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F-35 as air defence interceptor? F-35 as underrated all-rounder?

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  • LMFS
    Rank 4 Registered User
    • Feb 2018
    • 246

    #21
    FBW

    It would be then good to know what kind of interception mission was being proposed, point defense is of course not the same that long range intercept. US has F-15, 2.5 M capable, and F-22. USN had the Tomcats + Phoenix, but that was back when they thought they would actually need an interceptor.

    @garryA

    was referring mainly to AMRAAM, speed 4 M with range well below 200 km, of which only four can be carried internally. Meteor is also 4 M apparently, have not looked the other missile, is it planed for USAF? The configuration with 14 missiles was not approved yet AFAIK, maybe I am not up to date?

    Regarding the interception of missile carriers, actually i don't know how USAF plans to counter them. Of course planes like Tu-160 would try to launch while stand-off, with their range and speed plus range, number and flight altitude of the missiles themselves the payload could spread over literally millions of square kilometers, rather than following carrier and missiles the same predictable path. The missiles themselves would be difficult to detect and the latter you intercept them, the bigger the chance to have leakers. So i would suppose you would really want to catch the carrrier asap (and hence require a long range, high speed interceptor like a MiG-31 fielded as close to Russia as possible) rather than having to search for missiles over big areas, maybe you have more info on the actual approach to counter that threat?

    Comment

    • Marcellogo
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Jun 2014
      • 1787

      #22
      Uuuh seems me a quite interesting debate is taking place, so allow me a series of one line response (or just a little more) to some of the (IMHO) most interesting point.
      Let's begin with Judgefortescue.
      -
      - Are you aware that F-22 supercruise speed (1,83) is superior to the maximum one of F-35 and the autonomy of a MiG-31 (that is not supercruise capable) at mach 2.03 is superior to the one of F-22 in supercruise?
      -it seems me you inform themselves only trough LM brochure. everything is outstanding unparalleled, out of this world, etc, etc. Problem is that you wil pick one similar brochure from Boeing, Saab, Sukhoi et alia they would use similar hyperboles to describe their own products. Said so, surely the thing you describe can be VERY useful but thinking that something like DAS can see every rivets, joint and so on ...a little more realism,please.

      Real question: Have found any data about F-35 climb rate? You know, because it's years I have searching internet for even an hint of it: nothing, nada, zip, zero. Someone know it better?

      eagle and Levsha

      Eagle is right.
      This was a classical brochure trick and a quite dirty one: just reach your max velocity, turn AB down and try to remain supersonic the longer you can, after this claim that your plane is able to supercruise at a velocity of...for a distance of...

      Being able to remain at supersonic velocity for a limited distance is not supercruising at all, you have to keep a stable speed without using afterburner.

      A.t.c. using AB to go transonic doesn't impact at all such a capability, it is just the most practical way and above all the fastest one way to get the thing done.

      Actually,in a QRA every part of the interception run from the take off to the initial climb to breaking the sound barrier was made at full AB without any interruption.
      That's also the reason because in almost every scramble or even normal video of an interceptor in a operative mission you will see them carrying a quite limited load of missiles but almost one supersonic tank, even onboard the long range F-106 ( or better you can see them on western ones but it's because soviet videos are much less and usually refers to prototypes or display planes but many of their models carried them the same in operative missions): they are way bulkier than missiles but allows them to reach max quote and go supersonic in the fastest way possible
      without wasting the onboard fuel.

      Once done, they would have ejected it...

      ...yes, seems obvious but when faced by such arguments like thisne

      while 4th gens have lower speeds due to drag created by targeting pods, fuel tanks, etc
      you are forced to remind it the same.

      @GarryA

      Seriously, what is this monstruosity?

      A lot of complaint about the drag of missiles on a 4gen plane and they have made an image of an F-35 with FOUR DOUBLE PYLONS (plus two AIM-9X just to look cooler) on its tiny, high load wings?

      Four...double pylons, ...on the wings, ...in an interception mission, for heaven sake, garry... have you the faintest idea how much drag such a load conformation comport?

      I'll give you a reminder: soviets ditched such an arrangement because they found that the one they made for the R-60 was too draggy... yes, the R-60 a.k.a. the AA-8 Aphid.





















      Comment

      • FBW
        FBW
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Dec 2011
        • 3140

        #23
        Marcellogo
        The most accurate numbers from SAR report credit the F-22 with a supercruise speed of Mach 1.76, everything else is hearsay and conjecture.

