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Dave

33rd Fighter Wing Gets First F-35

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I've got a lot of hours on that ramp. While it was sad to see the unit lose it's fighters, being reborn as a Training Wing is way better than UAVs.

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It's about time that L-M got off their butts and finally started delivering them!

Nothing like being several years overdue and several billion over budget. :blink:

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The USAF "rewards" great combat units by assigning them training jobs. When F-15s were replacing F-4s, what famous unit from Vietnam became a training unit? Triple Nickel :cool: It even kind of makes sense that your combat proven best be the heralds of the next generation of fighter planes and fighter pilots. Unfortunately, the F-35 is kind of a step down from F-15s. The F-22 would be a higher honor: smaller more elite group that took the place of the F-15 as opposed to being the F-16's low budget replacement.

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one arguement for the step down crazyhorse... less rounds. it runs off the premise that it needs less munitions because what it uses will be more accurately placed. kinda suck tho if say we go up against the chinese and their first aerial wave is old mig-21s to get us to shoot our missles then send the J-20s. those air forces with red stars have a funny tendency not to get rid of stuff....

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Anyway, the F-35 could take some weapons off bays, i don´t know, however, how harmful for their stealth would be carrying a couple of AIM-9Xs

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In the F-15/F-16 pair, it was called the hi-lo mix. The F-15 has the twin-engine higher capability / higher cost aircraft of the pair. The F-16 was the cheap single-engine workhorse. In the F-22/F-35 pair, which do you think the F-35 is? So, if you are a top ranked unit flying the previous top ranked aircraft, going to the "lo" cheap aircraft is a step down when the F-22 is already on the table.

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SE the F-35 does s**t the F-15 could only dream of doing. So no its not a step down in the least bit. I am sure JSF_Aggies could into painstaking detail how much better the F-35 is compared to the F-15C.

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SE the F-35 does s**t the F-15 could only dream of doing. So no its not a step down in the least bit. I am sure JSF_Aggies could into painstaking detail how much better the F-35 is compared to the F-15C.

 

But Dave, I really like my job.... We have many Eagle pilots, past and present, come through our manned tactical simulation facility, and they're not leaving complaining.

 

Picture from Edwards...

post-2166-0-16265600-1310788735.jpg

Edited by JSF_Aggie
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F-35 a step down from F-15? You must be smoking crack.

He said: "...kind of a step down..."

 

Streak makes sense on a different level than you guys are talking. I think he meant, F-15 in the 1970s was the high end. F-22 in the 2010s is the high end.

 

On the other hand, shux, F-15s and F-22s both would be the "lo" component if monsters like F-108s or F-12s, and their replacements, were Made, and were similarly updated over the dekades. :good:

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In the F-15/F-16 pair, it was called the hi-lo mix. The F-15 has the twin-engine higher capability / higher cost aircraft of the pair. The F-16 was the cheap single-engine workhorse. In the F-22/F-35 pair, which do you think the F-35 is? So, if you are a top ranked unit flying the previous top ranked aircraft, going to the "lo" cheap aircraft is a step down when the F-22 is already on the table.

 

 

The F-22 looks to have the more capable airframe, regarding agility, speed, stealth, acceleration and looks - flying that gives you the image.

Downs side being - the entire fleet is grounded last I heard, and it still cant employ the AIM-9X:

 

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=6559166&c=AME&s=BUD

 

The F-35 has a more advanced Radar and advanced systems like EODAS that look to give it capabilities the F-22 can only dream of at present. Superb range (might actually be better)and can carry a larger internal bomb payload.

Its agility and performance is superb - I have seen comparisons from pilots that compare the F-35 to areas of clean F-16 Block 50 and FA-18 performance.

