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No not really,Did you know there is no internal gun or that the limited space in the weapons bay will force the use of external pylons?Goodbye stealth!This plane may end up being the costliest weapon system ever produced.If lockheed martin can fix all the additional bugs found by Air Force test pilots,and those fixes are to cost an additional 40 Billion added to the program already.No gun,Dumb s**ts! sounds like the F4 program again.

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No not really,Did you know there is no internal gun or that the limited space in the weapons bay will force the use of external pylons?Goodbye stealth!This plane may end up being the costliest weapon system ever produced.If lockheed martin can fix all the additional bugs found by Air Force test pilots,and those fixes are to cost an additional 40 Billion added to the program already.No gun,Dumb s**ts! sounds like the F4 program again.

 

Not totally correct - the F-35A has an internal Gun that's replacing the F-16

 

The B and C need to use a Pod

 

It can carry quite a good internal load - worth checking out and can use 2000lbs JDAM unlike the F-22A AFAIK

 

 

Any system involving computers needs a lot of bug fixes - don't be surprised if some of the systems are not ready even 7 years after IOC (price to pay for star trek technology) - however nice little earner for LM as they will probably fixing bugs for its entire life.

Edited by MigBuster

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Anyone who gets all hung up on the phrase 'gun pod' is a retard. It's not like on the F-4 where the gunpod was an afterthought - it's not like the the F-35 one isn't specifically designed to plug into the weapons bay while maintaining VLO or is going to be just as accurate as the podded guns on the Harrier (that noone ever complains about). Seriously, in a world with high off-boresight missiles that can pull 60g turns guns ARE an afterthought. F-35 vs Su-35 and the F-35 is going to win everytime courtesy of being able to see the SU before the SU sees it.

 

Besides, how can anyone possibly bring up the F-4 as an example of a lemon? It's one of the most successful fighters of all time.

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DAS is the gamechanger here. That russian radar is not going to do a lot of good against a VLO fighter that uses EO DAS + datalinked off-platform targeting data except light up the RWR on the F-35. Russians and the Chinese are where the US was 20 years ago with the YF-22.

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Anyone who gets all hung up on the phrase 'gun pod' is a retard. It's not like on the F-4 where the gunpod was an afterthought - it's not like the the F-35 one isn't specifically designed to plug into the weapons bay while maintaining VLO or is going to be just as accurate as the podded guns on the Harrier (that noone ever complains about). Seriously, in a world with high off-boresight missiles that can pull 60g turns guns ARE an afterthought. F-35 vs Su-35 and the F-35 is going to win everytime courtesy of being able to see the SU before the SU sees it.

 

Besides, how can anyone possibly bring up the F-4 as an example of a lemon? It's one of the most successful fighters of all time.

 

Exactly. Who needs a gun when you have an AIM-9X ?

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I wouldn't get to hung up on A-A because A-G is where most of the action is these days - for example - the 77th EFS F-16s expanded over 7000 rnds of PGU-28 in Afganistan - so still useful

 

Actually good point above - if you aim some arguments I've seen against the F-35 at 4th Gen jets you can see how ridiculous they are.

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I was going to say that right now the idea that we'd use an F-35 to strafe is pretty ridiculous. The F-35 is no less vulnerable to MANPADs than the F-16 is, it has no "thermal" or IR stealth, and its engine is 33% more powerful = big target.

The idea now is to make precision weapons cheap enough that we don't need bullets anymore. Things like laser-guided rockets and other tiny munitions where one shot = one kill with far less vulnerability to the attacker than flying under 1k ft at a range of a mile.

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You cant fly a rescap and keep the enemy pinned down with AA Missle's,The gun may be a backup weapon what if you lose your avionics?The F4 Started out as a failed program because people were too enamored with the technology but it did'nt work and those pilots would have sold their souls to have had a gun.Finally At great cost to those early pilots they installed a gun in the F4E and made some other changes did it become a dogfighter.It was an interceptor dependent on a failed weapon system until they fixed those missile's later on.And what if your out of missle's ,I think if you ask any combat pilot they would say they would still want a gun onboard.

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To be fair the missiles were being abused by ground crews misshandling them between flights, the way they were treated its a wonder any of them worked... this dosn't happen anymore.

 

Craig

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The external carriage will not really pose a problem on the occasions that it is needed. When this jet needs most to be stealthy is in the precision strike role and decapitation roles, which it CAN do vice the F-22 which really cannot. The F-117 carried just 2 bombs internally and did the job very well. When the F-35 is performing the same types of strikes, it will do just fine. Plus it has decent tote in the air-to-air arena without hanging externals. And when it does need to have things on the wings, it won't need to be a VLO platform. Doing CAS, you need to bring all the ords you can so as to tie up as few platforms as possible, and there isn't much hope of being VLO against the good ole eyeball.