        The MiG-31 was designed for one mission, intercept at high Mach numbers. It should be no surprise it excels at this. That same specialization hinders it in every other mission set (though Russia recently wants to foist the idea of the MiG-31 armed with the kinzal as an unstoppable uberweapon. No interest in touching on that).

        Personally, I take a dim view on the utility of supercruise stated by most manufacturers, internal fuel fraction rules supersonic persistence. Adding external tanks extends range, but with modern FCS, it also limits maneuver envelope (the term drop tank is an oxymoron these days).

        lastly, drag index from external weapons is specifc to each aircraft. Four AMRAAMs on external pylons mounted to an F-15 may or may not have the same increase in parasitic and interference drag when compared to the same loadout on an F-18. So, for the Russians a dual launcher for the R-60 may have created an unacceptable amount of interference drag on the airframe it was mounted on. That does not translate to a dual launcher for the aim-9 being excessively draggy on a Typhoon or Superbug (well scratch the last one, with the toed out pylons, anything creates excessive drag on the F-18E/F)

        edit- had to go look back on F-22 SAR report for accuracy.
        Last edited by FBW; 13th January 2019, 01:05.

        Comment

        • djcross
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Jan 2000
          • 5381

          #24
          The design requirements which allows flight over extremely long distances has been well understood for decades. Bombers, missiles, UAVs and airliners all follow the same recipe to balance range v fuel load (weight) v lift v drag v fuel consumption (thrust). The common recipe requires flight above 30K feet and M 0.8, high aspect ratio wing with sweep of approximately 40 degrees (including TU-160 during ingress and egress), and an efficient turbofan engine. While other recipes may work, they create issues with awkward configuration (e.g. Rutan Voyager), immense vehicle size (e.g. B-36), heavy weight and very takeoff distance.

          An aircraft or missile may be able to accomplish a low altitude dash to avoid enemy defenses, but does so with an extreme reduction in range.

          Enforcing an ADIZ is a team sport which includes low frequency, OTH radars (e.g. Pave Paws) and systems such as SIBRS-low, which allows subsonic QRA to be positioned in the flight path of the transgressor.

          Comment

          • garryA
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Dec 2015
            • 1107

            #25

            LMFS
            was referring mainly to AMRAAM, speed 4 M with range well below 200 km, of which only four can be carried internally. Meteor is also 4 M apparently
            AIM-120D is said to reach 185 km, though obvious it depend on exact condition , as with all missile, but it should be competitive with most missile like Mica, R-77, RVV-SD, PL-15 , R-27
            Meteor is ramjet, so wwhile it top speed might not be as fast as solid rocket fuel missile, it will retain that speed for far longer period
            Also in they are currently working to increase the internal A2A missile load of F-35 from 4 to 6, there have been many articles about that

            have not looked the other missile, is it planed for USAF?
            UK will use Meteor (ramjet missile)
            Japan will use JNAAM (ramjet missile with AESA seeker)
            US will use LREW

            The configuration with 14 missiles was not approved yet AFAIK, maybe I am not up to date?
            Not that it can't be approved or it is hard to do, but rather that it not high in the priority list compared to internal configuration or A2G configuration so they will flight test others configuration first, but eventually it will get tested, dual rack is very common and had been here since Vietnam war, F-4 had them, F-18 had them, F-15 had them..etc. Argue that F-35 will never able to carry 14 missiles because it hasn't done the separation test yet is like saying Su-57 will never launch RVV-sd because it hasn't done so.


            Regarding the interception of missile carriers, actually i don't know how USAF plans to counter them. Of course planes like Tu-160 would try to launch while stand-off, with their range and speed plus range, number and flight altitude of the missiles themselves the payload could spread over literally millions of square kilometers, rather than following carrier and missiles the same predictable path. The missiles themselves would be difficult to detect and the latter you intercept them, the bigger the chance to have leakers. So i would suppose you would really want to catch the carrrier asap (and hence require a long range, high speed interceptor like a MiG-31 fielded as close to Russia as possible) rather than having to search for missiles over big areas, maybe you have more info on the actual approach to counter that threat?
            Given that Kh-101/102 was advertised to reach 3000-4000 km ( some source even go as high as 10.000 km) then frankly, not even Mig-31 can intercept these carriers before they can launch their missiles because Mig-31 combat radius at Mach 0.8 is 1450 km and at Mach 2.32 is barely 720 km. That just not enough when your opponent can launch missiles from 3000-4000 km away.

