F-35 flies against A-4s: F-35 pilots lyrical about F-35

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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joost

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Unread post27 Aug 2015, 12:17

This article appeared in a Dutch Newspaper. Let's see if David Axe picks up this one :devil:

Translate with google and edited the text, sorry for the sometimes less perfect translation.

Pilots lyrical about testing JSF
F-35 tested in first dogfight

Amsterdam | Charles Sanders | Colonel Bert de Smit is one of four Dutch JSF pilots. "The difference with and without Lightning II is great."
Dutch glory above Edwards Air Force Base in California. The two Dutch F-35 Lightning II (JSF) -fighter jets performed there this week operational test with F-16s and a KDC-10 tanker, also of the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

Dutch F-35 pilots tested their jets in air combat and neutralize enemy weapons and that's a first. For dogfight with special equipment fitted A-4 Skyhawk jet fighters acting as 'Red air' enemy.

"The difference with or without the Lightning II is great," said the colonel Bert Smit, one of the four Dutch pilots on the innovative product and detachment commander of the F-35 unit. "Thanks to the huge sensor package, the Lightning II is of unprecedented value."

Because in the F-35 cockpit Smit can look with the sensors, including the advanced AN / APG81 radar, many tens of kilometers further than an F-16 pilot, every action of the "enemy" Skyhawk jet fighters could therefore already be countered in an extremely early stage.

"It is the first time that we share the ultra-strong F-35 sensors collected information with our own KDC-10 and in the Dutch F-16s stationed in the US for training purposes" said Smit. "Think of it as digital" talk "to other assets. Befriended aircraft are getting vital information such as imminent danger or information to disable targets. "

The Skyhawks proved every time to be outgunned by the presence of the Dutch F-35's. Both Lightning II were refueled in the air by US tankers.

The Dutch KDC-10 flew along in order to check whether the F-35 information on proper manner was shared. In the short term also the KDC-10 are certified to refuel the Lightning II in the air.

The Netherlands has so far ordered 37 Joint Strike Fighters by manufacturer Lockheed Martin. They need to replace the F-16s by 2017 which are flying on their last legs.

Vliegers lyrisch over testen JSF
F-35 aan tand gevoeld in eerste luchtgevecht

Amsterdam | Charles Sanders | Kolonel Bert de Smit is een van de vier Nederlandse JSF-vliegers. „Het verschil met en zonder Lightning II erbij is groot.”
Hollands glorie boven Edwards Air Force Base in Californië. Beide Nederlandse F-35 Lightning II (JSF)-jachtvliegtuigen voerden daar deze week operationele testen uit met F-16’s en een KDC-10-tanker, eveneens van de Koninklijke Luchtmacht.

Nederlandse vliegers kunnen de F-35 aan de tand voelen in het luchtgevecht en het neutraliseren van vijandelijke wapensystemen en dat is een primeur. Voor het luchtgevecht zijn met speciale apparatuur uitgeruste A-4 Skyhawk-straaljagers ingehuurd die als ’Red Air’-vijand fungeren.

„Het verschil mét of zonder de Lightning II erbij is groot”, zegt kolonel Bert de Smit, één van de vier Nederlandse vliegers op het ultramoderne toestel en detachementscommandant van de F-35-eenheid. „Dankzij het enorme sensorpakket is de Lightning II van ongekende meerwaarde.”

Want in de F-35-cockpit ziet De Smit door de sensoren, waaronder de geavanceerde AN/APG81-radar, vele tientallen kilometers verder dan een F-16 vlieger. Elke actie van de ’vijandelijke’ Skyhawk-straaljagers kon daardoor al in een extreem vroeg stadium worden gepareerd.

„Het is voor het eerst dat we door de ultrasterke F-35-sensoren opgevangen informatie delen met onze eigen KDC-10 en in de VS voor opleidingsdoeleinden gestationeerde luchtmacht-F-16’s”, aldus De Smit. „Beschouw het als digitaal ’praten’ met die andere toestellen. Bevriende crews krijgen zo voor hun essentiële informatie over bijvoorbeeld dreigend gevaar of uit te schakelen doelen.”

