What if F-35s were available in a Desert Storm Scenario?

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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elvis1

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Unread post28 Jun 2018, 01:50

You reminded of a favorite movie from when I was a kid!! The Final Countdown--not sure if my picture will show up.

Countdown.JPG
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steve2267

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Unread post28 Jun 2018, 02:27

I should hope the F-35 would outperform all those Gen-3 and Gen-4 assets, that is what it was built to do.

IMO, the two biggest differences or improvements over legacy jet DS performance would be in the SCUD hunting mission, and possibly how the F-35B could perform if the Marines were permitted to work their forward re-fuel / re-arm FOBs, but I'm not sure they would have been required in that fight.

On the other hand, without Maverick or SPEAR at this point, I am unsure how the F-35 in its present state would do in the tank plinking role. Against stationary tanks, not a problem. But is the stop-gap, moving target PGM capability in place yet? With SPEAR (UK) and SDB-II, I think those issues go away.
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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Unread post28 Jun 2018, 02:51

steve2267 wrote:But is the stop-gap, moving target PGM capability in place yet?

Yes, it is part of Block 3F and the orders for weapons have already gone out.

The US Marine Corps (USMC) is to receive 300 Raytheon GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II precision-guided munitions (PGMs) as it looks to afford its Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs) with an interim moving target capability.

The US Air Force Material Command (AFMC) said on 10 April that it intends to award Raytheon a sole-source contract for GBU-49 kits for the USMC, valued at USD13.4 million. An award will be made on 31 May and run through to 15 December.

http://www.janes.com/article/79174/gbu- ... smc-f-35bs


Contract Awarded on May 24th, 2018
Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona, with has been awarded a $13,377,288, firm-fixed-price modification (P00005) to a previously awarded contract (FA8681-18-C0010) for GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway IIs. Work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona, and is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2019. Fiscal 2018 ammunition funds are being obligated at the time of award. This is not a multiyear contract, and total cumulative face value of the contract is $73,764,070. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity.

https://www.defense.gov/News/Contracts/ ... e/1532015/
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steve2267

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Unread post28 Jun 2018, 03:55

The F-35 Lightning... the idiot savante of tactical aviation...
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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Unread post28 Jun 2018, 03:57

8) :roll: :devil: It is like combining RAIN MAN with TOPGUN! Capiche? :doh: :shock: :drool: Both Fillums Star Tom Cruise. :?
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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elvis1

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Unread post28 Jun 2018, 04:14

Talking of Movies, this whole discussion reminds me of The Final Countdown. Makes me want to go back and watch that again.
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gc

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Unread post28 Jun 2018, 05:12

steve2267 wrote:I should hope the F-35 would outperform all those Gen-3 and Gen-4 assets, that is what it was built to do.

IMO, the two biggest differences or improvements over legacy jet DS performance would be in the SCUD hunting mission, and possibly how the F-35B could perform if the Marines were permitted to work their forward re-fuel / re-arm FOBs, but I'm not sure they would have been required in that fight.

On the other hand, without Maverick or SPEAR at this point, I am unsure how the F-35 in its present state would do in the tank plinking role. Against stationary tanks, not a problem. But is the stop-gap, moving target PGM capability in place yet? With SPEAR (UK) and SDB-II, I think those issues go away.


Can I confirm if the SDB-II has similar single-pass multiple-target engagement capability present in the Brimstone? That will be a lot more efficient in targeting massed armored or amphibious assault that using LGB/LJDAMs. Imagine the time it would take for a single F-35 to destroy 6 tanks using GBU-12s. 6 passes needed in a predicable flight pattern - placing a stealth fighter in an extremely vulnerable position. And imagine the airspace de-confliction needed for multiple F-35s to attack a large armored formation.

Such massed armored or amphibious attacks are what US and its allies will face in Europe, Korean peninsula or the Taiwan straits. And F-35 in 3F configuration is not adequate to handle such attacks. Block 4 upgrade needs to be accelerated.

Brimstone:
In the event of a group of hostile armoured vehicles being identified on the battlefield, multiple Brimstone missiles can be fired in salvo. The missiles can fly out from a single platform and spread out to cover a large area.

Where hostile forces have in-line formations of armoured vehicles, Brimstone can be flown down the same corridor to attack the formation.

Engagement algorithms in the onboard computer reduce the probability of more than one missile hitting the same target. In addition, the fire command and control system can allocate individual missiles to engage sequentially numbered valid targets.

https://www.army-technology.com/projects/brimstone/
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geforcerfx

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Unread post28 Jun 2018, 06:33

elvis1 wrote:Talking of Movies, this whole discussion reminds me of The Final Countdown. Makes me want to go back and watch that again.


It's on Prime right now if you have it.




