Exercise Northern Lightning Overview [F-35As + others]

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element1loop

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Unread post30 Nov 2020, 04:22

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
mixelflick wrote:More than 30 red air adversaries, including F-22's and...... F-35's (perhaps even the entire Blue team) took no losses? That's about as impressive as it gets. Must have some real whiz bang tech to essentially disable a Raptor (and friends).

If I'm a Russian/Chinese fighter pilot, my day just got a lot worse after hearing that...

Or not. They have the internet so they know the APG-81 jammed the APG-77. They may think they can do it too. They know the F-35 has multi spectral sensor fusion. They may think theirs is up to the task. This may make them think that the F-22 is no longer anything that needs to be feared.


Interesting it says they needed to negate the initial [longer-range higher-alt] shot(s) from F-22A, to become effective against it. Implying that if the F-22A SA is good against it the pilots could just opt to stay at a higher radius and plink away I suppose, then get out of dodge. But if F-35A detected them, or just the the missile, probably got a YATO warning, allowing good kinematic bleed, then use MDF to lower RCS and simultaneously use location of missile ignition to cue automatic EOTS IRST scan for a passive track, with the lower RCS signature management, then a combined flank to close radius and go for a passive kill. F-22A have the MAWS imaging but no real DAS for a coasting missile or dry-engine flanking at lower altitude, so this might work with a passive-guided coasting AMRAAM, with EOTS laser tracking, and datalink update.

Whatever the combo, when the alerted F-35A got closer the F-22A did not prosper. If the F-35A is transonic and passive, no burner, while the F-22A is supersonic, radiating and thermal, F-35A will have the advantage if it can get close enough.

But it also suggests the F-22A may have seen the F-35As first, or at least could fire first, with more speed and altitude. So ... just how close were they when the F-22A launched?

An F135 update might help to even them up some, as to who can detect and fire first.

What you'd do to improve the F-22A's SA and tactical response is not as clear. But maintaining radius plus YATO would be a good start, plus a long-range VLO passive BVR missile. It maybe that the pilots were not expecting the F-35A to be so effective at trashing shots, and managing sig to coordinate passive flanking, then close, and trash some more once the F-22A flew into the trap. Better tactics for the F-22A is probably most of the answer, their advantages being RCS and performance. Maybe they should hide and flank first, rather than go for the early kinematic advantage, which apparently isn't too effective.

Presumably it was over well before they got to ACM range.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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jessmo112

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Unread post30 Nov 2020, 07:39

sersi wrote:Perhaps by 2020 the internet fanboys will be touting how great the F-35 is and panning the B-21. :mrgreen:



LoL not likely
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michaelemouse

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Unread post30 Nov 2020, 23:01

spazsinbad's article makes me wonder: What happens when a stealth aircraft fights another stealth aircraft? What does that look like? How does it differ from 4th gen vs 4th gen? Do they just not see each other a lot?
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Unread post01 Dec 2020, 12:42

michaelemouse wrote:spazsinbad's article makes me wonder: What happens when a stealth aircraft fights another stealth aircraft? What does that look like? How does it differ from 4th gen vs 4th gen? Do they just not see each other a lot?


That's a good question. I think it differs a lot from 4th gen vs. 4th gen.

1. Early detection and tracking goes out of the window. This means surveillance radars (AEW, ground/sea based radars) won't be able to detect and track 5th gen fighters anywhere near the distances they can 4th gen fighters. IMO, this means fighters have to hunt the enemy by themselves with only .

2. Similarly the radar detection/tracking ranges will be a lot shorter in 5th gen vs 5th gen as opposed to 4th gen vs 4th gen. So the OODA loops will be shrunk and fighting will be very fast paced. A lot of time is spent just trying to find the enemy.

3. Real world hit/kill probabilities will be lower than between 4th gen fighters, especially with radar guided weapons. This is because tracking will be more difficult due to combination and synergistic effects of VLO stealth, advanced SA, signature management systems and advanced EW systems.

4. Sensos, sensor fusion performance, qualities, automation and networking will be even more important than with 4th gen fighters due to above reasons. Since OODA loop is shrunk, systems performance (both within aircraft and between several aircraft) will be extremely important to success.
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Unread post01 Dec 2020, 13:15

5. You have to assume first look first shot makes the minimization of time in transition from 'detection to execution' absolutely critical.

6. Being able to slip out of sight once seen is a high priority to survival.
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steve2267

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Unread post01 Dec 2020, 19:30

Me thinks the Panther will have the advantage. Better overall SA, more compute power, better network. Fighting Panthers must be like fighting a net being thrown over you.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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element1loop

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Unread post02 Dec 2020, 10:24

hornetfinn wrote:2. Similarly the radar detection/tracking ranges will be a lot shorter in 5th gen vs 5th gen as opposed to 4th gen vs 4th gen. So the OODA loops will be shrunk and fighting will be very fast paced. A lot of time is spent just trying to find the enemy.