            Comment

            • garryA
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Dec 2015
              • 1107

              #26
              Marcellogo

              Are you aware that F-22 supercruise speed (1,83) is superior to the maximum one of F-35
              Well to be fair that also faster than Eurofighter, Gripen NG, Rafale but they are still used in interception role.

              Seriously, what is this monstruosity?
              A lot of complaint about the drag of missiles on a 4gen plane and they have made an image of an F-35 with FOUR DOUBLE PYLONS (plus two AIM-9X just to look cooler) on its tiny, high load wings?
              Four...double pylons, ...on the wings, ...in an interception mission, for heaven sake, garry... have you the faintest idea how much drag such a load conformation comport?
              I'll give you a reminder: soviets ditched such an arrangement because they found that the one they made for the R-60 was too draggy... yes, the R-60 a.k.a. the AA-8 Aphid.
              That to show LMFS not necessary have low missile load, because it don't have to be in stealth configuration all the time, and of course, if you carry more missiles, your aircraft will be draggier that goes for all aircraft and F-35 is no exception, but there are intercept mission where you might want to trade speed for the number of missiles, for example: if your aircraft carrier is being attacked from extended range by cruise missiles

              Comment

              • Marcellogo
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Jun 2014
                • 1787

                #27
                FBW

                Thank for the well argumented reply.
                Well 1,76 mach is still superior than F-35 max velocity.
                I agree you about most of thing you said, dim (i would say realistic ) view on supercruise.
                Just two things, Mig-31 was not designed with only high mach, high flight on mind, compared to Mig-25 it sports an high ( relatively to military standards, obviously) bypass turbofans instead of turbojets and a lot of other details were changed in order of being able to cope with low flying cruise missiles .
                Given that such weapons are quite slow the possibility to engage them at a lower quote and speed was contemplated in the design but even in this case the Mig-31 would have started to approach them as high and fast as possible to slow down later.

                The other, allow me to repeat myself in hopefully a clearer form: supersonic drop tanks were put on interceptor/fighter planes in QRA not to increase range in cruise mode but to allow performing initial take off/climbing/transonic pass in full AB without wasting the internal fuel, relative drop on performance due to increased drag was considered more than balanced by such a possibility.
                Obviously, once the plane would have reached such a speed were the tank's drag would have impaired acceleration, the tanks would have been dropped.

                garryA
                Thank to you also, good posts overall but in this case I have to dissent:


                Well to be fair that also faster than Eurofighter, Gripen NG, Rafale but they are still used in interception role.
                At cost to be pedantic,comparison was between the max AB speed of the F-35 with the maximum supercruise speed of F-22,, so almost in case of the Typhoon and Gripen the same didn't apply.
                Hence also the referral to the MIG-31 that have no supercruise at all but can travel for a longer distance at an higher speed than even an F-22 in supercruise, just to show there is more than one way to skin a cat (yet the 720 km at M.2,32 is not correct, that is the range for 2.03M).

                That to show LMFS not necessary have low missile load, because it don't have to be in stealth configuration all the time, and of course, if you carry more missiles, your aircraft will be draggier that goes for all aircraft and F-35 is no exception, but there are intercept mission where you might want to trade speed for the number of missiles, for example: if your aircraft carrier is being attacked from extended range by cruise missiles
                And the mine's own was to remind you that similar high load arrangements, highly debatable also when it comes to A2G missions make absolutely no sense at all in an A2A one, in any of such missions, so let's imagine on an interceptor that as a general norm took off with a very limited payload in order to reach its own mission quote and speed a.s.a.p.

                Because it seems me that the thing that somewhat is missing there is a certain dose of historical memory: on how such missions were performed, what were the real performances requested to an interceptors (of better said to the different forms such formula has took as time go by) compared to a standard fighter, on how and why a tail-on engagement was always the preferred form of approaching bandits, of how A2S missiles work and so on...




                Last edited by Marcellogo; 13th January 2019, 10:29.

                Comment

                • halloweene
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Jan 2012
                  • 4099

                  #28
                  Interesting data for point defense would be the minimum time to take off after alert...

                  Comment

                  • Marcellogo
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Jun 2014
                    • 1787

                    #29
                    halloweene

                    hard to tell as it depends from initial condition: Zulu Station or Scramble?
                    In the first, pilot is already onboard and plane is in the open, near to the designated point for taking off, in the other the pilots making part of the actual shift are in a building, in normal dresses and as soon asalarm start they have to put on their High-G dress and run to the hangars where their own planes are kept ready.

