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The F-35 Saga


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From Flight Global

 

[excerpt]

 

DATE: 27/04/11

SOURCE: Flight International

 

New engine snag upsets F-35 manfacturing progress

By Stephen Trimble

 

A new quality issue with Pratt & Whitney F135 engines has upset a manufacturing system for the Lockheed Martin F-35 that is otherwise showing signs of reaching stability, according to the programme's top executive.

 

CV32: We have an election looming here in Canada in less than a week, and the planned purchase of 65x F-35A is one of the more controversial issues dogging the campaign. And while I am Conservative to my very bone marrow, I will say that the Conservatives are wrong on this issue in that:

 

(1) the requirement was written for the F-35, rather than a requirement being written and then candidates sought to meet it;

(2) that the only 'competition' was undertaken in the USA, between LM and Boeing over who would build JSF, and had nothing to do with what platform would replace the CF-18;

(3) the F-35 is not the only aircraft that might meet our needs (in fact, I don't think its terribly suitable at all);

(4) the F-35 will undoubtedly cost much, much more to acquire and much, much more to maintain than is being claimed.

 

All of that said, I do think the Conservatives have their hearts and heads in the right place about trying to give our Canadian Forces the best possible equipment, and imho, we cannot count on Taliban Jack or Count Iggy to do the same. End rant. <_<

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There's a interesting article about the matter in the May 2011 issue of Air Forces Monthly.

And yes, you know F-35 it's not a good fighter for me, perhaps it can not to be considered as a multi-role, air superiority fighter. It's useful as good niche stealth strike fighter, with limited air-to-air capabilities, and the V/STOL variant very useful as (the only!) Harrier replacement in countries with small CVH carriers.

I better don't ask about who are

Taliban Jack or Count Iggy
:o
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with limited air-to-air capabilities

 

Can you elaborate on this one? I expect the F-35 one on one against F-16, F-15, F/A-18 will see the F-35 winning almost all of the time since the opposition won't even see the F-35 at AMRAAM range. Get in close and the F-35 has superior situational awareness and much lower pilot workload.

 

Add in all of the networking abilities of F-35 combined with AEW birds and I think the F-35 starts to look even better.

 

So I expect the F-35 will be very capable air to air. The big but is that I don't think it will have the huge margin of superiority over the newer Flankers, J-20, T-50, etc. Versus what we have now though I think the F-35 will compare very favorably air to air.

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There's a interesting article about the matter in the May 2011 issue of Air Forces Monthly.

And yes, you know F-35 it's not a good fighter for me, perhaps it can not to be considered as a multi-role, air superiority fighter. It's useful as good niche stealth strike fighter, with limited air-to-air capabilities, and the V/STOL variant very useful as (the only!) Harrier replacement in countries with small CVH carriers.

I better don't ask about who are

Taliban Jack or Count Iggy
:o

 

Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party (socialist) and Michael Ignatieff, leader of the Liberal Party (centre-left). Based on current polling results, there is a non-trivial chance that Layton could be our Prime Minister in six months or so, which is a rather seriously shocking development. :huh:

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I think the F-35 will win ever against a not first rate country, because the very wide margin of superiority in training, command, organization and control of the Western forces (the last example Libya, overhelmed with a very small number of NATO combat planes, and they are not F-35), and, yes, also the improved situational awareness.

But if, as example China, improves his capability in training, command and similar stuff, and it's in some years near the Western capabilities (I think is a lot of years away, but ...), almost every modern fighter in the Chinese inventory has superior flight performances to the F-35 (and that only with in-service types, as J-10 or Flanker variants), ranges and weapons carrying capabilities, (and dont forget the Chinese are developing stealth and probably associated capabilities), the adquisition of F-35 as air superiority fighter will be erroneous.

Only the time can confirm my idea, and also the very denostated Carlo Kopp says the same things than me (I like his crude basic number analysis).

http://www.ausairpower.net/jsf.html (all the F-35 related entries)

http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-2008-08.html (air-to-air capabilities)

http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-NOTAM-05072010-1.html (air-to-air capabilities)

http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-NOTAM-191010-1.html (Canada)

 

Some months ago:

http://harpgamer.com/harpforum/index.php?showtopic=12607

CV32:

QUOTE (TonyE @ Jan 31 2011, 03:55 PM)

So in reading that there is mention of F-35 supercruise (right after F-22 supercruise). Does the F-35 really supercruise?

