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

Unread postPosted: 25 Aug 2016, 09:11
by spazsinbad
Exercise Northern Lightning Overview
24 Aug 2016 Video by Staff Sgt. Tarelle Walker 33rd Fighter Wing/Public Affairs

"CAMP DOUGLAS, WI, UNITED STATES
VIDEO Description: Members of the 58th Fighter Squadron and F-35A's from Eglin AFB, Florida traveled to Volk Field, Air National Guard Base in Wisconsin to participate in exercise Northern Lightning, the DoD's largest F-35 deployment.

Source: https://www.dvidshub.net/video/480588/e ... g-overview

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

Unread postPosted: 25 Aug 2016, 11:10
by Dragon029
Lots more footage at the sister article / video:

https://www.dvidshub.net/video/480459/n ... ning-day-1

Also, a PDF poster / flyer for Northern Lightning 2016:

http://www.wial.com/documents/2016/07/n ... htning.pdf

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

Unread postPosted: 25 Aug 2016, 11:54
by spazsinbad
From the 'pdf poster' - thanks 'Dragon029'...
NORTHERN LIGHTNING EXERCISE
22 Aug – 2 Sept 2016 CRTC Volk Field, ANGB WI

VISION
Deliver a premier Air National Guard joint training environment replicating today’s battle space with current and future weapons platforms.

OBJECTIVE
Provide a tactical level, joint training exercise emphasizing user defined objectives resulting in tailored, scenario based, full spectrum, high end training.

FOCUS
Northern Lightning focuses on Opposed Air Interdiction against a highly integrated air defense system composed of relevant surface-to-air and air-to-air threats in a contested/degraded operational (CDO) environment. Emphasis is placed on joint integration of 4th and 5th generation assets from the Air National Guard, Air Force and Navy. Forces will be tasked to execute multiple missions including Offensive Counter Air (OCA), Suppression/Destruction of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD/DEAD), and Close Air Support (CAS) involving actual employment of laser and GPS guided munitions from B-1, F-16, F-18, and F-35 aircraft.

TRAINING ENVIRONMENT
Volk Field CRTC, in conjunction with the 128th Air Control Squadron (ACS), 128th Air Refueling Wing (ARW), 115th Fighter Wing, Fort McCoy, and Hardwood Range provides realistic and challenging training scenarios unparalleled in the Air National Guard. Volk Field’s CRTC encompasses an Electronic Warfare range comprised of integrated stationary and mobile threat emitters capable of replicating enemy air defense systems. Hardwood range offers a full spectrum of target sets that support live, laser, GPS-guided munitions, moving strafe, and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) targets.

The training environment offers exceptional training for Joint Tactical Air Controllers (JTAC) and pilots in rural, urban, uncontested and high threat environments including integration of Joint Fires Observers (JFO) from Fort McCoy. An organic Air Control Squadron provides Command and Control for airspace users facilitating air combat training. The airspace and ranges surrounding Volk Field CRTC are fully instrumented, providing real-time scenario based training utilizing live-virtual construct (LVC), and enhanced debrief capabilities."

Source: http://www.wial.com/documents/2016/07/n ... htning.pdf (7.3Mb)

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

Unread postPosted: 30 Aug 2016, 16:25
by Dragon029
https://www.dvidshub.net/news/208489/vi ... y-aircraft

Vicious cycle: F-35A continues 5th-gen tradition of bullying legacy aircraft

VOLK FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, WI, UNITED STATES
08.30.2016

Story by Senior Airman Stormy Archer
33rd Fighter Wing/Public Affairs

Imagine yourself in the seat of a fighter jet, tearing through the air at the speed of sound, your own weight pressing against your chest as you fight to breathe against the increased force of gravity.
Sweat beads down your forehead as you scan you sensors and outside your canopy for any threats in the area. Next thing you know, you are tagged out by an enemy that is invisible to your sensors, and too far for your eyes to see.
You circle your jet around to regenerate, or “respawn”, into the battle space; only to make it back in time to be shot down by the same unseen adversary again… and again… and again.
A similar situation played out for Lt. Col. Brad Bashore, 58th Fighter Squadron commander, years ago when he flew against the F-22 Raptor as an F-15E Strike Eagle pilot.
Now as an F-35A pilot at this year’s exercise Northern Lightning, it’s his turn to deliver fire from the clouds.
“It’s not a fair fight, and that’s exactly what we want for our adversaries,” Bashore said. “To be on the offensive side this time and getting a chance to employ (those capabilities), I couldn’t ask for anything better. It’s like fighting somebody with their hands tied behind their back. It’s not a fair fight and that’s how we like it.”
Bashore and his wingmen at the 58th FS have been employing the capabilities of the F-35A, scoring as many as 27 kills in a single sortie, at Northern Lightning, a large force exercise where fifth and fourth generation aircraft engage in a contested, degraded environment.
“I remember the first time I flew against (fifth-generation aircraft),” Bashore said. “It’s a change in mind set because you can’t target anything on your radar because it’s not there, and by the time you do potentially find something it’s too late and they have already shot you.
“It’s frustrating, but at the same time understanding that it’s our asset is invigorating and gives you a lot of hope for the future as far as how successful this platform is going to be.”
While sharing many similarities with the F-22, the F-35A’s main advantage is its robust suite of sensors that give it the ability to process and share information with other players in the battle space. These capabilities make the F-35A more lethal and survivable than any legacy aircraft, and eliminate any safe space for the enemy to hide.
“We took off out of Madison (to join the fight),” said Lt. Col. Bart Van Roo, 176th FS commander. “We went to our simulated air field out in the far part of the air space. As the two ship from the Northern half of the air space we turned hot, drove for about 30 seconds and we were dead, just like that. We never even saw (the F-35A).”
Van Roo has been flying the F-16 since 2001 and as red air during Northern Lightning for 13 years. Red air is a formation of aircraft acting as the enemy for air-to-air tactics training.
“For us, as a capable fourth-generation fighter, we are used to being able to see and counter most adversaries that we have out there when we are playing red air,” Van Roo said. “Versus the F-35 it’s completely different. The most difficult thing is we just can’t see them like they can see us. It can feel like you are out there with a blindfold on trying to find someone in a huge space.
“We have been reliant on visual pickups of the aircraft only, which is extremely difficult to do, and at those ranges we are already dead before we could shoot back.”
Fortunately the red air pilots at this year’s Northern Lightning can take solace that the F-35A is on their side for future combat deployments, and will help ensure their ability to fly, fight and win against possible near peer adversaries.
“The significant increase in situational awareness that it gives us on the battle field, the information sharing between jets, radar capability and of course the capability that we will have with our opponents not being able to see us will be a game changer,” Van Roo said.

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

Unread postPosted: 30 Aug 2016, 17:37
by sferrin
LIES!!!! ALL OF IT. -Solomon

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

Unread postPosted: 30 Aug 2016, 18:32
by XanderCrews
sferrin wrote:LIES!!!! ALL OF IT. -Solomon



"They set this up to silence me, and I am not buying it." - Solomon

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

Unread postPosted: 30 Aug 2016, 18:32
by bojack_horseman
I'm sorry Dragon & Spazinbad..... you must be wrong!

Gilmore over at the DOT&E said that these planes can't do anything without a 4th Gen chaperoning it.

Unless, of course Gimore is talking out of his hoop! :mrgreen:

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

Unread postPosted: 30 Aug 2016, 21:05
by bayernfan
27 kills in a single sortie.....

Assuming 4 planes per unit, each carrying 4 AIM-120 internally, that is only 16 missiles. Even with wingtip AIM-9x, still only 24 missiles.

Indicating a bunch of gun kills?

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

Unread postPosted: 30 Aug 2016, 21:35
by SpudmanWP
Most likely just a Blue reset but since NL is the "largest F-35 deployment to date", there may have been 8xF-35s.

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

Unread postPosted: 30 Aug 2016, 21:39
by neptune
...to narrow the focus abit....

I see many comments about the various accomplishments for the F-35A and am now focusing on the working relationships of the F-35A Lightning II, F/A-18 Super Hornet and EA-18 Growler.

Is this highlighted in any of the reports, were there any tactics employed between the (F-35) and the SBugs?

I realize one of the AF generals has commented that "he" did not want any SBugs around his F-35As; that said, were there joint comm/ data activities with the SBugs at NL?

...perhaps an indicator of future F-35C and SBug developments.... :roll:

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

Unread postPosted: 30 Aug 2016, 22:16
by spazsinbad
neptune wrote:...to narrow the focus abit....

I see many comments about the various accomplishments for the F-35A and am now focusing on the working relationships of the F-35A Lightning II, F/A-18 Super Hornet and EA-18 Growler.

Is this highlighted in any of the reports, were there any tactics employed between the (F-35) and the SBugs?

I realize one of the AF generals has commented that "he" did not want any SBugs around his F-35As; that said, were there joint comm/ data activities with the SBugs at NL?

...perhaps an indicator of future F-35C and SBug developments.... :roll:

I think the USAF General (HOSTAGE?) said he did not want GROWLERS around USAF F-35As:

http://breakingdefense.com/2014/06/gen- ... ar-starts/
Gen. Mike Hostage On The F-35; No Growlers Needed When War Starts
06 Jun 2016 Colin Clark

"...Gen. Hostage was crystal clear in his assessment.

Stealth Is Not Invisibility
“But in the first moments of a conflict I’m not sending Growlers or F-16s or F-15Es anywhere close to that environment, so now I’m going to have to put my fifth gen in there and that’s where that radar cross-section and the exchange of the kill chain is so critical. You’re not going to get a Growler close up to help in the first hours and days of the conflict, so I’m going to be relying on that stealth to open the door,” Hostage says...."

Source: http://breakingdefense.com/2014/06/gen- ... -starts/3/

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

Unread postPosted: 30 Aug 2016, 22:54
by popcorn
“We took off out of Madison (to join the fight),” said Lt. Col. Bart Van Roo, 176th FS commander. “We went to our simulated air field out in the far part of the air space. As the two ship from the Northern half of the air space we turned hot, drove for about 30 seconds and we were dead, just like that. We never even saw (the F-35A).”

Absent SA, flyng faster only means you die faster.

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

Unread postPosted: 30 Aug 2016, 23:25
by sferrin
Remember how pissed you'd get at the guy camping with the .50 BMG in Counterstrike? This must feel like that. :lol:

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

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2016, 00:55
by popcorn
It's getting tougher to justify a Raptor re-start if the F-35 starts racking up massive "kill" tallies in LFEs.

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

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2016, 03:44
by sferrin
popcorn wrote:It's getting tougher to justify a Raptor re-start if the F-35 starts racking up massive "kill" tallies in LFEs.


Probably isn't F-22 kills it's getting. :wink:

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

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2016, 09:29
by botsing
sferrin wrote:
popcorn wrote:It's getting tougher to justify a Raptor re-start if the F-35 starts racking up massive "kill" tallies in LFEs.


Probably isn't F-22 kills it's getting. :wink:

Probably not many, but it seemingly kills previous gens just as easy as the raptor.

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

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2016, 09:38
by vanshilar
popcorn wrote:“We took off out of Madison (to join the fight),” said Lt. Col. Bart Van Roo, 176th FS commander. “We went to our simulated air field out in the far part of the air space. As the two ship from the Northern half of the air space we turned hot, drove for about 30 seconds and we were dead, just like that. We never even saw (the F-35A).”


This seems like a very easy article for David Axe to write: "F-35 cheating in air exercises by respawn camping."

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

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2016, 11:11
by popcorn
botsing wrote:
sferrin wrote:
popcorn wrote:It's getting tougher to justify a Raptor re-start if the F-35 starts racking up massive "kill" tallies in LFEs.


Probably isn't F-22 kills it's getting. :wink:

Probably not many, but it seemingly kills previous gens just as easy as the raptor.

Just getting started. ain't seen nothing yet...

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

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2016, 13:31
by sferrin
vanshilar wrote:
popcorn wrote:“We took off out of Madison (to join the fight),” said Lt. Col. Bart Van Roo, 176th FS commander. “We went to our simulated air field out in the far part of the air space. As the two ship from the Northern half of the air space we turned hot, drove for about 30 seconds and we were dead, just like that. We never even saw (the F-35A).”


This seems like a very easy article for David Axe to write: "F-35 cheating in air exercises by respawn camping."



Probably writing it up as we speak.

(Not Axe but close enough:)

"EDITOR’S NOTE: The US Air Force’s claims of the F-35’s supernatural powers are becoming less credible with each new instance.
Scoring “27 kills in a single sortie” is impossible because the F-35 cannot carry more than four AIM-120 Amraam missiles internally, while adding two AIM-9X on wing pylons destroys its “stealth,” and makes it clearly visible to enemy radar.
Contrary to what is claimed above, the F-35’s sensors do not yet have “the ability to process and share information with other players in the battle space” because of technical faults.
But, even if they did, the F-35 could not transmit sensor data to previous-generation aircraft because its Multifunction Advanced Data Link is not fully operational, and in any case is not compatible with datalinks used by legacy aircraft. "


http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... 80%9D.html

What a whiny little turd.