                    Comment

                    • djcross
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Jan 2000
                      • 5381

                      #30
                      In 1986, the draft RFP for ATF had a requirement to be in a position to fire missiles, w/fire control lock, 30K feet, 50 miles from the QRA base, within X minutes. It could only be accomplished by being supersonic in full burner shortly after takeoff. The requirement was later deleted along with other onerous requirements (e.g. landing on damaged runways and roadways required thrust reversers, ICT, Etc.).

                      Supercruise at high altitudes was intended to allow ATF to transit the enemy IADS while using properly timed heading changes to cause SAMs to deplete energy, preventing intercept. Supercruise was not useful in the intercept scenario.
                      Last edited by djcross; 13th January 2019, 16:34.

                      Comment

                      • halloweene
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Jan 2012
                        • 4099

                        #31
                        hard to tell as it depends from initial condition: Zulu Station or Scramble?
                        In the first, pilot is already onboard and plane is in the open, near to the designated point for taking off, in the other the pilots making part of the actual shift are in a building, in normal dresses and as soon asalarm start they have to put on their High-G dress and run to the hangars where their own planes are kept ready.
                        Both. i got the values for Rafale, not F-35

                        Comment

                        • Marcellogo
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Jun 2014
                          • 1787

                          #32
                          djcross
                          IMHO the intercept scenario requisites were well written and show how such missions have to be planned and carried out, not looking at abstract performances like it was a F1 race but time needed to get at a certain distance, at a certain quote in a certain asset.
                          Quite surprised that they have cancelled it, taking off in AB is just a standard procedure for such missions... in any case if true, another of the many features/requisites that they have sacrificed to the altar of "all around stealth"

                          @halloweene

                          So, please, if you have let's publish them.

                          Comment

                          • garryA
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Dec 2015
                            • 1107

                            #33
                            Marcellogo
                            At cost to be pedantic,comparison was between the max AB speed of the F-35 with the maximum supercruise speed of F-22,, so almost in case of the Typhoon and Gripen the same didn't apply.
                            Typhoon top speed is Mach 1.8, or barely 42 km/h faster than f-22 supercruise speed, you can pretty much apply the same argument about F-35 top speed for Typhoon top speed, yet it is still used in interception role
                            https://www.raf.mod.uk/aircraft/typhoon-fgr4/

                            And the mine's own was to remind you that similar high load arrangements, highly debatable also when it comes to A2G missions make absolutely no sense at all in an A2A one, in any of such missions, so let's imagine on an interceptor that as a general norm took off with a very limited payload in order to reach its own mission quote and speed a.s.a.p.
                            Because it seems me that the thing that somewhat is missing there is a certain dose of historical memory: on how such missions were performed, what were the real performances requested to an interceptors (of better said to the different forms such formula has took as time go by) compared to a standard fighter, on how and why a tail-on engagement was always the preferred form of approaching bandits, of how A2S missiles work and so on...
                            It depend on the requirement of the mission, in the 50s-60s, you need your interceptor to take off quickly and fly fast so they can reach and intercept bombers before they can drop their nuclear bombs, then in the 70s you want your interceptor to have very long range missiles so they can shot down bombers/strike aircraft before they can launch their own missiles. Nowadays when even fighter can launch missiles from 1000 km away, these requirements become rather questionable.

                            Comment

                            • Scooter
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Jan 2000
                              • 11909

                              #34
                              Eagle

                              No, the F-35 can't sustain supersonic speeds on dry thrust aka supercruise.
                              Sorry, odds are the F-35 can in fact "supercruise". We just don't know the maximum speed or the duration officially. Yet, if you have a source to the contrary we are all ears???




                              Weapons and fuel weigh exactly the same whether carried externally or internally. Same goes for hardpoints actually.
                              Pylons true, but they're not that heavy.
                              Point here is most 4/4.5 Generation Fighters carry far less internal fuel. Which, means they have to carry more Weapons and Fuel externally....Plus, you forget a little something called "DRAG". Which, has a massive impact on performance!


                              AIM-9X is external only.
                              Which, have the least impact on performance. When carried externally.........



