F-35 vs any 4th gen fighter in WVR

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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zero-one

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Unread post26 Aug 2014, 06:17

lookieloo wrote:
hornetfinn wrote:...For example a fight between F-35 and some generic great dogfighting machine (let's call it Sukhoi Su-35) would be like this...
... but what about the Su-35's magic "eye-of-Sauron" IRST? I thought all dogfights took place in perfectly clear weather. :roll:


Well to be fair, IRST is used for adverse weather conditions, however it can only see in a cone shaped vision infront of the aircraft.

I thought all dogfights begin with a head on neutral merge!!! :roll:
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Unread post26 Aug 2014, 06:22

'zero-one' said:
"...I thought all dogfights begin with a head on neutral merge!!!

Is this in your computer game or real life? In practice practice sometimes this is true but also practice is made with various other myriad ways to enter a dogfight. Probably after a while at high G any pilot prefers the 'no G no dogfight' option - get the bad guy and go home.
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Unread post26 Aug 2014, 06:53

zero-one wrote:
lookieloo wrote:... but what about the Su-35's magic "eye-of-Sauron" IRST? I thought all dogfights took place in perfectly clear weather. :roll:
Well to be fair, IRST is used for adverse weather conditions...
Anyone who's ever used thermal sensors in the real world knows their limitations in adverse weather conditions. They might slightly improve upon the Mk-1 Eyeball in haze/dust/fog/cloud, but they won't touch radar.
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Unread post26 Aug 2014, 07:17

spazsinbad wrote:'zero-one' said:
"...I thought all dogfights begin with a head on neutral merge!!!

Is this in your computer game or real life? In practice practice sometimes this is true but also practice is made with various other myriad ways to enter a dogfight. Probably after a while at high G any pilot prefers the 'no G no dogfight' option - get the bad guy and go home.


Spaz it was Sarcasm, Rolling eyes in the end should of been a dead give away :mrgreen:

And the problem with what Pilots want is that they are not all the same,

Many pilots also love the "pulling Gs" routine on their high performance jets. I've seen Raptor, Typhoon,Viper,Rafale pilots and they all brag about their high G capable jets and how it really gives them a kick in the teeth.

Veteran Mig killers routinely prayed for encounters back in the day

but
I don't feel like we should be defending the F-35 against pulling Gs in the first place, as we all know that it is one of the best in the business when it comes to that.

How rearely it will need to do that is still to be determined, but if the time came where the pilot has to rely on some performance, the F-35 will deliver it in truck loads.
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Unread post26 Aug 2014, 07:32

:shock: Yeah I got that but I could not resist - counter sarcasm. :devil: Got any under the counter counter sarcasm? :doh:
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Unread post27 Aug 2014, 16:58

The idea is not to get into a dogfight, or to polish off the vast majority of the enemies before it gets to that.
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Unread post03 Sep 2014, 13:24

I think rather big difference in F-35 and any other fighter aircraft is the distance that can be described as WVR. In all other current aircraft the WVR combat is done purely with Mk1 eyeball only. This seriously restricts the distance at which other aircraft are detected and also tracked by the pilot. Human can detect a fighter aircraft at quite significant distances (maybe 10-20 km depending on conditions) if the sky is clear and he knows where to look. If he does not know where to look, the detection distances will be rather short (usually only about 2-5 km in clear weather) Of course some aircraft have IRST systems which would help with longer range target detection/tracking, but they are restricted to forward sector of the aircraft only and cover less than 10% of the sphere around the aircraft while searching and only extremely small fraction of the sky when tracking a target. Of course they are also restricted to tracking only one target or targets which are close to each other during WVR combat as searching for targets during WVR would be far too slow process. Similarly human can really only track one target with his eyes unless they are close to each other within FOV of human eye.

F-35 having DAS system which constantly looks at every direction without a pause is likely a huge advantage in WVR combat. F-35 pilot likely won't be surprised as DAS should detect enemy aircraft at very significant distances away. It probably can detect aircraft at similar or longer distances than most pilots can in perfect conditions. Only thing is that it can do it all the time without any information about incoming aircraft. It can likely also track all the objects of interest within the range of the system all the time. Of course working in the IR and especially MWIR band should also give it info about the target well before it can be seen in any detail. A missile would have totally different temperature and intensity to fighter aircraft.