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

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2016, 14:28
by bojack_horseman
sferrin wrote:"EDITOR’S NOTE: The US Air Force’s claims of the F-35’s supernatural powers are becoming less credible with each new instance.
Scoring “27 kills in a single sortie” is impossible because the F-35 cannot carry more than four AIM-120 Amraam missiles internally, while adding two AIM-9X on wing pylons destroys its “stealth,” and makes it clearly visible to enemy radar.
Contrary to what is claimed above, the F-35’s sensors do not yet have “the ability to process and share information with other players in the battle space” because of technical faults.
But, even if they did, the F-35 could not transmit sensor data to previous-generation aircraft because its Multifunction Advanced Data Link is not fully operational, and in any case is not compatible with datalinks used by legacy aircraft. "


http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... 80%9D.html

What a whiny little turd.


Who is this 'editor'?

Every time I see one of their articles it's like they begrudgingly report and then note at the end what they publish above is a lie.
It's a moronic way of doing 'churnalism'.

Also....
the F-35 could not transmit sensor data to previous-generation aircraft because its Multifunction Advanced Data Link is not fully operational, and in any case is not compatible with datalinks used by legacy aircraft. "

Someone tell me this is 100% bunk?

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

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2016, 15:34
by Dragon029
MADL works fine, but what he may be referencing is or was the sensor fusion issue (talked about during Block 2B development) where any more than 2 jets fusing their sensors caused ghost (the same target would be detected but thought by the computers to be a second target). I don't know if that was fixed with Block 3i, but the concerns were being brought up in early/mid 2015.

As for as legacy compatibility goes, the F-35 can and does use Link 16 (there's been a few articles in the past where they've talked about F-35s improving the situational awareness of F-16s, etc - you can't do that if you have no comms). MADL isn't compatible with legacy jets, but that has nothing to do with the F-35; it's not a new iPhone or Samsung Galaxy's fault that a 10 year old phone can't use 4G.

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

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2016, 16:43
by krorvik
bojack_horseman wrote:
sferrin wrote:"EDITOR’S NOTE: The US Air Force’s claims of the F-35’s supernatural powers



Why do all of these people have to add a rhethorical exaggeration that implies the other part is exaggerating?

Not sure if it's funny or tragic.

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

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2016, 17:55
by SpudmanWP
bojack_horseman wrote:Someone tell me this is 100% bunk?

Yes it's bunk...

The F-35 can use Link-16 and if stealth is an issue, an F-35 that is not in the AO can do it.

And no, a sidewinder on the wing will not "destroy" it's stealth.

One of his (and many other F-35 haters) problems is that once an issue is found with the F-35, it is a permanent problem. Nothing ever gets fixed, regardless of how it's being used today or what reports are released.

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

Unread postPosted: 01 Sep 2016, 01:36
by Dragon029
I sent the editor an email and got a response; the italics black text is from the article, the dark blue text is my email to him and the quote boxes are his itemised replies:

"Scoring “27 kills in a single sortie” is impossible because the F-35 cannot carry more than four AIM-120 Amraam missiles internally"

While I don't know for certain how this kill count was accrued, there are two obvious answers that don't require the USAF to call on supernatural powers; either an F-35 was allowed to rearm (like how jets are allowed to respawn), or there were multiple F-35s in that sortie (there were a total of fourteen F-35As at Northern Lightning), or it was a mix of those two answers (eg, maybe it was two F-35As that were allowed to rearm).

- If one or two F-35s were allowed to rearm, it is not a "single sortie."
- If there were "multiple" F-35s, it may be a single mission, but not a single sortie.
In either case, the USAF statement is both wrong and misleading.


"while adding two AIM-9X on wing pylons destroys its “stealth,” and makes it clearly visible to enemy radar."

While obviously the F-35 isn't going to remain a VLO platform with two external AIM-9X's, an F-35 with just those two outer hardpoints is still going to have a significant detection / RCS advantage over any 4th gen adversaries, especially from frontal sectors.

I said underwing missiles make the F-35 "clearly visible to enemy radar," which is a statement of fact.
I made no claims about whether "the F-35 has an RCS advantage or not over 4th gen adversaries."


"Contrary to what is claimed above, the F-35’s sensors do not yet have “the ability to process and share information with other players in the battle space” because of technical faults."

Where have you heard this? F-35s have been able to perform multi-ship sensor fusion between two aircraft fairly successfully; the technical faults have mainly been an issue when you try to fuse 3 or 4 F-35s together, with data not correlating properly and having some targets appearing as multiple targets.

The USAF story claims that the F-35 can "process and share information with other players in the battle space."
This is only true between two F-35s, as an F-35 cannot today fully transmit tactical data to 4th-gen aircraft.


"But, even if they did, the F-35 could not transmit sensor data to previous-generation aircraft because its Multifunction Advanced Data Link is not fully operational, and in any case is not compatible with datalinks used by legacy aircraft."

I think you're a bit confused; MADL works fine between F-35s (the sensor fusing issue is an issue with the mission computers rather than the data link). Furthermore, the F-35 has been able to use Link 16 for some time now. The Dutch have talked about it and its ability to improve the SA and combat capability of F-16s here: http://airheadsfly.com/2015/08/25/dutch ... tegration/

"In fact, Rockwell was awarded a contract in November 2015 to “help resolve the 5th to 4th generation communications gap.”"

Just to be clear; the reason for pursuing a bridge for this comms gap is to preserve the stealth of the F-22 and F-35 while communicating with legacy fighters. Using Link 16, like using their radar, doesn't mean instant death for an F-22 or F-35, but there are scenarios where it would be a major interoperability or survivability concern. Link 16 is also just incredibly slow for when it comes to things like sharing imagery or video, so having a high bandwidth system like IFDL or MADL would be a major benefit.

The "Dutch have talked about it," and have had some success in some exercises, but the US Air Force statement mentions what is a hypothetical future capability as it existed today as an operational capability. That is wrong.
You have a point here: I should have stated more clearly that the Rockwell contract is intended to "improve the sharing of mission-critical data," which exists in a limited volume, as you rightly noted: "Link 16 is also just incredibly slow for when it comes to things like sharing imagery or video"

We spend quite a bit of time fact-checking claims made by the F-35 enterprise, and rarely find them accurate, as some recent examples show:

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... lders.html

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... 80%9D.html

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... ssing.html

Today's Editor's Note may not be in the same category, but it is in the same spirit.

Thank you for your interest in Defense-Aerospace.com, and kind regards,

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

Unread postPosted: 01 Sep 2016, 03:17
by blindpilot
Dragon029 wrote:I sent the editor an email and got a response; ...

We spend quite a bit of time fact-checking claims made by the F-35 enterprise, and rarely find them accurate, as some recent examples show:

.. 1bn-cash-advance-goes-to-lockheed-stockholders.html

... marines-declared-f_35-ioc-despite-deficiencies-that-%E2%80%9Cpreclude-mission-readiness%E2%80%9D.html

... the-real-story-of-the-f_35%E2%80%99s-transatlantic-crossing.html

Today's Editor's Note may not be in the same category, but it is in the same spirit.

Thank you for your interest in Defense-Aerospace.com, and kind regards,


The asserted "inaccuracies" are deeply confused in the apple and oranges realm. I'll pick the last one, and just mention that I have crossed the pond, more than once, with chicks in tow, including through Lajes Field. The editor wouldn''t know which end of the box lunch to open... more importantly, who to ask how. I'm not surprised he got strange answers from the wall. I can see however, how the Program Office has just blown this guy off, based on the answers you received. I might address the questions in a face to face, but I wouldn't waste words on a blog/email where every editor's comment is framed against a false narrative. There is no profit in it.

When trying to press a narrative as he does, the rabbit hole that you go down discovering the lack of basic knowledge on the side subjects gets tedious. "I'm sorry, I didn't know you were clueless about that side subject, let me take you back to 101, and get you up to speed," .... is not something busy program managers are going to do.

Nor will I in a forum like these. Face to face you can dig through the clutter, but not here.

MHO
BP

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

Unread postPosted: 01 Sep 2016, 03:40
by yeswepromise
Werent there around 12-14 F-35s that made the trip?

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

Unread postPosted: 01 Sep 2016, 03:53
by Dragon029
Fourteen:
The 14 F-35As constitute the largest number of F-35s on one deployment to date.


https://a855196877272cb14560-2a4fa819a6 ... _26_16.pdf

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

Unread postPosted: 01 Sep 2016, 04:43
by spazsinbad
Same article here with photos - 1 repro belo: http://www.hill.af.mil/News/Article-Dis ... -legacy-ai
PHOTO: "An F-35A Lightning II and an FA-18 Super Hornet fly in formation over Volk Field, Wis., during Northern Lightning on Aug. 23, 2016. Northern Lightning is a tactical-level, joint training exercise that emphasizes fifth- and fourth-generation assets engaged in a contested, degraded environment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stormy Archer)" http://media.defense.gov/2016/Aug/30/20 ... 74-547.JPG

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

Unread postPosted: 01 Sep 2016, 06:16
by mike5560
Axe is either unable to read between the lines or he plays dumb to fit an agenda. I'm "guessing" with a good level of confidence that with the 27 kills, the exercise planners simulated multiple waves of F-35s as both cost savings and maximizing training with the available jets. Maybe the AF should just send a/c to RTB once killed or run out of simulated missiles. That would only make the cost effectiveness to training value to very inefficient.
BTW, a sortie is one takeoff/ landing for one aircraft.

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

Unread postPosted: 01 Sep 2016, 06:35
by steve2267
The F-35 is downright tiny compared to the Sbug. That can't be right. That photo must be fake. :shock:

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

Unread postPosted: 01 Sep 2016, 06:45
by steve2267
Regarding the 27 kills and [implied / alleged] lack of missile carrying capacity...

Is it possible a two ship was forward deployed with 4 slammers each, and another two ship was much further back -- out of radar range of the red force thread -- each loaded to max AA capability with 8 slammers each. Well, that gets you to 24 missiles. Make it a four ship in reserve with eight each gets you to 40 total missiles.

The haters are just getting their panties in a knot.

Are there any threads here that discuss these tactics of one a/c targeting threats while other a/c shoot? Has the technology really advanced to the point where the illuminator / scout out front doesn't have to worry about getting shot by one of his teammates back behind him?

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

Unread postPosted: 01 Sep 2016, 06:49
by 35_aoa
for what it is worth, a "slammer" is a SLAM-ER. A "rammer" is an AIM-120. Not that either is a proper term :)

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

Unread postPosted: 01 Sep 2016, 07:19
by mrigdon
Did the Air Force ever specify how many F-35s were in the air during the mission that claimed 27 kills? They sent 14 planes to the exercise. If twelve were in the air at one time, they would be carrying 48 missiles between them, all internally. It doesn't seem unreasonable that they could claim 27 kills. Hey, even just eight planes can carry 32 missiles. Granted, 27 kills out of 32 missiles is an 85% success rate, but why not? The AMRAAM is supposed to be the premier air-to-air missile. If you don't get any warning that you've been targeted until the missile's seeker goes live, then you have even less time to respond.

It's a simulated exercise, as well. I would imagine (but I don't know) that the Pentagon wants to simulate CURRENT capabilities, but is there any chance that the exercise allowed the F-35 to fly with 6 AMRAAMs internal?

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

Unread postPosted: 01 Sep 2016, 07:54
by krorvik
steve2267 wrote:The F-35 is downright tiny compared to the Sbug. That can't be right. That photo must be fake. :shock:


The F-35 is not as big as some will have it. Adding to that, it doesn't take a whole lot of distance difference between the two craft to disturb our perception of size. No reason to be shocked.

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

Unread postPosted: 01 Sep 2016, 08:33
by SpudmanWP
steve2267 wrote:...each loaded to max AA capability with 8 slammers each. Well, that gets you to 24 missiles.


Block 3i max is 4 internal
Block 3F max is 4 internal PLUS 8 external and 2 Aim-9x for good measure :roll:


Image

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

Unread postPosted: 01 Sep 2016, 08:47
by hornetfinn
Dragon029 wrote:I sent the editor an email and got a response; the italics black text is from the article, the dark blue text is my email to him and the quote boxes are his itemised replies:
"while adding two AIM-9X on wing pylons destroys its “stealth,” and makes it clearly visible to enemy radar."

I said underwing missiles make the F-35 "clearly visible to enemy radar," which is a statement of fact.
I made no claims about whether "the F-35 has an RCS advantage or not over 4th gen adversaries."


I hate comments like this. It's not a statement of fact that underwing missiles make F-35 or any other fighter "clearly visible to enemy radar". That would depend on RCS of the missile itself, RCS of pylon/launcher it is attached to and how each of these components interact with each other. Even old IR guided missiles without any thought about lowering RCS had RCS of about 0.1 to less than 0.01 square meters from most aspect angles (with large spike of up to tens of square meters from directly perpendicular due to wings and fins acting as corner reflectors).

I'd say AIM-9X is vastly better than that as there is definitely some thought put on RCS of that missile (also ASRAAM and IRIS-T). The large spikes totally disappear due to positioning of wings and fins and their shape being far better for low RCS than in older missiles. Materials are very likely selected to lower RCS and imaging seekers very likely have far lower RCS than reticle seekers used in older missiles. IIR seekers are much smaller and have less reflective surfaces and corners. I'd say AIM-9X and ASRAAM likely have at least an order of magnitude smaller RCS than older missiles from most aspect angles and totally avoid the large spikes.

