F-35 Loadout question: More internal AtA missiles

F-35 Armament, fuel tanks, internal and external hardpoints, loadouts, and other stores.
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skrip00

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Unread post01 Aug 2006, 20:28

Is it possible to insert a dual ejector rack into each of the F-35's main weapons bays?

Possibly increasing its internal AtA load from 2 to 6?

Do the dimensions of the A/C model allow for AIM-120D size missiles in the main bay?

Because, I was thinking, for nations relying mainly on the F-35 alone (like Australia), would require more AtA potential out of the F-35.

So that the internal loadout would possibly be, 6 AIM-120s, or 4 AIM-120s and 2 AIM-9X/ASRAAM.


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boff180

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Unread post01 Aug 2006, 20:53

Not really, the issue with the internal bays is that space is at an absolute premium (hence the folding wings on diamond back sdbs) and in the current space there is no-where to double mount missiles on the racks.

Its mainly due to the dedicated RAAM pylons and how they are positioned. There would be a significant risk of colliding with the fins of the missile mounted on this pylon if you were to use a dual launcher on the primary pylon.

A rough idea of what I mean can be seen in this diagram.
Image

I would be more pro-F-35 if they had actually made the aircraft that bit larger (especially the B) so that it would have a more "useful" internal bay.

Andy

EDIT: the clearence issues can be better seen (especially when the aam pylon is not in the launch position) in this diagram:
Image
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Safetystick

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Unread post01 Aug 2006, 21:04

It's possible. But difficult (they always are ;)) and potentially high risk (EDIT- as in unknown technical issues).

[[Yep, that answer is vague enough to keep me out of trouble, yessiree EDIT - even vaguer now]]

If nations want to use it as a fighter then they'll probably be fine with using external stores. It's still got more grunt, more AA stores and better sensors than a Viper. Likelly still have a better RCS than a Viper too (not stealthy but enough to make a Flanker have a harder time of things).
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idesof

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Unread post01 Aug 2006, 21:11

skrip00 wrote:Is it possible to insert a dual ejector rack into each of the F-35's main weapons bays?

Possibly increasing its internal AtA load from 2 to 6?

Do the dimensions of the A/C model allow for AIM-120D size missiles in the main bay?

Because, I was thinking, for nations relying mainly on the F-35 alone (like Australia), would require more AtA potential out of the F-35.

So that the internal loadout would possibly be, 6 AIM-120s, or 4 AIM-120s and 2 AIM-9X/ASRAAM.


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x x


No reason, given the diagram shown, why an elegant engineering solution cannot be arrived at to arrange for the carriage of 6 internal AAMs. The solution can be staggered carriage, for instance. boff180 seems not to be taking into account that the F-35's weapons bay volume is far larger than that of the F-22, which carries 6 internal AAMs. Rest assured, no nation which will be using the F-35 for both air defence and ground attack would buy the plane if they had not already found a way to arrange for the internal carriage of 6 AAMs. It is a foregone conclusion that it will get done.
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boff180

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Unread post01 Aug 2006, 21:23

The F-35 is designed to carry a2g ordanance internally hence its larger volume.

Unless a nation wants a massive cost increase by making a customised pylon layout so that the clearance issues for more internal amraam carriage can happen. It won't.

The volume of the F-22 bay is smaller for one reason, what it was designed for. From the word go the main bay was designed around the Aim-120 and the carriage of them. Hence why there are even less a2g weapons being cleared on the 22, as there are major clearance issues here.

Just because there is more volume, doesn't mean that anything is possible... the pylon positions and their release mechanisms (the more important part) have already been designed. They know what can fit. They know what can't, if it could carry more than 4 AAM internally it would be known as they'd be using it as an important selling point.
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idesof

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Unread post01 Aug 2006, 21:33

boff180 wrote:The F-35 is designed to carry a2g ordanance internally hence its larger volume.

Unless a nation wants a massive cost increase by making a customised pylon layout so that the clearance issues for more internal amraam carriage can happen. It won't.

The volume of the F-22 bay is smaller for one reason, what it was designed for. From the word go the main bay was designed around the Aim-120 and the carriage of them. Hence why there are even less a2g weapons being cleared on the 22, as there are major clearance issues here.

Just because there is more volume, doesn't mean that anything is possible... the pylon positions and their release mechanisms (the more important part) have already been designed. They know what can fit. They know what can't, if it could carry more than 4 AAM internally it would be known as they'd be using it as an important selling point.