Edited by MigBuster

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I'm sorry, but I'm a believer in the F-35. And a step down? The F-35 IS the USAF/USN/USMC's new hotness for TACAIR! Cutting edge, like the UEWR for ITW/AA and SBSS for the SSN. Folks like to bad-mouth it based on reports with questionable accuracy (there's always a counterargument) and which only touch on the unclassified, releasable aspects of the program. You're badmouthing an airplane which you don't even know the true capabilities of. I'm very happy to hear the first production birds are being delivered, and wish the 33d FW the best.

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well the point that leads me to agree with streakeagle and say that it is a step down is payload. in particular air to air cause it will have to carry some of that load with only 187 Raptors and likely further early retirement amongst the Eagle and Viper force to pay for this new capabilities. Sure the F-22/F-35 combo will see further and hit what it sees. but doctrine is gonna be to go in stealthy and that means internal. which means not as many rounds to shoot at the enemy. now we program our Aggressor Vipers to simulate threat aircraft and emissions for training. other nations regularly upgrade their older aircraft with new avionics and ability to carry new weapons. what is stopping some bright light in a threat air force from programming an emmitter to make a Mig-21 look like a Flanker? then when we call Fox 3 and expend all the AAMs on that sortie the real flankers come in and chase our guys out of the area. when we go back with external ordanance mounted we are now not as stealthy as we trained to fight. JSF Aggie could prob answer the question better but are we regularily training to fight with external loads and how much A2A ordinance can it carry all up in a useful CAP or Escort mission? hey i'm not sayin lay waste to the area like Ahnold with the minigun in Terminator 2. buuuuuut as Patton said.... wars arent won by dying for your country. they are won by makin some other poor sonuvabitch die for his. i really dont mean to bad mouth the F-35, i just dont like the perpetually smaller sums that the math shows for our side.

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I see what you mean, DA, but even in the era of the F-14, F-15, F-16 and F/A-18, we always figured we'd be lower in overall numbers; hence why there was 1vX and 2vX training with the Tomcat, Eagle, Viper and Hornet to figure how we'd perform in a real-world fight. But I'd be willing to bet that the F-35/F-22 combination will be able to better match an air to air threat better than F-14/F-18 or F-15/F-16 combo against a modern enemy.

Edited by Caesar

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When was the last time we faced anyone with the ability to even match our numbers, let alone have a majority?

Sure, on paper some countries have more planes, but they're never able to get them all in the air where they need to be. What good is having X number of planes if half aren't mission capable between problems with engines, radar, weapons, etc?

 

The very idea that we'd have like 3 F-35s facing 20 Flankers is absurd. We don't get into those situations.

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When was the last time we faced anyone with the ability to even match our numbers, let alone have a majority?

Sure, on paper some countries have more planes, but they're never able to get them all in the air where they need to be. What good is having X number of planes if half aren't mission capable between problems with engines, radar, weapons, etc?

 

The very idea that we'd have like 3 F-35s facing 20 Flankers is absurd. We don't get into those situations.

 

Yes many factors - cant just go by figures. I remember a time when 20 subsonic pudgy Harriers had to face a force of about 200+ Argentine aircraft with only 2 x AIM-9Ls each!

 

 

Want to guess how much weight and drag all those Missiles on the Flanker cost it, not to mention the massive RCS!!

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What's funny is that the F-35 has much larger weapon bays than the F-22. Though I always preferred Boeing's offering for its 'son of A-7' 2cool looks. F-35 just looks like whatever contemporary fighter.

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Historically speaking, JM, you're right. The last time I can think of when a Western power had fewer fighters airborne than their enemy was probably Vietnam. Over Libya in the 1980's there were several dogfights that occurred with no shots fired due to ROE between USN F-4's and F-14's vs. Libyan Mirage F-1 and MiG-25s, where the F-4's and F-14's typically flew as a section of 2, and would encounter a Libyan section of between 2 and 4, but could be jumped by other aircraft. Fortunately for us, there were also far more airplanes on patrol in different sections of the sky that could then jump the Libyans.

