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The F-35 Thread


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How is this different from the F-104 and all the problems it had when it first introduce the M61? [...]

 

That's a very good point.

 

It could be easily twisted around, though: Haven't designers learned enough from past mistakes so that they repeat them all over again?

 

At least the development cycles were much shorter back then. According to Wikipedia, it took a little over 6 years from the early conception phase to the formation of the first operational F-104 squadron.

 

With the F-35 having been in development for such a long time already, I'm just surprised to learn that a major component is yet unfinished (again, provided that the claim is correct in the first place).

 

But sithspawn, We armchair engineers and pilots always know better. :P

 

Haha, guilty as well, count me in. :D

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It appears aircraft designers and weapons manufacturers are better designer since I have no seen any indications of the gun having problems firing nor problems being mounted on the aircraft, but it seems they need to be better programmers.

The development is shorter, but the aircraft (like many others on that era) where flying with unsafe or non operational system. Now, before they go operational they have to follow more strict safety rules. Also the gun development (the M61) started before the F-104 was thought of AFAIK


Edited by mvsgas

To whom it may concern,

I am an idiot, unfortunately for the world, I have a internet connection and a fondness for beer....apologies for that.

Thank you for you patience.

 

 

Many people don't want the truth, they want constant reassurance that whatever misconception/fallacies they believe in are true..

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Its an example of sensational reporting in work IMO.

 

Any Aircraft programme has a upgrade programme, I worked on Typhoon BUP (Block Upgrade Programme). As previously said correctly by GGTharos, the partners involved in the programme have a say and input into the development path and 4 years for a gun is not a reflection on the programme, the report has taken it because as observed here, the response is, "well if they cant even do a gun in 4 years imagine what else they cant do".

 

But that is not true. You have an upgrade path and everything has to go somewhere in the queue, you cannot get everything at once, nor do you need it.

 

So in order to deploy this war machine, you are going to need pilots and trainers, trainers are already flying hours on some simulators and aircraft. The test aircraft priority is qualify the F-35s full flight envelope.

 

They you need a training squadron, you need ground support trained to maintain the aircraft, ground systems to read and process everything about the flight, more aircraft will will only train pilots withing the qualified flying envelope. You need spare, lots of spares,

 

In the meantime you are building your operational sqadrons, ground equipment, role equipment, test equipment, you need the support infrastructure, the maintenance facilities, all this before you can fire a shot in anger, its much further away than 4 years and lots of pracice will be on the simulators, and if I am right, the aircraft can simulate A2A and probably guns in dogfighting in training without actually having a gun, so no hindrence to the training. You are looking at beyond 4 years to need a gun.

 

Now put the following capabilities in order you need them as a customer and this is purely theoretical on my part:

 

Lased designator integration

Defensive Systems

Full Flight Envelope

Arrestor Gear

Gun

Fully integrated radar

Full navigation capability

FLIR

Insert tech here.

 

You dont really need the gun working until you first deploy in combat and that >4 years away.

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Its an example of sensational reporting in work IMO.

[...]

You dont really need the gun working until you first deploy in combat and that >4 years away.

 

In general I agree with you.

 

I guess the question is: was it planned to develop the software for the gun at this point in time, or is it a huge delay?

 

From the article, it sounds as if it's a rather epic delay and comes as a surprise to anyone involved in the program.

 

If that's not the case and the software development is well within schedule, this looks like a case of bad journalism.

 

As I said before, I simply don't have all the facts, but judging from the responses so far, we're all mostly guessing whether or not this is a major delay. Hopefully, someone will find other sources to confirm or refute this.

 

However, I think a weapon system as integral as the aircraft's gun should be ready and integrated by the time units prepare for combat ready state (or, rather, IOC). Pilots should have ample time to use the gun and its software in their final state in training sorties, so I disagree that it's okay to fully integrate it just before the plane is used in a real conflict.

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The news media has long been critical of defense spending, as such any story condemning a new weapons platform must be taken with a grain of salt. Also as I stated in an early post, nearly all new aircraft especially new generation aircraft have an extended wringing out period. The P-38, F-4, F-14, F-16 and F-22 just to name a few all had unforeseen issues that the news media heralded as a death nail for each. Who here remembers the seemingly un ending news stories and congressional debates over the Bradley Fighting vehicle or as we now call it the M113 troop carrier. Odds are that this story is related to a new gun platform (not the Vulcan canon found on most US aircraft) that has been found to have delays or set backs in development.

