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wswartzendruber
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:44 pm    Post subject: Lockheed F-35 Lightning II Reply with quote

In another thread, I posited the idea of Japan putting F-35B strike-fighters on their helicopter carriers. Most of the replies said that the F-35 is a pig.

Why is the production variant of the F-35 (Block 3F) a pig? Also keep in mind that similar things were said about the F/A-18 when it came out.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.dote.osd.mil/pub/reports/FY2015/pdf/dod/2015f35jsf.pdf If you don't want to read the 82 report on the publicly mentioned problems, a couple of links on the big ones that made it to the MSM

http://uk.businessinsider.com/here-are-all-the-problems-with-the-f-35-that-the-pentagon-found-in-a-2014-report-2015-3?r=US&IR=T
https://breakingdefense.com/2018/01/f-35-problems-late-iote-f-35a-gun-inaccurate-f-35b-tires-threat-data-cyber/
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naib wrote:
https://breakingdefense.com/2018/01/f-35-problems-late-iote-f-35a-gun-inaccurate-f-35b-tires-threat-data-cyber/
Quote:
Among the other significant issues the program faces, the program is unlikely to enter the legally-required Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) milestone until late this year because developmental testing may not finish until as late as this May.
Does entering IOT&E mean something other than "test and evaluation"? I'm asking, because that basically sounds like it's still in the debugging phase of development. And I believe this was a completely new aircraft. I'm not saying the issues are insignificant, but it seems like they're being addressed.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a word, it is a single air frame required to preform close support, ground attack, fleet defense, and air superiority. These are mutually exclusive.

Close support requires long loiter times and the ability to receive targets from friendlies and deploy ordinance in proximity without killing them. It also usually means operating out of unimproved or minimally improved forward airbases. Stealth is a secondary concern here. Think Warthog and Harrier. Time in the air and armor are top priority. Supersonic flight is absolutely not required.

Ground attack is similar, but the emphasis is on crossing the lines and delivering ordinance to tactical targets like power plants, bridges, communication centers, etc. The important feature is to get in get the job done and get out. Stealth is king. Armor and extra fuel are just nice to have. Supersonic flight may be required, supercruise may or may not be an asset depending on the environment.

The fleet defense role is to get in the air quickly, intercept and shoot down. Manuverability is also required for when you get into a dog fight. Again, stealth is nice but you need the performance to do the mission. Loiter time is not needed. Supersonic and supercruise is mandatory.

Air superiority means maneuverability and speed, full stop. Stealth is a priority.

In an aircraft weight is extremely important. Having unnecessary equipment is dead weight. The wing loading and power loading requirements of these missions is also polar opposites. A fighter has high wing loading and power loading. A close support aircraft has lower wing loading and power loading to conserve fuel and increase the payload.

These conflicting requirements means there is no way to build an all in one fighter, bomber, and close support aircraft. The F-35 does everything, but nothing well. It is overweight and a maintenance nightmare.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just remember, this is meant to replace the A10
Let that sink in
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
Naib wrote:
https://breakingdefense.com/2018/01/f-35-problems-late-iote-f-35a-gun-inaccurate-f-35b-tires-threat-data-cyber/
Quote:
Among the other significant issues the program faces, the program is unlikely to enter the legally-required Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) milestone until late this year because developmental testing may not finish until as late as this May.
Does entering IOT&E mean something other than "test and evaluation"? I'm asking, because that basically sounds like it's still in the debugging phase of development. And I believe this was a completely new aircraft. I'm not saying the issues are insignificant, but it seems like they're being addressed.


They are being addressed and yes lots of large projects do get released buggy (note: that doesn't make it right ). It's just the F35 seems to be bigger by a long stretch, extreamly late AND rediculously overspent

Remember the OP asked why the F35 is a pig, I think I have provided some nice reference material. The major ones will be fixed or have been fixed, but alot won't be remember the issue from last month with the fuel pipe that grounded the entire fleet... THAT is a quality issue and shows Lockheed does not have its production under control. These are now EIS not just SOF
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Doctor wrote:
Close support requires long loiter times and the ability to receive targets from friendlies and deploy ordinance in proximity without killing them. It also usually means operating out of unimproved or minimally improved forward airbases. Stealth is a secondary concern here. Think Warthog and Harrier. Time in the air and armor are top priority. Supersonic flight is absolutely not required.