 

I think the whole concept of being behind on numbers is part of that Cold War "World War III" thought process. The FSU was making a lot more smaller, cheaper planes than us, and we could expect to see a larger number of them airborne in, say, a blitz on Western Europe, or as mentioned earlier, as we had in the skies over Vietnam. Tomcat RIO "Bio" Baranek wrote of 2 versus unknown training engagements: "The 2vUNK is a realistic and valuable training scenario. On the fighter side, the basic unit for combat employment of Navy fighters is a section composed of lead and wingman. The value of a second fighter was borne out repeatedly, so the Navy almost never assigned a single fighter to combat. On the bogey side, in the real world, you rarely knew for sure how many you were facing. Despite the quality of E-2 or ship-board radar controllers, despite the fighters' ability to sanitize airspace, despite the enemy aircraft you may kill before the merge, if you were over enemy territory and were engaged, additional enemy fighters could show up at almost any time. This happened in combat, so TOPGUN trained us for it." (Baranek, TOPGUN Days, 116)

 

True enough today, and for the past few decades, we haven't been in an engagement against an opponent who could directly stand toe to toe in the air. But figuring out how we'd fight against a numerically superior enemy is one of those things we have to be able to know; the world changes all the time, and its better to be prepared than not!

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What good is having X number of planes if half aren't mission capable between problems with engines, radar, weapons, etc?

one assessment of the Luftwaffes destruction of some 3900 Soviet aircraft on the first day of Barbarossa was that it created a large pool of pilots ready to retrain on newer types.... for the scenario i'm discussing the aircraft would only need to get airborne for one more flight.

The very idea that we'd have like 3 F-35s facing 20 Flankers is absurd. We don't get into those situations.

have you looked at US military procurement the last few years? or in another context.. missiles will make the cannon and fighter dogfights a thing of the past.......

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have you looked at US military procurement the last few years? or in another context.. missiles will make the cannon and fighter dogfights a thing of the past.......

 

Seems to me that we have heard this before and Vietnam proved that a fighter always needs a gun. Fact is that you can't jam a Mk.II eyeball and a cannon shell once it has been fired.

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How many gun kills have there been since Vietnam? Butt, guns are always still a good idea, at least since cannon have become a less significant factor in load since the 1950s I suppose.

 

---

 

daddyair::

well the point that leads me to agree with streakeagle and say that it is a step down is payload.
Ceaser::
But I'd be willing to bet that the F-35/F-22 combination will be able to better match an air to air threat better than F-14/F-18 or F-15/F-16 combo against a modern enemy.

Bingo!

 

You both missed. :drinks: Its not about payload or current enemies. Streakeagle was talking about something entirely different (I think lol). He was comparing F-22/F-35 -vs- postmodern enemy like say PakFat-50 or whatever, against F-15/F-16 -vs- old modern enemies like MiGs-21 through -29.

 

F-15 was the big cheese in fighters back in the 80s.

 

F-22 is the big cheese in fighters today -- well I guess so from all the fuss about it. I don't follow postmodern military aviation.

 

Thanks streak! I find it an angle I never considered, although its not a very important one in the long run, but its interesting. Going from F-15 to F-35 may certainly be a step up in terms of more recent uber tech and capability against postmodern enemies, and probably waaaay better than going UAV or even getting laid off. I'd wouldn't complain either.

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i was not quite talkin about gun kills when i pointed out that statement. i was pointing out how when the engineers design our weapons and the politicians actually believe the brochure, the end user may find himself havin to adapt to a different reality and quickly. however(as to gun kills) i also do believe that a 'Hog got a helo with that big 30mm appendage back in 91! :grin:

 

im gonna try to muzzle myself now cause my problem isnt with the plane itself, but rather the folks controllin how many we get, and dictating how we go about defending our country and her interests. it is human nature in the various headquarters in the world to fight the last war. at the pentagon the last dozen actions have been with absolute air superiority. but there are several nations out there with other opinions on that and they arent planning for Allied Force, Somalia or OEF or OIF.

Edited by daddyairplanes

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