Nope, certainly not if you use the definition (also alluded to in the article) that the USAF put together to set the F-22 apart from its competition (i.e. better than Mach 1.5 without afterburner; the F-22 has done at least Mach 1.58). The F-35 could not dream to achieve those numbers.

Me:

Also, the maximum g-forces a F-35 can support is 7 g (5 g with external loads, as reference in my personal notes is stated the F-4E Phantom as 7,3 g clean, and 5,5 g loaded, and the F-5E Tiger is 7,33 g), and the F-22 can support 9 g, as MiG-29, Su-27 and variants, and almost if not all F-16 variants (Curiously F-15 only 8 g, and the latest variants of MiG-23, from the MiG-23ML, 8,5 g).

I'm a little tired to write more about it today ...

 

Incidentally, I like also this on the site: “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act. ”

Eric Arthur Blair, writing as George Orwell,

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There's a interesting article about the matter in the May 2011 issue of Air Forces Monthly.

And yes, you know F-35 it's not a good fighter for me, perhaps it can not to be considered as a multi-role, air superiority fighter. It's useful as good niche stealth strike fighter, with limited air-to-air capabilities, and the V/STOL variant very useful as (the only!) Harrier replacement in countries with small CVH carriers.

I better don't ask about who are

Taliban Jack or Count Iggy
:o

 

Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party (socialist) and Michael Ignatieff, leader of the Liberal Party (centre-left). Based on current polling results, there is a non-trivial chance that Layton could be our Prime Minister in six months or so, which is a rather seriously shocking development. :huh:

Thanks for the explanation, I'm sorry about it ;)

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Can you elaborate on this one? I expect the F-35 one on one against F-16, F-15, F/A-18 will see the F-35 winning almost all of the time since the opposition won't even see the F-35 at AMRAAM range. Get in close and the F-35 has superior situational awareness and much lower pilot workload. Add in all of the networking abilities of F-35 combined with AEW birds and I think the F-35 starts to look even better. So I expect the F-35 will be very capable air to air. The big but is that I don't think it will have the huge margin of superiority over the newer Flankers, J-20, T-50, etc. Versus what we have now though I think the F-35 will compare very favorably air to air.

 

Over a busy battlefield with lots of high caliber threats and with plenty of support, yes, I think the F-35 will probably fare pretty well against most opponents.

 

But for the role needed here, in Canada, as an air superiority fighter where the airfields are between 650 nm (Bagotville) and 1,200 nm (Cold Lake) from the border, the JSF does not shine as bright. A single-engine fighter with limited internal payload, and heavy emphasis on stealth at exorbitant acquisition/maintenance cost, doesn't match the requirement to my mind. Sure, you can throw more weapons and fuel tanks on it, but then stealth goes out the window. So what are paying all that money for again, exactly?

 

And, yes, when the Canadian Forces are sent overseas, we do want them to have good equipment. But, face it, we are unlikely to be leading the charge into a high threat battlefield with double and triple-digit SAMs and various flavours of Flanker. So, again, I have to wonder about whether the money is being well spent on JSF at a time when there are many competing priorities.

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  • 2 weeks later...
My new top F-35 troll...

 

The JSF combines the F-22s poor maintenance levels, inadequate testing and spiraling costs with 3rd generation performance.

 

Read more: http://www.dodbuzz.com/2011/05/06/the-air-.../#ixzz1LyHmzERW

DoDBuzz.com

Yes, but if the F-35B is cancelled, we will have light CVH without warplanes ! :(

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My new top F-35 troll...

 

The JSF combines the F-22s poor maintenance levels, inadequate testing and spiraling costs with 3rd generation performance.

 

Read more: http://www.dodbuzz.com/2011/05/06/the-air-.../#ixzz1LyHmzERW

DoDBuzz.com

 

So, is aircraft performance really all that relevant these days, anyway? I mean, it is simply not physically possible for a manned aircraft today to outfly a missile, due to the limitations of the crew. And modern AAMs, coupled with helmet mounted sights, allow you to engage a target pretty much anywhere in your forward hemisphere, which greatly reduces the need for ACM. "3rd generation performance" may very well be all that is needed ... :huh:

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Over a busy battlefield with lots of high caliber threats and with plenty of support, yes, I think the F-35 will probably fare pretty well against most opponents.