Yes, just to add that only one of many has to detect and track a F-22A passively, for the entire combat complex to know where it is, and cue sensors, or fire at it. It can be Loyal-Wingman with IRST which takes the initial peak to obtain the vector and PID, then withdraw to tail and target it, if it can keep up. The advantage of the drone is you can max its engine and air frame to the point of failure to get it done, and no one is at risk if the engine gives up, or it runs out of fuel.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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element1loop

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Unread post02 Dec 2020, 10:35

madrat wrote:5. You have to assume first look first shot makes the minimization of time in transition from 'detection to execution' absolutely critical.

6. Being able to slip out of sight once seen is a high priority to survival.


All the more reason to field the most capable reliable engine variant, and build-in a performance margin to exploit at those times when performance is more important than longevity. The better the engines (especially in non-AB thrust to weight) the more likely you are to NET win combat interaction with opposing 5th-gens.

Personally, I think that if the other guy has not counter-detected, don't fire yet, flank for multi-axis (use the MDF against its sensor FOV and ranges as it's one of the greatest advantages F-35 will ever have) so kinematic trashing and their RCS management to defeat the 1st missile they detect will have less chance of working when multiple missiles come at them from multiple directions. Magazine depth will matter, so smaller, faster shorter-range passive BVR missiles may be a part of leaving the opponent no direction they can turn to deal with such a highly-coordinated flank then "shoot-first", and often tactic.

Plus a passive magnified EO lock is going to be pretty hard to trash, if the missile is NEZ, and the datalink to the missile can't be jammed. The missile will just fly to the target as the lock can't be broken by ECM, CM or decoy. So the first EO sensor look/lock matters in conjunction with the engine performance which keeps you out of their EO counter-detection and tracking radius.

EO performance against WX, to exploit it, would become very important too.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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Unread post02 Dec 2020, 14:36

It's important to note that these lessons learned, will not only help improve F-35 lethality, but F-22 lethality as well.
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Unread post02 Dec 2020, 20:02

spazsinbad wrote:
...Fourth against fifth
Commander Peel explained the nuances of flying with and against the F-22: “We were able to use our sensors to negate them as a threat. There are definitely some distinct advantages of the F-22 even against the F-16, which is considered a dogfighting machine. But it comes down to the pilot a lot of the times. If you can negate some initial shots and/or get an F-22 outside of their power and energy advantage, the F-35 does quite well.”

He continued: “I’ve seen F-35s going out and beating F-16s and F-22s and also losing to both of those platforms. A lot of that comes with the pilot – the machine obviously helps, but if the pilot doesn’t know how to fly that machine it doesn’t do much good. There are definitely some distinct advantages in the sensors and capabilities of the F-35 that the F-22 doesn’t have, so taking advantage of that in the BFM fights is crucial.

WoW!! :shock: Amazing!! :drool:
In the previous reputation, the F-35 was said by many people to be unable to beat the F-22 in Air-to-Air, But ...
The F-35 proved to be able to beat the F-22 in a Dogfight! :applause: (Well, ​It's up to the pilot but...)

​Advantages of the F-35's Multiple Types Sensors... EOTS or DAS displayed in Cockpit, DAS displayed on HMD, etc...Other than Radar Many Combinations...!!
spazsinbad wrote:
One of the more interesting scenarios included the Langley F-22s acting as ‘red air’ and simulating a near-peer adversary using fifth generation stealth aircraft. Impressively during this particular scenario, the F-35s flying with the other ‘blue’ players didn’t take any losses, despite more than 30 adversaries.

Even more amazing!! :shock:
Among the more than 30 adversaries included the F-22, but the F-35 wasn't killed!!!! :doh: WoW!!!
Tremendous Survivability...!!!! 8)
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Unread post04 Dec 2020, 20:32

Full disclaimer, I am an F-22 fan so my views are more biased.

We always ask about the ROEs, initial set ups, and possible handicaps. I have not yet seen anyone ask that here concerning the most recent article. It is good that they are really starting to stretch the F-35's capabilities yet I am sure most of us can agree that the F-22 is edges our the F-35 in air to air.

What were the F-22's role when on the red team? Did the F-22 have any handicaps placed on it? I find it odd that throughout its current career the F-22 eats up 4th and 4.5gen aircraft like a dog eats up steak. Now because against F-35s in the mix the F-22 couldnt shoot down a single aircraft?

