F-35 air-to-air - Pro and Con

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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sferrin

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Unread post25 Feb 2014, 04:11

At one point they actually looked at a variant with a pair of J75s. :shock:
"There I was. . ."
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basher54321

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Unread post26 Feb 2014, 14:58

sferrin wrote:
basher54321 wrote: Surprised you flew the F-101B - assumed only Canada got those.


Why would you assume that?

"The F-101B was made in greater numbers than the F-101A and C, with a total of 479 being delivered by the end of production in 1961.[37] Most of these were delivered to the Air Defense Command (ADC) beginning in January 1959"


Is way off my radar - I do have some SAC documents for the A/B/C but have found this here http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_fighters/f101_3.html

I suppose the B still had the pitch up problem?

Do love the way you had internal weapons carriage and an IRST - 2 pros of the F-35
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Unread post26 Feb 2014, 18:28

Salute!

Before we get back to the never-ending 1 v 1 discussions for the Stubby, some things from the past are relevant to us in 2014.

The VooDoo had several aspects we see today. Many lessons-learned.

- Mutli-mode, multi-sensor fire control system. So the IRST could work with the radar or by itself if stealth was a player. Range was a problem, and usually the IRST by itself was really only good for the two heaters. No biggie, as you could either see the tgt or briefly switch on the radar to ensure within range. A sneaky mode was IR tracking and radar in search mode. The tgt would assume you weren't tracking and then BAM! Two Aim-4C heaters on the way. The IRST was also very good at low altitude in a look-down mode when compared to the radar. Once locked on, you could then slave the radar to get range/overtake data. Cool. And this was all there in 1965 - 66. IRST was in the Double Ugly, but then absent for too long, IMHO.

- Internal carriage. Really great for drag reduction, and nowadays the LO concept. The heaters were recessed on one side of the rotary bay and had trapeze doofers when you fired one.

- Automated or AP delivery modes. The AP had a "coupler" to steer to the computed firing range and "center the dot". I fired my first Genie using it and the sucker when right by the drone before it exploded at the calculated time-of-flight ( smoke, not a nuke, heh heh). Engage the coupler and hold the trigger down.

- Limiter. Yep, we had the first flight control limiter to prevent departures. Two modes - one with AP in use and one when manually flying the beast. It took over 60 pounds to pull back thru the limiter, and it was easy to tell you shouldn't pull back anymore. The AP modes also had a gee limit and pitch rate limit besides the AoA limit. CCS ( control stick steering) was an attitude hold mode, so relaxing the stick held you at pitch and bank. Full AP included the basic altitude and heading hold, plus a mach hold for climbs.

- A relief tube!!! Just kidding, but I hope the Stubby has one. Any plane with a decent range offers many opportunities to "relieve" yourself, and that funnel was a blessing. We even had an inadvertant ejection in a Viper a few years back 'cause the dude didn't know how to properly use the piddle pack ( didn't disable the ejection seat, or hit the canopy switch or .....). Of course, there was the usual comments about his physical dimensions of the organ involved, heh heh.

- Big motor(s). Ain't no substitute for excess power, and we had it. Below 3,000 pounds of fuel we had better than one-to-one T/W. So we climbed as well as the Viper I flew years later, and we could sustain a turn well, tho' we were talking only 2 or 3 gees at high altitude. Once up there, you can pull the power way, way back and save gas.

So we now return you to our current program.

Gums sends...
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Unread post26 Feb 2014, 23:49

Priceless thanks Gums - had no idea that capability existed in the 60s - slewing the radar to an IRST!

Mind boggles as to what the modern ones are like based on that - the F-35s going to have some cool toys to play with!
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Unread post27 Feb 2014, 00:52

Gums, The things we did not know back in the day eh. (Refering to those upside down on the other side of the world then.) :D
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Unread post27 Feb 2014, 04:53

Salute!

When I read about all the nifty things the Stubby has and is supposed to do, I makes me think of "back to the future".

We all must realize that the U.S. and NORAD ally we had up north - the RCAF, were defending North America from the "Red horde". Think about it. How many countries would permit another country to fly across them with live nuclear weapons? We did that every day from several bases along our northern border - the B-52 "chrome dome" mission. We interceptors couldn't do it for several reasons.