The problem is of course how to present it to pilot so as to not distract him. There are references to 'God's eye of the battlefield' and it might well be that DAS is a large part of that. Especially when sensor fusion combines all the radar, EOTS, AN/ALQ-239 data and similar data from other F-35s in the flight and other data coming from Link 16 network. F-35 pilots will likely know exactly the situation when they enter the fight and also know exactly how the fight is going. Enemy pilots will only have very small fraction of that information and at much lower fidelity level. It's also presented to them in much more fragmented way even in latest 4++ generation fighters due to fewer and less capable sensors, lower sensor fusion capabilities and less capable presentation systems. So they have far less information but are far more likely to have information overload. Sounds paradoxal but it's simply the level at which information is presented and how it's presented. That includes WVR combat where situational awareness gets lost quickly as there is less time to look at displays and control different sensors. In 1-on-1 training exercise that doesn't mean that much, but in real world combat which usually involve quite many aircraft in complex situations where air defense systems might be also part of the game along with all kinds of support systems, the situation is much different.
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Unread post03 Sep 2014, 14:02

Many details have been left out of this now 'old' article. There is another which describes what the pilot sees (in the sim) where the symbology and colours are explained. This article was excerpted recently again to clarify how the pilot can differentiate goodies and baddies without a problem. GO HERE: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... er-215810/
Strike Fighter Partners With Pilot
Oct 2006 Robert K. Ackerman

"...These informational assets include awareness of other nearby aircraft and their identities as well as of which enemy targets are being engaged by friendly fliers. The pilot can tailor the cockpit’s wide-screen visual display to present a number of different situational awareness readouts and sensor views....

...[said] Robert L. Rubino, an F-35 program director in the Washington, D.C., office of Lockheed Martin. The avionics are 100 percent common among the three....

...This helmet system [HMDS] is at the heart of the aircraft’s control and situational awareness system. With the F-35’s helmet-mounted display, the traditional head-up display is eliminated completely. The pilot has a multisensor view of the surroundings that is not inhibited by weather, darkness or even the body of the aircraft itself.

The F-35 is designed with open-architecture mission systems that feature information fusion. It has no stovepipes, Rubino declares. All of the aircraft’s information is fused through one integrated core processor that can combine data from radar, infrared and electro-optic sensors. This processor can perform more than 1 trillion computations per second, and the pilot can tailor the fused information from the aircraft’s integrated sensor suite to whatever form best suits a situation.

And, this fused situational awareness picture is not limited to input from onboard systems. Pilots can include information from Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) and Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JointSTARS) aircraft, among many air- and land-based platforms.

The flip side is that the F-35 also can serve as an intelligence collection platform. Its Link-16 datalink system allows it to downlink vital intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) information to other platforms and headquarters, including space-based assets....

...The F-35 has its own unique datalink system—the multi-array downlink, or MADL. It is a low-probability-of-intercept/low-probability-of-detection point-to-point datalink. It permits rapid exchange of diverse information with other F-35s at fairly long ranges, Rubino allows, and this provides greater flexibility for conducting operations.

For example, one F-35 could be flying with all of its active sensors in full roar collecting information and building a complete picture for another F-35 operating in a silent stealth mode. The MADL would allow the active F-35 to transfer the fused information to its silent partner some distance away....

...EOTS can detect laser spots on ground targets, and it can perform its own laser designation and ranging using a diode-pumped eyesafe laser. For air-to-air targeting, it employs forward-looking infrared. It also has its own integrated infrared search and track capability for long-range airborne objects....

...But the aircraft’s key sensor system may be the distributed aperture system, or DAS, which is built by Northrop Grumman. The skin of the aircraft is ringed with six infrared DAS sensors at the tip of each axis. They generate a full 360-degree spherical view from the pilot’s perspective. Unlike the pilot’s own eyesight, however, the infrared system can see through clouds and into the night, so the pilot has an unobstructed view of his or her surroundings. It also can track a wingman automatically and display its position.

Rubino explains that DAS was designed primarily as a missile-launch detector. It can pick up the plume of a surface-to-air or surface-to-surface missile. The system places an identification icon on the missile so that the pilot can find it. But DAS has other capabilities. It can track every aircraft within 10 miles of the F-35. And, DAS data can be displayed on the pilot’s helmet-mounted display system. Its coverage is seamless, so as the pilot turns his or her head, DAS follows that motion and provides a smooth panoramic view of the surroundings. The pilot sees no seam during handoff from one sensor to another...

