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I hope we're able to significantly ramp up 120 production at a moment's notice. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Clark Griswold said:

He doesn't seem to really think it is a great option but offers as COA, got me thinking could you optimize an F35A for air to air? 

I think his point is more geared towards putting F-15 squadrons in a 3 year conversion status (e.g. not deployable/useful to COCOMs) rather than a capability gap. The F-35 is very capable at AA - the comparative weapon state limfac is one that is being worked.  With 9x and the new racks, you get 6x2...so same state as the eagle currently and could be done very soon. Also remember, the 120/9x combo isn’t going to be the only option forever.

Edited by brabus

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3 hours ago, brabus said:

I think his point is more geared towards putting F-15 squadrons in a 3 year conversion status (e.g. not deployable/useful to COCOMs) rather than a capability gap. The F-35 is very capable at AA - the comparative weapon state limfac is one that is being worked.  With 9x and the new racks, you get 6x2...so same state as the eagle currently and could be done very soon. Also remember, the 120/9x combo isn’t going to be the only option forever.

Gotcha - legitimate concern.

Option 4 (Mixed replacement with 15C divestment) seems the best overall COA. 

More operational iron available for a contingency immediately and over the course of replacement/divestment while getting a mission relevant platform with a unique capability to enhance the fight the 5th gens bring.

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21 hours ago, Majestik Møøse said:

Serious question: What office is responsible for figuring out what the future looks like and what to buy? SAF/AQ?

It’s complicated.  AQ and RCO manage program elements (pots of money), executed by a center (or RCO), to requirements from the MAJCOMs, all backed by studies from whoever supports your PFA (RAND, Red Team, etc).  J8 is a significant gatekeeper and BS filter.

Air Superiority 2030 Flight Plan is recommended reading.  People who worked that were top notch.  The ECCT concept seems to have legs.

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https://www.defensenews.com/smr/hidden-troubles-f35/2019/06/12/when-us-navy-and-marine-f-35-pilots-most-need-performance-the-aircraft-becomes-erratic/

defensenews.com

 

When US Navy and Marine F-35 pilots most need performance, the aircraft becomes erratic

David Larter
6-7 minutes

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy’s and Marine Corps’ F-35s become unpredictable to handle when executing the kind of extreme maneuvers a pilot would use in a dogfight or while avoiding a missile, according to documents exclusively obtained by Defense News.

Specifically, the Marine short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing variant and the Navy’s carrier-launched version become difficult to control when the aircraft is operating above a 20-degree angle of attack, which is the angle created by the oncoming air and the leading edge of the wing.

Pilots reported the aircraft experiencing unpredictable changes in pitch, as well as erratic yaw and rolling motions. The documents identify the issue as a category 1 deficiency and define it as something that limits the aircraft’s performance in such a way that it can’t accomplish its “primary or alternate mission(s).” In this scale, category 1 represents the most serious type of deficiency.

A Lockheed Martin executive told Defense News in a statement that he expects the issue to be resolved or downgraded soon as a result of software fixes.

“We’ve implemented an update to the flight control system that is planned for integration in the third quarter of this year — and we expect this item to be resolved or downgraded,” said Greg Ulmer, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of the company’s F-35 program.

The Pentagon’s F-35 program office did not respond to written questions from Defense News by press time, despite repeated follow-ups over a period of months.

In a deficiency report from the fleet, aviators said the issue "will cause modal confusion, prevent precise lift vector control, and prevent repeatable air-to-air combat techniques, resulting in mid-air collisions during training, controlled flight into terrain, and aircraft loss during combat engagements with adversary aircraft and missiles," according to the documents.

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“Fleet pilots agreed it is very difficult to max perform the aircraft” in those circumstances, the document notes.

The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps as well as the United Kingdom have noted the deficiency as a leading priority.

The fleet will, in the near term, mitigate the issue by enforcing minimum separation rules between aircraft in flight, the documents said.

‘That ain’t working’

A retired Navy fighter pilot who reviewed the documents for Defense News said the ability to maneuver the aircraft above a 20-degree angle of attack is important if the aircraft needs to quickly maneuver to avoid a missile or during aerial combat with another aircraft.

“You’re telling me that the latest, greatest, $100 million aircraft can’t perform?” the aviator said.

The issue, if left unresolved, would dovetail in the worst way when combined with another issue reported by Defense News: At extremely high altitudes, the Navy and Marine Corps versions of the F-35 can only fly at supersonic speeds for short bursts of time without risking structural damage and loss of its stealth capability, a problem that may make it impossible for the Navy’s F-35C to conduct supersonic intercepts.

“It has random oscillations, pitch and yaw issues above [its] 20-[degree angle of attack]," the aviator said. "[So] if I had to perform the aircraft — if I had to maneuver to defeat a missile, maneuver to fight another aircraft, the plane could have issues moving. And if I turn around aggressively and get away from these guys and use the afterburner, [the horizontal tail and tail boom] start to melt or have issues.”

The issue with control above 20-degrees AOA gets to one of the main debates about the aircraft: What if it needed to get into a dogfight? The F-35 is supposed to detect and kill its prey at range with missiles — either its own or from another platform in the network. But history has taught naval aviation that ignoring the possibility of close combat with another aircraft can prove deadly.

“This was not designed as a [traditional] fighter,” said Jerry Hendrix, a retired naval flight officer and analyst with Telemus Group. “This was meant to fight at distance with missiles. If you got in close, if you had to go to guns, that ain’t working.”

In a statement addressing a broad range of issues reported exclusively by Defense News, Ulmer, the Lockheed executive, defended the performance of the jet.

