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Thread: 2017 F-35 news and discussion thread

  1. #1951
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    fact being, on these boards it is often seen as extremely important to have the "first day strike capability against advanced integrated air defence networks, which is something aircraft does even less often than that, but hey, who cares, if it suits one's liking, right?
    That totally explains the overwhelming enthusiasm for Low Observable fighter aircraft on message boards, but a total lack of enthusiasm for them among those that actually sign the checks in terms of funding their development or procurement.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  2. #1952
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    Quote Originally Posted by hopsalot

    The point is that on messageboards slow speed WVR "dogfighting" is seen as extremely important, (witness the endless discussions we see about it with regard to the F-35 and other aircraft), but in the real wold it is recognized as a very small part of what a fighter actually does.

    Most 4th generation fighters are simply seen as "good enough" and there aren't major efforts ongoing to improve WVR performance.
    Reality is a bit more nuanced than that. WVR was at the time (and still is) extremely important, but while "super maneuverability" was found to be very decisive in the classic neutral merge 1v1 WVR dogfight, it was much less advantageous for the more common WVR engagement setups. As an extreme example, no feasible level of super maneuverability will overcome a single super-agile fighter getting jumped by a 4-ship flight of F-16s.

    After running a series of simulations depicting the types of dogfight setups that happen in real life, it was determined that WVR success is determined more by which side came out on top in the BVR fight (and thereby entered the WVR dogfight from a position of advantage) than by which side had the fighters with the best WVR capability. It was also determined that better avionics and HOBS missiles is more decisive than super maneuverability.

    I HIGHLY recommend reading SMSgt Mac's blog post on the subject here:

    http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/...driven-by.html
    Last edited by CastleBravo; 29th June 2017 at 17:29.

  3. #1953
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    You have to differentiate between "WVR," literally, "within visual range," and the "dogfighting" that some here obsess over. The large majority of WVR engagements are not the sort of turning fights where a "super maneuverable" aircraft has an advantage.

    Most WVR engagements are just as they have always been... short, one-sided affairs where one participant often isn't aware he is in a fight until it is too late.

    Basically with the benefit of many many tens of thousands of hours of simulations, exercises, and real world combat experience, the bottom line is that optimizing aircraft for performance in a turning fight beyond the level of performance already seen in 4th generation fighters just isn't worth it. Far bigger returns can be had by investing in stealth, sensors, networking, missiles, etc.

  4. #1954
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    Basically with the benefit of many many tens of thousands of hours of simulations, exercises, and real world combat experience, the bottom line is that optimizing aircraft for performance in a turning fight beyond the level of performance already seen in 4th generation fighters just isn't worth it. Far bigger returns can be had by investing in stealth, sensors, networking, missiles, etc.
    Exactly. At best, building a superior "dogfighter" only helps you in the rare neutral WVR setup. You will likely win the advantageous setups without the super-agility advantage, and you will probably still lose the disadvantageous ones even with the super-agility. At worst, optimizing for super-agility in the turn-fight at the expense of other capabilities might result in your forces on average entering more WVR dogfights from a position of disadvantage against an opponent that is optimized differently. In this case, while you have the better capability in a dogfight, you still end up losing most of the WVR dogfights that occur (while also losing MASSIVELY in BVR).
    Last edited by CastleBravo; 29th June 2017 at 17:47.

  5. #1955
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    I don't quite get your point, first you said F-35 need bigger wing, now you said adding more wing is bad ?
    It doesn't need a bigger wing but would be better imho if designed differently including a bigger wing. I'm saying simply adding a bigger wing to an existing design is not ideal.
    How can less be more? It's impossible. More is more.
    Yngwie Malmsteen

  6. #1956
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    Poland to buy 5th-gen fighter jets around 2025

    WARSAW, Poland — Polish Deputy Defence Minister Tomasz Szatkowski has announced plans by Warsaw to acquire fifth-generation fighter jets around 2025.

    The acquisition will be carried out under the Harpia program (Harpy in English), which is planned to be launched next year, Szatkowski said at a panel discussion held by Warsaw-based think tank Polityka Insight. The procurements will be enabled by Warsaw’s plans to increase the country’s military spending from the current level of 2 percent of its gross domestic product to 2.5 percent in the coming years, according to the deputy defense minister.

    The latest announcement comes as the Defence Ministry is developing its procurement plan for the years 2017 to 2026. Ministry officials have said that Warsaw might purchase two squadrons of F-35 Lightning II jets, consisting of a total of 32 aircraft. The planned procurement of fifth-generation fighters was also included in the ministry’s "Concept of Defence of the Republic of Poland," a strategic document released May 23.

