Most agile F-35?

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spazsinbad

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Unread post03 Oct 2018, 08:40

When you can spell whether I'll take notice.
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marsavian

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Unread post03 Oct 2018, 11:30

WVR conflicts are almost inevitable if mission requirements dictate it e.g. those many intruders with a-g weapons just have to be shot down before they reach their targets. Obviously if the F-35 is on a strike mission itself it can choose to avoid combat if it can but for those nations who are solely depending on the F-35 as their only frontline military fighter e.g. Norway/Holland the F-35 may often have to prosecute combat until it's successful even down to its gun ammo running out and it is capable of doing so very competently.
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element1loop

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Unread post03 Oct 2018, 12:14

zero-one wrote: :lmao: ...


An objective reminder of what the observed long-term trends are, as opposed to personally preferred cherry-picks.

1990s Aerial Combat and the Rise of Network Warfare

By the end of the Cold War, both NATO and Warsaw Pact air forces were equipped with air superiority fighters with pulse Doppler radar systems able to detect and target enemy aircraft at 40 nm or more, even when the target aircraft were flying in ground clutter at low altitude. This capability, often referred to as “look down/shoot down,” was a significant improvement over fighter fire control radars fielded in the 1960s and 1970s and greatly expanded the potential utility of BVR engagements by eliminating the “low-altitude sanctuary” presented by earlier fighter radars.

Figure 12 shows the vast increase in aerial sensor and weapon ranges available to fighter pilots of the 1990s compared to those of the 1960s.

Figure 13 shows the continued changes in fighter weapon use spurred by these technological improvements. It also shows a dramatic decline in the frequency of aerial combat following the end of the Cold War. Over the past twenty-three years, the database holds just fifty-nine aerial victory claims. The last two claimed kills occurred on September 14, 2001, and were credited to IAF F-15Cs; the victims were Syrian Air Force MiG-29s. There are multiple explanations put forward for the steep decline in the incidence of aerial combat engagements over the past two decades, including a lack of military conflicts between nations with modern air forces, the difficulty and expense of building and maintaining an air superiority capability centered on manned aircraft, and asymmetric responses, such as relying on cruise and ballistic missiles instead of manned aircraft for long-range strike missions in the face of a perceived overwhelming U.S. advantage in aerial combat capability. These are, however, beyond the scope of this report.

37 The greatly reduced number of aerial victories has allowed more intense scrutiny of each claim with a correspondingly higher likelihood that post–1990 claims actually represent real victories. In other words, the decrease in numbers of claimed victories and the rise of global media over the past two decades have likely reduced the “overclaiming” problem discussed earlier.

While the frequency of aerial combat has declined greatly compared to the 1960s—1980s, the number of aerial victory claims registered since 1990 is sufficiently large to permit simple quantitative analysis of the kind presented throughout this chapter. The left-hand panel of Figure 13 reveals a continued shift in the mix of weapons employed in aerial combat during the post–Cold War era. The first thing to note is the virtual absence of victories credited to guns. The database includes two gun victories; the last was a Venezuelan AT-27 Tucano armed trainer shot down by a Venezuelan F-16 during a coup attempt in November 1992. Taking a longer perspective, the data shows the continued utility of guns in aerial combat through the 1970s and their rapid eclipse by missiles beginning in the 1980s. In fact, the use of guns in aerial combat virtually ended after the Yom Kippur War in late 1973. Out of 498 victory claims since that time, 440 (88 percent) have been credited to AAMs and only thirty to guns. The last gun kill of one jet combat aircraft by another occurred in May of 1988 when an Iranian F-4E downed an Iraqi Su-22M with 20 mm cannon fire.

Also of note is the near-disappearance of the rear-aspect-only IR missile victories and the reduction in proportion of victories achieved by all-aspect missiles such as the AIM-9L/M. Over the past two decades, the majority of aerial victories have been the result of BVR engagements where the victor almost always possessed advantages in sensor and weapon range and usually superior support from “offboard information sources” such as GCI radar operators or their airborne counterparts in Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) aircraft. This is significant, as it suggests the competition for SA is heavily influenced by the relative capabilities of the opponents’ electronic sensors, electronic countermeasures (ECM), and network links between sensor, command and control (C2), and combat aircraft nodes.

