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F-35 and its future. Was the project an overall failure?


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On 4/24/2021 at 11:02 PM, Pilotasso said:

^^^^ that's why I also think F-35 replacing the A-10 along with all other aircraft was just a marketing punch line to get funds for the program, one that the grunt on the ground would rather wish people would forget.

 

There were a few commentators that said good thing F-35 came along when the F-117 was retiring, and that's not an accidental comment. It fills the same role when doing the AG missions, except that's it cures the absence of AA capability on the Nighthawk.

 

Excellent point. The F-35 is a great replacement for the F-117: precision stealth strike capability that is also capable of self-defence. The "1st day of war" missions that the F-117 did will be a perfect match for the F-35.

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Well, I guess it's official now: https://www.airforcemag.com/usaf-to-cut-f-35-buy-in-future-years-defense-plan/ 

It's a boondoggle. Good engineering offers capability at an anticipated cost. That's not really the case here. F-35 is for sure a better Harrier and an excellent F-117 - both niche aircraft - but simply too costly to replace the F-16 in substantial numbers. Overhyping "first day of war" in an century of decades-long conflicts is a bit tricky. Don't forget Pearl Harbor was a "first day of war". 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/20/2021 at 6:59 PM, Weta43 said:

You think when the Wellington fault goes the whole world’s economy will tank and an F-35 will be $35 ?

 

Someone in Wellington New Zealand(a complete TURDSHURA) used coercion to inflate the price of the F35, that person is in Wellington. When he is UNSEATED then the price may come down and perhaps a refund to what it should cost. Many things since have been fixed in the past year by new technology PATENTS. So the F35 is no longer considered a bad aircraft, it will someday be a very good addition to DCS hopefully. It has a lot of cool features.


Edited by SUBS17

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Posted (edited)
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The Air Force’s fighter fleet, led by the F-35A, turned in a better overall mission capable rate in 2020, even with limitations imposed by the pandemic, than it did in 2019, according to figures provided to Air Force Magazine. The F-35’s MC rates soared, and rates even improved for the F-15C, which the Air Force is anxious to divest because of its age. The F-15E’s MC rate declined, however.
 

mc.png

 

https://www.airforcemag.com/usaf-fighter-mission-capable-rates-fiscal-2020/


Edited by Boogieman
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I didn't follow the link - Does it say how many hours were flown in each year ?

 

Presumably it's easier to keep an aircraft 'mission capable' if it is serviced then not used.

 

Interesting that in 2019 the only fighter with a lower mission capability rate was the F-22 & the difference between the F-35 & the rest was 5 times the difference between the rest of the teen series, then suddenly the F-35 has a 23 % increase in mission capability rate & jumps to having the highest rate in the fleet. 

 

I suspect it's not just 'ironing the bugs out'

Cheers.

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12 hours ago, Weta43 said:

I didn't follow the link - Does it say how many hours were flown in each year ?

 

Presumably it's easier to keep an aircraft 'mission capable' if it is serviced then not used.

 

Interesting that in 2019 the only fighter with a lower mission capability rate was the F-22 & the difference between the F-35 & the rest was 5 times the difference between the rest of the teen series, then suddenly the F-35 has a 23 % increase in mission capability rate & jumps to having the highest rate in the fleet. 

 

I suspect it's not just 'ironing the bugs out'

 

This is interesting what do you think fixed the F35? Take a look at the Patents Office and it would surprise you. In the past 2 1/2 years the F35 has had significant improvements and the SCORPION HELMET has a lot to do with it. New FBW also improves the performance significantly. It took 20 million years of coding to code good FBW for the F35. 

On 5/26/2021 at 2:17 PM, Boogieman said:

 

If someone has the technology to scan the Planet Particle for Particle would they ever find a single virus called "CORONAVIRUS?"

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, SUBS17 said:

the SCORPION HELMET has a lot to do with it

  The helmet has nothing to do with this stuff, which is mostly maintenance and dev related.

 

Quote

If someone has the technology to scan the Planet Particle for Particle would they ever find a single virus called "CORONAVIRUS?"

  ''Coronavirus'' is a general category of viruses, not only ''Covid19''. So... yes... there are lots of them. Most notably the common cold. It's like ''Dog'' and then ''Rottweiler''. You know... main category -> sub-category.


Edited by Mars Exulte
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I've got the Coronavirus . Love to sit on the beach with a cold one .

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Back in 1996 when I first heard of the program that became the F-35, it was called the JSF, Joint Strike Fighter. The big "feature" they were marketing it as, was that it would be INEXPENSIVE both to develop and to manufacture each plane.  Clearly they let things go wrong. 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Rick50 said:

 

Back in 1996 when I first heard of the program that became the F-35, it was called the JSF, Joint Strike Fighter. The big "feature" they were marketing it as, was that it would be INEXPENSIVE both to develop and to manufacture each plane.  Clearly they let things go wrong. 