    That said, earlier this year, Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz stated that the country’s government may purchase used F-16 fighter jets for the Polish Air Force from the United States. The aircraft would be overhauled and upgraded by the Polish state-run defense industry. The new jets are designed to replace Poland’s Soviet-designed Sukhoi Su-22 and Mikoyan MiG-29 fighters.

  7. #1957
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    Quote Originally Posted by CastleBravo View Post
    Reality is a bit more nuanced than that. WVR was at the time (and still is) extremely important, but while "super maneuverability" was found to be very decisive in the classic neutral merge 1v1 WVR dogfight, it was much less advantageous for the more common WVR engagement setups. As an extreme example, no feasible level of super maneuverability will overcome a single super-agile fighter getting jumped by a 4-ship flight of F-16s.

    After running a series of simulations depicting the types of dogfight setups that happen in real life, it was determined that WVR success is determined more by which side came out on top in the BVR fight (and thereby entered the WVR dogfight from a position of advantage) than by which side had the fighters with the best WVR capability. It was also determined that better avionics and HOBS missiles is more decisive than super maneuverability.

    I HIGHLY recommend reading SMSgt Mac's blog post on the subject here:

    http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/...driven-by.html
    When you take into consideration the short range at which stealth aircraft are detected vs legacy, the many vs many scenario is decided well before the first BVR shots are taken.

    By detecting opposing aircraft significantly earlier than they are detected, stealth aircraft have opportunity to hold back at range and wait for additional friends to join the ambush.

    What would have been a 4v4 shooting match with legacy ac on both sides would likely be an 8v4 ambush with stealth vs legacy.

    Getting tied up in a turning fight against f-35s would often be a bad outcome. All they would need to do is keep you defensive with over the shoulder shots (even if they are low pk) while their friends plink at you from outside the fight with amraams.

  8. #1958
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    What would you think otherwise happens on the so-said "second day" ?
    in fact the meaning of my post, was more that, USA put aside, no other nation goes around the planet bombing the hell out of remote countries on its own, except maybe France which doesn't use the same aircraft at all... as for the "near peer" scenario we read so much about, it is as likely to happen, even to the USA, as going to bomb the moon with it... wars are fought by interest, and no "near peer country" has any interest in messing around with another "near peer" as it would be a very costly affair for both of them... therefore, the "need" for that particular capability is nonexistent except on these boards.

  9. #1959
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    That totally explains the overwhelming enthusiasm for Low Observable fighter aircraft on message boards, but a total lack of enthusiasm for them among those that actually sign the checks in terms of funding their development or procurement.
    or it can be explained by a combination of:

    - political international arrangements/pressures
    - politicians' incompetence in the combat aircraft matters
    - militaries' desire to have the latest and shiniest toy available

    when you have nations lining up for an aircraft that still has to be developed, and already has long delays, not to speak about the cost overruns that obviously lead to prices much higher than what was initially announced, it looks much more like "faith" or "I don't care what happens after me" than rational thinking. it has started as "stealth 5th gen striker, to "do-it-all second only to the F-22"; and then "well, it is a force multiplier, it works inside a full network, so you shouldn't compare it on one to one basis with old guys"... in fact, pretty much "we say whatever can make it look good with regard to what it has shown... or not..."

    in the end, it should be good at something, but how can a nation accept to buy just a handful of fighters as it can't afford to have more, and loose its operational capability as there aren't enough airframes available to do the job properly is beyond me.. and beyond any rational thinking

  10. #1960
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    Tell that to half of a dozen (or more ) countries currently working on one or more 5th generation aircraft developmental programs and others acquiring these.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  11. #1961
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    What would you think otherwise happens on the so-said "second day" ?
    As we saw in Kosovo, GW1 & 2, and Lybia.... the "first day" can last weeks if not months.

    Not only that, but a VLO airframe in an Air Policing role can let you completely dictate the engagement.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  12. #1962
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    TooCool has a point, considering the expense of India's contract for 36 Rafale, perhaps they should have considered the operational capability of a handful of airframes for 8.8 billion.... beyond rational thinking.

  13. #1963
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    Certainly there is a problem of growing complexity and cost of the newest, post cold war planes, stealth ones above all, but not one is going to build planes now without a consistent degree of RCS reduction added.
    The problem of a conflict with vastly inferior adversaries is however an issue but the solution is to keep on service if already you posses or otherwise acquire a quote of CAS/COIN planes not giving to other the possibility to acquire an operative superiority over you.