38 Gun utility seems to have diminished greatly following the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Of the 520 gun kills identified in the database, 490 (94.2 percent) occurred prior to November 1973.
39 The remaining twenty-eight credited victories were attributed to other means—usually the opponent maneuvering the aircraft into the ground.


https://csbaonline.org/uploads/document ... eport-.pdf

CSBA | TRENDS IN AIR-TO-AIR COMBAT http://www.csbaonline.org (Pages 22 thru 25).


Long-term guns are virtually absent globally for many decades. WVR missile kills have plummeted to low levels, while BVR kills increased more each decade, and dominate the long-term record with a strong clear trend.

You'll trot out lots of contrived qualifications, justifications and mincing equivocations which I could call excuses for an unbalanced obsession with ACM, but I won't, I'm just not too interested.

Despite your apparent myopia, or denial, or whatever, that makes you kick-against-the-pricks regarding long-term A2A trends, I hope you've caught the under-laying story, that increasing sensors and comms links quality has led to increased SA at higher ranges, and A2A engagements generally got further and further away from WVR radius with that, each decade since guns ceased to be used, and missiles took over altogether. With a strong increasing drift toward BVR at increasing range. Which mirrored improvements in missile ranges and datalink and navigation capabilities on missiles as well to take advantage of the better SA at long BVR ranges.

Citing cherry-picked exceptions does not alter the strong long-term trend at all, and to expect the trends to reverse at this point is quite absurd.

I would not consider building a national health care system around the remote possibility that Bubonic-Plague might make a sudden come-back in 2030, and that doctors have become so incompetent, due to their smug complacency that they'll be at a complete loss, and unable to adapt, so we'll all be goners.

:doh:

Nah. :mrgreen:
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zero-one

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Unread post03 Oct 2018, 12:44

Hey element1loop,
If you're implying that I'm saying dogfights will run rampant in future conflicts then you my friend are the one cherry picking my statements.

This is the 3rd (or 4th) time I'll say it. I think WVR combat is possible, it will happen specially when in conflict against large, near peer adversaries. But it will be rare, I really believe the majority will be BVR. Despite having the last few kills WVR I still think that in an all out war scenario BVR will make up most of air combat. Personally I think 6 or 7 out of 10 kills will be BVR, maybe even 8.

Also combat trends? Seriously, You mean combat trends against Iraq, Serbia, and Syria?
Well, combat trends dictate that there will be no ship to ship combat so why on earth does the navy need LRASM and other ship killing weapons. Why is the Nuclear arsenal being modernized at all
You don't prepare for the last war only, you take those lessons and prepare for what could happen as well.

Anyway, we are so far off topic. Lets get back on it shall we Gents
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element1loop

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Unread post03 Oct 2018, 13:01

marsavian wrote:WVR conflicts are almost inevitable if mission requirements dictate it ...


RAAF's Angus Houston more or less stated fairly clearly in 2002 that RAAF was no longer interested in WVR fights with IR missiles at all.

BVR was all RAAF was interested in from there. They integrated ASRAAM on Hornets due to that, which was a BVR-capable IR missile. So if WVR radius was approached RAAF wanted the first shot from near ASRAAM's max-radius (30 km was claimed). Other than that RAAF has been BVR oriented for at least the past 16 years, if merging for guns was your gig you were in the wrong airforce.

But RAAF has never ceased to train WVR and DACT tist whole time, but they choose to never use it in combat and to orient all tactics and decisions to avoid WVR radius in A2A. And that's a choice than can be made, and much more easily with a networked F-35, than any other jet.

There will be no situations where getting inside WVR radius against fighters is considered acceptable. And they will not be looking for excuses to do it, just the reverse. And if you propose to do it in an F-35A, you'd better have a really good reason, or you won't be flying it any longer. RAAF also eliminated unguided weapons altogether since then, as its not acceptable to miss, or to overkill. It will probably be the world's first fully 5th-gen attack force in 5-years, and their thinking is hardly backwards, or in any way unrealistic when it comes to A2A tactics, and what you can choose to do, and win. You get the systems that can do it, and you make them better at doing it.

Tally-ho, yes, but not with eye balls.
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element1loop

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Unread post03 Oct 2018, 13:05

zero-one wrote:I think WVR combat is possible, it will happen specially when in conflict against large, near peer adversaries. But it will be rare, I really believe the majority will be BVR.