 

CAS is where you will be seeing the biggest threat from MANPADS, and I think in most cases this can be managed using stand-off weapons like LGBs and WCMDs. But it will take the guys on the ground popping the bastard with the tube on his shoulder if the F-35 (or any other aircraft) needs to get close and strafe.

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No not really,Did you know there is no internal gun or that the limited space in the weapons bay will force the use of external pylons?Goodbye stealth!This plane may end up being the costliest weapon system ever produced.If lockheed martin can fix all the additional bugs found by Air Force test pilots,and those fixes are to cost an additional 40 Billion added to the program already.No gun,Dumb s**ts! sounds like the F4 program again.

 

1.There is a gun, that's actually 25mm, IIRC.

 

2.Not necessarily force.A strike force won't comprise of a single F-35.Some will be tasked with air supremacy, some with ground attack.No real need for pylons.But even with them on, it's still less visible than most other aircraft in the battlefield.

 

3.The F-4 was different: It's missiles sucked.The case here is the exact opposite.Missiles make up for maneuverability.

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To be fair the missiles were being abused by ground crews misshandling them between flights, the way they were treated its a wonder any of them worked... this dosn't happen anymore.

 

Craig

 

Vibration and weather also may have played a part - but the missiles were truly pathetic in seeker performance/gimbal limits, ECCM, maneuverability etc compared to what there is today.

 

I suppose the point is there isn't really much comparison to the tech of 1965 (when it was in its infant state) to the tech of today now its all solid state. In 1965 the Radar was also crap (pulse only), also no way to ID anything BVR (well unless it was an F-4 with J79s in Mil of course).

 

You only have to look at the BVR performance of the AIM-7M in 1991 to see how things had changed and that was 20 years ago now.

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The missiles the F-4 carried performed very well in trials which is why they were accepted into service to begin with. It's ludicrous to take a fighter like the F-4 that's designed to shoot down Soviet bombers with missiles suited for that task and then call it failed because missiles designed to shoot down bombers doesn't fare as well dogfighting against fighters. Anyone who says things like that just doesn't understand the purpose of the 1960's military which was 100% all-out nuclear war against the Soviet Union. They even had to carry surplus WW2 munitions in Vietnam because they had so little conventional munitions the supplies ran out.

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All That being said and true,They still put in the gun in future models of navy,and Air Force and the only comparision I'm Trying to make is the thinking that kept the gun out of the early F4's .Assumption that it will all work as avertised.If you are a student of aviation history then you know how often that works out. :biggrin: .Check out the july2013 issue of Aviation History Mag on the F-35 Program.

Edited by usafphantom2

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The external carriage will not really pose a problem on the occasions that it is needed. When this jet needs most to be stealthy is in the precision strike role and decapitation roles, which it CAN do vice the F-22 which really cannot. The F-117 carried just 2 bombs internally and did the job very well. When the F-35 is performing the same types of strikes, it will do just fine. Plus it has decent tote in the air-to-air arena without hanging externals. And when it does need to have things on the wings, it won't need to be a VLO platform.

 

 

This is the problem we'll be having with this platform. We'll be expecting it to perform the 3000km penetrating strike role, only, it doesn't have the legs it's predecessor had, so it'll have to carry tanks and require one outgoing and one incoming top up, meaning our tankers will need to be moved forward, meaning it'll need the associated cover, meaning more tankers will be needed, and so on... This isn't the fault of the design, only the thinking behind selecting this over something like the Mudhen that was designed for the task. The irony about that decision (and for this goes for the F-22, not that the MoD here had any serious notions of actually trying to buy it) is that purchasing an advanced model Strike Eagle was rejected here, officially, on grounds of cost (too expensive to purchase and maintain) yet the F-35 we're buying is going to cost (approx) 130% more, per aircraft and about 3 times as much in maintenance and won't be able to perform as originally intended (Stealth or functionality rather than stealth AND functionality). The former Air Vice Marshall, LM lobbyists and the previous government's choice not to go ahead with a tender process (thanks again LM!) really f***ed us on this one. We could counter potential regional threats without pissing money away on platforms like this by having the right tool for the right job, unfortunately, our MoD, Government and RAAF leadership are full of tools, just not the right ones.

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All That being said and true,They still put in the gun in future models of navy,and Air Force and the only comparision I'm Trying to make is the thinking that kept the gun out of the early F4's .Assumption that it will all work as avertised.If you are a student of aviation history then you know how often that works out. :biggrin: .Check out the july2013 issue of Aviation History Mag on the F-35 Program.

 

The other reason for not putting on guns is given that pilots may have been reluctant to get close enough to gun down nuclear armed bombers.

 

I'm not aware of the USN using the F-4E - the pods like the MK4 look to have been tried on the F-4B/J but were rarely carried in Nam from what I've read.