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The news media has long been critical of defense spending, as such any story condemning a new weapons platform must be taken with a grain of salt. Also as I stated in an early post, nearly all new aircraft especially new generation aircraft have an extended wringing out period. The P-38, F-4, F-14, F-16 and F-22 just to name a few all had unforeseen issues that the news media heralded as a death nail for each. Who here remembers the seemingly un ending news stories and congressional debates over the Bradley Fighting vehicle or as we now call it the M113 troop carrier. Odds are that this story is related to a new gun platform (not the Vulcan canon found on most US aircraft) that has been found to have delays or set backs in development.

 

Fantastic Comment, never really thought of that. Great commment.

 

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As far as I know (which is not alot), the gun has always been planned to be made ready during the Block 3 phase. So, the news article is just stating, in a melodramatic and negatively spun way (surprise surprise), what has always been the planned. At this development stage the plane was never meant to be able to fire its gun, or lots of their weapons for that matter. Non story as I see it.

 

Delays and problems maybe, but thats just life. I'm sure the author of the article would love this plane to be a complete failure, but thats probably more to do with his view on life and his own life in general.

 

Regards,

Milli

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All news reports that I have encountered over the years that I had personal information on have been incorrect. To different degrees of course. I use the news media as a source of information because I have no better one. But they do suck.

As for the F35 project. I am a project engineer. There is allot of crisis management and problems that arise in my job. One of the projects that I am working on is so important that the country involved thought that it could influence voting results. I know the F35 will be a much harder project to run and things will go wrong. Journalists should realize engineering is not like baking a cake.


Edited by FanBoy2006.01
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Typical News

 

All news reports that I have encountered over the years that I had personal information on have been incorrect. To different degrees of course. I use the news media as a source of information because I have no better one. But they do suck.

As for the F35 project. I am a project engineer. There is allot of crisis management and problems that arise in my job. One of the projects that I am working on is so important that the country involved thought that it could influence voting results. I know the F35 will be a much harder project to run and things will go wrong. Journalists should realize engineering is not like baking a cake.

 

Unfortunately nothing new here. News is all about a "good story" and sensationalism. Scandals have always generated more views, and few scandals can incense more people than poorly spent tax dollars.

 

These days you pretty much have to subtract 100 points of hyperbole and add 50 of skepticism to anything you read on the major outlets.

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hi i just thought i would drop in here to give my 2 cents on the F-35

what i'm worried about is facing another situation like vietnam, when the U.S. had just unlocked the true potential in air to air missiles, but forced it on their planes too much. take the phantom for example, it had nothing but it's missiles to rely on, no gun, and needless to say that greatly hindered it's capabilities, especially during "dogfights". now here we are with the F-35 and the F-22, and we're so hell bent on integrating stealth technology into air warfare that we are throwing billions of dollars down the drain over a fighter that MIGHT see combat.

as an air to air fighter? sure i wouldn't downplay it's capabilities. as a precision bomber? yeah i don't see why not. for close air support? the very idea is laughable, and not (completely) because of the planes capabilities, but because planes like the A-10 can take a punch, many punches. the F-35 with it's fragile air frame seems pretty easy to down, and there goes aaaall 100+ million dollars right into the ground, and possibly a good pilot as well. plus what would you rather have protecting you? a hulking tank of a jet with a massive armament and 30mm canon that would make anyone dive for cover at the very sound of it, or a very high tech paper airplane? i'm personally very interested in seeing where the F-35 is going to end up in the years to come, but mostly in the air to air role

[edit] feel free to contradict me on this! i would really like to hear other's opinions on the F-35 directly compared to mine

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Everything you've written has been opposed at some point in this thread. A high-cost program like this is an unfortunate expenditure and what you get with multi-service demands, but that's the price of keeping an edge. If you consider inflation and the mass of aircraft this jet is designed to replace, it's not that shocking.