3 in 10 is 30%!

"Rare" is 1 in 20 or so.

3 in 10 is frequent.
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Unread post03 Oct 2018, 13:48

3 in 10 is 30%!

"Rare" is 1 in 20 or so.

3 in 10 is frequent.

Thats just a personal estimate. And I have several reasons for that.

1. Operation Desert Storm: Iraq had no airborne AEWAC, their GCI was decimated early in the war and their BVR capability was really in its infancy. Their aircraft we're not the top of the line soviet aircraft with the latest ECM equipment.

In short they really had no business getting to the Merge with coalition forces that had all kinds of AEWACs and Rivet joint for support. But still 1/3 of all air combat was still WVR. And many of the BVR kills were allegedly from aircraft that we're running away to Iran.

Today we've got all kinds of Stealth and Reduced RCS planes and very powerful ECMs, there are even fears that DRFM based jamers will effectively blind the AMRAAM. The AMRAAM has a Pk of below 60% as it is, with some of the hits done in WVR.

2. The 6 out of 10 figure is actually Lockheed's not mine. I can't find the link but they said that according to their simulations, 60% of air combat will be BVR, 30% will be in the transvissual range, and around 10% will be WVR. But they did not take into account BVR combat that may develop into WVR combat.

So far, the last kills were mostly if not all WVR because of ROEs and such. But again I believe BVR will be the majority despite all my reasons above.
Last edited by zero-one on 03 Oct 2018, 14:15, edited 1 time in total.
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marsavian

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Unread post03 Oct 2018, 13:56

A lot of WVR combat in Desert Storm was due to having to make visual identification which will be alleviated in the future due to the EOTS/DAS/MDF of the F-35 which can then inform the rest of the fighter fleet via Link 16, a mini AWACs on the front line. If WVR combat occurs it will be because all the AMRAAMs have been used and the opposition still needs taking out or a stealthy/clever/lucky opponent has got in close. I agree with you, it is still necessary for a fighter to be able to do ACM well if only to give the pilot enough confidence in his steed so that he can aggressively prosecute missions knowing that if the worst happens he can still fight his way out well. Unless your WVR opponent was the F-22 though I don't think the F-35 has much to fear from the rest.
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Unread post03 Oct 2018, 14:26

On balance, I'd have to take the A as the most agile of the 3. Agility is heavily predicated on recovering airspeed, and I think that (not turn radius) is more important to air to air combat. It allows you to get out of bad situations and into much better ones - quickly. Somewhat surprised to see how much better the F-15C jocks liked their jet for recovering airspeed vs. F-35. Moreso than F-16 pilots (I would have thought it the other way around).

But that's all WVR and while not moot, it's certainly marginal in 2018. Marginal because a good F-35 pilot will not enter that fight. Marginal because of the advent of HOBS missiles. No F-35, Flanker or even F-22 is more agile than a 9x.

So the F-35 seems poised to be the ultimate sensor/shooter. If modern air combat trends hold, the US will be sitting pretty. And Russia will be dead as a door nail, putting so much emphasis on super agility. Even China seems to be steering clear of that. I can only imagine they studied the last 3 decades of air to air kills (or not), and either dismissed sensor/shooter (or don't believe it). Then again, what they're doing may be the only thing they can do - not being experts in stealth, nor is their sensor tech up to Western standards.

Regardless, all 3 F-35 variants seem remarkably agile. Especially for an aircraft so heavy on stealth, sensors and sensor fusion. If SA is the new speed, the F-35 is the A-12/SR-71 of its time...
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Unread post03 Oct 2018, 14:41

zero-one wrote: ... there are even fears that DRFM based jamers will effectively blind the AMRAAM. The AMRAAM has a Pk of below 60% as it is, with some of the hits done in WVR.


AIM-120 was tested extensively after Libya to ensure DRFM did not work against it. RAAF also switched to a much better BVR-range potential AIM-9X BKII on Growler and F-35A. Hedging against jamming techniques was mentioned, and more BVR range was even more attractive for what comes next.
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Unread post03 Oct 2018, 15:49

element1loop wrote:AIM-120 was tested extensively after Libya to ensure DRFM did not work against it. RAAF also switched to a much better BVR-range potential AIM-9X BKII on Growler and F-35A. Hedging against jamming techniques was mentioned, and more BVR range was even more attractive for what comes next.