 

But for the role needed here, in Canada, as an air superiority fighter where the airfields are between 650 nm (Bagotville) and 1,200 nm (Cold Lake) from the border, the JSF does not shine as bright. A single-engine fighter with limited internal payload, and heavy emphasis on stealth at exorbitant acquisition/maintenance cost, doesn't match the requirement to my mind. Sure, you can throw more weapons and fuel tanks on it, but then stealth goes out the window. So what are paying all that money for again, exactly?

 

Air defense of Canada is a secondary requirement, though, isn't it? The only things we need to worry about intercepting are rogue airliners and widely dispersed heavy bombers. Stealth isn't terribly relevant in either case, so external fuel tanks are fine, and any given fighter will only ever be able to engage one or two targets per flight anyway, so limited ordnance won't be an issue, either. Of course, it's always possible that our neighbours to the south will decide to invade us, but if that happens we're screwed regardless of what we're flying, no? :P

 

And, yes, when the Canadian Forces are sent overseas, we do want them to have good equipment. But, face it, we are unlikely to be leading the charge into a high threat battlefield with double and triple-digit SAMs and various flavours of Flanker. So, again, I have to wonder about whether the money is being well spent on JSF at a time when there are many competing priorities.

 

Hmmm ... Given our experience in AFG, where we were one of the few countries to actually allow our troops to fight, I'm not sure this is a valid objection. I would expect US forces to be doing most of the heavy lifting, to be sure, but as costs go up and numbers go down, I don't have much trouble imagining that they would really like us to help, either ... :huh:

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Air defense of Canada is a secondary requirement, though, isn't it?

 

First requirement being?

 

The only things we need to worry about intercepting are rogue airliners and widely dispersed heavy bombers. Stealth isn't terribly relevant in either case, so external fuel tanks are fine, and any given fighter will only ever be able to engage one or two targets per flight anyway, so limited ordnance won't be an issue, either.

 

Then I have to wonder why we think it is so critical that we have to pay through the nose to acquire it.

 

Given our experience in AFG, where we were one of the few countries to actually allow our troops to fight, I'm not sure this is a valid objection.

 

Afghanistan is an entirely different kind of war. No CF-18s fighting over there either.

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Air defense of Canada is a secondary requirement, though, isn't it?

 

First requirement being?

 

Expeditionary air-to-ground. Have we even fired an air-to-air shot in anger since WWII? (Korea, maybe?)

 

The only things we need to worry about intercepting are rogue airliners and widely dispersed heavy bombers. Stealth isn't terribly relevant in either case, so external fuel tanks are fine, and any given fighter will only ever be able to engage one or two targets per flight anyway, so limited ordnance won't be an issue, either.

 

Then I have to wonder why we think it is so critical that we have to pay through the nose to acquire it.

 

Because it's crucial to the primary mission in a high-threat environment.

 

Given our experience in AFG, where we were one of the few countries to actually allow our troops to fight, I'm not sure this is a valid objection.

 

Afghanistan is an entirely different kind of war. No CF-18s fighting over there either.

 

The point I was trying to make was that we may very well find ourselves 'leading the charge,' as you put it, because very few other countries are willing to do the dirty work that needs to be done. Obviously, in aid to the US forces, but still with an important role to play.

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Expeditionary air-to-ground. Have we even fired an air-to-air shot in anger since WWII? (Korea, maybe?)

 

If you look at DND's website and read about their missions and priorities, you'll find that the importance of the air to ground mission is buried beneath our commitment to such things as disaster relief, maritime patrol, resource protection, counter-drug surveillance, NORAD, peace support, humanitarian aid, space, search & rescue, etc. In fact, its described in two words: "ground support".

 

We won't get too far into the politics, but you know that everytime someone mentions Canadian aircraft dropping bombs, the left wing moonbat contingent up here goes nutty as heck.

 

Even if the secondary mission is protecting our sovereignty and territory (and I don't agree that its secondary), we don't need stealth for that.

 

Because it's crucial to the primary mission in a high-threat environment.

 

I guess we disagree on (1) the primary mission; and (2) whether Canadian combat aircraft will ever be called upon to operate in a "high threat" environment in the modern sense of the word.

 

Everyone could see what happened in Libya, where the threat was anything but "high".

 

The point I was trying to make was that we may very well find ourselves 'leading the charge,' as you put it, because very few other countries are willing to do the dirty work that needs to be done. Obviously, in aid to the US forces, but still with an important role to play.

 

I understand. My point is that I do not think we will be leading the charge anytime soon, particularly in any kind of "high threat" environment where only a VLO aircraft could be expected to survive and fight. I just don't see it happening.

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