 

 

What are comparing the price to?

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They didn't learn their lesson . One-size-fits-all inter-service design was tried before , and the resulting debacle led to the F-111 and the F-14 going their separate ways .

14 hours ago, Rick50 said:

 

Back in 1996 when I first heard of the program that became the F-35, it was called the JSF, Joint Strike Fighter. The big "feature" they were marketing it as, was that it would be INEXPENSIVE both to develop and to manufacture each plane.  Clearly they let things go wrong. 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, Frederf said:

The F-16 is a one size fits all and it's a failure? Would F-35 cost more or less than 3 completely different 5th gen airplane designs?

 

   Yeah, people reallllllly like to trot that line out, except it is literally complete bs that falls apart with even the most cursory of examinations.

 

  Even the cited example was due to poor planning and unclear objectives, not because of ''trying to design a multi-role aircraft''. Also using an example from **THE 1960s** is completely ridiculous. It's not 1960 anymore, it's a digital age. All the stuff that goes on an air superiority fighter, radar, FLIR etc, is easy enough to repurpose for A2G, too. PGM capability is as simple as a TPOD attached to a hardpoint, potentially giving that ability to ANY aircraft with wiring that can interface with it, even a Cessna 172. It's not like it requires a full scale redesign and is super duper aerodynamically sensitive.

 

  The people pushing that stuff are often ''traditionalists''. You know, the kind that 'we fight like THIS, it's how my father fought, and his father before him, and there's no good reason to change things up!', the kind responsible for many of the most idiotic military defeats in history ''What do you mean the enemy didn't just follow our 300 year old doctrine?!'' The kind of people that should absolutely be completely ignored at all costs.

 

  Take for example, the F-16 and F-18, two extremely popular and successful multirole aircraft. There is exactly ZERO reason to have two aircraft with such heavily overlapping capabilities. They both exist EXCLUSIVELY because of bs inter-branch rivalry. It's true the reinforced landing gear is unnecessary for a field operated aircraft, and sacrificing it allows an extra few percent of *insert*, but it's hardly a deal breaker. Like... you see multiple foreign air forces using F-18s exclusively as their main fighter, clearly they do not consider that a ''forfeit the war'' issue.

 

  Operating multiple aircraft hand designed to do ''one thing'' when you could so easily have an aircraft capable of doing virtually **is** MIC bloat. The primary purpose of it is to keep all these big defense contractors in business who would otherwise shrivel and die without a steady stream of government money. None of this is even remotely about ''cost efficiency'' or ''the F-35 running overbudget''.

 

  If you shut down F-15/16/18 production, retired the entire line, and switched the entire force to F-35s for ''warfare'' and something like the A-29 (which is what I believe eventually won that competition?) for low intensity ops where a stealth fighter is overkill (like strafing jihadis in afghanistan and loitering over one area for multiple hours), you would have 95% of the warfighting capability of the current ''mixed force'', and all these ''money problems'' would evaporate. But that would ALSO sever the government welfare stream to a lot of these contractors and THAT ain't gonna happen.

 

  Real life isn't 1v1 gunfights, you're not going to lose a peer adversary war over a few degree/sec or some nonsense. If the F-35s development and support has been plagued by politics and money manipulation, you can rest assured people are arguing against it for the same reasons. None of this has anything to do with what is actually most effective or best, it's ALL about as many people as possible trying to get a piece of that sweet, sweet, government money pie.

  

 

-edit

Absolute maximum a large diverse air force designed for efficiency should consist of the following

 

1x Frontline high performance fighter suitable for both land and sea operation, with good stealth application. The VTOL stuff is completely pointless and should be dropped altogether. External fuel tanks a fueling pod, it can probably serve as its own tanker, too. Two seaters can probably also serve as AWACS for carrier groups, likewise for EWAR. Strap a couple cargo pods on them, they can deliver mail to the carriers, too.

 

1x Light fighter suitable for low intensity deployments. No stealth necessary, emphasis on ease of maintenance, loiter time, and low cost.

 

1x Long range, dedicated bomber or larger strike fighter ''just in case''. Should ideally be capable of at least limited self escort (simply able to launch AAMs, preferably from BVR, not dogfighting)

 

1x Large, long range tanker

 

1x Large, long range AWACS

 

1x Attack helicopter. With modern TPODS/radar etc, you can simply designate one from a flight to serve as ''scout''.