A lotta U.S. $$$ went into our air defense jets. We had awesome radar systems and performance. We even had secure , jam-resistant datalink with the ground control sites. So we would get steering and altitude commands to get to the threat buffs without using our UHF radio. Our jet and the F-106 could even couple the A/P to get us into position where the back seater could get a lock-on. Our radar had a hydraulically tuned magnetron that resembled the current spread-spectrum doofers. We could tranmit across a few megahertz bandwidth pulse by pulse. "Norm" was about 1,000 hz shifts per pulse and then we had two higher rates, heh heh. So our radar looked like random noise to the bad guys until we locked on. And this was 1966.

And then came that stupid war, and the only good avionics suite until the Raptor was in the A-7D/E Sluf. The Stubby looks more like the Sluf than anything I have seen since then. Imagine our projected map display right under our radar screen, plus a cosmic nav system with both inertial and doppler, plus computed weapon delivery that gave raw nuggets 15 meter accuracy on their first hop. Oh yeah, a fan motor that gave us great legs.

My gut tells me that Subby will do just fine as long as the pilots use their brains as well as all the electronics.

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Unread post27 Feb 2014, 06:02

Now you tell us.... :doh: :D
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Unread post27 Feb 2014, 13:06

Gums, is there a definitive Voodoo book you'd recommend? I've seen a couple on Amazon, but I don't know if they're any good. Thanks.
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Unread post08 Mar 2014, 23:11

To those worried about the A2A strength of the F35, a huge advantage of the F35 in A2A that people forget is sheer numbers.

A10 - 350
F15- 450
F16 - 1240
F22 - 195
F18 - 800

F35- 2400

So in terms of Pure A2A the current make up is 450 F15's and 200 F22's. The F22's will be kept, so in essence you are only losing 450 F15 pure A2A fighters.

The F35 will replace the whole fleet of aircraft with 2400 F35's. In a pure air fight, numbers do matter.

So although some people question the out and out A2A capability of the F35, and thinking that A2A capability is compromised ,the truth is that the compromise ends up being a strength due to the numbers it allows you to build.

At the end of the day pure A2A has never been been the overriding strength of the US airforce. The F15 was a strong fighter but you wouldn't say absolutely dominant during its life.

Of the biggest direct rival of A2A, the T50, Russia only plans to buy 150-200. The F35's A2A dominance on a holistic basis as a military, not just 1 on 1, in my opinion is unquestioned because of its compromises to perform multi roles, because it means that there will be 2400 units available.

The last A2A project only saw 200 units built.
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Unread post09 Mar 2014, 12:03

Thats a good point AV111 and welcome to the club.

In my case, my only concern is that I'm not an American, but my country does have strong ties with the US.

The F-35 looks like the best fighter out there for us.

And maybe someday our airforce will consider buying it. My country isn't very far from China, and they have been very aggresive lately.

I'm almost 100% certain that our air force will not have as many assests as the PLAAF/PLAN combined, so our best bet is to get the absolute best A-A aircraft out there to guard our skies.

I want to make sure that the Lightning can cut it against some advanced 4.5 gen and 5th gen threats
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Unread post09 Mar 2014, 15:41

In truth dogfights in modern warfare are obsolete. There will be no chasing each other around the sky because electronic capability and weapons have changed.

In todays A2A environment it is all about stalking your prey rather than getting into a fist fight.

The most important aspect ultimately is the missiles, software, visibility, awareness, stealth, given the well known phrase that the first person to shoot wins the fight. The whole battle is conducted on a display screen not out the cockpit window.

Even if a plane flew like a brick, if you gave it the most advanced missiles and radars, it will shoot its enemy out of the sky.

At the end of the day fighters today are flying missile launchers, the software and equipment does all the work. The F35 doesn't even need to be behind its target. With a 360 field of view it can target and shoot a plane behind it due to the new capability of the radar and missile system.

Secondly the F35 will be able to hunt in a pack. It doesn't just fly on its own. Information can be fed from one fighter to another in the air. This type of networking changes the face of the battlefield and is what advances the first look, first shot ability.

And its these types of capability that makes it a Gen 5 fighter, not just the commonly thought advancement of stealth.

Maneuverability is no longer the overriding factor in A2A, situation awareness and the weapons are far more important than the airframe and engine power.

The biggest threat to the F35 in the air is not the maneuverability of its competitor but the capability of enemy radar, awareness and missiles. And by the same effect these are the factors that pilots of Sukhoi T50's will fear too.
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Unread post09 Mar 2014, 19:55

av111 wrote:In truth dogfights in modern warfare are obsolete. There will be no chasing each other around the sky because electronic capability and weapons have changed.