Don't forget that on top of all that, it needs to carry as many weapons as possible. The last thing you want from a CAS platform is for it to get in theatre, spend 5 minutes dropping 4 small bombs, shoot a handful of bullets, and having to return to base, and land on fumes to refuel and reload, and take another half hour or more getting back into position while the troops are being overrun. Nothing makes an enemy army kack its pants more than a flight of A-10's flying overhead, with an extra helping of kack when it starts brrrrrting at them. That by itself is a distinct advantage.

Everything else is spot on.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This plane was designed by Skunk Works. Given their reputation, I am certainly willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. We have yet to see a fatality from it, and have only one crash. No other project of even half this size can say that.

I don't think even the Army knows if the F-35 will replace the A-10. But after the RIAT 2018 demo, I can easily see the F-35A replacing the F-16. For the F-35B to replace the Harrier should be an axiom. The big unknown for now is the F-35C.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wswartzendruber wrote:
This plane was designed by Skunk Works. Given their reputation, I am certainly willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Kelly Johnson retired in 1875 and died in 1990. Sunk works just hasn't been the same since. I find it very likely that if he was asked he would have passed on the project.

Everyone in the industry, other than the politicians, understand that 3 or 4 different aircraft will be cheaper and more effective in the long run. Who would really think you can cross a Corvette and a Ford Explorer to get a world class sports car and a best in class truck? Only a politician.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Doctor wrote:
Kelly Johnson retired in 1875 and died in 1990. Sunk works just hasn't been the same since.

F-117
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wswartzendruber wrote:
The Doctor wrote:
Kelly Johnson retired in 1875 and died in 1990. Sunk works just hasn't been the same since.

F-117
Project began in 1975, delivered in 1981 and was not particularly difficult technically. Stealth requires solving a math equation and secrecy that few other companies can offer. During this period Johnson was still involved as a consultant, but the program was basically just making a brick fly.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Doctor wrote:
wswartzendruber wrote:
The Doctor wrote:
Kelly Johnson retired in 1875 and died in 1990. Sunk works just hasn't been the same since.

F-117
Project began in 1975, delivered in 1981 and was not particularly difficult technically. Stealth requires solving a math equation and secrecy that few other companies can offer. During this period Johnson was still involved as a consultant, but the program was basically just making a brick fly.

Fair enough. But tell me this... Why are our allies lining up to buy this thing?
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wswartzendruber wrote:
The Doctor wrote:
wswartzendruber wrote:
The Doctor wrote:
Kelly Johnson retired in 1875 and died in 1990. Sunk works just hasn't been the same since.

F-117
Project began in 1975, delivered in 1981 and was not particularly difficult technically. Stealth requires solving a math equation and secrecy that few other companies can offer. During this period Johnson was still involved as a consultant, but the program was basically just making a brick fly.

Fair enough. But tell me this... Why are our allies lining up to buy this thing?
It is marketed to offer a capability that exceeds present capability in either their present fleet or in the supply chain.
The UK went into the program as a significant technical contributor, hence why the UK is lining up. Belgium went with it because it's present fleet are F16 and the alternative is either the EuroFighter or the Rafael (Macron had a hissy fit when Belgium announced going F35).
Most countries have an aging airforce that relies on F15,F16, Tornadoes, Harriers etc... The UK retired the Harrier as it was way past its end of life and worked had been commited to its replacement - F-35 (now remember, the UK wasted £1bn stretching the new carriers to take EuroFighters via catapult due to how badly the F-35 program was going). The Tornado is being replaced by the Eurofighter. There are other UK jets that fill roles: Tornado GR4, who's roles will be split between F-35 and Eurofighter

There is actually very few military fighter countries in the world: USA, UK, France, Sweden, Italy ... Russia, China.
UK,Italy invested R&T into the Eurofighter. France invested R&T into the Rafael, Sweden into the Giffen. New air-frames are few and far between
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wswartzendruber wrote:
Fair enough. But tell me this... Why are our allies lining up to buy this thing?
Marketing. You can easily convince a politician to jump on the bandwagon.

Actually, a large number of orders have been downsized or outright cancelled since everyone got to see the product. One of my favorite quotes comes from Canada. They asked Lockheed "what happens when the single engine fails over the attic?" Naturally a pilot who has to eject in the northern climate, or at sea, stands a real risk of dying before they can be picked up. Lockheed's response was "it won't fail." Pure BS. They are going with Super Hornets instead for now and may not purchase any US made replacements.

It wouldn't be the first time US aircraft are exported despite not being the best aircraft. The F-104 was widely sold as suitable for roles that it simply was not. The German experience with the aircraft was particularly poor.