So it depends on RCS of pylon/launcher combo and interaction with airframe. I'd say both have been considered in design and likely do not increase RCS that much. Pylons are clearly shaped for low RCS and I doubt they increase RCS much. I doubt other factors increase RCS much, but that'd require some pretty highly classified information to know for sure. However there is nothing warranting underwing missiles making it "clearly visible to enemy radar". They definitely increase RCS, but I don't think it's that much and that they'd still likely be considered highly stealthy with external AIM-9X or ASRAAMs.

"Contrary to what is claimed above, the F-35’s sensors do not yet have “the ability to process and share information with other players in the battle space” because of technical faults."

The USAF story claims that the F-35 can "process and share information with other players in the battle space."
This is only true between two F-35s, as an F-35 cannot today fully transmit tactical data to 4th-gen aircraft.

"But, even if they did, the F-35 could not transmit sensor data to previous-generation aircraft because its Multifunction Advanced Data Link is not fully operational, and in any case is not compatible with datalinks used by legacy aircraft."

The "Dutch have talked about it," and have had some success in some exercises, but the US Air Force statement mentions what is a hypothetical future capability as it existed today as an operational capability. That is wrong.
You have a point here: I should have stated more clearly that the Rockwell contract is intended to "improve the sharing of mission-critical data," which exists in a limited volume, as you rightly noted: "Link 16 is also just incredibly slow for when it comes to things like sharing imagery or video"


I like how he is moving goal posts as soon as faults in his knowledge and logic are shown. F-35 definitely has a lot of ability to share tactical information with other players in the battlefield. It may not be as good as planned for Block 3F, but of course it's not supposed to be there yet. Like you wrote, that has been demonstrated already and not just talked about:
http://airheadsfly.com/2016/02/09/f-35- ... t-numbers/

Last year, the Dutch F-35s flew complex missions with their F-16 predecessors. The main focus was fourth and fifth generation fighter integration and interoperability. “It was a great experience and good to see the added value of the F-35. One F-16 pilot even described our F-35 capability as flipping on a light switch: without F-35s in the fight they were struggling in the dark, with F-35s by their side they had very high situational awareness.”


Similar statements are also coming from Norwegians and US services.

Besides, Link 16 is very fine system for sharing things like tracks, friendly platform information, commands etc. You know, tactical information. It's not nearly as good for sharing sensor level information for sensor fusion processes as MADL or IFDL but for sharing processed data there is likely not much difference besides that it isn't stealthy. You can also transmit imagery pretty easily through it, but streaming videos will take up almost all of the currently available bandwidth and would likely be used very selectively. But how often straming video would be really beneficial compared to imagery for example?

Besides, sensors themselves do not "process and share information with other players in the battle space” as he claimed. It's done through sensor fusion and data links.

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

Unread postPosted: 01 Sep 2016, 08:53
by spazsinbad
The original comparison was between USN aircraft so the F-35A to scale is superimposed as shown with real stats under.

SOME LINKS: http://www.amdo.org/JSF_Program_and_33_FW_Updates.pdf
http://www.nps.edu/Academics/Institutes ... ighter.pdf
http://www.cdi.org/pdfs/stevenson%20f-22%20brief.pdf

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

Unread postPosted: 01 Sep 2016, 12:01
by quicksilver
Those who fly the jet say that F-35 can send more L16 messages than many other aircraft can swallow -- today -- and such capability is used routinely when the opportunity arises, as some of the reporting accurately states.

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

Unread postPosted: 01 Sep 2016, 12:06
by quicksilver
steve2267 wrote:The F-35 is downright tiny compared to the Sbug. That can't be right. That photo must be fake. :shock:


No, that picture is accurate. Notably, as configured, the jet on the left has more fuel capacity than the one on the right. Spaz has provided a link above.

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

Unread postPosted: 01 Sep 2016, 15:14
by mk82
Awesome result for the F35As at Northern Lightning.

Ahh...the stupidity of basement dwellers and "journalists" rises again....at Mountain Home - herp derp...those F15Es (Red Air) are only good for Air to Ground missions...herp derp. Meanwhile at Volk Field, where the F16 red air was smashed - Herp derp herp derp...F35A has supernatural abilities (oh thank you :mrgreen: )....other irrelevant reasons....herp derp. These F35 haters are truly getting desperate.

Oh yeah, that Editor should know that the F35's supernatural abilities = networked sensor fusion + VLO + multiple F35s + pilots who know how to exploit the F35's strengths....what a simple and wonderful equation :mrgreen:

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

Unread postPosted: 01 Sep 2016, 19:08
by krorvik
quicksilver wrote:No, that picture is accurate. Notably, as configured, the jet on the left has more fuel capacity than the one on the right. Spaz has provided a link above.


The body of the super bug is super slim...

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

Unread postPosted: 02 Sep 2016, 03:30
by Dragon029
https://www.dvidshub.net/news/208740/f- ... yment-date

F-35A completes largest deployment to date

VOLK FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, WI, UNITED STATES
09.01.2016
Story by Senior Airman Stormy Archer
33rd Fighter Wing/Public Affairs

The 33rd Fighter Wing wrapped up the largest F-35 deployment to date at this year’s Exercise Northern Lightning Aug. 31 at Volk Field, Wis.
Northern Lightning is a tactical-level, joint training exercise which serves as a combat rehearsal for both legacy and modern aerial and ground assets in a contested, degraded environment.
The 33rd FW deployed over 150 personnel and 14 F-35As for two weeks to train to a realistic threat level and develop how to deploy and sustain a squadron of F-35s.
The Air Force announced the fighter jet was initially capable of combat operations in August of this year. With the service’s shift in focus to full operational capability for the aircraft, the lessons learned from this exercise will shape future real-world deployments of F-35A squadrons.
“The aircraft and program still have maturing left to do, but that is a scary thought for our adversaries,” said Lt. Col. Brad Bashore, 58th Fighter Squadron commander. “The performance here proves this aircraft is combat ready, even in its infancy.”
The 33rd FW scored over 110 kills against “enemy aircraft,” supported a surge of 138 sorties and dropped 24 GBU-12 bombs during Northern Lightning.
During the exercise, 33rd FW pilots were able to execute offensive counter air, suppression of enemy air defenses, destruction of enemy air defenses, and employ GPS-guided munitions for close air support.
“This exercise has increased my confidence in the F-35,” Capt. Mark Schnell, 33rd FW pilot said. “Believing that you are invisible is hard. (But) to come out and fly against fourth-generation assets and really see that the stealth capabilities of the F-35 are as advertised has been awesome. It makes our job easier knowing that we are (stealthy), and we can arrive at a position of advantage without (our adversary) knowing.”
Crews from the 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron were able to support operational demands of the exercise by executing a high-tempo maintenance schedule, and preparing aircraft to drop munitions in a deployed location with less manning and resources than afforded to them at home station.
“This is the first time the program has supported such an extensive aircraft deployment,” 1st Lt. Krista Wooden, 33rd AMXS Aircraft Maintenance Unit assistant officer in charge, said. “We were able to simulate a deployed priority on our supply system, (and) successfully gauge the logistics of how a deployment will successfully run its course.”
The F-35A pilots practiced joint operations with F-16 Fighting Falcons, F/A-18 Super Hornets, E/A-18 Growlers and E-3 Sentries to create a more lethal and survivable strike package. The experience gained from deploying as a total force will shape how the units work together in future combat operations.
“Working with the F-35A really provides a unique capability for us,” Capt. Austin Kennedy, E/A-18 Growler electronic warfare officer, said. “They allow us the opportunity to train against more advanced threats that a fourth-generation aircraft wouldn’t be able to go after.
“The (low observable) characteristics of the jet make our jamming more effective, and it makes it easier for us to do our job.”
The dynamic threat environment of the 115th Fighter Wing’s Northern Lightning exercise provides a unique training ground for the fifth generation fighter with surface to air threats, a large air space that extends up to 50,000 feet, inter-service training and an expansive range for live and inert weapons drops.
“Thanks to the Air National Guard, and their herculean efforts to make this exercise happen,” said Lt. Col. Brad Bashore, 58th FS commander, said. “Thank you to the Deluth and Maddison Guard for being our adversaries during this exercise. It’s not always fun being red air and flying against us when you’re at a disadvantage. We couldn’t have done this without you.”

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

Unread postPosted: 02 Sep 2016, 07:55
by hornetfinn
Dragon029 wrote:https://www.dvidshub.net/news/208740/f-35a-completes-largest-deployment-date

The F-35A pilots practiced joint operations with F-16 Fighting Falcons, F/A-18 Super Hornets, E/A-18 Growlers and E-3 Sentries to create a more lethal and survivable strike package. The experience gained from deploying as a total force will shape how the units work together in future combat operations.
“Working with the F-35A really provides a unique capability for us,” Capt. Austin Kennedy, E/A-18 Growler electronic warfare officer, said. “They allow us the opportunity to train against more advanced threats that a fourth-generation aircraft wouldn’t be able to go after.
“The (low observable) characteristics of the jet make our jamming more effective, and it makes it easier for us to do our job.”


This is what I've been trying to tell for a long time and a lot of people have trouble understanding. Low RCS of F-35 makes jamming so much more effective than it does for legacy fighters. Jamming aircraft can sit way further back in far safer areas and also have effective jamming coverage over far larger distances. F-35 even makes it possible for jamming aircraft to concentrate on certain frequency bands (most likely lower frequencies) and let F-35 do the high frequency jamming themselves when needed. This helps them put more jamming power on reduced number of threats which further enhances their effectiveness. All this makes it far more difficult for enemy to detect that there even is jamming going on as the power levels would be very small.

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

Unread postPosted: 02 Sep 2016, 08:13
by popcorn
hornetfinn wrote:
This is what I've been trying to tell for a long time and a lot of people have trouble understanding. Low RCS of F-35 makes jamming so much more effective than it does for legacy fighters. Jamming aircraft can sit way further back in far safer areas and also have effective jamming coverage over far larger distances. F-35 even makes it possible for jamming aircraft to concentrate on certain frequency bands (most likely lower frequencies) and let F-35 do the high frequency jamming themselves when needed. This helps them put more jamming power on reduced number of threats which further enhances their effectiveness. All this makes it far more difficult for enemy to detect that there even is jamming going on as the power levels would be very small.

No doubt the use of legacy jamming platforms will be highly choreographed so as not to mess with the 5Gens' sensors and comms. The last thing they want is to degrade the SA picture when operating in a hostile battle space.

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

Unread postPosted: 02 Sep 2016, 14:23
by sferrin
More whining from the usual suspects:

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Because of its habit of selectively releasing details and figures, the US Air Force makes it impossible to understand whether the F-35A’s performance during the deployment was as impressive as it sounds.
For example:
-- a “surge” of 138 missions by 14 aircraft over two weeks may sound impressive, but it averages out to less than one (precisely, 0.7) mission per aircraft per day, which is rather pedestrian.
-- The story does not say how many of those 138 missions were aborted.
-- The story says the squadron scored 110 kills against “enemy” aircraft, but again that averages out to 0.56 kills per aircraft per day, which is not really impressive.
-- how many of the “suppression of enemy air defenses, destruction of enemy air defenses” missions were assisted by EG-18F electronic attack aircraft?
-- how many “offensive counter-air” missions were assisted by E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft, and/or F-16 and F/A-18 Super Hornets fighters?
More details are needed to determine the F-35A’s real performance during this simulated deployment.)


http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... -date.html

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

Unread postPosted: 02 Sep 2016, 14:27
by XanderCrews
sferrin wrote:More whining from the usual suspects:

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Because of its habit of selectively releasing details and figures, the US Air Force makes it impossible to understand whether the F-35A’s performance during the deployment was as impressive as it sounds.
For example:
-- a “surge” of 138 missions by 14 aircraft over two weeks may sound impressive, but it averages out to less than one (precisely, 0.7) mission per aircraft per day, which is rather pedestrian.
-- The story does not say how many of those 138 missions were aborted.
-- The story says the squadron scored 110 kills against “enemy” aircraft, but again that averages out to 0.56 kills per aircraft per day, which is not really impressive.
-- how many of the “suppression of enemy air defenses, destruction of enemy air defenses” missions were assisted by EG-18F electronic attack aircraft?
-- how many “offensive counter-air” missions were assisted by E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft, and/or F-16 and F/A-18 Super Hornets fighters?
More details are needed to determine the F-35A’s real performance during this simulated deployment.)


http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... -date.html



Wehhhhhhhhhh :mrgreen:

The longer the "editors note" the better with this hack LOL

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

Unread postPosted: 05 Sep 2016, 19:57
by botsing
The Joint Forces Channel wrote:Members of the 58th Fighter Squadron and F-35A's from Eglin AFB, Florida traveled to Volk Field, Air National Guard Base in Wisconsin to participate in exercise Northern Lightning, the DoD's largest F-35 deployment.

Published on Sep 5, 2016



Just take off and landings, at around 6:04 you can see 13 (could be 14?) F-35 lined up.