"Massive cost increase"!? Oh, come on. Finding a solution to this issue need not involve incurring a "massive cost increase." Of course, remember that boff180 has one important conflict of interest: he is an inveterate apologist for that relic of a bygone era: the Euro-trashy Typhoon. A staggered release mechanism can easily be made to work for the F-35. Rest assured it is being worked on, if not worked on already.

There is one principal reason why this fact is not being shouted from the roof tops: the F-35's principal customer, the USAF, does not want the F-35 to be seen as competing with the F-22 for scarce funds as a viable air-supremacy platform. Again, boff180 and anyone else can hold me to it: I will bet one year's salary that the F-35 will be able to carry at least 6 internal AAMs in an air-supremacy config.
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boff180

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Unread post01 Aug 2006, 21:57

So re-designing the release mechanisms, re-testing clearances, delaying development a little more.

All this costs money! Hence why a number of weapon clearences have been cancelled on cost grounds! And they would cost less than re-developing the weapon bays pylons!

This thread is discussing the F-35 weapon clearences, I gave my honest opinion based on information available in public with evidence. Not fantasist "oh i think because..." without any evidence you have been giving.

Before YOU start personally attacking me again, I suggest you bother reading my posts from the past. I am NOT against the F-35, I do think it has its flaws (especially the B) but it will be a good aircraft and that the F-22 is a superior aircraft to both of them! If YOU bothered reading, I have never said Typhoon is the be all and end all; infact it was YOU has bought it into this Conversation. If YOU read my posts you will see I think the best thing for a non-F-22 nation is a combo of both types!

Reading all your posts I could call you an anti-European patriotic t*** but that would be stooping to your level....

Now lets get back on topic!

Andy
Andy Evans Aviation Photography
www.evansaviography.co.uk
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idesof

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Unread post01 Aug 2006, 22:39

boff180 wrote:So re-designing the release mechanisms, re-testing clearances, delaying development a little more.

All this costs money! Hence why a number of weapon clearences have been cancelled on cost grounds! And they would cost less than re-developing the weapon bays pylons!

This thread is discussing the F-35 weapon clearences, I gave my honest opinion based on information available in public with evidence. Not fantasist "oh i think because..." without any evidence you have been giving.

Before YOU start personally attacking me again, I suggest you bother reading my posts from the past. I am NOT against the F-35, I do think it has its flaws (especially the B) but it will be a good aircraft and that the F-22 is a superior aircraft to both of them! If YOU bothered reading, I have never said Typhoon is the be all and end all; infact it was YOU has bought it into this Conversation. If YOU read my posts you will see I think the best thing for a non-F-22 nation is a combo of both types!

Reading all your posts I could call you an anti-European patriotic t*** but that would be stooping to your level....

Now lets get back on topic!

Andy


I apologize if you believe I was engaging in a personal attack by stating the fact that you had at various times expressed your preference for the Typhoon over the F-35 as an air-supremacy platform. Your vested interest, therefore, is to prove that the F-35's internal missile loadout makes it less competitive in that role vs. the Typhoon. I am not telling tales out of school here.

Second, I do not believe there needs to be any redesign or redevelopment of either the bays or the pylons. Unless the F-35's engineers are fools, as is Lockheed Martin, knowing full well international customers would rely on the F-35 for air defense, they have already factored in the need to increase internal AA loadout for these customers. Therefore, no redesign or reengineering necessary.

Now, while you may think the best thing for a non-F-22 nation is a combo of Typhoon and F-35, I and a number of other posters on this board believe the F-35 alone can handle the AA and AG missions, doing both better than the Typhoon. Also, you state the F-35 "has its flaws." If so, what are they, especially as it compares to the Typhoon? That you contend you are offering an unbiased viewpoint considering your statements both in the past and in this thread is utterly disingeneous, to say the least. I have merely pointed out that your opinions of the F-35 carry about as much weight as those of a Sukhoi salesman regarding the F-15 or F-22. Please... :roll:
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skrip00

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Unread post01 Aug 2006, 23:14

Baloney!

Its soooo easily doable. Hell, I'll design it for the USAF for a $100. I've got CAD training.

Basically. Its just a matter of finesse. You cant fire the two in the main bay without firing the one on the pylon launcher.

However!

The diagrams easily show the max internal loadout of the F-35 is 4 AIM-120s. Or 2 AMRAAMs and 2 AIM-9X/ASRAAM.
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idesof

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Unread post01 Aug 2006, 23:24

skrip00 wrote:Baloney!