                              Last edited by Scooter; 14th January 2019, 05:08.
                              F-35 Lightning II

                              Comment

                              • Scooter
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Jan 2000
                                • 11909

                                #35
                                Levsha

                                It wouldn't. The Tu-160 is a stand-off bomber and would launch its cruise missiles well outside the F-35's, or any other interceptor's zone of operation. The F-35 would be tasked with shooting down the cruise missiles, not the bomber.
                                Sorry, try again as the Tu-160 cruises at Mach 0.9 (960 km/h, 518 knots, 596 mph). In addition the F-35 would easily detect, track, and shoot the Russian Bomber. Before it "ever" knew the F-35 was there.....

                                First Look, First Shot, and First Kill
                                F-35 Lightning II

                                Comment

                                • Scooter
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Jan 2000
                                  • 11909

                                  #36
                                  Rafale is able to fly M1.7 (reportedly) with three supersonic 1250L tanks.
                                  Highly, unlikely at least not in practical sense............
                                  F-35 Lightning II

                                  Comment

                                  • garryA
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Dec 2015
                                    • 1107

                                    #37
                                    Sorry, try again as the Tu-160 cruises at Mach 0.9 (960 km/h, 518 knots, 596 mph). In addition the F-35 would easily detect, track, and shoot the Russian Bomber. Before it "ever" knew the F-35 was there.....
                                    That doesn't matter when Tu-160 can stay at extreme extended range and launch cruise missiles
                                    Similarly, B-52 don't really care about Mig-31 when its own cruise missile like AGM-86, AGM-129 can fly 2400-3700 km
                                    Soon enough, with JASSM-XR then tactical multirole aircraft can launch missiles from 1900 km away.
                                    Last edited by garryA; 14th January 2019, 07:02.

                                    Comment

                                    • JSR
                                      JSR
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Aug 2011
                                      • 4928

                                      #38
                                      Nowadays when even fighter can launch missiles from 1000 km away, these requirements become rather questionable.
                                      relatively small payload, slow speed and predictiable flight profile of 1000km missiles make them easy intercept or spooked and cant used against real time targets.
                                      only Brahmos has high speed S curve high speed dive feature so India implementing it on Su-30.

                                      Comment

                                      • garryA
                                        Rank 5 Registered User
                                        • Dec 2015
                                        • 1107

                                        #39
                                        JSR The only correct part in that is slow speed, the rest is incorrect.
                                        relatively small payload
                                        Brahmos warhead is 300 kg
                                        LRASM warhead is 450 kg
                                        JASSM-XR warhead is 450 kg
                                        KEPD 350 warhead is 481 kg
                                        Storm shadow warhead is 450 kg BROACH


                                        predictiable flight profile of 1000km missiles
                                        On the contrary, subsonic missiles have ways more unpredictable flight path since it is easier for them to change direction and they can cruise at lower altitude.


                                        make them easy intercept
                                        Unless if they are stealthy which pretty much a common feature for modern long range cruise missiles
                                        Besides, a single strike aircraft like F-35 can carry 6 subsonic cruise missiles or more, while even a Su-30 only carry 1 Brahmos
                                        cant used against real time targets.
                                        Unless if they have 2-way datalink, which is available on LRASM, JSOW-ER, JSM and many others cruise missiles

                                        only Brahmos has high speed S curve high speed dive feature so India implementing it on Su-30.
                                        S curve is not a unique feature of Brahmos, it is quite common on anti ship missiles
                                        and if you want high speed, you can also use aargm-er asm-3, rampage, silver/blue sapprow
                                        Last edited by garryA; 14th January 2019, 08:29.

                                        Comment

                                        • JSR
                                          JSR
                                          Rank 5 Registered User
                                          • Aug 2011
                                          • 4928

                                          #40
                                          Those Brahmos specifications are 25 years old and the only thing claimed was 9 times energy of Tomyhawk on target. I am sure ALCM version will provide even more speed since much newer.

                                          https://www.army-technology.com/unca...order-4971274/
                                          It offers nine times as much kinetic energy and flight ranges up to three times longer than existing subsonic cruise missiles.



                                          Yakhon was already at 500kg warhead with range more than 500km.
                                          https://www.rbth.com/science_and_tec...ves_28781.html
                                          The Russian Yakhont and the Indian BrahMos have a similar appearance to the Onyx, but with significantly reduced combat characteristics.

                                          The Onyx devices are capable of being fired from underwater, and they fly at a speed of 2,460 feet per second, carrying a devastating, high-explosive warhead weighing half a ton. The missiles have a range of more than 372.8 miles
                                          when has F-35 6 1000km missile operationally carried.?. lower altitude does not help nor slow moving profile change.

                                          Comment

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