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Sep 2016, 08:30
by hornetfinn
sferrin wrote:More whining from the usual suspects:

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Because of its habit of selectively releasing details and figures, the US Air Force makes it impossible to understand whether the F-35A’s performance during the deployment was as impressive as it sounds.
For example:
-- a “surge” of 138 missions by 14 aircraft over two weeks may sound impressive, but it averages out to less than one (precisely, 0.7) mission per aircraft per day, which is rather pedestrian.
-- The story does not say how many of those 138 missions were aborted.
-- The story says the squadron scored 110 kills against “enemy” aircraft, but again that averages out to 0.56 kills per aircraft per day, which is not really impressive.
-- how many of the “suppression of enemy air defenses, destruction of enemy air defenses” missions were assisted by EG-18F electronic attack aircraft?
-- how many “offensive counter-air” missions were assisted by E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft, and/or F-16 and F/A-18 Super Hornets fighters?
More details are needed to determine the F-35A’s real performance during this simulated deployment.)


http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... -date.html


LOL, just LOL... :roll:

1. Yes, because exercises always go full steam from the 1st day to last day with maximum amount of sorties flown every day... :roll: Also that amount of sorties is fairly normal for mature in-service aircraft during similar time frame. Besides, each F-35 sortie is likely a quite a bit longer as it has much better endurance than most fighters. It might be hard for this editor to understand, but even F-35s need maintenance and their crews need to eat and sleep... Not to mention mission planning and debriefing... :doh:

2. Killin over 110 enemy aircraft without any losses is fairly impressive to me... Especially since most missions weren't even air-to-air missions at all. Only F-22 has ever done anything remotely similar in exercises.

3. What does it matter if F-35s got support or not? This exercise wasn't about showing how super-awesome F-35 is. It was about everybody getting important training, including F-16, F/A-18, Growler and E-3 crews.

This is getting really stupid. If F-35 doesn't kill everybody within secods and if there are some other aircraft in the air at the same time, it sucks...

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Sep 2016, 12:09
by Dragon029
More from SLD:

http://www.sldinfo.com/northern-lightni ... -20169116/

Northern Lightning Exercise 2016:

09/06/2016: 4th and 5th generation aircraft soared through the skies at Volk Field on Thursday morning as pilots had combat rehearsal training.

Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center hosted their annual Northern Lightning combat exercise which provides real-world conflict scenarios for active service personnel from the National Guard, Air Force, and the Navy.

The week long exercise is meant to prepare 700 airmen for combat. Missions practiced at Volk Field are high-end training drills for units from all over the country.

“These exercises allow us to practice full scale operations and they allow us to improve our own instructors so that when we go back to our school house to teach the newest students in the F-35, we can make them better and ultimately improve our combat capability as an Air Force,” Lt. Col. Brad Baeshore, Commander, 58th Fighter Squadron said.

The situations practiced provide extensive training and cohesiveness between joint military services.

“The Air Force just declared initial operational capability, we just did that on the second of August is when we declared that and now the important part is that we are taking the F-35 on the road to train other people what our tactics are and how to manage those tactics so that when we do have to employ in combat everyone is familiar with each other and we know how to execute those to the best of our abilities.” Lt. Col. Brad Baeshore added.

Northern Lightning exercise 2016 is the largest F-35 training to date.

https://vimeo.com/181516255

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Sep 2016, 22:35
by spazsinbad
LM F-35 GM Weekly Update
01 Sep 2016 Jeff Babione

"Northern Lightning Exercise
As the F-35Cs returned to Pax River, 14 F-35As from Eglin were executing a two-week deployment as part of the Northern Lightning exercise in Wisconsin. The F-35As from the 58th Fighter Squadrons flew 102 out of 104 scheduled sorties with aircraft availability averaging 80 percent for the duration of the deployment. All 14 F-35As are operating with older 2B software, making these sortie and availability rates even more impressive.”..."

Source: https://a855196877272cb14560-2a4fa819a6 ... 9_1_16.pdf (0.7Mb)

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Sep 2016, 23:15
by neptune
deleted :wink:

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

Unread postPosted: 08 Sep 2016, 23:38
by spazsinbad
'neptune' I'm not following. Why would the pilots influence the availability rate? Maintainers get this done - BZ. The pilot accepts the aircraft ready to go - or not - with the maintainers working hard to make it so.

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2016, 03:39
by neptune
Dragon029 wrote:...
“These exercises allow us to practice full scale operations and they allow us to improve our own instructors so that when we go back to our school house to teach the newest students in the F-35, we can make them better and ultimately improve our combat capability as an Air Force,” Lt. Col. Brad Baeshore, Commander, 58th Fighter Squadron said.

The situations practiced provide extensive training and cohesiveness between joint military services.....Northern Lightning exercise 2016 is the largest F-35 training to date...


....most of these 14 (Sr.) F-35A (Instructors (teach the teachers)) were from Eglin EG and maybe one tail form Luke LF....
maybe to be expected, senior talent for this earliest of exercises.....hmmmm....... 8)

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

Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2016, 03:41
by neptune
spazsinbad wrote:'neptune' I'm not following. Why would the pilots influence the availability rate? Maintainers get this done - BZ. The pilot accepts the aircraft ready to go - or not - with the maintainers working hard to make it so.


..sorry, wrong link... :)

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2016, 03:05
by arian
-- The story says the squadron scored 110 kills against “enemy” aircraft, but again that averages out to 0.56 kills per aircraft per day, which is not really impressive.


Agree with the writer here. I'm totally not impressed. Losers.

/sarc

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2016, 14:25
by botsing
arian wrote:
-- The story says the squadron scored 110 kills against “enemy” aircraft, but again that averages out to 0.56 kills per aircraft per day, which is not really impressive.


Agree with the writer here. I'm totally not impressed. Losers.

/sarc

Yeah man, just like that looser called F-15 that only got 103 kills in 14,855 days making for an average of only 0.0069 kills per day.

/sarc

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

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2016, 23:19
by popcorn
The detractors are being forced to reach further and further into the absurd and ridiculous... truly warms my heart. :D

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2016, 12:49
by mk82
arian wrote:
-- The story says the squadron scored 110 kills against “enemy” aircraft, but again that averages out to 0.56 kills per aircraft per day, which is not really impressive.


Agree with the writer here. I'm totally not impressed. Losers.

/sarc


I wonder which 4th generation platform achieved similar kill ratios (in a similar exercise).....oh wait.....none of them! :mrgreen:

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2016, 22:36
by sersi
Perhaps by 2020 the internet fanboys will be touting how great the F-35 is and panning the B-21. :mrgreen:

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

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2016, 23:25
by sprstdlyscottsmn
mk82 wrote:
I wonder which 4th generation platform achieved similar kill ratios (in a similar exercise).....oh wait.....none of them! :mrgreen:

The book I read it in is packed, but I recall the F-15A pulled something crazy, along the lines of 200-5. Not too shabby by any measure. If anyone has "The Great Book of Modern Warplanes" they can fact check for me.

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

Unread postPosted: 12 Sep 2016, 09:17
by Corsair1963
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
mk82 wrote:
I wonder which 4th generation platform achieved similar kill ratios (in a similar exercise).....oh wait.....none of them! :mrgreen:

The book I read it in is packed, but I recall the F-15A pulled something crazy, along the lines of 200-5. Not too shabby by any measure. If anyone has "The Great Book of Modern Warplanes" they can fact check for me.


Yet, today the F-15 wouldn't fair any better than any other 4th Generation Fighter vs the F-35. Which, means it wouldn't last 5 seconds.... :shock:

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

Unread postPosted: 12 Sep 2016, 09:20
by hornetfinn
botsing wrote:
arian wrote:
-- The story says the squadron scored 110 kills against “enemy” aircraft, but again that averages out to 0.56 kills per aircraft per day, which is not really impressive.


Agree with the writer here. I'm totally not impressed. Losers.

/sarc

Yeah man, just like that looser called F-15 that only got 103 kills in 14,855 days making for an average of only 0.0069 kills per day.

/sarc


Or how Operation Desert Storm was an utter failure on the Coalition part. They flew about 110,0000 sorties and only shot down less than 40 enemy aircraft. That equals less than 0.00036 kills per sortie, how pathetic... :bang:

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

Unread postPosted: 12 Sep 2016, 13:31
by sprstdlyscottsmn
Corsair1963 wrote:
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
mk82 wrote:
I wonder which 4th generation platform achieved similar kill ratios (in a similar exercise).....oh wait.....none of them! :mrgreen:

The book I read it in is packed, but I recall the F-15A pulled something crazy, along the lines of 200-5. Not too shabby by any measure. If anyone has "The Great Book of Modern Warplanes" they can fact check for me.


Yet, today the F-15 wouldn't fair any better than any other 4th Generation Fighter vs the F-35. Which, means it wouldn't last 5 seconds.... :shock:

I'm not saying it would. I'm saying that even when Forth Gen came out there were lopsided victories against third gen.

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

Unread postPosted: 13 Sep 2016, 13:51
by sferrin
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:I'm not saying it would. I'm saying that even when Forth Gen came out there were lopsided victories against third gen.


Yep. F-15s and F-16s cleaned house in Israeli service, and F-16s were kicking butt in exercises. (Gums probably has some stories.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mole_Cricket_19

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

Unread postPosted: 13 Sep 2016, 20:20
by basher54321
Gums has mentioned an 80-1 at Lossiemouth Scotland (vs F-4 & Lightning) before in the early 80s and similar thing at the following Red Flag so would be great to hear more about that.

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

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2019, 18:22
by doge
F-35 hunts Draken L-159E at Northern Lightning 2019. 8)
USAF Capt. Zachary Clements calls F-35 a supercomputer and praises the F-35's Range, Maneuverability, Stealth. 8)
https://wxow.com/news/top-stories/2019/ ... -exercise/
Practicing with the latest technology at Northern Lightning Exercise
August 13, 2019
VOLK FIELD, Wis. (WXOW) — Northern Lightning is an annual joint military exercises held at Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center in Camp Douglas.

1,000 personnel from 20 different units will practice combat scenarios using some of the newest technology that the military has to offer. It’s the second installment of the exercise with the first happening in May. The primary goal for Northern Lightning is to get units working together and communicating with their technology, so they can be ready for combat scenarios.

F-35 combat fighter planes are some of the best in the world. These high tech planes among others are part of the focus in the exercise this year. These fifth generation combat strikers are some of the latest and greatest in the military. They are a step up from their counterpart, the F-16.

“It’s just a night and day difference, you can’t really compare the two,” said 58th Squadron Flight Commander Zachary Clements.

Clements has been flying in the Air Force since 2012, primarily with the F-16. Now, he’s inside an F-35, and it’s a whole new ball game.

“The best comparison is to look at vehicles that were made 35 years ago and think, would you want to still be driving that vehicle, or would you want to be driving a brand new vehicle,” said Clements.

One of the benefits of this fighter plane is its flight range and maneuverability during combat.

“They never see me really in a stealth airplane where they kind of always see you in an F-16, so essentially, what you get is if you can’t see me, you can’t shoot me, so I essentially get to shoot at you first,” said Clements.

That’s why pilots like Zachary are training now to communicate with other high tech planes and ground systems in a changing, modern world.

“In the days of old, the single unit of P-51s could fly and train together, but they didn’t really do a lot with the other airplanes that are out there, and they didn’t necessarily need to because they didn’t interact plane to plane or plane to ground like we do today,” said Col. Bart Van Roo, Exercise Director for Northern Lightning.

Northern Lightning runs until August 23 are involves the Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and National Guard. This specific exercise has been taking place since 2003.


https://www.channel3000.com/news/tactic ... 1108911066
Tactical training exercise gives us an inside look at what makes F-35 jets so special
By: Amanda Quintana Posted: Aug 13, 2019 The F-35 jets could soon come to Truax Field
CAMP DOUGLAS, Wis. - F-35 fighter jets are at Volk Field for the next week and a half, being used in the Northern Lightning exercise, a joint training including units from the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy using some of the world's most advanced aircraft.

The F-35 jets from the Air Force and Marines are training alongside F-22, F-16, EA-18 and C-130 aircraft to make sure the different generations of fighter jets can communicate in a realistic training environment.

Madison's Truax Field could soon be home to a squadron of F-35 jets as the current F-16 jet gets phased out.

"It’s like the brand-new airplane! Every nation in kind of the free world is buying into this thing and it’s awesome to be a part of that," said pilot Zachary Clements.

Clements is from Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. He started flying the F-35 in October 2017 after flying the F-16 for years.

"It’s not even a comparison really," said Clements. "You go from a 4th gen plane to a 5th gen aircraft. You have the stealth -- that’s kind of the game changing technology there."

He said the stealth feature of the F-35 allows the planes to be undetected, giving them the first-shot advantage.

"In the F-16 everybody saw me from hundreds of miles away probably, and so they could shoot me really whenever they wanted to. In the F-35 they can not see you, and if they can see you they can’t really shoot at you until it’s way late, and by that time you really have already taken multiple shots against them," said Clements.

He said the F-35 is more advanced, calling it a flying supercomputer.

"The F-16 was built 30 years ago. It doesn’t really matter how much you add to it, it can never really be kinda what the F-35 is," said Clements.

Exercise director Col. Bart Van Roo compared the F-16 to an old iPhone.

"You can upgrade it and it’ll work better, but it’s limited what processing power it has," said Van Roo. "The F-35 is really more like my iPhone 10 and was at least designed in the '90s so that it has a lot more expandable capabilities. So they built it with better technology, but they also built it to receive better technology."

A draft environmental impact report released recently shows if the F-35 jets come to Truax Field, it will significantly increase noise on the north side of the city, but Clements said the jets would make things easier for pilots.