  14. #1964
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    For now the HASC and SASC FY18 numbers differ but both are much higher than what the Trump budget had asked for.

    Trump Budget - 70 Aircraft - 46 x F-35A, 20 x F-35B, 4 x F-35C

    HASC - 87 Aircraft - 56 x F-35A, 23 x F-35B, 8 x F-35C

    SASC - 94 Aircraft - 60 x F-35A, 24 x F-35B, 10 x F-35C

    Post negotiations I wouldn't be surprised if the FY18 numbers end up at or around 80 aircraft. As part of their UPLs USAF had requested 14 additional F-35As while the DON requested 4 additional F-35Cs and 6 additional F-35Bs.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 30th June 2017 at 10:40.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  15. #1965
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    WARSAW, Poland — Polish Deputy Defence Minister Tomasz Szatkowski has announced plans by Warsaw to acquire fifth-generation fighter jets around 2025.
    i am skeptical they will have money for it considering what is in store. Poland need order F-35 now.

  16. #1966
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    For now the HASC and SASC FY18 numbers differ but both are much higher than what the Trump budget had asked for.

    Trump Budget - 70 Aircraft - 46 x F-35A, 20 x F-35B, 4 x F-35C

    HASC - 87 Aircraft - 56 x F-35A, 23 x F-35B, 8 x F-35C

    SASC - 94 Aircraft - 60 x F-35A, 24 x F-35B, 10 x F-35C

    Post negotiations I wouldn't be surprised if the FY18 numbers end up at or around 80 aircraft. As part of their UPLs USAF had requested 14 additional F-35As while the DON requested 4 additional F-35Cs and 6 additional F-35Bs.
    Apparently, the Senate has also authorized the Economic Order Quantity for Lots 12 - 14 setting the wheels in motion for the first hybrid block buy for the program.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 30th June 2017 at 16:51.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  17. #1967
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    There is no legal or economic justification for NOT doing the full Block Buy.. Idiots (the pols, not most people here).
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  18. #1968
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    http://www.defense-aerospace.com/art...t-nothing.html

    While my dislike for de briganti's style of faulty editorial posing as journalism is deeply rooted, it isn't often one of his "articles" makes me laugh out loud. I particularly love how he starts off with comments from the AvWeek message board scrum. They are a special breed. He ends with alleged unnamed military personnel comments.

    Sadly,, he, David Axe, and Pierre Spray have had a significant influence on public opinion of the F-35 over the years.

  19. #1969
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    If all he had was his own soapbox, then I could comfortably ignore him...

    Unfortunately too many "reputable" publications will re-post his "analysis" without so much as a minute spend on fact-checking.

    Then those get picked up and republished, and so on, and so on, etc.

    Next thing you know I have relatives upset at a program they have no clue about.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  20. #1970
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    While my dislike for de briganti's style of faulty editorial posing as journalism is deeply rooted, it isn't often one of his "articles" makes me laugh out loud. I particularly love how he starts off with comments from the AvWeek message board scrum. They are a special breed. He ends with alleged unnamed military personnel comments.
    He is so butt hurt that he has to invent some fake stores, sound like JSR

  21. #1971
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBW
    Sadly,, he, David Axe, and Pierre Spray have had a significant influence on public opinion of the F-35 over the years.
    Honestly, I don't think they have nearly the impact they think they do... there is a certain segment of the population that is going to bash every single military program... just because. POGO and others cater that demographic by consistently opposing every major program right up until they prove successful, and then moving on to criticize the next thing. It is sloppy, lazy, and very easy... but the people who actually make decisions aren't going to these sources for their information. (unless they just have an agenda from the start)

  22. #1972
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    That constituency is actually pretty vibrant and there are main stream journos that cater to it. Tony has been the point person in the MSM for leaks originating from the DOTEs office for many years now and there has been a back and forth between his reporting and POGO (one being linked to or sourcing the other) for quite a while also. POGO also has a habit of selectively deleting their reports and write-ups on systems that they have viciously attacked in the past only to have them proven wrong..But yes, beyond a handful of policy makers that also cater to this constituency most treat this as noise.