 

The CAS argument is more complex than you make it. The F-35 would be able to provide support where the A-10 could not. The reality is that survival of the A-10 is questionable in a battlefield filled with modern air defenses. Even if the 30mm gun provides very direct and predictable fire, small PGMs can suffice in most situations, and they'll have to do because we can't keep the A-10 around indefinitely. I think everyone agrees that it will leave a hole in the US inventory. Small, inexpensive CAS platforms might one day fill that void, but the A-10 is a purpose-built Cold War aircraft that we cannot expect to use forever.

 

In the end, as an American, I want a military that is capable of defending against and striking modern threats, not one that happens to be great for CAS in a medieval desert country. (Caliphate?)

 

PS. Please capitalize, your post is hard to read.


Edited by aaron886
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There are some things that the A-10 can do that no other fighter can do, including the F-35. Ping me for details if you want an example - it's one of those less obvious things.

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I read something the other day about the A-10 vs the F-35. The point raised in the article is that because the A-10 uses pods it can always carry the latest sensors but aircraft with more integrated avionics and sensors are harder to upgrade so they can actually lag in capability.

 

So the F-35 is like an iMac Air that you can't really upgrade without sending it back to the factory while the A-10 is like a Big ugly PC where you can kinda upgrade the parts as you go BUT it will never be as integrated as an iMac Air.

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I read something the other day about the A-10 vs the F-35. The point raised in the article is that because the A-10 uses pods it can always carry the latest sensors but aircraft with more integrated avionics and sensors are harder to upgrade so they can actually lag in capability.

 

So the F-35 is like an iMac Air that you can't really upgrade without sending it back to the factory while the A-10 is like a Big ugly PC where you can kinda upgrade the parts as you go BUT it will never be as integrated as an iMac Air.

 

yeah, another thing that has me a little concerned is the rather limited storage capability within the internal bays, and yeah you can always put them under the wing but there goes the stealth that serves as the F-35's main advantage on the battlefield

i think that the F-35 would be great alongside the new super duper hornet too, and the silent eagle looks pretty neat.

 

oh and real quick on the budget thing, the F-35 program has cost the U.S. the same amount of money needed to buy every homeless american a mansion. we spend more on our military budget than all other major military powers COMBINED, so yeah i wouldn't be too worried about america being in any real danger (or at least any danger that would directly threaten you)

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There are some things that the A-10 can do that no other fighter can do, including the F-35. Ping me for details if you want an example - it's one of those less obvious things.

 

Aside from the unmatched loiter time, stable slow flight characteristics and that spinning cannon - do tell.

ED have been taking my money since 1995. :P

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The F-35 will arguably be a better F-16, Hornet or Harrier. But the idea that it could replace the A-10 is beyond imagination. It is not even a debatable proposition. The F-35 is nothing less than a giant statement that the USAF top brass simply doesn't want to do the CAS mission altogether.

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

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yeah, another thing that has me a little concerned is the rather limited storage capability within the internal bays, and yeah you can always put them under the wing but there goes the stealth that serves as the F-35's main advantage on the battlefield

i think that the F-35 would be great alongside the new super duper hornet too, and the silent eagle looks pretty neat.

 

This argument gets tossed out a lot by people trying to sound reasonable when attacking the F-35s payload, and frankly, it's a false argument. You don't perform CAS work without holding air superiority, if you did, you'll get situations like we have in DCS now where fighters come in and seal club the CAS birds. The F-35 won't need stealth when it's performing CAS, when it's doing that job, you hang everything out on the wing, pack in a bunch of SDBs internally and go to town. And when looked at that way, the F-35 more than matches CAS planes like the F-16. I won't go into it trying to match the A-10 because even I have to agree that it will never match that plane at low level CAS work in a low intensity conflict.

 

What you will use stealth for is strike missions, and thanks to the wonderful advances in bomb guidance, it no longer takes 250 B-17s to take out a single bridge, or leveling the whole ten block radius to destroy the one building. In that arena, where you will be sneaking past AA defenses to wipe out communications, radar sites and other similar targets, the F-35s payload is more than sufficient, especially with the future blocks including greater payload of smaller bombs such as the SDBs, in which case the F-35 will be carrying 8 pinpoint devices, or 2 Mk. 84 JDAMs.