The Wisconsin National Guard is currently accepting public comment about the environmental impacts. There is also a meeting on Sept. 12 at the Alliant Energy Center's Exhibition Hall.


https://defence-blog.com/news/u-s-air-f ... craft.html
U.S. Air Force F-35A fighters staged “hunt” for L-159 aircraft
Aug 15, 2019 in Aviation, News, Photo
U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II fifth-generation stealth fighters held a real hunt for Draken International’s L-159 Honey Badger multi-role aircraft during the Northern Lightning exercise at Volk Field, Wisconsin.

U.S. Air Force Airmen on its F-35A fighter jets assigned to the 33rd Fighter Wing take part in annual Northern Lightning exercise. August’s edition of the exercise is the second iteration of Northern Lightning this year, the first of which occurred in May.

Pilots and air crews participating in Northern Lightning can expect to operate in a contested environment with adversary aircraft, electronic jamming and simulated surface-to-air threats, and such training is critical to building readiness for the threats and missions the nation faces.

Northern Lightning is a tactical level, joint training exercise replicating today’s air battle space with current and future weapons platforms. A variety of the world’s most advanced aircraft including the F-35, F-22, F-16, EA-18, and C-130 will participate in the exercise.

Draken International, the adversary support contractor with the world’s largest private tactical jet air force also take part in the exercise.

Draken supports military training objectives around the globe, providing tremendous cost savings over the use of traditional military fighter assets. As an organization, Draken is uniquely positioned to answer the growing demand for contract air support.

The L-159E Honey Badger is a Boeing and Aero Vodochody designed single-seat, multi-role aircraft capable of supporting a variety of air-to-air, air-to-ground and reconnaissance missions. The L-159 Advanced Light Combat Aircraft (ALCA) are all virtually brand new 4th Generation fighters, which were specifically modified to meet Draken’s demanding performance requirements.

According to Draken’s website, the L-159 Honey Badger features a multi-mode 4th generation Leonardo Grifo-L radar that permits all-weather, day and night operations. The L-159E can also carry a wide range of US and NATO standard ordinance including air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and laser-guided bombs. This aircraft can also carry the LITENING Pod and other specially designed Electronic Attack (EA) pods to satisfy a verity of customer requirements.


https://www.nbc15.com/content/news/Thou ... 16681.html
Thousands of troops train at Volk Field in Juneau County
By NBC15 Staff | Posted: Tue 10:32 PM, Aug 13, 2019
VOLK FIELD, Wis. (WMTV) - Nearly 1,000 boots are on the ground at Volk Field for Northern Lightning training Tuesday.

Northern Lightning runs from August 12 through the 23, and includes about 20 active-duty units from the Air Force, National Guard, Navy and Marine Corps.

This comes after a proposal to base F-35 fighter jets at Truax air field in Madison. That plan has not been finalized.

The military says the tactical-level training tries to replicate today's air battle space. Some of the military planes used in the training include the F-35, F-22, F-16, EA-18 and C-130.

"They've got a large overland airspace where they can put down simulated surface air threats that we can train against as well as have a lot of pre-planned actual threats like tanks,” says Zachary Clements, Flight Commander of the 58th Squadron.

The F-35 in particular, a 5th-generation stealth aircraft, compared to the aging F-16 - is a big upgrade.

"It takes all the different sensors around the aircraft combines those in a single picture then displays it on a touch screen,” Clements says.

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

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2019, 15:42
by doge
20 enemy aircraft !?!? :shock: Too many...!! :doh:
https://www.eglin.af.mil/News/Article-D ... lightning/
Student pilots train in Northern Lightning
By Airman 1st Class Heather Leveille, 33rd Fighter Wing / Published August 26, 2019
VOLK FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Wis. --
Student pilots from the 33rd Fighter Wing took their training on the road during joint force training exercise Northern Lightning here Aug. 12-23.

The goal of their involvement was to integrate fourth and fifth generation fighters, according to Capt. Emily Thompson, 33rd FW student pilot.

Northern Lightning is a joint training exercise between the Air Force, Air National Guard, Navy and Marine Corps, that tests fourth and fifth generation weapons platforms.

“The exercise is focused on air-to-surface integration and how our tactics work together with each other’s platforms to get the best results,” said Thompson.

Large scale exercises combined with joint forces can bring a unique training element for pilots at all skill levels.

“We are focusing on getting large force experience with F-35s," said Capt. Mitchell McKenzie, 33rd FW F-35A Lightning II student pilot. “The exercise we are here for is to build combat experience, because the more large-force exercises you have under your belt, the more likely you are to survive in a real combat scenario.”

The students at the 33rd FW are seasoned pilots making the jump to the fifth-generation stealth fighter. The wing’s flying training program helps pilots transition from one fighter jet to the next, based on skill level and flight hours.

“I am a part of the transition course at Eglin learning how to fly F-35,” said Thompson, who transitions from the F-16 to the F-35.

Joint training exercises allow pilots to work with many moving parts as well as a variety of aircraft.

“[The students] are here to build experience in the early stages of the program so that we can see what it looks like to have 20 enemy aircraft coming at you instead of the five or six we can normally get on a training basis back at home station,” said McKenzie.

Instructors try to give each class an opportunity to train in large scale exercises like Northern Lightning to enhance and help develop skill sets.

“The exercise gets you out of your comfort zone,” said McKenzie. “You fly so much at home you get comfy there, so it’s good to pack up and move, go to a new, unfamiliar place with unfamiliar procedures to help build your experience and confidence.”

The training and drive to be better than a peer can help bridge the confidence of working with different branches in the real-life combat settings.

“I feel I have gained a better understanding of how to work with other platforms,” said Thompson. “Any sort of integration training is a benefit to anyone’s growth as a pilot.”

The pilots from various platforms and branches worked together to combat adversary aircraft, electronic jamming and simulated surface-to-air threats.

“The mission is more complex,” said McKenzie. “More people to talk to on the radio and more agencies to check in with and it’s all to help simulate real-life combat.”

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

Unread postPosted: 28 Aug 2019, 18:17
by ricnunes
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
I'm saying that even when Forth Gen came out there were lopsided victories against third gen.


That's basically one of the main if not the main point of the reasoning behind most of my posts here in the F-35 forum:

- Everytime that a new generation comes up it will simply obliterate the older/previous generation, period! (see my signature below)
And this isn't/wasn't limited to the 5th versus 4th/4.5th gen.

So I find puzzling and amazing at the same time when I see/watch/read some people posting as if a 4th or 4.5th gen fighter aircraft could have any chance of parity when facing the F-35 (or the other 5th gen fighter aircraft, the F-22) - This is like saying that a Gloster Gladiator could have a chance of parity when facing a Spitfire :doh:

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

Unread postPosted: 30 Aug 2019, 02:40
by spazsinbad
Lots of text at jump to video URL (repeat from an off-topic thread) + https://www.acc.af.mil/About-Us/Female-Aviators/

Meet Female F-35A Fighter Pilot Student at Northern Lightning Exercise 19-2: Capt. Emily Thompson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NC9Q3K4hesw


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

Unread postPosted: 30 Nov 2019, 19:18
by doge
I found a long article on Northern Lightning 2019, so I post it. 8)
http://www.pixelsnipers.com/project/usa ... ning-2019/
Exercise Northern Lightning 2019
NARRATIVE & IMAGES BY KEDAR KARMARKAR
The goal of the United States Air Force (USAF)is to have an effective fighting force of 5th generation stealthy, hyper-situation-aware data-linked fighters. With the strength in numbers of the Lockheed F-22A Raptors as it stands today, and delays in the Lockheed F-35 Lightning II program, and given the taskings of the various deployments going on world-wide, the US Air Force is forced to come up with a synergistic approach between the 4th and the 5th generation fighters it wields at this place in time. The USAF is increasing its 5th generation combat aircraft footprint with the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter while filling the gaps with fourth-generation aircraft like the Lockheed Martin F-16 Viper, Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt, and Boeing F-15C/E Eagle/Strike-Eagle making up the workhorses of the fleet. Interoperation between the 5th generation aircraft and 4th generation aircraft is therefore an essential need, and training for that is an absolute mandatory requirement for effective success in any conflict. The focus of this year's second edition of Exercise Northern Lightning was just that.

Exercise Northern Lightning is conducted twice every year at Volk Field Air National Guard Base in Wisconsin. The exercise began on August 12, 2019 and scheduled to run till August 23, 2019. Colonel David May, who is the commander of Volk Field, gave some historical background of the exercise. “This is our 21st Northern Lightning exercise, having started in 2003. The exercise has grown significantly in size since 2015 to its current shape that you see here today. Volk Field is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year as well - sixty five years ago this portion of the field became a field training site for the Air National Guard. And back then, like now, the most advanced fighter aircraft of the US Air Force and Air National Guard were training here for any security challenges they might face overseas. Fast forward to 2019, and still the most advanced fighter aircraft that our nation have, are training jointly mixing active Guard and Reserve components again, preparing for the security challenges that are present today. And Volk Field is uniquely qualified to do that. We think of ourselves as a national treasure, but when you combine our facilities, our people, our technology, our range, our airspace, what you have is the Air National Guard’s premier counter-land training facility.

The main objective of the exercise was to provide tactical level joint training for the US Air Force, Navy and Marines, with a focus on objectives defined by the participating units that resulted in tailored, scenario based, full spectrum, high end training. The main scenarios played out were Opposed Air Interdiction (OAI) and Close Air Support (CAS) against a highly Integrated Air Defense System (IADS) composed of relevant surface-to-air and air-to-air threats in a Contested/Degraded Operational (CDO) environment. The range of missions varied from Offensive/Defensive Counter Air (OCA/DCA), Suppression/Destruction of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD/DEAD) and CAS. There were two VULs (or missions) every day with the first "go" taking off at 0930-1000 Local Time (LT) and the afternoon one around 1400LT.
The base is also known as Volk Field CRTC (Combat Readiness Training Center). What makes Volk Field CRTC, Counterland Center the ideal location to conduct the training is as Col. David May explained "Volk Field CRTC airspace is equipped with automated instrumentation that provides effective simulated threats from the ground using "threat emitters" for the different kinds of SAM (Surface-to-Air Missile) systems fielded by the adversaries. This makes it ideal grounds for aircrew training for the close-air support or strike missions as well as those conducting SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) missions.

The Volk Field airspace is divided into areas called Volk East and Lightning to the east, and Volk West and Volk South in the center and Falls to the west. The blue or friendly forces assemble in the Volk East and Volk South while the enemy forces stage to the west. The Counterland Center has one SA-3 UMTE (Unmanned Modular Threat Emitter), one SA-8 UMTE, one SA-15 UMTE, and one SA-6 UMTE. These can have a fixed location per week. It also has two Joint Threat Emitters (JTEs) and one Tactical Radar Threat Generator (TRTG) that are mobile and can replicate different threats within the VUL. These systems are designed to train aircrews to survive in a combat environment by simulating the variety of Russian SAM systems and AAA threat and radar signals which interact with the aircraft's Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) and Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) to provide a realistic CDO environment. The threat emitters are spread across all the above areas that are occupied by the enemy forces.

Hardwood Range is centrally located in the air training corridor, allowing a full spectrum of target sets that support live, laser-guided and GPS-guided munitions, moving strafe, and synthetic aperture radar targets. Additionally, joint fire observers from Fort McCoy can be integrated into the exercise. The range also includes modern day city replicas as found in the conflict regions to train for urban close air support (Urban CAS) for the air crews.
Providing further details, he added, "Volk Field CRTC has a 9,000 feet runway dedicated for military aircraft, and most importantly 12,000 square miles of airspace beginning from La Crosse in the west to Oshkosh in the east. The fighters can go supersonic during combat and fly as high as 50,000 feet. We coordinate with the FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) centers in Minneapolis and Chicago so combat training traffic does not interfere with the commercial air traffic. In fact, we embed some of the FAA folks with us during the exercise for additional cooperation. It also exposes them as to what and how exactly training is conducted to prepare the crews for future conflicts. We secure the airspace prior to the day's missions, and we give it back for commercial and general aviation traffic once the recoveries from each launch are completed.

This year different types of aircraft from different parts of the country deployed to Volk Field. The United States Marine Corps (USMC) brought their F-35B Lightning IIs from VMFA-211 "Wake Island Avengers" from MCAS Yuma, Arizona. The USAF brought the F-35A from 58th Fighter Squadron "Mighty Gorillas" from Eglin AFB, Florida. Additionally, F-22A Raptors from the 94th Fighter Squadron "Hat in the Ring" and Northrop T-38 Talons from 71st Fighter Squadron "Ironmen" from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virgina participated in the exercise. The United States Navy (USN) was represented by Boeing EA-18G Growlers from VAQ-136 "Gauntlets" based at NAS Whidbey Island, from Washington State. The neighboring Minnesota Air National Guard had their F-16CM Vipers in Have Glass V scheme operating in the SEAD role. The F-16C Vipers from 176th Fighter Squadron of the Wisconsin Air National Guard launched and recovered from Truax Field, in Madison. Draken International had four of their Aero Vodochody L-159 Honey Badgers deployed from Nellis AFB.