De Skyhawks bleken elke keer kansloos door de aanwezigheid van de Nederlandse F-35’s. Beide Lightning II’s werden in de lucht bijgetankt door Amerikaanse tankers.

De Nederlandse KDC-10 vloog vooral mee om te kunnen checken of de F-35 informatie op goede wijze werd gedeeld. Op korte termijn zal ook de KDC-10 gecertificeerd zijn om de Lightning II in de lucht bij te tanken.

Nederland heeft vooralsnog 37 Joint Strike Fighters bij fabrikant Lockheed Martin besteld. Ze moeten vanaf 2017 de op hun tandvlees vliegende F-16’s vervangen.

http://eservice-data.solidam.com.s3-web ... b2828.html
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Unread post27 Aug 2015, 14:09

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Unread post27 Aug 2015, 14:37

More here on a blog written by another Dutch Pilot on the defense page (roughly translated):

Monday August 24
Like a charm
Weekend, time to come back and give some attention to my family. From 8 in the morning till 8 in the evening we are hard at work at Edwards. The purpose of these two weeks is to test how our F-16s, so-called 4th generation appliances integrate with that of the 5th generation F-35.

What in all kinds of scenarios are good techniques and tactics? In order to find an answer, we fly our F-35s and F-16s from Tucson these two weeks all kinds of missions. Besides students of our F-16 training squadron we also fly with experienced pilots operating them from the Netherlands. And our American and British colleagues. Think of it as a mini-Red Flag (flying exercise in the United States, ed.).

Last week we started air-to-air, airspace defense. Then followed missions against ground targets. The flights are becoming increasingly complex. Everything then comes together. What difference can make the F-35 in these scenarios?

Much, so I can tell you. I already saw last Tuesday when I started up for the first mission. All participating aircraft were suddenly on my Link-16 network. That meant I could share all the information of the sensors of my superior F-35 with them in real time.

It worked like a charm. Their situational awareness (knowing what's going on around you, ed.) was now much impressively more. And that's vital. So had our four F-16 boys the first day still formidable opponents on the A-4 Skyhawks. But with one F-35 we suddenly appeared 100 times more effectively.

That is promising for the really complex missions later this week!

Smiley

Tuesday, August 25
More brain bytes
Let me be clear: the F-16 is a fantastic aircraft to fly. The F-35 is flying more or less the same. Only slightly easier, more stable, more relaxed.

Lockheed Martin built both aircraft. That makes the transition from F-16 to F-35 is relatively simple. The buttons on your stick and your throttle are similar. It all works very intuitive. The F-35 is just as maneuverable as the F-16. Although the F-35 by its larger weight just is slightly more robust. To say: He is firmly on the road.

The F-35 has a lot of new gadgets and goodies. Such as the automatic throttle. Or the system where you can "smartly" refuel in the air'. In the F-16 the aircraft is, when refueling, as quick and agile as normal. As a F-35 pilot, you can enable a mode where you can mute the flight controls, as it were. The rudder movements are less severe, making the whole air refueling process easier.

The sensors of the F-35 are really amazing. As a pilot you are presented with a much brighter picture than you are used to in the F-16. My sensors see much more and much further ahead. And because the F-35 flies so easily, I keep more brain bytes available to deploy in my sensors better. Smart computers on the same time holds large amount of sensor data manageable. Data that I can upload on my turn to our F-16s or our KDC-10 through our link 16 data network.

In short, the F-16 is still a great aircraft. But with the F-35 it all does work even more sophisticated and more effective.

Smiley


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Unread post27 Aug 2015, 15:40

joost wrote:The F-35 has a lot of new gadgets and goodies. Such as the automatic throttle. Or the system where you can "smartly" refuel in the air'. In the F-16 the aircraft is, when refueling, as quick and agile as normal. As a F-35 pilot, you can enable a mode where you can mute the flight controls, as it were. The rudder movements are less severe, making the whole air refueling process easier.


Thanks Joost for the translations. Nice reading indeed.

