We just lost a land called Korea!

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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hcobb

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Unread post12 Jan 2012, 14:09

(Sing the title to the tune of the West Side Story song.)

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/na ... 02739.html
Kim Dae-sik, the head of DAPA’s contract management agency, confirmed that Seoul will release a request for proposal (RFP) for the purchase of 60 high-end foreign jets without the early prerequisite of a conformal weapons bay.

Ouch! Does this mean they didn't like the Silent Eagle, or not?
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JetTest

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Unread post12 Jan 2012, 14:44

They've not even recieved a proposal yet.......
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popcorn

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Unread post12 Jan 2012, 14:59

I wonder if the SE met the mandated RCS requirement? If not, then maybe it would have been ineligible along with the Typhoon leaving the F-35 the winner by default.
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JetTest

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Unread post12 Jan 2012, 15:50

Even after the proposals are complete and submitted that may never be released. Have to wait and see.
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arkadyrenko

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Unread post12 Jan 2012, 16:31

They had to change this rule if they wanted a competition between different aircraft. Don't know if it signifies much. Besides, the JSF will be around for a while, meaning a purchase by Korea is all but inevitable.
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southernphantom

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Unread post12 Jan 2012, 23:22

Well, that either means that the Typhoon is favored, or they want the SE badly enough that the internal bay isn't needed immediately. Honestly, the SE is a shoo-in. It has commonality and (unlike the others) an airframe proven in heavy combat. Buy 60 of those now, some KF-X, and replace older KF-16s with F-35s in ~10 years.
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alloycowboy

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Unread post12 Jan 2012, 23:32

The problem with the F-15 right now is the long lead time before recieving the fighters because of the 84 plane Royal Saudi Air Force order. The F-15 production rate is what 12 aircraft per year?
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popcorn

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Unread post13 Jan 2012, 01:04

So the Koreans want to keep the Typhoon in for "leverage"? Not a good sign if you're just being used to drive down the price. Too bad we don't know the evaluation critera and how much weight each carriesin the overall evaluation.
One article I read described the Koreans as being in a situation of having "to keep up with the Tanakas" and really not having a choice but to buy F-35s lest they fall behind their historical rivals. I think this factor will weigh heavily in the outcome, if past purchases are any guide.
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Unread post13 Jan 2012, 05:16

So I take it the F/A-18E with stealthy centerline pods is not a consideration?
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Unread post13 Jan 2012, 08:34

madrat wrote:So I take it the F/A-18E with stealthy centerline pods is not a consideration?
n
It had it's chance in Japan.. Tokyo wasn't buying Boeing's sales pitch.
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alloycowboy

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Unread post13 Jan 2012, 08:39

The problem with the F-18E is it is a naval fighter so it has a 7G turn limit not to mention its smallish combat radius.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post13 Jan 2012, 08:42

The F-18E International Version (eg Silent Hornet) was not offered in Japan, only the standard Blk2 SE that the USN is flying today. Main reason is that there was no way to do the development and meet the 2016 delivery date.

Here is the timeline:
2012 Japan Signs contract
2013 Long lead items start building
2014 Fighter construction started
2016 First delivery

There was simply no time do do development.

Boeing is actually farther ahead with the F-15SE than the F-18SE-IV.
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hcobb

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Unread post13 Jan 2012, 17:25

Japan has all sorts of outlying islands that cause conflicts with China and Russia. The obvious fix is to build CVAs.
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delvo

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Unread post13 Jan 2012, 18:34

When the basic idea of F-15SE was first announced, it was said that each of the four internal weapon sites could carry either an air-to-air missile, a pair of SDBs, or a JDAM, with the JDAM limit being 500 pounds for the upper sites and 1000 for the lower sites. That would let it carry air-to-ground combinations that even an F-35 couldn't (until somebody invents an adapter or two to hang on the internal bomb sites), thus letting them hit more ground targets per mission. This, along with F-15's speed (which would shorten the time getting from one target to the next if they weren't right together and lengthen the range of the dropped bombs), was part of why I figured South Korea would be better off with F-15SEs than with F-35s, because their main concern has to be air-to-ground (to hit as much North Korean artillery as possible in as short of a time as possible with as little warning as possible). North Korea's air force is not a threat at all compared to that.

However, someone in another thread around here showed some images taken from a PDF apparently pitching F-15SE to South Korea in Korean, which gives a contradictory impression of the internal load. An example of an internal weapon load is included, which, being alone, was inferred to be the only possible one involving air-to-ground weapons. It indicated two air-to-air missiles above and only two JDAMs below, which were named as 500-pounders. If that's accurate, then the internal JDAM load for F-15SE somehow went from 500+500+1000+1000 to 0+0+500+500! I have some doubt about this, and not only because it seems fairly pointless. It was accompanied by a picture showing the lower space occupied by something that was clearly larger than a 500-pound JDAM, although also smaller than a 1000-pound JDAM, making it appear that the picture was not consistently scaled. JDAM-500 is 10.75" diameter; JDAM-1000 is 14"; what was shown had to be 12" to 13", so it's not even clear which one the illustrator thought (s)he was illustrating. Also, it didn't take up the whole space; there was some room to spare. But I couldn't tell exactly how much. That image was too blurry to be sure at exactly which pixel one object ended and another one began, so it didn't give me the precision to determine with any certainty how well a 14" weapon would fit.

So I did some measurements with a different image I found online, not the one from that Korean-language PDF, which only shows AMRAAMs but has sharper boundaries between different parts of the picture, so it was easy to add objects and be sure they were scaled right, with the scale based on the AMRAAMs' 7" diameter. There's clearly enough space in there for the originally stated limits of a 500-pounder above and a 1000-pounder below. For that matter, even a 14.6" diameter 2000-pounder would fit. Since this is consistent with what was said to be the case in the first place, I infer that it gives no reason to doubt the original claims that each site could also carry a pair of SDBs.

At this point, I'm not sure exactly what this means. If the internal air-to-ground limit really did get that deeply restricted, making the plane pretty useless for air-to-ground although its air-to-air ability wouldn't be affected, I don't get why it happened or why we heard nothing about it by any other channels. If it didn't, I don't get why the PDF that would otherwise seem to be a sales pitch to South Korea so badly understates the planes' usefulness to South Korea. But it is, at least, easy to see how the South Koreans could have gotten the impression that F-15SE can't do much air-to-ground in a stealthy configuration.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post13 Jan 2012, 19:46

I think these were the picks you were thinking of.

Image

Image

Image

While the lower spot "may" (not likely) be a 1k JDAM, the accompanying docs (made by Boeing) clearly state them as "Mk-82" JDAMs (eg a 500 lb weapon).

The discrepancy from what Boeing first came out with and what they presented the Koreans is simple to explain: The original 500/1000 combo was reduced to AMRAAM/500 when they actually did some design and testing on the loads and space limitations involved.
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