The challenge today is to beef up the Red Air numbers for the 5th generation fighters. The Draken and the Talons represented the enemy air component. Sometimes to introduce variation in the scenario, a Growler or even couple of F-35s acted as the Red Air component.
Exercise Director Col. Bart “BVR” Van Roo mentioned that there were ground USAF squads that were practicing their M16 and pistol qualifications. These are members of the JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller) who embed themselves with special forces and coordinate air attacks if the need arises. In a mission package, there are different aircraft taking up different roles that are needed for a successful outcome of the mission objectives. Aircraft like the F-22 Raptor are primary air supremacy aircraft, and provide domination of the skies during a strike, and provide protection from air threats to the other aircraft in the package. EA-18G Growlers from the US Navy provide SEAD/DEAD capabilities that jam enemy radars and force them to either shut down or render them incapable of detecting the friendly strike aircraft. F-16CMs specialize in DEAD – that is destruction of the enemy radar and missile sites that target the incoming strike package. F-35A from the Air Force also work with the F-22 Raptors in providing additional air support, while the F-35B from the Marines are the ones who provide interdiction/strike or close air support to friendly ground troops. This air supremacy mission is often termed as Offensive Counter Air – where the fight is taken to the enemy on their ground. Part of the subset of OCA is also SEAD and that is where the F-35A from the 58th FS worked with the fourth-generation aircraft like the F-16CM of the Duluth ANG providing them target information containing the location of enemy radars and missile sites.

On the question on this year’s focus on training for threats that are different from the previous years, Col. Van Roo explained “What we try and do is examine what the current threat scenarios are, which units are participating in the exercise, and compare that with any specific training that is lacking, and will build towards that particular scenario. Units are also tasked with new mission sets and they are also searching for trying out approaches to certain scenarios. This year we are training for both the high-end dynamic threat in the air-to-air scenarios, as well as the traditional support of the ground troops, keeping in focus the integration of 4th and 5th generation assets. The fighting in the airspace is above 10,000 feet up to 50,000 feet and training in a high-density airspace of up to 40 aircraft in the airspace. We use the scenarios to validate if the technology works in the right way, providing effective tools to the aircrews in successfully executing the mission.”

The previous year’s edition had units from the test community taking part in the exercise, for example F-35As from Edwards AFB participated as well as some of the test units from Eglin AFB. This time round it was the 58th Fighter Squadron, which is a regular training unit of the USAF, training incoming rookie pilots on the F-35A, and the pilots taking part in the exercise were Instructor pilots (IPs) from the unit. The reason for having test units be a part of the exercise is for them to test and validate how the new avionics software works in complex combat scenarios and for them to take feedback to the vendor on making it effective by improving or ironing out bugs in the software suite.
Capt. Zachary “Lips” Clements from the 58th FS flying the F-35As gave his perspective on what missions they were flying in the exercise, “We flew up here to integrate with 4th and 5th generation fighters and train for advanced surface-to-air threats which Volk Field Training Complex allows us to do. We are mainly flying Offensive Counter Air (OCA) and we normally fly a subset of that which is SEAD/DEAD mission set. It is the primary mission set of the 179th Fighter Squadron of the Duluth ANG flying the 4th generation F-16CMs and gives us a great opportunity to integrate the two generations in that particular mission set, and come up with a synergistic approach to deal with surface-to-air threats. ”

Commenting on the different versions of the Marine F-35Bs which are of the newer Block compared to the F-35A of the US Air Force, Lips explained, “We fly the one of the oldest F-35s that were made. So right now, at this exercise we have about six of the older F-35As which are upgraded and six that are not. The latter non-upgraded ones do present a challenge from a inter-connectivity aspect with the upgraded ones. All the upgraded jets communicate fine with the B model F-35s of the Marines out there and any other F-35 running a 30PO3 software, so there are no inherent limitations with the older jets that have been upgraded. And all of our jets are fragged to be upgraded.” Speaking on the limitations of the older jet, Lips mentioned “The F-35-to-F-35 data link is not compatible so the old ones are not compatible with the new ones from a data sharing aspect. The newer software also has much more advanced finding and fixing capabilities than the older software, to the point that the older jets do not have the full capability as the newer F-35s. The upgraded ones have the baseline capability of what you can expect from a combat coded F-35.”

Capt. Clements himself came from the SEAD F-16CM units from Misawa AB in Japan and is well-versed in the realm of SEAD/DEAD. Speaking on the SEAD capabilities, he said “We are a training unit and train pilots who are transitioning over to the F-35, as well as the new pilots graduating from flight training into operational units. We train everybody on the F-35 mission set and right now there are several F-35 bases there and coming up as well, but none of them is geared to specialize in SEAD and DEAD only. They practice all the mission sets of the F-35. Specifically, in this exercise we are practicing the SEAD mission set. The reason why we chose to come to Volk Field is because the training complex has an extensive layout of surface-to-air threat replicator systems, that are fairly expensive to get and train with, and also the fact that there are different airframes acting as adversaries, so we are here to train for those scenarios as well. We use a mixture of bombs, stealth and electronic attack in our SEAD mission set. We use the stealth capabilities to approach close enough to the surface-to-air threats and drop bombs and other precision-guided munition, and also augment that with electronic attack. The F-35 does have more advanced non-kinetic capabilities against the surface-to-air threats than the Block 50s (referring to the F-16CMs), and the F-35 has alternate weapons to drop on the SAM site if required. We integrated with the Block 50s of the Duluth ANG when it came to taking out the threat since the Block 50 has a reactive kinetic suppression weapon than we do, so they can actually shoot the AGM-88 HARM (High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile) at a surface-to-air threat.”

Currently the Fighter Weapons School has a course in it called “Fighter Integration” where tactics are practiced and refined using the 4th and 5th generation aircraft. Looking into the future, Exercise Northern Lightning at Volk Field is evolving to be an essential piece in the training field to bring all the arms of the armed forces - Air Force, National Guard, Navy, Marines - together and do joint training outside of Nellis AFB, given the fact that it has an instrumented range, with mobile SAMs and model cities for Urban CAS - all the necessary pieces of the modern day battlefield puzzle.
Many thanks to the personnel of the Public Affairs of 115th FW/Wisconsin ANG, Col. David May, Col. Bart Van Roo, and Maj. Matt Wunderlin for their support and access throughout the exercise.

Loooooong!! :doh:

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

Unread postPosted: 01 Oct 2020, 17:09
by spazsinbad
Excerpts about SEAD F-35As from ANG 134th FS below - Eight page PDF of entire article attached below.
Northern Lightning 2020
Nov 2020 KEDAR KARMARKAR

"...First F-35A SEAD Ops
The primary mission of the 134th FS is the suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD). This is the first time an F-35A unit is known to be specializing in SEAD operations. Commenting on the participation of the 134th FS in this exercise, LtCol Peel said: “The squadron requested that they be part of Exercise Northern Lightning 2020, as this will be our first exercise after transitioning to the F-35.

“The preference for participating in this event was primarily driven by the fact that the group at Volk Field were more amenable to driving a lot of the unit’s objectives, from both a deployment and an exercise perspective; as well as integrating with other exercise participants. This is a small exercise compared to a Red Flag, where one is just a participant and the larger air force drives the need for more pervasive DLOs across participating units. Here we get to focus on our unit’s objectives, as we assimilate the newer F-35A in our conversion training plan – from day-to-day operations and training, to logistics.”

The squadron tries to fit in as much as training and currency in its day-today operations. Flying to Volk Field ANGB, they were supported by air force tankers, and as part of the trip, the F-35A crews got to do additional training in mid-air refueling.

Elaborating on the unit DLOs for this specific exercise, LtCol Peel revealed: “Our DLOs are very basic right now. Since this is our first exercise, we wanted to exercise the movement of the aircraft, the support personnel, the logistics, and the Lockheed Martin support assets. With the F-35s, especially with the maintenance, there are certain components that you can leave back at the base, and certain others you can carry with you.

“At the end of each vul, maintenance can download the telemetry into local computers, which in turn upload it to the computers back at base. Or we can bring them with us, alleviating the need for uploading. With the squadron on the road, we wanted to start with a smaller footprint, from a deployment perspective, and learn any lessons, before we commit ourselves to exercises with a bigger footprint.”

A great experience
“We also have a couple of events planned, to go out and test different logistics movements for our wing with this new airplane. We need to make sure that we have the right number of trained maintenance personnel in specialties like avionics and systems. From the pilot’s perspective, we need to make sure we have the right number of wingmen, flight leads and IPs that are trained before they head out. Basically, the aim is to learn what is needed from maintenance personnel, ops crew and flying crew training, to ensure that, when we get our orders, we can move out and execute the given mission without any hitch.”

Providing additional insight on what type of missions were flown in this exercise, LtCol Peel added:

“Our primary mission is SEAD, but we have also flown secondary missions sets like escort, OCA, DCA and interdiction. We have taken advantage of the fact that we have a variety of platforms like the Raptor, Vipers and Hornets here, and we have flown some DACT missions, as well as learning the capabilities of those platforms and how we can employ the F-35’s capabilities with them. It has been a great experience these last two weeks, because we have been able to exercise and train for a lot of different mission sets. The majority of the missions we are doing here have incorporated some sort of SEAD and that is the primary role for our F-35s. The F-35 cannot carry the HARM AGM-88 right now – though there might be a future variant developed for the F-35 to carry in its internal weapons bay.”...

...Elaborating on the differences between flying the F-35A and the F-16, he [LtCol Peel] said: “The overall situational awareness (SA) that you get with the F-35, by linking all the advanced sensors on the airplanes together, provides you with a truly 360 degree SA – whereas in the F-16 you have limited visibility in front of you.

“Obviously the data-links have increased the capability of the 4th generation aircraft, but the overall SA that you get in the F-35 is second to none – it is a force-multiplier in an AoR (Area of Responsibility), simply because you can now provide the same SA to all the other airframes you are working with. It is truly a leap forward in technology.”

Dogfight tactics
“Also, preparing for a close-in dogfight in the F-35 is easier compared to an F-16, because on an F-16 you’ll have drop tanks that you need to get rid of. The F-35 carries more internal fuel than an F-16, and will not carry drop tanks closer to the AoR, as we refuel before heading into the mission.

“The user interface on the F-35 is so much easier than an F-16, too. The whole point of the F-35 is to not get into a visual engagement and, instead, use its stealth characteristics to approach undetected and shoot down the enemy aircraft. “The F-35 and all the technology that has gone into it, definitely makes it much more lethal and survivable than most fighters these days.

“We are definitely not the fastest airplane in the sky, but the F-35 is pretty capable and brings a whole other dimension to support the mission set we’ll find ourselves in, in the future.” Peel finishes by explaining his personal takeaway from this exercise: “We have done pretty well here, as we are very much at the beginning of our conversion window. We’re a bunch of F-16 pilots that have a couple of thousand hours in the F-16 – but, on average, just 100 hours in the F-35 – so we’ve still got a lot to learn on how to tactically employ the F-35. “We’ve seen a lot of things here, we have learned a lot of good lessons and we are definitely going to come out of here a better and stronger squadron than when we arrived. So that has lent itself to a win here.

”We will use the coming months during our conversion to learn how to employ the F-35 better tactically, gaining a lot more experience from every training opportunity to bring the fight to anybody in any AoR that we need to with this airplane.”"

Source: Combat Aircraft Journal Volume 21 No 11 November 2020

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

Unread postPosted: 26 Nov 2020, 13:03
by spazsinbad
A fistful of fighters [Five Page PDF of this article attached below]
Dec 2020 Ivan Voukadinov

‘The F-35 has low drag but bleeds energy quickly. However, the engine is very powerful so you can get that energy back fast’ Lt Col Robert Peel, commander of the 158th Operations Support Squadron.

Exercise Northern Lightning 2020 took place during late summer at Volk Field ANGB, Wisconsin. Ivan Voukadinov caught up with all the action....

...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.

“The F-35 has low drag but it bleeds energy rather quickly. However, the engine is very powerful so you can get that energy back pretty fast. For BFM [basic fighter manoeuvres] in the F-16 you always wanted to stay fast, whereas the F-35 has some great slow speed manoeuvring that the F-16 didn’t have, such as being able to fly at a high AOA [angle of attack]. Again, it all depends on the pilot. You have to know the strengths and weaknesses, and capitalise on them.”

Lt Col David Delmage, an F-22 pilot and commander of the 27th FS, tells his side of flying with and against the F-35: “The F-35 is much more survivable than legacy aircraft. Their situational awareness is much higher due to their advanced systems and they are better protected based on their stealth. They are easier to protect from enemy air threats and they can get closer to the surface threats the same way we can.”

On the downside, Delmage said: “The F-35 is more limited on weapons. They are a smaller aircraft and carry less, and since everything has to be internal it further restricts the number of missiles especially if carrying air-to-ground ordnance as well. So, we have to be careful about weapons allocation and when/where to use them in the air-to-air role.

“As far as flying against them, it can be very tricky to try to run our normal tactics versus a stealth adversary. The F-35 integration is newer and we’ve had less experience with that type of fighting so it’s a bit more valuable at this point. It’s an emerging tactic that is going to be a factor for a long time into the future.”..."

Source: AIR International Dec 2020 Vol 99 No 6

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

Unread postPosted: 26 Nov 2020, 15:00
by outlaw162
“As far as flying against them, it can be very tricky to try to run our normal tactics versus a stealth adversary. The F-35 integration is newer and we’ve had less experience with that type of fighting so it’s a bit more valuable at this point. It’s an emerging tactic that is going to be a factor for a long time into the future.”..."


With AI radars mutually neutralized and ineffectual, are we back to the brand of air to air fighting in play before there were air intercept radars? Good 'ole P-51 v FW-190 or Spit v Bf-109, F-86 v MiG-15 or F-100 v MiG-17.