The F-22's combined kinematic, stealth, and sensor capabilities gives it advantages that no current (western) aircraft has. To say that the F-22's kinematic effects were rendered useless just because the F-35 was present seems like a stretch to me. Former F-22 pilot on The Fighter Pilot Podcast said that supercruise isnt just something on a brochure but is used tactically all the time. F-22s dashing in and out at 50k feet at 1.5 mach can make things very difficult for a defensive or offensive force.

We've heard before that F-22 and F-35 can operate at a near autonomous level. Even if the F-35 can provide levels of EW capabilities, we've heard before that F-22s have been able to get the job done in complex threat scenarios up to including high EW environment. As good as the F-35s EW suite is, it is not a dedicated EW jamming asset. From what I've heard and read is that the F-35s EW suite is mainly for itself and its flight rather than an entire strike package. Despite its age, the F-22's own passive electronic detection capabilities is nothing to scoff at. We've seen this over in Syria with F-22s acting as forward ISR assisting in deconfliction and control for other US and coalition aircraft. Just because there were F-35s with the blue force, F-22s couldnt sniff something out and go after it? Even a blind squirrel gets lucky and finds a nut.

I just find it difficult to believe that against the F-35 the F-22 wasnt able to do its job.
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Unread post04 Dec 2020, 22:03

charlielima223 wrote:The F-22's combined kinematic, stealth, and sensor capabilities gives it advantages that no current (western) aircraft has.


A few thoughts in response.

Maybe the F-35 is just that good. After all, a number of pilots have stated they would rather go to war in the F-35. They didn't name the F-22.

You may be stuck in pre-5th gen thinking. Before the F-22 arrived, superior kinematics + superior sensors + superior weapons would typically win the day. Lather on stelf and you have an unbeatable combination... until a stelfier fighter with superior sensors + next-gen sensor fusion arrives. Kinematics may not be all that it has been held up to be, in this new 5th gen reality. Dashing in at 1.5 Mach may just hasten your demise if someone has figured out you are coming. And it's not one F-22 vs one F-35. It's one or two F-22's vs four F-35's, or twenty-four F-35's. You try to attack one node, it retreats and sucks you in, and then the net collapses on you from all sides. So the F-35 may be far far better in this new domain. It has the newer computers, more computer horsepower, newer software yada yada yada. In short, it's a new air-to-air world out there, much of it probably highly classified.

Regarding stelf, we have seen comments slip out from generals here and there that prompted much discussion about whether the F-35 might in fact be stelfier than the F-22. I could see how 20 years extra development resulted in some areas where the F-35 may in fact be less observable than the F-22.

Regarding sensors, the APG-77 is larger than the APG-81. But the -81 is newer, and probably has been able to take better advantage of recent electronic & radar advances than the older F-22.

One vee one, the Raptor may eat the Panther for lunch. (The numbers do suggest that.) But four vee four? Or sixteen vee twenty-four, it may yet be a different game. If true, that should open some eyes, or at least raise eyebrows.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post05 Dec 2020, 00:14

charlielima223 wrote:
The Fighter Pilot Podcast said that supercruise isnt just something on a brochure but is used tactically all the time. F-22s dashing in and out at 50k feet at 1.5 mach can make things very difficult for a defensive or offensive force.


Could just be a liability against a fleet of EODAS/EOTS equipped networked fighters.
F-35s preemptively deploy* their towed decoys to lure AMRAAM shots and then use
their thermal passive ranging to provide uplinks to their return shots.


* there's a suggestion in the recent USMC brevity codes than the ALE-70 is retractable
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Unread post05 Dec 2020, 01:50

:devil: 'LATHER on STELF' - me likee. :devil:
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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Unread post05 Dec 2020, 02:23

marauder2048 wrote:
charlielima223 wrote:
The Fighter Pilot Podcast said that supercruise isnt just something on a brochure but is used tactically all the time. F-22s dashing in and out at 50k feet at 1.5 mach can make things very difficult for a defensive or offensive force.


Could just be a liability against a fleet of EODAS/EOTS equipped networked fighters.
F-35s preemptively deploy* their towed decoys to lure AMRAAM shots and then use
their thermal passive ranging to provide uplinks to their return shots.


* there's a suggestion in the recent USMC brevity codes than the ALE-70 is retractable


I sometimes wonder how useful supercruise will be in future air to air engagements, in that being high and fast still guzzles fuel & makes you easier to spot with IR sensors. When faced with the compressed engagement distances dictated by VLO opponents, you also risk impaling yourself on the WEZ of bandits sitting at M0.9, mid alt with thicker, moister air attenuating their IR emissions.

Not saying it's useless, but I suspect it may need to be used more judiciously than has been the case for Raptors beating up on 4th gens up to this point.
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