While not a super fair comparison, I agree with the assessment the F-35 family would have made the desert storm air campaign even more devastating, even in it's current limited weapons load. The Battlenet would have been insane for the time, the information being collected and passed on to commanders and ground personnel would have been insanely high compared to what they had at the time.
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steve2267

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Unread post28 Jun 2018, 15:19

The CBU-105 Sensor Fused Weapon with Wind Correction would be the ideal weapon with which the F-35 could attack a massed armor formation. A B-52 decimated an Iraqi tank column with two CBU-105's in early April, 2003 (http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/08/19/hln.te ... sor.fuzed/). At one point the CBU-105 was slated for internal carry on the F-35. However, a search suggests that it may have been withdrawn from service after the US became a signatory to a cluster weapon ban.
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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Unread post28 Jun 2018, 16:50

Since we are talking about ground targets here, I just found out that in the Fy2019 NDAA, funds have been allocated for JAGM-F integration into the F-35 and will be eject-launched from the SDB's BRU-61 rack (so, internal to the F-35). Timeline for dev (per the budget doc) is to complete by Q1, FY2021 which is plenty of time to make it to Block 4.1 if they go the UAI route.

Details are in the appropriate armament thread:
viewtopic.php?p=396928#p396928
Last edited by SpudmanWP on 28 Jun 2018, 16:58, edited 1 time in total.
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mixelflick

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Unread post28 Jun 2018, 16:55

lrrpf52 wrote:The thing that really jumps out at me is how this single aircraft type, shared across services and coalition partners, looks to be superior to every legacy system in their own, single mission-specific parameters as deployed in one of the most devastating air combat campaigns in history.

There isn't anything those legacy birds can do within their own specialty area that the JSF doesn't do better, and it can jump from one mission set to another based on the needs of how the campaign evolves even within a sortie.

If you step back from this into the stratosphere for a bit and look down, this is an unbelievable accomplishment.

It isn't hype, because we've listened to legacy teen fighter pilots talk about how they are able to do these things relative to their previous jet in the F-35, with nowhere near the workload in systems management from the previous generation.

Now look at how that affects training and logistics, as well as interoperability-the biggest issue of Desert Storm, bringing in our coalition partners as part of an integrated Joint Strike Fighter campaign. We couldn't even integrate F-14Ds into Desert Storm because of the comms differences between E-3A and F-14/E-2C.

Would we have lost that F/A-18C from MiG-25PD if AWACS had been able to comms with F-14Ds flying cover? We're lucky we didn't lose more, because the Iraqi pilot made another offensive pass but wasn't cleared hot by GCI. He said he could see the cockpit displays in the A-6Es against the night blackness when he came in at supersonic speed from the rear for his 2nd run. He followed CGI and RTBd.


So the F-14D didn't fly in DS? Just the F-14A??

Yeah, those A-6's would have been toast. The OP did a really nice job of illustrating what a quantum leap the F-35 really is. After a lot of research, I'm finally a big fan. And you know it's just going to get better from here, as they work the remaining bugs out and proceed with engine/software enhancements. In 15 days we have the Great New England Airshow here in MA, and an F-35 is listed to be on static. Can't wait to get an up close look at her, hopefully talk to the pilot and learn more.

There was one platform conspicuously missing from OP's presentation: The A-10 :)

No, no. I know we already have a thread for that! 8)
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Unread post28 Jun 2018, 21:10

Psst.. that A-10 pic is from a computer game :doh:
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Unread post28 Jun 2018, 22:24

During Reforger '88 I drove past one that belly-flopped in a farmer's field after takeoff. It must have recently happened because the pilot was standing there all alone.

I also got to sit on the firing line on my M60A3's turret roof and got to watch several A-10's go to town on our 2km targets. It was "almost" as good as a few minutes later when a M163 pulled up to the slot next to ours. I thought he was going to get some practice in with the 50 cal....

Boy was I impressed when they opened up on ground targets with the 20mm :applause: :drool:

Nothing like sitting next to that from 15 feet away.

Too bad that was back in the days before smartphones :(
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kimjongnumbaun

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Unread post28 Jun 2018, 23:10

Snapped this a few weeks ago at AT. Thought it was pretty funny.
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Unread post30 Jun 2018, 04:13

Salute!

One thing to consider is that there is no need to use all of the Stubbies in one role when considering a Storm scenario.

I have never been keen on the "gorilla" employment tactic, when we launched almost an entire squadron on a single mission/single loadout. OTOH, with very good coordination amongst the Weasels, escort and MIGCAP, it worked. So I flew three such over Hanoi in the SLUF dueing LBII and our bombs were very good, and we had no losses.

With a plane with such capabilities as the 35, we could launch a squadron and have dedicated flights for offensive A2A/escort, SEAD, and bomb trucks. All within one squadron, so coordination would be very easy. We could also have a "gorilla" with one squadron going after a particular target array and other units assigned the A2A and SEAD.

Would love to see a Red Flag with two or three squads of Stubbies and have them assigned different primary missions. Maybe try one day with a single squad assigned two or three missions such as SEAD and basic bomb truck.

Oh well.

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