Where are those old tactics manuals? :mrgreen:

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

Unread postPosted: 26 Nov 2020, 15:30
by hornetfinn
Awesome article, thank you spazsinbad! :D

Pretty much confirms my idea that F-35 is very difficult opponent even for F-22 and has some very important and unique advantages. Namely more complete and advanced sensor suite, sensor fusion and HMD giving superior SA while having similar (or possibly better) level of stealth. Naturally F-22 has superior speed (especially on dry thrust), acceleration and current BVR weapons load. 6 internal AMRAAM/Meteor upgrade is definitely very important for F-35. Interesting wording about going against F-22: "We were able to use our sensors to negate them as a threat.". Sounds like F-35 is very annoying enemy... :D

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

Unread postPosted: 26 Nov 2020, 16:53
by wrightwing
hornetfinn wrote:Awesome article, thank you spazsinbad! :D

Pretty much confirms my idea that F-35 is very difficult opponent even for F-22 and has some very important and unique advantages. Namely more complete and advanced sensor suite, sensor fusion and HMD giving superior SA while having similar (or possibly better) level of stealth. Naturally F-22 has superior speed (especially on dry thrust), acceleration and current BVR weapons load. 6 internal AMRAAM/Meteor upgrade is definitely very important for F-35. Interesting wording about going against F-22: "We were able to use our sensors to negate them as a threat.". Sounds like F-35 is very annoying enemy... :D

It'll be interesting to revisit this as F-22s get their MLU updates, giving them similar situational awareness to F-35s. One thing is for sure, though. I wouldn't want to be an opponent facing a force of F-22 and F-35s.

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

Unread postPosted: 26 Nov 2020, 17:09
by wrightwing
However, the F-35 (not surprisingly) held
its own in the air-to-air game. The ‘red’
team with its T-38s and L-159s were
always supplemented by other aircraft,
such as F-16s and F/A-18s depending on
the particular day’s manoeuvres.
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.

This is a particularly noteworthy tidbit.

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

Unread postPosted: 26 Nov 2020, 17:57
by quicksilver
“With AI radars mutually neutralized and ineffectual, are we back to the brand of air to air fighting in play before there were air intercept radars?”

Nope. Repeat after me —

“...multi-spectral sensor fusion.”

Now say it again.

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

Unread postPosted: 26 Nov 2020, 18:31
by outlaw162
multi-spectral sensor fusion, multi-spectral sensor (choke) fusion....

sounds very unmanned aircraft-ish. (you're outta there 'Banger')

(Save some weight and mx and replace the radar with a ouija board)

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

Unread postPosted: 26 Nov 2020, 18:58
by outlaw162
Impressively during this particular scenario,
the F-35s flying with the other ‘blue’
players didn’t take any losses, despite
more than 30 adversaries.


Does that mean that no 'blue' players took any losses, which would be somewhat less than a glowing tribute to the 'red air' Raptors....or only the F-35s took no losses?

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

Unread postPosted: 26 Nov 2020, 19:01
by quicksilver
“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.”

I took it to mean no blue losses, but it could be the other that you suggest.

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

Unread postPosted: 26 Nov 2020, 19:04
by outlaw162
Yes, I understood the 22s were red air (edit to clarify same time as your post) but were there no blue air losses or only no F-35 losses?

the F-35s flying with the other ‘blue’ players didn’t take any losses


That phrase can be read either way. (760 on the English SAT)

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

Unread postPosted: 26 Nov 2020, 20:01
by spazsinbad
A fistful of fighters [Previous side bar text excerpt on previous page]
Dec 2020 Ivan Voukadinov

“Exercise Northern Lightning 2020 took place during late summer at Volk Field ANGB, Wisconsin. Ivan Voukadinov caught up with all the action

Northern Lightning, a high-end exercise in the United States’ Midwest, once again brought jet noise to the usually placid skies of Wisconsin. Although it has been held since the early 2000s, the exercise has been steadily growing and gaining popularity since being scaled up in 2015 with the integration of fourth and fifth generation platforms. Northern Lightning is one of seven Air National Guard jointly accredited exercises held at a Combat Readiness Training Center (CRTC), of which four are found on the US mainland.

The set-up
This year’s Northern Lightning took place between August 10-21 and, despite the current COVID-19 situation, still attracted around 50 aircraft and 1,000 military personnel from the Air Force, National Guard, Navy and Marines. Most deployed to Volk Field in central Wisconsin, usually quiet throughout the year since there are no permanently based flying units there. There is, however, a mobile radar/communications unit, the 128th Air Control Squadron (128th ACS) which supports air operations from the ground and provides command and control for airspace users during Northern Lightning.

The Volk Field CRTC boasts a great training environment with first class air-to-air and air-to-ground opportunities and more than 30,000 cu miles of fully instrumented airspace – the perfect setting for this type of advanced training. The ranges provide a full spectrum of target sets that support live, laser, GPS-guided munitions, moving strafe and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) targets. There is also a state-of the-art Electronic Warfare (EW) range with integrated stationary and mobile threat emitters capable of replicating enemy air defence systems.

Northern Lightning began as an annual exercise, but in 2018 and 2019 grew into a biannual event with a small edition in the spring, followed by the larger one in August. In 2020, it again became annual, with the missions focused heavily around Opposed Air Interdiction (OAI) against a highly integrated air defence system composed of capable surface-to-air and air-to-air threats in a contested/degraded operationally limited (CDO) environment.

The missions and scenarios were heavily reliant on the execution of suppression/destruction of enemy air defence (SEAD/DEAD) and close air support (CAS). Offensive counter air (OCA) was also practised as the scenarios each day always involved a ‘red air’ component. The organisers built each day’s scenario based on the units’ needs and what they wanted to achieve, so while the general ‘blue air’ versus ‘red air’ guideline was always followed, there were different components and mixes of each depending on the mission parameters. The scenarios take into consideration modern near-peer adversary capabilities in order to provide a complex and dynamic threat environment.

Who took part
With slightly fewer participants than the 2018 and 2019 editions of Northern Lightning, the most important ones this year were the F-35A Lightning II aircraft from the 158th Fighter Wing (158th FW), also known as the ‘Green Mountain Boys’, from Burlington, Vermont. A total of 12 F-35As, 24 pilots, and more than 100 supporting personnel deployed to Volk Field for the exercise. This is a significant milestone as it was the first deployment ever of an ANG squadron equipped with the F-35. It was also the first major deployment of the squadron since the transition to the F-35.

The flying component of the 158th FW is the 134th Fighter Squadron (134th FS), which took its first deliveries of the F-35 in September 2019 and until the start of the exercise had a total of 16 jets on strength. Almost all of the squadron’s available F-35s were deployed, demonstrating the high level of readiness already achieved. Lt Col Robert Peel, commander of the 158th Operations Support Squadron said: “Right now, we’re in conversion so we’re trying to go through a phased approach of getting our pilots up to speed and we haven’t even accepted all of our airplanes yet. This is our first opportunity to go on the road and exercise our basic functions, being able to fly on the road with operations, maintenance, execute a daily schedule and gain exposure of these missions and understand the nuances of working with several different platforms both with the USAF and the Navy.”

The 134th FS previously flew F-16C/D Block 30 aircraft primarily in the CAS role. With the change of aircraft also came a change of primary mission as the 158th FW is now a SEAD-focused squadron, using the F-35A in the ‘Wild Weasel’ role.

Most other participants were ‘regulars’ that have been coming to Northern Lightning for the past few years, including F-22s from the 1st Fighter Wing/27th Fighter Squadron. As in previous editions, the Raptors flew from Joint Base Langley-Eustis each morning, refuelling en route. They would join the fight, then land at Volk Field to refuel and swap crews before doing it all again in reverse order.

A difference this year was that the 27th FS deployed eight F-22s and 20 pilots to Volk Field for the duration of the exercise; in previous years bad weather on the route to/from Volk Field had sometimes caused cancellations.

All the 27th FS F-22s had received the Block 3.2B software update, which allows the use of AIM-9X Block 2 and AIM-120D missiles. Use of both was simulated during manoeuvres. Also flying from Volk Field each day were T-38s from the 71st FTS (Fighter Training Squadron) as well as civilian contracted L-159E ‘Honey Badgers’ from Draken International.

The US Navy participated with five VFA-151 ‘Vigilantes’ F/A-18E Super Hornets from Naval Air Station Lemoore, California. Additional participants flew from their home bases in the vicinity including F-16Cs from the 115th FW in Truax Field ANGB, Madison, Wisconsin, the 148th FW from Duluth ANGB, Minnesota and the 114th FW resident at Joe Foss Field ANGS, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Supporting the exercise were tankers from various units, mainly KC-135Rs of the 128th ARW, which flew direction from their home at General Mitchell Air National Guard Base in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Blue against red
During the two-week exercise, 658 sorties were flown, consisting of a morning and afternoon wave each day. The scenarios varied but always featured ‘red air’ and ‘blue air’ components. Missions typically required the ‘blue’ team to eliminate targets in the ‘red’ airspace, which were heavily contested and defended not just by the ‘red’ aircraft but also by various ground-based enemy air defences.

The F-35 and F-22 units were usually working together flying ‘blue air’, with the F-22 trying to achieve air dominance and protect the strike assets. The main platform driving the scenarios was the Vermont F-35s, so the majority of missions were heavily SEAD-focused.

An F-35 pilot, Commander Peel said: “We’re trying to gain experience with the SEAD role as well as integrating with other 5th/4th-gen platforms and practising multi-role air-to-air dissimilar air combat training (DACT). We try to work in conjunction either with other assets or other F-35s in order to take out critical nodes of integrated air defence systems and/or tactical SAMs that are a threat to strikers or coalitions assets in the AOR (area of responsibility).

“The F-35 has a pretty capable EW suite built into the airplane itself. If you were a Block 50 F-16 squadron, they have an HTS (HARM targeting system) pod and that allows them to detect threats on the ground, and that’s all internal to the F-35. We’re able to detect and find SAM [surface-to-air missile] sites just with the F-35 itself and the EW system built into the airplane and we will use our bomb and missile load-out or our internal jamming to negate those threats. We’re also integrating with the F-22s on ‘blue air’ to perfect tactics and our fighter integration, so we understand everybody’s strengths and weaknesses and work together to negate threats.”

It is worth noting the F-16s from the 148th FW in Duluth as well as the F/A-18Es from VFA-151 also sometimes flew SEAD during the exercise, integrating their tactics and strategies with the F-35. One technique was to use the advanced EW capabilities of the F-35 to penetrate the air defence systems and provide targeting information to the older fourth generation aircraft which can then use their AGM-88 HARM missiles to eliminate the threats. The F-35 cannot carry HARM missiles. However, the F-35 (not surprisingly) held its own in the air-to-air game. The ‘red’ team with its T-38s and L-159s were always supplemented by other aircraft, such as F-16s and F/A-18s depending on the particular day’s manoeuvres.

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.

Lessons learned
The 158th FW achieved another milestone in the course of the exercise, flying their 1,000th F-35 sortie since the conversion to the F-35 began last year. The challenges and learning opportunities still remain, however, as Lt Col Peel explained: “We’re hoping that a year from now to be fairly well versed in all of the different types of missions we’re expected to employ the airplane, in different theatres. We are still on the first third of that training window. Just gaining exposure and reps – this is the first time a lot of our pilots have been working into large force exercises in the F-35.

“The basic flying of the aircraft, we have at a high level coming out of training. It’s the employment of the airplane that you have to get exposure to, and this is our first step in the conversion process. There are things we have done with our tactics that haven’t been perfect. The airplanes are performing great and I’d say it’s more of our learning curve on our side. We’re trying to figure out how we’re going to work and employ with each other so there’s more things that the operators themselves have done that haven’t been efficient but nothing that can’t be fixed with proper tactics.”

It sounds like Northern Lightning was the ideal playground for the ‘Green Mountain Boys’ from Vermont as they approached the first anniversary of flying the F-35A.”

Source: AIR International Dec 2020 Vol 99 No 6

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

Unread postPosted: 27 Nov 2020, 01:25
by wrightwing
outlaw162 wrote:
Impressively during this particular scenario,
the F-35s flying with the other ‘blue’
players didn’t take any losses, despite
more than 30 adversaries.


Does that mean that no 'blue' players took any losses, which would be somewhat less than a glowing tribute to the 'red air' Raptors....or only the F-35s took no losses?

It sounds like no F-35 losses, given the context.

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

Unread postPosted: 27 Nov 2020, 02:00
by quicksilver
“760 on the English SAT“

Well...here in the States it was referred to as the ‘Verbal’ part of the test. How’d you do on that one?

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

Unread postPosted: 27 Nov 2020, 02:17
by outlaw162
I misinterpreted verbal as gerbil or it might have been an 800 also, like the 'numbers' test....but the test was in English and didn't deal solely with verbs as far as I recall. Maybe that's why I was only 1st alternate to CIT. Fortunate or might never have ended up in jets. :D

(I almost changed it to verbal after re-reading, but I figured that was a waste of what limited time I have left.)

How did you do?

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

Unread postPosted: 27 Nov 2020, 02:48
by quicksilver
outlaw162 wrote:I misinterpreted verbal as gerbil or it might have been an 800 also, like the 'numbers' test....but the test was in English and didn't deal solely with verbs as far as I recall. Maybe that's why I was only 1st alternate to CIT. Fortunate or might never have ended up in jets. :D

(I almost changed it to verbal after re-reading, but I figured that was a waste of what limited time I have left.)