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I would be careful with the range comparison of the F-15E over the F-35A based on these figures:

 

Internal fuel

F-35A 2,723 US Gal

F-15E with CFTs = 2,868 US Gal

 

Engine Mil power thrust

F-35A = 1 x 25,000 lbs

F-15E = 2 x 17,800 lbs

 

The F-35A is a single engine jet that can fly with a pretty good load with no extra drag penalty - so willing to bet the F-35A either has equal or better endurance in that config - and even without the avionics its as fast/faster and wont be picked up half as easily.

Edited by MigBuster

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Also, what good is a plane that can reach the target without refueling if it's shot down when it gets there? Unless you're planning on fighting unarmed opponents, that is. Or you're going to wait for other countries with the ability to fight ADA to take it out before you send your planes in, in effect not entering combat until they're unarmed.

 

Sounds like Australia wanted a B-2, not a fighter.

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I have been reading up on the F-35 and it's not good. Looks like it will be the most useless fighter ever designed. After all it was a fighter designed by committee. Here is just a fraction of what I have found.

 

Electronic Support Measures: Air combat aircraft emit radiation from jet engines, radar, JTIS/MIDSs terminal, radio transmissions. Specialised equipment in combat aircraft knows the frequencies of these transmissions and has sensors to detect them. Attempts are made to minimise emissions through a process of ‘Emission Control’ (EMCON) but these can only be partially successful. Both the JSF and the Su-35S have a full range of these sensors, and are assessed as being equally effective in ESM capability.

ESA Radar X-Band: This is the primary sensor for jet fighters. The radar cross section of the F-35A is substantially lower than that of the Su-35S especially in the front sector, but the Sukhoi has sufficient power and a much larger antenna to partially overcome that difference. Both types are ‘networked’ so in a multi-ship engagement, the geometrical spread of the Su-35S flight in part negates the lower observability of the JSF by illuminating the JSF from angles where its low observability is weakest. Expect the F-35A to often get the ‘first look’, but the Su-35S flight to detect the JSF outside the range of the JSFs' BVR missiles. So where it matters, the limited low observability of the JSF provides little advantage.

ESA Radar L-Band: The Su-35S will have this lower-frequency radar in its wing leading edges. The JSF is ‘stealthed’ for X-Band, not for L-Band. While the antenna size of the Su-35S L-Band radar limits its performance, there will be times when the L-Band radar detects the JSF before the X-Band radar. The JSF does not have an L-Band Radar and is assessed accordingly.

Infra-Red Search & Track: There is a different approach to Infra-Red sensors. The JSF has a superb Electro-Optical Distributed Aperture System (DAS) designed to cover the sphere around the aircraft, but strongly optimised for air-to-ground operations. The Su-35S has a large aperture OLS-35 IRST optimised to scan for other aircraft at long range in its area of interest. DAS is a ‘staring array’ while the OLS-35 is a ‘scanning array’. The difference in detection range is like the difference between a person searching with a naked eye compared with another searching with a telescope. If the telescope is pointed in the right direction, it will get first detection. Add to that the factor that the JSF has the hottest engine in the market, and the IRST of the Su-35S is assessed as a superior aid to air combat.

Identification: Not much need to be said here. The threat of fratricide in BVR air combat has led to the development of identification systems that will reliable separate friend from foe. Fratricide still happens though, especially in mixed, close-in fights.

Engagement:

Mach on Entry: High Mach increases the energy of BVR missiles, sending them further. The design top speed of the Su-35S is 2.25, limited by canopy and radome heating, so it has surplus power and the fuel to burn to sustain high Mach numbers. The drag of the external stores is likely to reduce this to something below Mach 2, but the missiles are cleared for launch at all speeds. The JSF has yet to demonstrate a flight above Mach 1.05, but even if it reaches its design speed of Mach 1.6, it is clearly inferior.

Altitude on Entry: Like Mach, a higher altitude adds potential energy to BVR missiles, sending them further, while an enemy’s missiles must ‘climb the hill,’ severely reducing range. A second factor is that missiles fired from a higher altitude have less drag, again increasing range. The JSF is optimised for Strike missions flown at about 15-25,000 feet, while the Su-35S is optimised for air combat missions at about 40,000 feet and above, with a combat ceiling close to 60,000 feet. Points go to the Su-35S on operating altitude.

Missile Range: The RVV-SD and the AIM-120D have roughly equivalent ranges, but when the RVV-SD has a high-Mach, high-altitude launch; it will outrange the AIM-120D. The Su-35S is assessed at delivering a longer BVR engagement range. This area of superiority will be increased once the RVV-AE-PD ramjet missile becomes operational. In addition, the Su-35S can carry the very long range R-37 and R-172 missiles, with ranges to 200 nautical miles.