 

1x Small utility helo

 

1x Large utility helo

 

1x Medium size cargo plane

 

1x Large cargo plane

 

1x Small business jet size aircraft as a priority courier

 

 

Unless I've forgotten something terribly glaring, anything beyond this is feeding money to defense contractors.


Edited by Mars Exulte
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17 minutes ago, Mars Exulte said:

 

   Yeah, people reallllllly like to trot that line out, except it is literally complete bs that falls apart with even the most cursory of examinations.

 

  Even the cited example was due to poor planning and unclear objectives, not because of ''trying to design a multi-role aircraft''. Also using an example from **THE 1960s** is completely ridiculous. It's not 1960 anymore, it's a digital age. All the stuff that goes on an air superiority fighter, radar, FLIR etc, is easy enough to repurpose for A2G, too. PGM capability is as simple as a TPOD attached to a hardpoint, potentially giving that ability to ANY aircraft with wiring that can interface with it, even a Cessna 172. It's not like it requires a full scale redesign and is super duper aerodynamically sensitive.

 

  The people pushing that stuff are often ''traditionalists''. You know, the kind that 'we fight like THIS, it's how my father fought, and his father before him, and there's no good reason to change things up!', the kind responsible for many of the most idiotic military defeats in history ''What do you mean the enemy didn't just follow our 300 year old doctrine?!'' The kind of people that should absolutely be completely ignored at all costs.

 

  Take for example, the F-16 and F-18, two extremely popular and successful multirole aircraft. There is exactly ZERO reason to have two aircraft with such heavily overlapping capabilities. They both exist EXCLUSIVELY because of bs inter-branch rivalry. It's true the reinforced landing gear is unnecessary for a field operated aircraft, and sacrificing it allows an extra few percent of *insert*, but it's hardly a deal breaker. Like... you see multiple foreign air forces using F-18s exclusively as their main fighter, clearly they do not consider that a ''forfeit the war'' issue.

 

  Operating multiple aircraft hand designed to do ''one thing'' when you could so easily have an aircraft capable of doing virtually **is** MIC bloat. The primary purpose of it is to keep all these big defense contractors in business who would otherwise shrivel and die without a steady stream of government money. None of this is even remotely about ''cost efficiency'' or ''the F-35 running overbudget''.

 

  If you shut down F-15/16/18 production, retired the entire line, and switched the entire force to F-35s for ''warfare'' and something like the A-29 (which is what I believe eventually won that competition?) for low intensity ops where a stealth fighter is overkill (like strafing jihadis in afghanistan and loitering over one area for multiple hours), you would have 95% of the warfighting capability of the current ''mixed force'', and all these ''money problems'' would evaporate. But that would ALSO sever the government welfare stream to a lot of these contractors and THAT ain't gonna happen.

 

  Real life isn't 1v1 gunfights, you're not going to lose a peer adversary war over a few degree/sec or some nonsense. If the F-35s development and support has been plagued by politics and money manipulation, you can rest assured people are arguing against it for the same reasons. None of this has anything to do with what is actually most effective or best, it's ALL about as many people as possible trying to get a piece of that sweet, sweet, government money pie.

  

 

-edit

Absolute maximum a large diverse air force designed for efficiency should consist of the following

 

1x Frontline high performance fighter suitable for both land and sea operation, with good stealth application. The VTOL stuff is completely pointless and should be dropped altogether. External fuel tanks a fueling pod, it can probably serve as its own tanker, too. Two seaters can probably also serve as AWACS for carrier groups, likewise for EWAR. Strap a couple cargo pods on them, they can deliver mail to the carriers, too.

 

1x Light fighter suitable for low intensity deployments. No stealth necessary, emphasis on ease of maintenance, loiter time, and low cost.

 

1x Long range, dedicated bomber or larger strike fighter ''just in case''. Should ideally be capable of at least limited self escort (simply able to launch AAMs, preferably from BVR, not dogfighting)

 

1x Large, long range tanker

 

1x Large, long range AWACS

 

1x Attack helicopter. With modern TPODS/radar etc, you can simply designate one from a flight to serve as ''scout''.

 

1x Small utility helo

 

1x Large utility helo

 

1x Medium size cargo plane

 

1x Large cargo plane

 

1x Small business jet size aircraft as a priority courier

 

 

Unless I've forgotten something terribly glaring, anything beyond this is feeding money to defense contractors.

 

1000% agreed.

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Sorry for the confusion . I was not referring to multi-role aircraft . I was referring to an earlier attempt to develop inter-service aircraft , (navy-airforce) , which didn't work then , and remains the source of some of the -35s problems and cost now .

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Posted (edited)

What none of the naysayers seem to understand is how the costs of things like this actually work.

