Weapons Tester Cites Further F-35 Challenges

F-35 Armament, fuel tanks, internal and external hardpoints, loadouts, and other stores.
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yeswepromise

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Unread post17 Sep 2016, 01:48

popcorn wrote:
yeswepromise wrote:Gosh, imagine if these guys had to critique the F-117 when it was in development... with NO gun at all and only 2 racks. Jeepers.

That's one benefit of being a black program, avoid the media circus. Good for LRSB.



Yes. On the money.
The F-35 is WAY too white world.
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popcorn

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Unread post17 Sep 2016, 02:06

yeswepromise wrote:Yes. On the money.
The F-35 is WAY too white world.

Really way too big to hide and foreign partners have their constituencies to answer to as well.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
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Unread post21 Sep 2016, 13:36

krorvik wrote:Maj. Morten "Dolby" Hanche has posted another article - this time concerning the topic in this thread:

http://nettsteder.regjeringen.no/kampfl ... s-a-pilot/

Some of it is based on previous post, but I liked the last paragraph:

Three weeks back I was part of a four-ship of F-35s. Our mission was to overcome an advanced airborne threat, while locating and destroying an equally advanced surface based air defense system. After neutralizing these threats, we were able to destroy four additional targets. All this prior to receiving the Block 3F capabilities.
 

It seems to me that the pilots are now routinely putting 4th gen systems (not only aircraft) to shame. Or death, as it would be in a hot situation.


I really like what Maj. Morten Hanche has done with his articles. He has very good style for writing complex issues in easy to understand way. :D

What critics fail to understand is that where F-35 Block 3i now has a pretty long list of deficiencies in capabilities, almost all other fighter aircraft lack those capabilities alltogether. When you have a lot of capabilities and features, there will be a lot of deficiencies especially during development. It's like complaining about Windows 10 deficiencies when other alternative is using MS DOS....

To me it seems like F-35 actually exceeds all expectations by large margin and will be immensely successful and will likely be very long lived aircraft.
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popcorn

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Unread post21 Sep 2016, 15:19

Dolby exudes credibility as a JSF advocate. His accounts parallel positive feedback from the Marines. As more foreign air services take delivery of their jets, additional success stories will be added to the portfolio. The Israelis should be next and could very likely involve real-world combat.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
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Unread post22 Sep 2016, 07:42

Another critical aspect of the F-35 is its minimal radar signature. Just as with the aerodynamic performance, the «stealthiness» of the F-35 is an inherent quality of the airframe itself. There would be no quick-fix to a disappointing signature. So far, my impression is that the F-35 is very difficult to find. We see this every day when training with the F-35; we detect the F-16s flying in the local airspace at vast ranges, compared to when we detect another F-35.


This quote from Dolby Hanche just dawned to me. It shows that F-35 can detect another F-35 using radar but the range is very much shorter than against F-16. Of course this is to be expected, but shows that F-35 actually can detect another 5th gen fighter with radar. It has also been said many times that 4th gen fighters simply haven't been able to detect 5th gen fighters at all with radar. It also validates the statements that F-35 radar signature is very, very low. F-16 has pretty low RCS by 4th gen fighter standards after all.
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Unread post22 Sep 2016, 08:47

hornetfinn wrote:This quote from Dolby Hanche just dawned to me. It shows that F-35 can detect another F-35 using radar but the range is very much shorter than against F-16. Of course this is to be expected, but shows that F-35 actually can detect another 5th gen fighter with radar. It has also been said many times that 4th gen fighters simply haven't been able to detect 5th gen fighters at all with radar. It also validates the statements that F-35 radar signature is very, very low. F-16 has pretty low RCS by 4th gen fighter standards after all.


Well...although the quote was talking about radar, there's also EODAS. He leaves it unspecified whether or not the other F-35 was detected by radar or EODAS.

I thought it should be fairly obvious that any plane can detect any other plane with radar, it's just a matter of how close? In this case, I'd think it's inaccurate to say that a 4th gen fighter can't detect a 5th gen one. I'm sure if you park one 50 feet in front of the other something will pop up on radar. However, it's more that they won't be able to detect it at any operational distance, i.e. they'll be long dead before they detect it.

For me, the biggest evidence that the F-35 is meeting (and probably surpassing) its RCS and IR signature goals is that Gilmore hasn't complained about them (that I'm aware of offhand). They would be the perfect performance characteristics to complain about; he could justifiably keep the exact figures secret and just make vague statements about how they are "deficient" and "have significant problems" and all that without having to give specifics due to their classified nature. That he doesn't, likely means the F-35's RCS and IR signatures are pretty low.