How did you do?


Well enough to avoid ending up in the USAF.

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

Unread postPosted: 27 Nov 2020, 04:29
by outlaw162
Since they took away my F-105 and put me in a T-37, I'm certainly the last person to be defensive about humorous USAF jabs. 19 of my 24 years were Guard and Reserve, all fighter time, all where I wanted to be, no desk, and a satisfyingly different culture at that time. USAF personnel system could be an intricate trap for aviators at that time with all the irrelevant requirements that had little to do with flying airplanes.

However, in fairness, unlike USMC, I don't think USAF was allowed to add 'neck size' to their SAT scores.

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

Unread postPosted: 27 Nov 2020, 04:45
by spazsinbad
Funni you mention 'neck size'. Looks like USAF wants their fiterPilotes to muscle up (for the longevity innit & neckcircum).
Preserving fighter pilot readiness through preventative care [& IQ Enhancement?] 23 Nov 2020
https://www.acc.af.mil/News/Article-Dis ... tive-care/
"...“The main goal of this is for us to come together as a team and ensure their necks and backs stay protected, so they can have a long career,” Carpenter added. Neck and back injuries are common in individuals who experience significant compression from G-forces. OHWS takes the necessary steps through preventative care to reduce the rate at which these injuries occur...."

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

Unread postPosted: 29 Nov 2020, 14:28
by mixelflick
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...

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

Unread postPosted: 29 Nov 2020, 15:28
by sprstdlyscottsmn
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 30 Nov 2020, 04:22
by element1loop
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 30 Nov 2020, 07:39
by jessmo112
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

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

Unread postPosted: 30 Nov 2020, 23:01
by michaelemouse
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?

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

Unread postPosted: 01 Dec 2020, 12:42
by hornetfinn
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 01 Dec 2020, 13:15
by madrat
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 01 Dec 2020, 19:30
by steve2267
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 02 Dec 2020, 10:24
by element1loop
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 02 Dec 2020, 10:35
by element1loop
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 02 Dec 2020, 14:36
by wrightwing
It's important to note that these lessons learned, will not only help improve F-35 lethality, but F-22 lethality as well.

Re: 運動 ノーザンライトニングの概要 [F-35As + その他]

Unread postPosted: 02 Dec 2020, 20:02
by doge
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)

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

Unread postPosted: 04 Dec 2020, 20:32
by charlielima223
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 04 Dec 2020, 22:03
by steve2267
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 05 Dec 2020, 00:14
by marauder2048
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

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

Unread postPosted: 05 Dec 2020, 01:50
by spazsinbad
:devil: 'LATHER on STELF' - me likee. :devil:

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

Unread postPosted: 05 Dec 2020, 02:23
by boogieman
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.

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

Unread postPosted: 05 Dec 2020, 04:07
by wrightwing
charlielima223 wrote: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?



.


Nowhere in that article did it say that F-22s didn't get any kills. It only said that there were no F-35 losses.

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

Unread postPosted: 05 Dec 2020, 05:03
by element1loop
charlielima223 wrote:... It is good that they are really starting to stretch the F-35's capabilities ...


But are they really?

It doesn't seem so, in this particular case, as the F-35A were ANG (by no doubt experienced former USAF for the most part) and only 1/3rd of the way through their conversion to F-35A's new Wild-Weasel role, facing experienced USAF F-22A pilots, who were not in the middle of role conversion, but A2A specialists. Perhaps the F-22A pilots were a bit over confident here, a bit complacent about the jet they were facing too, perhaps. Either way, this is a terrific lesson for all about not getting tactically complacent, or not making the most out of the platform and systems available.

I'm amazed by the fact that the ANG F-35 pilots were far from happy with their own level of tactical development, they were stuffing-up quite a lot apparently. Presumably this was mostly to do with the Wild-Weasel role but their A2A employment could have been no better, probably worse given that's not their specialty, but it is for F-22A. An FOC F-22A SQN would not go to an exercise without being tactically fully ready for it.

And the ANG pilots were far from on top of their game, yet still lost no one after 2 weeks. Which makes me wonder what a squadron that's really got tactics, systems and weapons refined, using experienced F-35A pilots, will be able to do to an opposing force of anything else.

So I don't think we're seeing the F-35A really being stretched here. Challenged yes, properly stressed tested, no. This was a bit of an uneven match-up, where the F-35A dominated anyway.

Personally I suspect that having superior simulator training to accelerate familiarization, plus MDF, plus unmatched SA and network integration will be a large part of why these ANG pilots, 1/3rd of the way through conversion, were able to go toe-to-toe with F-22A, twice a day for 2 weeks, and survive.

24 new F-35A pilots, and they were all good enough to do this. The sim-based training must be incredibly good to have got them to that level so quickly in 5th-gen verses 5th-gen air combat.

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

Unread postPosted: 05 Dec 2020, 05:32
by element1loop
boogieman wrote: ... in that being high and fast still guzzles fuel & makes you easier to spot with IR sensors.


Being higher is almost universally a lower fuel-burn rate state, and a NET speed and range advantage. You only need to go fast enough to maintain a stable altitude and trim to make good use of that. You don't need to go any faster. So it's not to be viewed as just a domain for super cruise advantage as one of the F-22A's greatest advantages is to have a wing that is just as good at slow loitering at altitude, as it is at a high speed dash at high altitude.

The IR sensors of other aircraft also have to look for F-22A through more humid air at lower level. Plus being in thinner cold air will be an advantage for F-22A, as all you have to do is slow down and the cooler air will wash off the unwanted excess thermal signature quickly.

So what if an F-22A loses 500 ft/min at 65,000 ft from slowing down in combat to reduce IR signature? It still takes 20 mins to drop 10,000 feet doing that and the thermal signature is a small fraction of what it was when the F-22A was maintaining altitude at 65,000 ft. An F-22A losing 500 ft/min still has an order of mag lower IR signature than a transonic cruising F-15E with external stores, at 40,000 ft.

It's a huge advantage from that alone, plus altitude can be turned into speed, without increasing engine thermal output, or using more fuel, or using AB too early.

boogieman wrote: 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.


Agree.

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

Unread postPosted: 05 Dec 2020, 14:48
by aw2007
wrightwing wrote:
charlielima223 wrote: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?



.


Nowhere in that article did it say that F-22s didn't get any kills. It only said that there were no F-35 losses.


All good points. We simply don't know what the Raptors were replicating. They may not have been playing "Raptors" after all. The could've been simulating a more realistic threat- ie: J-20 with degraded capabilities in terms of sensors, sensor fusion, kinematics, tactics and such.

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

Unread postPosted: 06 Dec 2020, 11:22
by boogieman
element1loop wrote:
boogieman wrote: ... in that being high and fast still guzzles fuel & makes you easier to spot with IR sensors.


Being higher is almost universally a lower fuel-burn rate state, and a NET speed and range advantage. You only need to go fast enough to maintain a stable altitude and trim to make good use of that. You don't need to go any faster. So it's not to be viewed as just a domain for super cruise advantage as one of the F-22A's greatest advantages is to have a wing that is just as good at slow loitering at altitude, as it is at a high speed dash at high altitude.

The IR sensors of other aircraft also have to look for F-22A through more humid air at lower level. Plus being in thinner cold air will be an advantage for F-22A, as all you have to do is slow down and the cooler air will wash off the unwanted excess thermal signature quickly.

Yes, but supercruising still sucks gas - even up high - where even a reduced IR signature can be silhouetted against the cold blue sky, providing better contrast for upward looking hostile IRST etc. Problem is that J-20 can play in the multispectral sensor dept with its EOTS and DAS clones, while the Raptor can't. Integrating with F35s will probably help this, but the Panther's lack of a comparable supercruise capability would then also limit the amount of supercruising the Raptor(s) could do without simply leaving the Panthers behind. Like I said - still a capability worth having in the toolkit - but one that will increasingly need to be used with care.

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Dec 2020, 02:00
by marauder2048
element1loop wrote:The IR sensors of other aircraft also have to look for F-22A through more humid air at lower level. Plus being in thinner cold air will be an advantage for F-22A, as all you have to do is slow down and the cooler air will wash off the unwanted excess thermal signature quickly.


Water vapor is a fairly negligible contributor to attenuation at altitudes above 30,000 ft.

But the viewing angle at a lower altitude is looking at a small amount of the the projected area
thats experiencing the most airframe heating. So the other contributors to signature
like reflections and engine heating are potentially more prominent.

But there's also going to be a lot of clear sky background for good contrast.

Without a better description of the setups, it's not at all clear.

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Dec 2020, 02:29
by element1loop
boogieman wrote:... Integrating with F35s will probably help this, but the Panther's lack of a comparable supercruise capability would then also limit the amount of supercruising the Raptor(s) could do without simply leaving the Panthers behind. ...


Not a bad idea mixing them in the role 2 x F-35A + 2 x F-22A. Both to search, F-35A to maintain a passive lock, F-22A to use their speed to flank, then coordinated multi-axis attacking. This could work if the F-35D has 10,000 lb more thrust, better fuel economy, and engine altitude optimization (three path is that), with the wing of the F-35C.

(gee, you could even use that on a carrier as an F/A-18 SH BKIII replacement with a ~1,000 nm operating radius .........)

But then again, a high-performance Loyal Wingman with a DAS IRST array and EOTS could do the same to increase F-22A capabilities and survival in EO mutispectral fight. The drones don't even need to be at 65,000 ft, but they do need to be capable of a super-sonic dash. If these also have auto-AAR and can stay in the air 24/7, and they AAR from an MQ-25A derivative 24/7, then Loyal Wingman simply stays permanently in the air for the entire campaign, and gets handed-off to the next flight of F-22A, or F-35A to come into the airspace. Eventually that grows in capability to an aircraft that can carry A2A weapons as well.

Supercruise was never the thing to do unless the distance was long (to reduce time) and tankers were plentiful. That sounds a lot like the Western Pacific, except for an abundance of tankers. Supercruise was not meant to be the only or dominant means to engage in tactical A2A fighting or even search. It was discussed at 'Elements of Airpower' blog many moons ago that doing so would produce much higher detection, tracking and targeting signature hazards (even for RCS, not just IR). i.e. it's a poor tactic which does not make the best of the jet's strengths of low-sig while transonic at altitude. So I don;t believe a pilot with brain switched on in going to be providing J20 easy detections in RCS or IR.

You are perhaps perceiving the IR detection threat as more than it really is. F-22A just went through an MLU, it will have much better SA and sensor capabilities now. Plus the detailed regional air-picture which includes HF and VHF plus satellite sensor detection and tracking radar and IR arrays contributing also to the air picture. So it's not so likely an updated F-22A will blunder into a J20's EO FOV, without intel, satellite early warning (if these are still up), VHF AEW&C, plus HF OTHR and on board prioritization systems contributing to SA against a threat J20 known to have launched and be in the air, in the vicinity, and probably are illuminated by HF or VHF before they come together inside mutual detection radius.

So pilots will fly the jet to reduce signature at that point. And if F-22A has gained an analogue of the F-35A's Mission Data File system, then that potential J20 contact is not going to be getting an EO track, before it dies.

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Dec 2020, 02:35
by element1loop
marauder2048 wrote:
element1loop wrote:The IR sensors of other aircraft also have to look for F-22A through more humid air at lower level. Plus being in thinner cold air will be an advantage for F-22A, as all you have to do is slow down and the cooler air will wash off the unwanted excess thermal signature quickly.


Water vapor is a fairly negligible contributor to attenuation at altitudes above 30,000 ft. But the viewing angle at a lower altitude is looking at a small amount of the the projected area thats experiencing the most airframe heating. So the other contributors to signature like reflections and engine heating are potentially more prominent. But there's also going to be a lot of clear sky background for good contrast.

Without a better description of the setups, it's not at all clear.


Agree.

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

Unread postPosted: 07 Dec 2020, 03:09
by boogieman
element1loop wrote:You are perhaps perceiving the IR detection threat as more than it really is. F-22A just went through an MLU, it will have much better SA and sensor capabilities now. Plus the detailed regional air-picture which includes HF and VHF plus satellite sensor detection and tracking radar and IR arrays contributing also to the air picture. So it's not so likely an updated F-22A will blunder into a J20's EO FOV, without intel, satellite early warning (if these are still up), VHF AEW&C, plus HF OTHR and on board prioritization systems contributing to SA against a threat J20 known to have launched and be in the air, in the vicinity, and probably are illuminated by HF or VHF before they come together inside mutual detection radius.

So pilots will fly the jet to reduce signature at that point. And if F-22A has gained an analogue of the F-35A's Mission Data File system, then that potential J20 contact is not going to be getting an EO track, before it dies.

No argument there. A good illustration of the fact that the utility of supercruise is heavily contingent upon SA. Supercruise boosting an AAM shot is great when you know where all the bandits are, but risky if you don't. Hence why I take the supercruise capability of 4.5 gens like Su-35 with a grain of salt. Not much use if all it buys you is a faster collision with an incoming AMRAAM.

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

Unread postPosted: 14 Jan 2021, 15:30
by doge
I found a Northern Lightning 2020 video and will post it. 8) (F-35 Powerful Takeoff :shock: )
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1N3eOEDvdc