In todays A2A environment it is all about stalking your prey rather than getting into a fist fight.
......
And its these types of capability that makes it a Gen 5 fighter, not just the commonly thought advancement of stealth.

Maneuverability is no longer the overriding factor in A2A, situation awareness and the weapons are far more important than the airframe and engine power.

The biggest threat to the F35 in the air is not the maneuverability of its competitor but the capability of enemy radar, awareness and missiles. And by the same effect these are the factors that pilots of Sukhoi T50's will fear too.

I see your new here :D

Many have said "dogfights in modern warfare are obsolete" or similar and proven wrong. Remind me why TOPGUN was created?

In a hypothetical CAS scenario: A pair of A-29 (turboprop) attack aircraft would be capable of shooting down a F-35 if the F-35 gets forced into a merge and runs out of energy and room to maneuver. eg. The F-35 rolls in behind the lead A-29, and the second A-29 sandwiches him in. This tactic worked for A-1 Skyraider (Sandy) CAS/RESCAP planes in Korea against MiGs.

The reason why the F-35 has the edge over other jets like the Sukhoi T50 is that it has EODAS. In the only confirmed case of a 4th gen fighter US fighter getting shot down by a MiG, the F/A-18 flown by Capt. Scott Speicher apparently had a inoperative Radar Warning Receiver. This is a major reduced situation awareness, that resulted in the death of the pilot.

The advanced technology of the F-35 won't make dogfights obsolete, just different. It is highly likely that the F-35 will operate under restrictive Rules of Engagement that disallow BVR engagements and require Visual ID of targets.

If a F-35 encounters a tactical transport or ELINT aircraft as a target, the pilot would have to be 110% sure it isn't an airliner and they can't do that from BVR. A hostile jet fighter could be flying low, using terrain for cover until the F-35 approaches to check VID the tactical transport, and then engage the F-35 in close. The resulting dogfight with a 5th gen F-35 would still occur.
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Unread post09 Mar 2014, 20:11

Salute!

You are correct, Neuro. The ROE is gonna be a problem.

Only scenario I see with a bonafide BVR shot is from the Cee model defending the CV task force. Another possibility is one which tracks the bandits from takeoff and they are heading to a friendly target.

Once there is a merge, one must be careful hosing off a Slammer without making sure the target is a bandit.

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Unread post09 Mar 2014, 20:44

The advanced technology of the F-35 won't make dogfights obsolete, just different. It is highly likely that the F-35 will operate under restrictive Rules of Engagement that disallow BVR engagements and require Visual ID of targets.


I would only modify that statement so that it reads "not very restrictive Rules of Engagement that allow BVR engagements with positive ID of targets".

I don't think it can be emphasized enough that today's BVR is not the same as in days past. In all likelihood, the track that is targeted was acquired early - perhaps as it left its runway, and has been tracked continuously. Its information was passed to all the F-35s in range to do anything about it and presented as a synthetic target even before the onboard systems ever picked it up. When it comes to determining who's 'blue' and who's 'red', we employ a robust multispectral approach to battlefield management: an area where we work very hard to maintain our technological edge. The fog of war will always be there, but it's getting patchier and thinner in real-time application thereof.
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Unread post10 Mar 2014, 00:20

smsgtmac wrote:
The advanced technology of the F-35 won't make dogfights obsolete, just different. It is highly likely that the F-35 will operate under restrictive Rules of Engagement that disallow BVR engagements and require Visual ID of targets.


I would only modify that statement so that it reads "not very restrictive Rules of Engagement that allow BVR engagements with positive ID of targets".

I don't think it can be emphasized enough that today's BVR is not the same as in days past. In all likelihood, the track that is targeted was acquired early - perhaps as it left its runway, and has been tracked continuously. Its information was passed to all the F-35s in range to do anything about it and presented as a synthetic target even before the onboard systems ever picked it up. When it comes to determining who's 'blue' and who's 'red', we employ a robust multispectral approach to battlefield management: an area where we work very hard to maintain our technological edge. The fog of war will always be there, but it's getting patchier and thinner in real-time application thereof.

The political restrictions will dictate the RoE more than the technical capability. Classic example was the F-14 had TCS "video" for target ID at "BVR" range, but wasn't allowed to engage BVR during the Gulf War because the IFF was incompatible. An E-3 could have tracked a target since takeoff, and vectored an F-14 to the target, except the RoE still wouldn't allow a BVR engagement with the F-14s IFF.
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