Missile Seeker Diversity: The AIM-120D currently has an active radar seeker, while the RVV-SD/R-77ME and the R-77TE have active and infra-Red (IIR) seekers respectively. Mixed sensor seekers complicate defences, for example, the F-35 may turn to defeat an active seeker and expose a hot part of the aircraft to an IR seeker. Russian doctrine is to ‘pair’ missiles with an active seeker followed by a IR seeker, creating diversity in the fight and creating ‘kill’ opportunities. The Russian missiles also have the option of passive anti-radiation seekers, designed to home on X-band radar. This diversity in missile seeker sensors gives an advantage to the Su-35S.

Signature Exposure: This is a factor that primarily affects the JSF, known to have a ‘Pacman’ radar cross-section at X-Band, with a Low Observability ‘notch’ at the front. As it manoeuvres, it can turn the notch away from an aircraft searching sensor, and expose a higher radar cross-section to that search, or expose a broadside or rear-side to another aircraft. The F-35 relying on a ‘can’t see me, can’t kill me’ capability, has more to lose in a spread, manoeuvring engagement than the Su-35S, which will generally be detectable by the JSF for most of the engagement. This exposure can occur, for example, when the JSF is guiding a missile and turns away to reduce the closure rate, thereby exposing both the aircraft and an incoming missile to longer range detection, or detection from a widely spaced wingman. As the JSF is reliant on signature reduction for survival, it has more to lose if its signature increases, so is assessed as more vulnerable in the dynamics of a multi-ship, networked, turning engagement where signature management is very difficult.

Endgame Electronic Countermeasures (ECM): The ‘modus operandi’ of stealth aircraft is not to radiate, or return radiation, which is the way ECM countermeasures work. Su-35S has ECM, JSF does not, except for intended AESA Radar jamming modes across a limited forward cone of about 120 degrees. ECM based on Digital Radio Frequency Memory (DRFM) can be very effective, especially against missiles with limited processing power and time to resolve targets. The Su-35S also has several ECM modes. The JSF is assessed as inferior, because it does not employ ECM to defeat attack.

Decoys Towed / Fired: The Su-35S has the option of deploying towed decoys to lure a closing missile away from the body of the aircraft. The JSF approach is different, with small ‘Gen-X’ active decoys being fired as a missile closes. These measures are assessed as being approximately equivalent, with the towed decoys which are at co-speed to the target likely to present the more effective countermeasure.

Flares and Chaff: These are outmoded countermeasures, but still add to the difficulty of guiding a missile to close proximity of an airframe. The GSh-301 is claimed to have rounds that fire chaff forward of the aircraft, so chaff-discrimination processing in a closing missile might be deceived. Nonetheless, the countermeasures are assessed as equivalent.

Mach for a Tail-Chase / Fuel Reserves for Afterburner: At some time in a fight, an aircraft has to depart, for example when ‘Winchester’ or out of ammunition, or  ‘Bingo’ or down to just enough fuel to get home. Then the fight becomes a tail-chase. The Su-35S with its higher Mach can close on a JSF, the reverse is not the case. The ability of the Su-35S to carry large fuel loads, and the prodigious consumption of the JSF F135 engine in maximum afterburner exacerbates this perilous situation for the JSF. The advantage is with the Su-35S in these aspects of engaging in a fight when the JSF is attempting to disengage.

Disengagement: This is one of the under-assessed areas of future air combat. When missiles of roughly equivalent range are fired, they travel for over 100 seconds to the target. This transit time provides an opportunity for countermeasures to defeat the attack. Missile motor launch-flares are intensive and difficult to hide from Infra-Red sensors, so in many engagements, there will be early warning of an incoming missile. Active seekers ‘light-up’ at about 10 nautical miles from the target, still providing valuable warning time. Here is a range of disengagement measures:

Airframe Agility: Once warned of a launch, the defending aircraft can sometimes defeat the attack by rapidly turning away to force the missile into a tail-chase.

Antenna Coverage: AESA radars like the JSF APG-81 working from a fixed back-plate cover a cone of about 120 degrees. The Su-35S has an ESA radar working from a gimballed ‘swash-plate’ that covers about 240 degrees around the nose, and there is a second radar in the ‘stinger’ albeit with less capability, to cover the remainder of the sphere. If the Su-35S and the JSF fire a BVR missile at the same time and at maximum range, the Su-35S can turn away to about 120 degrees off the line joining the two aircraft, while the JSF is constrained to about 60 degrees. This runs the JSF into the Su-35S’s missile, while the Su-35S is running away from the JSF’s missile. The result could be an RVV-SD hit and an AIM-120 miss. Points to the Su-35S on this aspect.

Mach on Egress / Fuel Reserves for Afterburner: This is an extension of the antenna coverage capability, as the Su-35S can accelerate away from the incoming missile, forcing it to drop-short. The JSF does not have this performance and is assessed as inferior.

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