 

The F-35s strength is its unmatched flexibility. On day one, or D-Day -1, the F-35s can do the strike missions needed to prep for attack. Radar, communications, command centers, ect. the things we would use B-2s and F-117s, the F-35 will dart in, wipe out the target, and be gone before anyone knows what's going on. When the US achieves air superiority, then the F-35s switch to conventional mode, hanging payload out on the wing, and bringing pain en masse.

 

This ironically is the same argument Boeing has made for it's "Advanced Super" Hornet, and for the Silent Eagle, but the simple fact of the matter is that those two platforms lack sufficient stealth capabilities to perform those D-Day -1 missions. Yes, they're far less obvious, and against a degraded detection system they may get missed for a little while but they don't have the capability to penetrate an IADS, destroy things, and get out.

 

That of course only addresses the A/G mode. In the A/A role, the F-35 currently carries 2 AMRAAMs, which is not really sufficient to call a plan a CAP bird. However, future blocks of the F-35 with the upgraded payload system will carry 6 AMRAAMs internally, which is the same as the F-22 Raptor, and matches conventional F-15 loadouts (who normally carry 6 and 2 sidewinders). That's internally only, not including the wing pylons, but let's assume we're going for maximum stealth on CAP.

 

6 AMRAAMs is more than sufficient to perform the CAP role. Of course, then there's the complaint that it carries no Sidewinders internally and must compromise stealth to hang them on the wings, and that's true. From the information I have available to me there are also no plans to allow internal mounting of Sidewinders either, though if one of the resident F-35 crew chiefs can share more, I'd be fascinated to know.

 

So, in summation, the F-35 needs its stealth in two arenas. The opening strike, and potentially in the CAP role. In the opening strike, the current internal payload is more than adequate to perform the role, currently matching the F-117, and will, in the future, surpass it in payload due to upcoming changes proposed (and very likely to be adopted) in the way the F-35s internal bays are set up. In the CAP role, these same changes will allow the internal carry of 6 AMRAAM missiles, allowing the F-35 to sufficiently rule the skies even using internal stowage only. Combine this with the very promising results of high AoA testing for the F-35, and you have what is shaping up to be an actually worth successor to the F-16.

 

Out of curiosity, is there anything stopping you from mounting a targeting pod to the same hardpoint the cannon occupies on the F-35B and C? A stealth pod of course, but I'm just wondering.


Edited by Tirak
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i think US high command has rightfully analysed it won't need to do CAS anymore..using ground troops will be not needed as it was during past 20 yrs, US air force coupled with "rebels" that US could arm to do its fighting will be more than enough, wars will be fought on cyberspace, financial arena, and NGO color revolution style..

 

Air force serves as a tool of threat,not as actual tool to use,with stealth technology US will remain to be threatening. So no need for useless CAS..

 

its a proper analysis no matter what the media says.. they got it right..

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Useless CAS? HA! What happens when a pilot goes down and needs cover because the enemy is going to his location? Are they going to send in an F-35 to support that pilot with it's stealth from 25,000' and 15 miles away? No way, they will need CAS whether it's an A-10 or AH-64 etc...


Edited by Mike Busutil
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I think the proof is in the pudding: Every time they try to get rid of the A-10, something comes up to save it. The USAF knows it has to do CAS, period.

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

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I used to play flight sims like you, but then I took a slammer to the knee - Yoda

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It's also an issue of sensor optics. Most fighter/attack aircraft that use smaller optics cannot accurately see and positively identify a target from high altitudes. Not to the point of being able to see the difference between a person holding a machine gun or a person holding a broom. Lower altitudes allow for better imagery and more confirmation of the target especially when friendlies are near.

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It's also an issue of sensor optics. Most fighter/attack aircraft that use smaller optics cannot accurately see and positively identify a target from high altitudes. Not to the point of being able to see the difference between a person holding a machine gun or a person holding a broom. Lower altitudes allow for better imagery and more confirmation of the target especially when friendlies are near.

 

CAS can be done with most anything, from a drone to a B-52, depends on the type and situation... I would think most CAS means there are good guys near by telling you if they are shooting at a guy with a broom or gun...

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