I didn't know that. If its not too much trouble, can you post a link please.
Thats certainly good news for the AMRAAM.

One reason why I also think BVR will be more successful will be because if you're firing from 5th gens, you can fire much closer giving the bandits less time to react and less time to turn on their jammers.

mixelflick wrote:And Russia will be dead as a door nail, putting so much emphasis on super agility. Even China seems to be steering clear of that.


I'd have to disagree on this one. China has long bragged about the extreme maneuverability of their J-20 specially when equipped with their WS-15 engines (when that will actually happen, I don't know)

Other 5th gen proposals like the ATD-X from Japan and KF-X from Korea seem to have 3D TVC and very high T/W ratios.
Turkey also has a super maneuverable concept for their 5th gens

Heck even the F-35's block 4 engine upgrade seem to be getting a considerable thrust increase. And lets not forget Japan's interest in getting a Raptor/Lightning Hybrid.

Kinematics are not only for WVR dogfights but are alos useful in BVR (substantially less but still useful)
And Stealth on Stealth is piratically uncharted territory. DE weapons may finally render kinematics obsolete, but I think we are a long way from developing very long range DEWs that can literally disintegrate fighters from 50km away.
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Unread post03 Oct 2018, 18:42

China may have bragged about the J-20's maneuverability, but that design hardly reflects it.

It's an F-111 sized aircraft, with presumably a similar poor thrust to weight ratio (at least with the current engines). Speaking of which, there are no thrust vectoring nozzles, at least that I'm aware of. The SU-30SM, SU-35, F-22, Mig-29OVT etc all feature them, and can rightfully be called "super maneuverable". The J-31 has much better potential for super-maneuverability, but even that's a stretch at this point in its development IMO...
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Unread post03 Oct 2018, 18:55

Russians have been claiming for some time that the J-20 is based on 'acquired' MiG 1.44 technology and the similarities are certainly there. Basically a long arm canard stealthy aircraft built for cruising effortlessly at high speed. No doubt with the big delta wing and canards it can turn a bit especially at speed but primarily it's a long range stalking fast cruising interceptor and any maneuverability is a bonus on the specification.
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Unread post03 Oct 2018, 19:02

Here's Wiki's description of the J-20

One important design criterion for the J-20 is high instability. This requires sustained pitch authority at a high angle of attack, in which a conventional tail-plane would lose effectiveness due to stalling. On the other hand, a canard can deflect opposite to the angle of attack, avoiding stall and thereby maintaining control. A canard design is also known to provide good supersonic performance, excellent supersonic and transonic turn performance, and improved short-field landing performance compared to the conventional delta wing design.


Probably gona be a high AOA capable Rafale. Certainly better than a lot of 4th gens like the F-15 maybe. It may even be comparable to the F-35 in kinematic performance. Hey all of this is only if their WS-15 lives up to expectations.
The F-35 will dominate it in Stealth, Sensor fusion and sensor technology, probably also weapons.

F-35C is said to be the best turner but the worst runner of the 3. Hopefully Block 4 engine upgrades improve that.
By the way, will the block 4 retain the same weights or is the increased thrust a result of the increased weight?
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Unread post03 Oct 2018, 21:58

Salute!

Some interesting thots here lately.

The thing about close fights is because after the two armadas of flighters fire few dozen missiles head on from 20 to 30 miles, do they continue to close? Do they fire and forget becuse their cosmic missiles can empoloy their own seekers for the end game? Do the fighter systems need to "help" the missiles?

Back in the day, we could turn in front of the Eagles as they sent their Great White Hope Sparrows maybe 15 miles or so ahead of us. Because the motors only burned for several seconds, they slowed down every second thereafter, and we could do the bat turn and be roaring the other way as the Sparrows ran outta E. The game changer was the Lima. If we survived to the merge then it was a different story. Ask any AIMVAL-ACEVAL pilot like we had at Hill in that original Viper cadre.

Make no mistake, I am not advocating a design that is optimized fora knife fight. I like the idea of one or two turns and the ability to book outta dodge. A gun with a small amount of ammo is great for a last-ditch-maneuver or such besides a kamikaze midair. But that's all.

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