I blame the current fiasco on politicians. It is going to be all sunshine and roses until a real war breaks out and the loss figures can't be denied.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A perfect example is the F-14... A missile (Phoenix), was designed to counter a threat that Russia convinced America existed. A plane had to be designed to carry this one missile and lo and behold the F-14. Zero kills by USA
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Doctor wrote:
Lockheed's response was "it won't fail." Pure BS.

Well, to their credit, one did eat a fuel basket and safely land on the carrier.

Also, the UK is asking for more.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the bugs can be worked out at a decent rate and the production cost reduced, it will be a decent plane. It partially provides what the Comanche program was meant to provide
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naib wrote:
A perfect example is the F-14... A missile (Phoenix), was designed to counter a threat that Russia convinced America existed. A plane had to be designed to carry this one missile and lo and behold the F-14. Zero kills by USA


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIUowqD0uY8
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Muso wrote:
Naib wrote:
A perfect example is the F-14... A missile (Phoenix), was designed to counter a threat that Russia convinced America existed. A plane had to be designed to carry this one missile and lo and behold the F-14. Zero kills by USA


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIUowqD0uY8
Yeah, I remembered F-14s over the Med.

And don't forget Tom Cruise. Maverick shot down half an air force in a Tomcat.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naib wrote:
A perfect example is the F-14... A missile (Phoenix), was designed to counter a threat that Russia convinced America existed. A plane had to be designed to carry this one missile and lo and behold the F-14. Zero kills by USA
Aside from the 2 Libyan Migs it wasn't in action either. Except the 2 migs every time a Tomcat locked onto a enemy aircraft they disengaged and ran. No naval wars where fought between Vietnam and the present time. Iraq air superiority was handled entirely by F-15s while the Tomcats patrolled the gulf.

Although it is worth noting that when F-22s bounced a flight of Tomcats they where "killed" beyond visual range and then "killed" again in the ensuing dogfight. A Tomcat also gunned a F-22 at Red Flag (Not quite sure why the navy was participating in Red Flag. May have been a different exercise.)

A fighter that dissuades the enemy from attempting battle is widely successful. Both the F-15 and F-14 are exceptional in this regard.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Doctor wrote:
[lthough it is worth noting that when F-22s bounced a flight of Tomcats they where "killed" beyond visual range and then "killed" again in the ensuing dogfight.
I'm confused. When the Raptors bounced the Tomcats, who killed who? I'm guessing the Raptors came out on top.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meh. It's good enough, given that we have other weapons systems that are more specialized in any given role. It's intended to be a multi-role fighter. It does that well. And they're still getting the kinks out.

Besides, fighters are pretty much a thing of the past. They are what horse cavalry was at the outset of World War I.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old School wrote:
The Doctor wrote:
[lthough it is worth noting that when F-22s bounced a flight of Tomcats they where "killed" beyond visual range and then "killed" again in the ensuing dogfight.
I'm confused. When the Raptors bounced the Tomcats, who killed who? I'm guessing the Raptors came out on top.
No. The Tomcats did. It is rather embarrassing to the brass and doesn't get thrown around much. I only found out about this stuff because I had the chance to talk to people who were directly involved with the Tomcats.

The military likes to promote their new toys as the best even when it isn't strictly the case. The C-5 vs the C-17 is a great example. I know a C-5 pilot who proved a point by landing after a C-17 and max preforming the C-5 to land shorter and taxi in ahead of the C-17. He got a royal lecture for it despite not breaking any rules or orders.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Doctor wrote:
Old School wrote:
The Doctor wrote:
[lthough it is worth noting that when F-22s bounced a flight of Tomcats they where "killed" beyond visual range and then "killed" again in the ensuing dogfight.
I'm confused. When the Raptors bounced the Tomcats, who killed who? I'm guessing the Raptors came out on top.
No. The Tomcats did.

Maverick.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swingwing plus RIO works beautifully, if expensively. The Tomcats' Achilles heel.

The Tomcat actually pertains to this discussion most pertinently because of the F-111B. Secretary Robert McNamara had the same dream of a single airframe to do everything to save costs. Vice Admiral Thomas F. Connolly famously shot him down in front of Congress by saying "There isn't enough power in all Christendom to make that airplane what we want!" Now the F-35 not only has to fill the role of the F-111 and the F-14 but the A-10, A-6, and AV-8B Harrier.
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