“The F-35s today are meeting or exceeding performance specifications and delivering unprecedented capability and safety compared to legacy fighter aircraft. These issues are important to address, and each is well understood, resolved or on a path to resolution," Ulmer said. “We’ve worked collaboratively with our customers and we are fully confident in the F-35’s performance and the solutions in place to address each of the items identified.”

An active-duty naval aviator who reviewed the documents for Defense News said the issues are reflective of an aircraft that packed in a lot of new technology, adding that, historically, all new jets have had problems.

“That document looks like growing pains for an aircraft that we tried to do a whole lot to all at once,” the aviator said. “You’re going to see that if you dig back at what Super Hornets looked like for the first few years. Go back in the archives and look at Tomcat — think about that with the variable sweep-wing geometry, the AWG-9 Radar.

"There was a lot of new technology incorporated into the aircraft, and there are always going to be growing pains.”

Valerie Insinna in Washington contributed to this report.

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Lot of hyperbole and borderline false statements in that article...but sometimes it’s required to get attention from the system unfortunately. 

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Just a general question on the F35

I have noticed in just about every photo of the F35 taking off that it is always in full burner, is that amount of thrust needed for takeoff or just the pilots preference?

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As with any jet, depends on gross weight, temp, altitude, runway length/condition, departure type, etc. Those factors drive takeoff power setting.

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Posted (edited)

The White House said Wednesday that Turkey can no longer be part of the American F-35 fighter jet program, saying in a written statement that Turkey's decision to buy the Russian S-400 air defense system "renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible."

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/f-35-us-stops-sale-of-fighter-jets-to-turkey-citing-use-of-russian-s-400-air-defense-system/?

Edited by LiquidSky

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Posted (edited)

Given that the primary concern here seems to be that the Russians would have been able to improve their systems if Turkey had operated the S400 side-by-side with the F-35, what level of threat does Turkey now pose if it decides to handover what it knows about the F-35?

Seems odd that Turkish pilots were allowed to start training at Luke, and they presumably now have a treasure trove of secrets to share...

Edited by Steve Davies

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5 hours ago, Steve Davies said:

Given that the primary concern here seems to be that the Russians would have been able to improve their systems if Turkey had operated the S400 side-by-side with the F-35, what level of threat does Turkey now pose if it decides to handover what it knows about the F-35?

Seems odd that Turkish pilots were allowed to start training at Luke, and they presumably now have a treasure trove of secrets to share...

Surely the brass knew the possibility of Turkey ordering the S-400....I can't help but wonder what will happen to nuclear assets in Turkey down the line.

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On 7/19/2019 at 1:52 AM, ctf151 said:

Surely the brass knew the possibility of Turkey ordering the S-400....I can't help but wonder what will happen to nuclear assets in Turkey down the line.

I've worked on foreign FMS projects before and being blindsided by this comes as zero surprise to me. I wouldn't be surprised if Turkey knew the S400 could become a problem and tried to keep it a secret as long as possible to prevent endangering their F-35 buy. Queen Elizabeth once said states don't have friends, only interest. When you look through the world in that lense you realize how fragile alliances really are.

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18 hours ago, FLEA said:

I've worked on foreign FMS projects before and being blindsided by this comes as zero surprise to me. I wouldn't be surprised if Turkey knew the S400 could become a problem and tried to keep it a secret as long as possible to prevent endangering their F-35 buy. Queen Elizabeth once said states don't have friends, only interest. When you look through the world in that lense you realize how fragile alliances really are.

I can't help but wonder what would be the reason Turkey would get Russian S-400's. Why would you do that unless you were searching for vulnerabilities with the F-35? I can't help but speculate that that may have been Russia's plan all along. 

 

It's in Russia interests to befriend Turkey because:

1) Bosporus Straight access

2) They know Turkey has growing anti-western sentiment, and is  vulnerable to turn against NATO if the conditions are right

3) They want to remove nuclear assets if possible

 

Geopolitics is such an interesting topic....

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I think it has more to do with their somewhat recent coup attempt where vipers were ripping over their capital.

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On 7/18/2019 at 6:07 AM, Steve Davies said:

Given that the primary concern here seems to be that the Russians would have been able to improve their systems if Turkey had operated the S400 side-by-side with the F-35, what level of threat does Turkey now pose if it decides to handover what it knows about the F-35?

Seems odd that Turkish pilots were allowed to start training at Luke, and they presumably now have a treasure trove of secrets to share...

On 7/18/2019 at 11:52 AM, ctf151 said:

Surely the brass knew the possibility of Turkey ordering the S-400....I can't help but wonder what will happen to nuclear assets in Turkey down the line.

Maybe but I have a naive hope that when the JSF was in a conceptual stage the real and likely increased risk of technological compromise due to the wide sale among various partners was openly addressed and mitigation was baked into the concept with the most sensitive information being limited to the US or UK only (Primary and Level 1 participants).  

Any info leak is a compromise but perhaps not a ship sinking hole in the boat.

On other F-35 news:

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/how-stealth-f-35a-just-surpassed-f-22a-one-key-metric-59552

More F-35s delivered to Big Blue than 22s built.  

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10 hours ago, DesperateApplicant said:

I hope the F-35 can fully retire the F-15.

You must work for Lockheed...

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LM has less than 180 days to fix some big stuff or else face the F-35 buy go the way of the Raptor. Hope they pull it off, but also part of me wants to see them get the massive kick in the balls they deserve. 

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1 hour ago, brabus said:

LM has less than 180 days to fix some big stuff or else face the F-35 buy go the way of the Raptor. Hope they pull it off, but also part of me wants to see them get the massive kick in the balls they deserve. 

Doesn’t surprise me, but source?

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