...With all of these sensor systems networked seamlessly, the pilot does not even have to turn his or her head to know where an enemy aircraft is. When an adversary in a head-on engagement flies past the pilot to behind the F-35, the sensor suite continues to track the enemy on the pilot’s display. There is no blind spot. The F-35 pilot knows the location of every aircraft in the vicinity....

...Pilots testing F-35 simulators generally have preferred to have the aircraft’s tactical situation display (TSD) presented on one screen, Rubino relates. He describes this display as “the God’s eye view” of the aircraft’s situational awareness system. Pilots can program any of the three TSDs to fuse all information or break it down into different elements....

...The flight leader can opt for another F-35 to take on this designated target. This leader assigns the target to the wingman, who receives an audio message in his or her helmet along with a visual assignment cue in the helmet-mounted display. The display can show a small air-to-air shootlist that indicates which friendly aircraft are targeting which hostile counterparts. The same assignment capability can be used for air-to-ground targeting.

An aircraft identified as a hostile target is displayed with a small line extending toward the F-35’s icon. This line represents the range of the enemy aircraft’s air-to-air weaponry. As long as the F-35 pilot stays outside the reach of that line, the hostile aircraft cannot shoot it down—and some of the F-35’s air-to-air weapons have longer ranges and can take out the enemy aircraft at that safe distance.

Not all of the F-35’s cues are visual. A three-dimensional audio system gives the pilot a sense of direction when hearing an alarm. For example, when a radar warning receiver goes off, the pilot will hear that sound from the direction of the threat...."

Source: http://www.afcea.org/content/?q=node/1204
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Unread post03 Sep 2014, 14:23

FLIGHT TEST: F-35 Simulator - Virtual fighter
31 Jul 2007 Mike Gerzanics

"...The pilot interacts with the portals either by touching the screen or using the HOTAS switches....

...The F-35 cockpit is notable for its lack of switches, but this is more than made up by the large number on the throttle and stick. There are 14 switches and buttons on the throttle, some of them having five positions. Another 12 are located on the sidestick. At first the sheer number of switches and their placement was bewildering, but after an hour in the PVI [Pilot Vehickle Interface?] simulator I was comfortable using them. Their general layout is similar to other fighters', there were just a lot more of them....

...my left hand fell to the large throttle, called the "cow pie" due to its size and shape, which moves along a long linear track. The active throttle is back-driven by the autothrottle system and has variable electronic detents for afterburner and STOVL operations....

...The heart of the F-35's cockpit is the large forward display. A 25mm band at the top of the display is dedicated to function access buttons. In the upper left is the "thrustometer", which shows percent of engine thrust in use: 100% is maximum dry and 150%is maximum afterburner....

Integrated avionics
The F-35's avionics are highly integrated, and for weapons targeting and employment the system must have a point of interest. A cursor designates the system's point of interest and is controlled by the slew switch/cursor control on the throttle. The cursor navigates within the active portal, indicated by a yellow corner hash mark. The portal of interest (PoI) can be the HMD, DAS, radar, EOTS or tactical situation display (TSD). Changing PoIs is primarily accomplished using the data management switch on the sidestick. The cursor's shape changes as function of the PoI and target type (airborne or surface).

The large display area is a palette on which a detailed picture of the tactical situation can be presented. Fused data from the active and passive sensors, as well as datalink information, is used to present the tactical situation in real time. Typically a pilot will use half the display (10 x 7in) for the TSD. The display scale can be tailored to the situation, with ranges from 18.5km (10nm) to 1,185km available. Own ship position, as well as that of other formation members, is in blue. Ground and airborne points/targets are colour-coded: green friendly, yellow undetermined and red hostile.

Target depictions are graphically coded to indicate where the information came from. For airborne targets, shown as a lollypop, the circle is either hollow, half filled or full. Hollow indicates on-board data alone filled indicates only off-board sensors half filled means both on- and off-board sensors are seeing the target. The stick of the lollypop is at first a velocity vector. When the sensors get a lock, the stick increases in length, approaching but not touching the targeted aircraft. The stick extends to touch the targeted aircraft when the fused sensors determine the F-35 has a launch solution on its target. Geographic boxes/lines can be displayed to show areas such as missile engagement and no-fly zones.