    Look at the backdrop here - The F-35A just returned from PAS17, the House and the Senate Committees both passed considerable increases for the FY18 F-35 procurement (b/w 17-24 more aircraft than what Mattis and Trump requested), both are on their way to providing their blessing to an EOQ, and the Marine aviation boss expressed his desire to significantly increase the annual DON F-35B buy rate.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 1st July 2017 at 11:09.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  23. #1973
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    Apparently, the Senate has also authorized the Economic Order Quantity for Lots 12 - 14 setting the wheels in motion for the first hybrid block buy for the program.
    Is it legal? I thought it was only possible for proven trouble free programs and only as an exception)?

  24. #1974
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    Is it legal?
    Yes.

    I thought it was only possible for proven trouble free programs and only as an exception
    Not true. Various block buy, MYP strategies are being pursued for systems where not even the first example of the defense system under consideration has been built, let alone 'proven'. As of the FY18 budget request two notable ones that stand out are the DDG-51 Flight III Destroyer (Contract to build the first one has recently been awarded to HII) where the DOD is looking at a 10 ship/$17.8 Billion MYP, and the Block V Virginia Class Submarine (No block Vs exist at the moment) where a 10 sub/$32 Billion contract will be awarded in FY19.

    The F-35 which would have completed its SDD phase by the time the first aircraft purchased through this arrangement is even delivered is not being procured through this one time MYP commitment. Instead, under the US DOD F-35 EOQ approach, only $660 or so Million is being allocated in FY18 to support the strategy with DOD funding to still come in annual batches in support of Lots 12-14 i.e Congress will have a vote/authorize in each years annual procurement # and funding levels for the EOQ. It will be the international partner nations and FMS customers that will be placing bulk orders upfront.

    This strategy essentially splits the 440-450 aircraft being negotiated under these three lots to two different but related acquisition mechanisms with half being acquired through the traditional block buy while the other half through the EOQ with annual US Congress oversight.

    A proper traditional US MYP for the F-35 would likely happen for Lots 15 and beyond and would likely involve upwards of 500 US aircraft plus more for FMS and partner nations.

    Finally, not that it matters in this case, but remember that 'law' as it relates to the DOD acquisition and funding is whatever the NDAA says it is. When the NDAA bill is passed by the Legislative branch it moves to the White House and when it is signed by the POTUS it becomes the law of the land.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 1st July 2017 at 12:45.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  25. #1975
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    It is the other way around. It makes no sense to buy F-35s in great numbers, which are still in need to bring that avionics up to Block 3F or Block4i level with some extra money. In the meanwhile the US-forces have a rising number of lower cabability F-35s with a MLU in need.

  26. #1976
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    They will be 3F configured, it's due next year.

  27. #1977
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    It is the other way around. It makes no sense to buy F-35s in great numbers, which are still in need to bring that avionics up to Block 3F or Block4i level with some extra money. In the meanwhile the US-forces have a rising number of lower cabability F-35s with a MLU in need.
    All aircraft purchased under the EOQ would be block 3F and final SDD configuration i.e full warfighting capability (or better). Even the lot prior to the first EOQ lot will be delivered with 3F from the factory. Keep in mind that LMA will still be delivering LRIP10 aircraft this year and well into 2018. The EOQ does not kick in till LRIP-12. Developmental Testing of Block 3F is expected to be completed between Winter of 2017 and Spring of 2018. In fact Flight Sciences work on the F-35A model is already complete and that on the C model will be complete by this fall. It is the flight test work on the B model plus software fixes that will take them into 2018.

    need to bring that avionics up to Block 3F or Block4i level with some extra money.
    Block 4 FOD is currently scheduled to drop in 4 phases - 4.1 - 4.4. Block 4.1 and Block 4.3 configurations are mostly software upgrades with 4.2 and 4.4 focusing on hardware upgrades.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 1st July 2017 at 15:53.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  28. #1978
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sens
    It is the other way around. It makes no sense to buy F-35s in great numbers, which are still in need to bring that avionics up to Block 3F or Block4i level with some extra money. In the meanwhile the US-forces have a rising number of lower cabability F-35s with a MLU in need.
    In addition to the points already made above, the F-35 won't be "done" for decades. As soon as they finish with Block 4 they will just move on to Block 5. Even the F-15, IOC 1976, is still receiving major updates 40+ years later.

    At some point you have to actually buy the airframes and just accept that nothing will stay state of the art forever. With the F-35 completing its initial development program the time to buy is now.

  29. #1979
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    Best insight of what F-35 brings to the fight starts at 50:00
    Last edited by djcross; 2nd July 2017 at 04:19.

  30. #1980
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    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

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