughts?
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Unread post28 Dec 2018, 23:31

weasel1962 wrote:Not for the Aussie P-8s. Those can carry 2 Harps on the 2 forward fuselage stations (11 weapons station instead of 9). The P-8 has a strengthened fuselage. I suspect its just a question of certifying a pylon that can hold the weight.

See slide 46.
http://airpower.airforce.gov.au/APDC/me ... ol-PPT.pdf


The fuselage (and weapons bay) stations can carry 1000 lb class stores like Harpoon.
The wing stations can carry 2000 lb class stores which LRASM might be though it's
typically carried on stations that can accommodate 3000 - 4000 lb class stores.
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ricnunes

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Unread post28 Dec 2018, 23:42

The LRASM (air launched version) weights 2,500 lb which I believe puts it in the "2000 lb class" category.

Here:
https://breakingdefense.com/2017/07/nav ... -lb-lrasm/
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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marauder2048

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Unread post29 Dec 2018, 01:25

ricnunes wrote:The LRASM (air launched version) weights 2,500 lb which I believe puts it in the "2000 lb class" category.

Here:
https://breakingdefense.com/2017/07/nav ... -lb-lrasm/


Which like I said is at the ragged edge of what's a "2000 lb class" store.
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element1loop

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Unread post29 Dec 2018, 01:43

ricnunes wrote:However the RAN ships will eventually need a future anti-ship missile to replace the current Harpoon and logic would say that like happens with the current Harpoon which is carried not only by the RAN ships but also by RAAF aircraft (like the Hornet) that the future Australian anti-ship missile could/would be also a common missile between both services and the LRASM would IMO be a fine candidate for this.


RAN Harpoon replacement will be NSM, due to weight management of quad-pack loads and they are a substancial step ip from Harpoons (plus it maintains commonality with USN Harpoon replacement choice). Airforce Harpoon replacement will be JSM, as per F-35A planning, plus would not surprise me if JSM ends up on P-8A (and maybe even a new drone).

LRASM won't get the replacement gig, but maybe a later version of JASSM-family ends up back in the airforce otherwise JASSM will go away when the Classic Hornets retire in 2023. I expect JSM will be IOC by then.

ricnunes wrote:Well, here I disagree. The Hunter class - which is based on the Type 26 GCS which stands for Global Combat Ship - isn't primarily or only optimized for ASW. Yes, its was designed to have a very quiet hull and while performing ASW it can run on electric drive and of course mounts a sophisticated ASW suite which probably makes it the best ASW ship nowadays and in the near future. ... with a very long range and endurance and is equipped with 24 cell Strike-Length VLS plus being a modular ship, namely with its modular space near the hangar which can carry stuff such as supplies, command&control modules, etc... If such a ship isn't designed for long range operations such as strike than I wonder what it would take to become such as ship?


It would take a whole lot more cells plus a lot more air defence clout on the Hunters, plus a dedicated role in RAN that involved hard-core strike, rather than hard-core ASW. It isn't a missile cruiser.

A single 24 aircraft squadron of 16 (available) F-35A with JSM and/or other weapons can deliver more smash in 24 hours than a Hunter could provide in 5 to 6 weeks.

I really don't know why such obvious efficiency and effect-per-dollar, plus time-window facts like that, fail to penetrate during such discussions. if you don't close that time-window your enemy's force has time to take you apart, especially your navy. So where are you now ric?

The only advantage a Navy brings is strike reach if it brings F-35B strike efficiencies on a dedicated carrier, with enough fuel, spares and ammunition support plus AWD and a couple of Hunters, plus P8-A and Romeos, and MQ-4 supports to protect it.

That's a lot of kit just to get a lot less daily smash than an F-35A squadron with JSM type weapons and two tankers. Plus the F-35A can fly the same day. A strike fleet has to muster, equip, sail, steam to op area then fight, but the OPFOR is close with aircraft and subs already.

You're better off with more F-35A, more tankers, more stand off VLO weapons, then add PCA (if it's built) and a tactical VLO probe tanker and JASSM-XR to get the extra reach into the 2030s.

In which case adding this anti-ship capability with a secondary deep-strike LAM reach to the global F-35 fleet now, makes a lot of practical and tactical sense to me, and adding a deep-strike missile to a RAN sized navy does not.

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Unread post29 Dec 2018, 01:52

marauder2048 wrote:
ricnunes wrote:The LRASM (air launched version) weights 2,500 lb which I believe puts it in the "2000 lb class" category.

Here:
https://breakingdefense.com/2017/07/nav ... -lb-lrasm/


Which like I said is at the ragged edge of what's a "2000 lb class" store.


You may be making too much of that. Can you imagine developers of P-8A ignoring the obvious potential of mounting LRASM on P-8A? They will have made allowance for that. Else some direct questions would be in order to ask why that did not occur for an aircraft that will fly for 40 years, and provide anti-ship capabilities for that long with a viable weapon that provides the needed tactical standoff and survivability? That weapon could only be a LRASM type weapon (at present) and its associated weight class.

A 'redline' on an engine is where you can safely rev it to all of the time without any fear of a mechanical failure. And airframe margins likewise all have a further substantial mechanical failure structural margin built into them. So this weight load 'redline' is not as ragged-edge you might suppose.
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Unread post29 Dec 2018, 02:16

element1loop wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:
ricnunes wrote:The LRASM (air launched version) weights 2,500 lb which I believe puts it in the "2000 lb class" category.

Here:
https://breakingdefense.com/2017/07/nav ... -lb-lrasm/


Which like I said is at the ragged edge of what's a "2000 lb class" store.


You may be making too much of that though. Can you imagine developers of P-8A ignoring the obvious potential of mounting LRASM on P-8A?.


That's very easy to imagine. This is the same Navy that bowed out of JASSM in favor of SLAM-ER (!) before being
forced to buy LRASM by DOD. And the Navy just as quickly killed OASuW Increment II.
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popcorn

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Unread post29 Dec 2018, 02:29

element1loop wrote:
Which is a curious structural contingency ... presumably there's a plan involving a more capable JASSM variant to come, which takes advantage of F-35 external pylons also. :wink:


IIRC the requirement for a reinforced fuselage is largely a result of how the aircraft will be operated. Unlike it's airliner cousins, the P-8 will have to regularly descend to and operate at lower altitudes in the course of it's mission. Being able to carry a heavier payload is a nice bonus.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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