I would think that the F-16 flight control system could relatively easily have been updated to have the same "muted" rudder function when the refueling door is open. Just as it has automatic rudder compensation when the gun is fired. It also has reduced rudder action at high AOL or during landing with landing gear extended (IIRC).
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Unread post27 Aug 2015, 18:06

Finally some good news for the troubled JSF
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Unread post27 Aug 2015, 18:27

"Finally"?

It's not hard to see good news in the program as long as you are not blinded by uninformed & biased opinion pieces.
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Unread post27 Aug 2015, 18:30

I suspect that in the coming months and years, we're going to hear a lot more good news stories about the F-35's ACM performance.
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Unread post27 Aug 2015, 19:10

'oldiaf' has been tutored by the BSamiableButler "FINALLY" duo.
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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Unread post28 Aug 2015, 00:12

A-4 Skyhawks support F-35 operational testing

8/27/2015 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A-4 Skyhawks have taken to the skies over Edwards in support of operational test of the F-35A for the Royal Netherlands Air Force. They are part of a tactics development and evaluation exercise initiated by the 323nd Test and Evaluation Squadron and supported by the Joint Strike Fighter Operational Test Team from Aug. 17-28.

"Each service and each country has their own specific test events that they want to test for themselves, for their own service and their own country requirements," said Rich Radvanyi, JOTT Planning Cell chief.

The JOTT has five operational test squadrons composed of the 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron, the Marines' VMX-22 squadron, the United Kingdom squadron 17(R), the Dutch 323nd Test and Evaluation Squadron and Navy squadron VX-9.

In support of the exercise, the Royal Netherlands Air Force also brought in six F-16s from the 162nd Fighter Wing, Arizona Air National Guard to serve as either allied or adversary aircraft, along with a KDC-10 Air Refueling tanker from the Royal Netherlands Air Force 334th Transport Squadron at Eindhoven Airport, Netherlands. The JOTT contracted Draken International to provide the small fleet of A-4s that were employed as adversary aircraft with a variety of types of mission sets.

For instance, if the test plan required the F-35 pilot to fly against Russian tactics, the Draken pilots would present the same tactics that a Russian fighter pilot would present.

"A lot of the Draken pilots are former military or some are even current guard or reserve pilots. A lot of them had been adversary air pilots before, so they replicate the tactics of different adversary countries," said Radvanyi.

Draken International pilot Jeff Scott, who retired as a lieutenant colonel after 27 years in the Marine Corps, has been flying for 17 years and received his wings in an A-4.

"I flew F-35s before I retired and now I'm on the other side flying against them," said Scott.

The test event will enable an initial assessment of 4th and 5th generation fighter integration, including Link-16 interoperability aspects.

The lessons learned will lay the ground work for future cooperation between 4th and 5th generation fighters and will help shape F-35A tactics for the RNLAF.

"There's really nothing better than actually going out there and flying and putting the actual aircraft against an actual threat and seeing how it works," Radvanyi said. "This has been very, very beneficial."

During the two-week test event, the JOTT organized one large force engagement each day with as many as 12 aircraft flying at a time. While only four Skyhawks flew at a time, there were up to six on the ramp at times.

"It's been a unique opportunity to see a type of adversary aircraft that you wouldn't normally see," said Radvanyi. "The A-4 Skyhawk is not in service with the U.S. military anymore so it's something that would not normally be seen by the crews that are flying here now."

According to Scott, Draken International purchased their A-4s from the Royal New Zealand Air Force. Their fleet differs from the A-4s that were once use by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps because they have been upgraded with F-16A avionics like APG-66 radars, radar warning receivers, heads-up displays and a digital data bus.

They also have electronic attack pods that can be used to simulate special presentation requirements for test events.

"It's a very reliable airplane," said Scott, adding that the team at Edwards has been "excellent, everyone has been very supportive."

Skyhawks were mainly flown by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron flew the A-4 Skyhawk II from 1974 to 1986. Skyhawks were also used by the armed forces of Argentina, Australia, Israel, Kuwait, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and New Zealand, and they remained active with several air services into the 2000s.