Shoot list
To give me a better feel for the F-35's capabilities, Skaff set up two scenarios, one air-to-air and the other air-to-surface. For the air-to-air engagement, my four-ship formation of F-35s targeted four Red aircraft. Using the cursor I locked on to all four aircraft to develop a shoot list. When locked to a target, an expanded data block is presented on the TSD. This identifies the aircraft type, as determined by the numerous sensors, with system confidence level for the determination. Also presented are target range, closure velocity, aspect angle and which sensors are seeing the target.

The targets now all had upright red triangles over them, with numbers corresponding to their priority in the shoot list. On the lower left-hand corner of the TSD was a relative height scale, which showed the altitude of my aircraft and the four targets on a vertical bar. The red lollypop symbols advanced towards my formation, our presence undetected...."

Source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... er-215810/
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Unread post03 Sep 2014, 23:58

Every aircraft within 10 miles?
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

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Unread post04 Sep 2014, 00:22

I see where the F-35 can launch AMRAAM's at mach 1.2. Looking better and better... :)
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Unread post04 Sep 2014, 00:27

That is what is written [about range 10 miles]. I spent my ACM time with only visual contact possible; and, IF I was lucky, being directed by ship radar to the target during daylight. My eyesight was excellent and yet seeing another A4G (a very small target) was only possible at a similar distance, when the sun might GLINT off the canopy glass, or what became the high gloss paint finish eventually. So there you have it. The F-35 pilot is able to see everyone within visual range, that is realistic, while the computer keeps track of bogies and goodies as described. What an advantage. It is unbelievable really but there it is.

The F-35s, within 20 miles perhaps, are able to communicate via MADL to share the same common operational picture COP with perhaps someone NOT BUSY being the ringmaster, to co-ordinate the other F-35s against however many bogies, designating targets as described; whilst every F-35 pilot knows what is what. Cool huh.

Keep in mind that jet aircraft have not only high closing speed, by high opening speeds, depending on the situation. Things become confused quickly as aircraft may head off rightly or wrongly away and towards or sideways, from one another. Having this situational awareness must be just amazing for all the F-35 pilots in the melee. OR only one - the singleton - if that is all there is at the time.
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Unread post04 Sep 2014, 08:37

Excellent articles spazsinbad! It seems like some of the best articles about F-35 have been written almost 10 years ago...

It also seem to be in line with my estimates about how far DAS can see other aircraft and how useful it really is. There have been studies made about how far away a pilot can see another aircraft and they seem to be in line with your own experiences. Without any previous knowledge about another aircraft, the distances are usually only some kilometers (like 3-5). With accurate (distance, height, speed, direction) knowledge about where the another aircraft is flying, a human can detect aircraft at much longer distances. Of course that requires perfect weather conditions.

I think it will be maddening to fight against F-35 in 4th gen fighters and I think it would not be much of a contest. I think even F-22 pilots will find them extremely difficult to deal with in any A/A fight. When the enemy can see you, your comrades and also his own comrades all the time while exchanging all that information within his flight knowing well what everybody is doing, it must be really difficult to beat them. A fight between F-22 and F-35 would be difficult for both due to both having advanced stealth and both aircraft having serious advantages. F-22 having higher speed, acceleration and maneuverability (probably not much in subsonic) and F-35 having better and more sensors, more advanced sensor fusion and much better SA and information presentation systems for the pilot. For example Eurofighter Typhoon would likely have some performance advantages in light A/A configurations(acceleration, speed), but similar disadvantages as F-22 and not much stealth features. Of course Typhoon would have HMS and ASRAAM, which would give it advantages compared to F-22 but not so much compared to F-35. Of course F-35 stealth features would take slight hit if AIM-9X or ASRAAM is used in it, but IMO the RCS would still be very good as both missile have very small RCS themselves.
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Unread post04 Sep 2014, 10:28

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Stealth Fighter Cockpit Demonstrator Hands-On Engadget 2012
OR here:
http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/11/lock ... -hands-on/ (only photos there now)

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Unread post04 Sep 2014, 11:23

spazsinbad wrote:Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Stealth Fighter Cockpit Demonstrator Hands-On Engadget 2012
OR here:
http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/11/lock ... -hands-on/ (only photos there now)



That is a pretty good clip. Much better than todays Australian abc 7.30 report about the f.35! Goon was in fine form! :bang:
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