 

-F-35 is expensive to operate and its operational rate is low: This is how it has been for every single US warplane. All the legacy jets were like this during their initial employment, some for a decade after coming out. The reason the operational rates are low is because the plane is new and maintainers have less experience, and MAINLY because they have so few planes. This means that the cycles of maintenance vs training vs deployed planes are shorter, and thus operational rates fall.

 

-F-35 program is most expensive ever! : Yes if you compare it to a single other aircraft. More F-35s were planned to be procured and its development was more complex because it had to fill many shoes. A more reasonable comparison would be combining the cost of all the teen series fighters together and comparing that to the F-35.

 

 


Edited by KenobiOrder
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Posted (edited)
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Take for example, the F-16 and F-18, two extremely popular and successful multirole aircraft. There is exactly ZERO reason to have two aircraft with such heavily overlapping capabilities

 

This is completely incorrect.  These weren't different due to 'bs rivalries', there were very real and practical differences in requirement for both aircraft.   Even with the F-35, there are two different sets of requirements resulting in at least a different wing and the gun being internal in one, not the other.

What made it really expensive was the third set of requirements which came from the Marines.


Edited by GGTharos

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So building an F-35 solely for the air force, F-36 for the navy, and F-37 for Marines would be cheaper? Let's not forget F-38 for Britain, F-39 for Israel...

 

A lot of the JSF commonality is software which is very shared. Metal parts commonality is not the whole picture. Look into the cost of network compatibility between 22 and 35 and then imagine the cost for compatibility for 35 to 36, 36 to 37, 35 to 37, etc.

 

Plus F-16, F-18, F-14 were not happy successes. There were words just like this how it was a terrible idea.

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They were successful eventually, and the F-35 hasn't been give a time to be successful yet.

The F-15A wasn't 'all that' when we think of F-15s, that happened after the PSP and MSIP upgrades.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, GGTharos said:

 

This is completely incorrect.  These weren't different due to 'bs rivalries', there were very real and practical differences in requirement for both aircraft.   Even with the F-35, there are two different sets of requirements resulting in at least a different wing and the gun being internal in one, not the other.

What made it really expensive was the third set of requirements which came from the Marines.

 

The hornet wasnt designed for the Navy. Both it and the F-16 only existed because a certain fool named Boyd semi-illegally started the LWF without actual approval. He was actually only supposed to be researching the concept and and actuality took the money he was given and had two aviation companies start developing the planes. The F-16 only got picked up by the air force because it was under budget pressures and Schlesinger brokered a deal where he guaranteed the USAF could have a ton a planes to fulfill their force size dreams if they agreed to shut up about the Eagle and but the LWF. The navy, which had been on the losing side of the budget battle for some time, later snatched up the Hornet because it couldn't get funding to design something better and because the F-14 had been also so budget hamstrung that it wasnt the plane they had truely wanted.

 

That isnt to say that the Navy didnt need a slightly different F-35, or that it was the Marines stupid VTOL obsession that caused more trouble than it was worth(on that I agree). But there was absolutely no need for either LWF except for export. Both services desired, and would have been better off with a single multi role aircraft. But unlike every other service branch the aviation community has never been able to figure this out because there are too many people who love their pretty airplanes. The ideal would have been a multi role Eagle and Tomcat.

 

The 35 might fall victim to this same crap all over again. Rubbish narratives about specialized planes, dog fighting, etc.


Edited by KenobiOrder
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The different requirements are there for obvious reasons (to me) that have little to do with Boyd or his influence and this applies to F-18s, F-16s and F-35s.

I don't understand your argument because as far as I can tell it isn't supported by anything of substance.

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16 minutes ago, GGTharos said:

The different requirements are there for obvious reasons (to me) that have little to do with Boyd or his influence and this applies to F-18s, F-16s and F-35s.

I don't understand your argument because as far as I can tell it isn't supported by anything of substance.

Not saying Navy and AF planes don't have substantiallly different needs. But the hornet was not originally designed with those in mind. If you had a land based hornet before the changes made so it was suitable for carrier use, there is no major different between a 18 and 16 in general terms. Yes they perform differently, but you certainly wouldnt buy both.

 

The point is there is no reason to have planes with majorly overlapping capabilities. A single multirole jet for the Navy and a single one for the AF is sufficient. The idea that we need a special gadget to min max every role is why the air force still can't get rid of things like the A10.

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I still see your reasoning as very soft, deliberately brushing away details that are in fact important to justify your position.  Basically I disagree.  "The right tool for the job" is not a trivial phrase, and while I'll easily agree that various services have made poor choices, I won't agree to get rid of my screwdriver because I can do most of what it does with a spoon ... assuming a perfect world where there's one type of screw.

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