(Unless Gilmore isn't allowed to comment on classified performance parameters? But many of the things he does comment on are things that are not yet publicly revealed and thus somewhat classified, such as the actual range of the plane.)
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Unread post22 Sep 2016, 11:35

vanshilar wrote:I thought it should be fairly obvious that any plane can detect any other plane with radar, it's just a matter of how close? In this case, I'd think it's inaccurate to say that a 4th gen fighter can't detect a 5th gen one. I'm sure if you park one 50 feet in front of the other something will pop up on radar.


No, that's not the case. There are two things here that can prevent radar from detecting anything. First is that if target is as close as 50 feet away, the target will not be seen due to it being inside radar minimum range. Radar system which uses the same antenna for transmit and receive can only see targets that are further away than min range as it can't really transmit and receive at the same time. In typical fighter radars the min detection range is usually hunderds of meters and can be several kilometers in certain radar modes.

More important thing is that there is a limit how weak signals can be detected. Signal to noise ratio must be high enough to differentiate a target from noise. 4th gen fighter MSA or PESA radars have quite high noise figures and thus they can not detect targets with very low RCS at all. There is a limit how small (in radar wavelengths) objects radars can see. It might well be that F-35 RCS is low enough that such radars are incapable of detecting it reliably. Basically the noise masks the very low radar return signals from VLO target. AESA radars have much better performance in this regard and can reliably detect targets with much lower RCS.
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barrelnut

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Unread post22 Sep 2016, 12:20

Sometimes radar manufacturers release specifications for their radars, like here for Airbus TRS-4D radar:

http://northamerica.airbus-group.com/no ... tions.html

Target detection capability: RCS 0.01 m2.


So they don't promise to be able to detect targets with C-Band RCS lower than that. And this is for very advanced GaN AESA radar.
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Unread post22 Sep 2016, 12:31

barrelnut wrote:Sometimes radar manufacturers release specifications for their radars, like here for Airbus TRS-4D radar:

http://northamerica.airbus-group.com/no ... tions.html

Target detection capability: RCS 0.01 m2.


At what range? 5 miles? 20 miles? 100 miles?
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Unread post22 Sep 2016, 12:55

sferrin wrote:
barrelnut wrote:Sometimes radar manufacturers release specifications for their radars, like here for Airbus TRS-4D radar:

http://northamerica.airbus-group.com/no ... tions.html

Target detection capability: RCS 0.01 m2.


At what range? 5 miles? 20 miles? 100 miles?


Probably at any range. This sounds like the minimum signal strength limit limit I mentioned earlier. It's likely that targets with smaller RCS than that can not be detected with very high probability. It might be that this system can detect 0.01 m2 target at say 20 km away, but would not regularly detect 0.001 m2 target at any range, although it probably can with some lower probability.
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vanshilar

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Unread post22 Sep 2016, 18:50

hornetfinn wrote:No, that's not the case. There are two things here that can prevent radar from detecting anything.


Hmm neat. I knew that radars typically use the same antenna to receive and transmit, but didn't consider that this means there's a non-zero "switchover" time as it goes from radiating energy to receiving energy, and thus minimum detection distance.

Hmm the noise levels for 4th gen fighters are that high? Poor thing. I guess this explains the anecdote that in exercises, F-15 pilots could visually see the F-22, yet were still unable to get a (radar) weapons lock on it to launch missiles.
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Unread post23 Sep 2016, 06:50

vanshilar wrote:Hmm the noise levels for 4th gen fighters are that high? Poor thing. I guess this explains the anecdote that in exercises, F-15 pilots could visually see the F-22, yet were still unable to get a (radar) weapons lock on it to launch missiles.


Noise levels even in best MSA and PESA radars are significantly higher than in modern AESA radars. Besides noise the return signal is also attenuated in the system much more so than in AESA radars. There is also huge difference in AESA radars and that technology is evolving a lot. Early AESA radars had significantly higher noise levels and signal losses than latest systems and GaN technology seems to promise even better performance than latest systems in that regard also (along with much higher power and much wider available bandwidth). AESA equipped F-15 will probably be able to detect F-22 or F-35 with its radar about as well as F-22 can. It will lack sensor fusion, EW/ESM and networking capabilities though and naturally not having stealth means it will be detected by radar at long ranges itself.

Yes, that anecdote is easily explained by that MSA radar limitation. F-22 and F-35 might well be close to invisible against such radars.
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