Its soooo easily doable. Hell, I'll design it for the USAF for a $100. I've got CAD training.

Basically. Its just a matter of finesse. You cant fire the two in the main bay without firing the one on the pylon launcher.

However!

The diagrams easily show the max internal loadout of the F-35 is 4 AIM-120s. Or 2 AMRAAMs and 2 AIM-9X/ASRAAM.


Simple enough. One on the side pylon launcher, one from the main bay pylon, another attached to the main door. That gives you six right there, easily done. If you wanted to go further, you could mount a dedicated Amraam pylon next to the AG store pylon for a loadout of eight.
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skrip00

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Unread post01 Aug 2006, 23:27

Ok, so basically you can carry them in a trapeze that is staggered. One to the below the other a little off center. Then when that one fires, the swings to the left allowing the second one to be dropped.

Creative thinking boff...

You can shoehorn a Tomahawk onto a F-16. You just need creative thinking and good software.
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skrip00

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Unread post01 Aug 2006, 23:30

idesof wrote:
skrip00 wrote:Baloney!

Its soooo easily doable. Hell, I'll design it for the USAF for a $100. I've got CAD training.

Basically. Its just a matter of finesse. You cant fire the two in the main bay without firing the one on the pylon launcher.

However!

The diagrams easily show the max internal loadout of the F-35 is 4 AIM-120s. Or 2 AMRAAMs and 2 AIM-9X/ASRAAM.


Simple enough. One on the side pylon launcher, one from the main bay pylon, another attached to the main door. That gives you six right there, easily done. If you wanted to go further, you could mount a dedicated Amraam pylon next to the AG store pylon for a loadout of eight.

LockMart, give this man a prize!

Using the other door is a brilliant idea. The only drawback is a lack of wiring for the missile connection itself. And the aerodynamics and stability of the door in such a configuration.

I'm going for, easy adaptability to the current design and 0 redesign to the current airframe.

I'll try and make a crude drawing.
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dwightlooi

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Unread post02 Aug 2006, 00:34

Technically the space is there.

The F-22 has main bays that are essentially 3 x AIM-120s across with overlapping fins. This is also good enough for 1 x AIM-120 and 1 x Mk-83 (14" diameter + a tad more for the fins).

The F-35's bays are good for 1 x AIM-120 and 1 x Mk-84 (18" diameter + a tad more for fins). The main weapon station wide enough to hold two staggered AIM-120s. It is also more than long enough -- the AIM-120 is 3.66 m long, the F-35 bay is 4.2 m long.

Clearance is not a big issue. With pneumatic ejectors the missile will be released at the end of the stroke and by that time they will be past or very nearly past the level of the door mounted missile. The F-22's LAU-142 for example has a stroke of 9 inches and the missiles will have a vertical velocity of 27 fps by the time they are freed. The chances of them colliding with the rail missile is essentiall zero even under extreme maneuvering.

However, fitting more AAMs in the F-35 will require a new ejector to be developed. There are currently two -- the LAU-120 for single stores up to 2500 lbs and the BRU-61 for 4 x SDBs -- and neither will accomodate an AMRAAM much less two. The LAU-142 from the F-22 will not fit the F-35 as is, even though it will with trivial modifications. In otherwords, with the CURRENTLY available ejectors it is not even possible to fit 4 AAMs internally. But we are still relatively early in the F-35's life cycle, I mean the thing hasn't even flown yet! Additional store adapters and ejectors will become available over time... BE PATIENT!
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Unread post02 Aug 2006, 00:57

Early in the development of the JSF it was stated that it could carry 6-AAM's internally. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to locate the source as of yet? That said, I personally believe it is at least possible. Remember, landing gear on many aircraft fold into what appears to be remarkably small space! Only for it to unfold to all of our amazement. :shock: Further, the Partners and Designers surely knew the F-35 would be used in a Air Superiority Role at some point only to arm it with 4-AAM's? Surely, no one would consider that to be adequate? I think LM planned for 6-AAM's from the start but decided to keep it out of the public eye as not to compete with the Raptor. Some mite consider a much cheaper JSF with 6-AAM's as a viable choice over the much more expensive Raptor equipped with 8-AAM's. :roll:
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skrip00

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Unread post02 Aug 2006, 01:40

Exactly. But this may now be something we'll see when F-22A production is secured for a 100 more and when the F-35 enters serial production.
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