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Unread post28 Aug 2015, 00:41

This new info makes the A-4 engagement all that more interesting. Those are NOT your grandpa's Skyhawks, and it looks like more info should be flowing out of these engagements.
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Unread post28 Aug 2015, 01:31

According to Joost's blog, those A-4s gave the "4 F-16 pilots" (guessing in a 4 vs 4 engagement) a run for their money inasmuch as they are described as "formidable opponents". The presence of one F-35, however, increased their effectiveness 'by a hundred times' because of the F-35s ability to improve the situational awareness of the Falcons.

The more complex are conducted as we speak, though.
Last edited by treebeard on 28 Aug 2015, 16:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post28 Aug 2015, 02:47

Heheh. In that first foto above N147EM DRAKEN A-4 has quite the history. First it was an A-4F in the USN serving in Vietnam and then refurbished as an A4G to be arriving at NAS Nowra late in 1971 with the second batch of 10 Skyhawks. It survived RAN service to be onsold to the RNZAF mid 1984 where it rolled upon landing at RAAF Townsville Oz during a thunderstorm, pilot OK (the aircraft at that point was still in Oz two tone camo paint and had not been converted to A-4K standard at that time [meaning it lacked the drag chute]). After some years the aircraft was repaired and then converted to A-4K KAHU standard which is mentioned in the last few paragraphs of the long USAF article above. Now we see it in the last RNZAF paint scheme with DRAKEN stuff painted on top. A short history from Oz ADFserials....

The second photo in the article above shows a different model Skyhawk (not from Oz) and is likely an A-4L in form with the ex-A4G etc.
N13-155069 A-4G 877 [later NZ6218] Bu.No. 155069 then DRAKEN N147EM etc...
Last A-4F built. First flight June 29, 1967 (as A-4F). Served in Vietnam on USS Ranger with VA-155 26/10/68 - 17/05/69, on USS Hancock with VA-212 02/08/69 - 15/04/70. Severely damaged in a wire strike 02/07/69 with USN. Fuselage was bent and never fully repaired. Before transfer to RAN the aircraft had 712.5 flight hours logged. Delivered to RAN 08/71. Unloaded from HMAS Sydney onto RAN Lighter at Jervis Bay August 11, 1971 then by road transport to Nowra. Ex. Tasmanex '79, launched from Melbourne August 7 and landed at RNZAF Ohakea, based out of there until August 17 when landed back on the Melbourne. Withdrawn from RAN service June 30, 1983 and stored for sale. To RNZAF 07/84 as NZ6218, now A-4K. Damaged in roll over while aquaplaning on landing 03/06/85 at Townsville QLD, it was returned to
New Zealand and repaired. It returned to service on 29/03/90. Retired by RNZAF and stored 15/08/01, with 5594 hours on airframe.” Sold to DRAKEN after a 12 years in storage in New Zealand in 2013.

Photos show RAN FAA heyday arrest HMAS Melbourne in the mid to late 1970s and then the roll over aftermath.

Source: http://www.adf-serials.com.au/n13.htm
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877flipTownsville1985.jpg
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Unread post28 Aug 2015, 05:56

Anyone here have EM graph of A-4? how agile it is compare to F-16?
why did they used F-16 + F-35 vs A-4 though ? why not opposite ( F-35+ A-4 vs F-16) ? A-4 seem to have worse kinematic characteristics compared to F-16
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Unread post28 Aug 2015, 06:04

Perhaps not exactly what you require because the A-4E/F/G NATOPS is from 1972 when printing technology was not always so great hence the graphs at the back of NATOPS can be difficult to decipher now once made into the 'best' PDF possible. The entire A4G NATOPS at best quality is here: (otherwise I'll see what can be excerpted meaningfully)

In the folder "Documents & Videos Various": https://onedrive.live.com/?id=CBCD63D63 ... E6&group=0

_A4G_NATOPS_Text_Searchable+BookMarks.PDF (138Mb)

REMEMBER the best thing to do is to RIGHT MOUSE CLICK on the PDF file named and 'Save As' to your computer first.
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Unread post28 Aug 2015, 06:12

thanks alot spazsinbad
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