F-35... destined for greatness?

Iceyl86

Spaceman
Ok listen, I was kind of curious... I was wondering what your opinion of the newest fighter known as "Joint Strike Fighter" in the US... the F-35 (Lockheed Martine X-35).

I saw footage from its competition with the Boeing X-32... and honestly I wasn't that impressed... Its classified both as a Multirole fighter, but it seems to be more specifically designed for Air-to-ground assaults. I mean besides the innovated VTOL option and newer onboard computers, it's not that great... based on the information I've found, its a "First Strike" fighter in times of war, however without support from F-18 cover, its aparently close to useless. Its range is impressive... but multi-roles should be able to hold thier own in a fight, which clearly this one can't. Also one thing that I feel should be brought to the table, is that the very effort to produce such a fighter was done by a board formed to be... "More cost effective" then the original canceled Multi-Role Fighter (MRF) and Advanced Strike Aircraft (A/F-X) programs
 

Attachments

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
All the fighters that get approved for full production are the "more cost effective" winner between competing models. The F-22 is cheaper than the F-23 would have been. But both are still impressive jets, and they both looks like they'll do their intended job very well. Air to ground is primarily what we need. The vast majority of our air power is used to deliver ground ordinance, not ensure air superiority. In the event that you do need to clear the skies, then that's what you have F-22s for. But the JSF looks like it'll be produced in much greater numbers, because that's mainly what we need. You don't go to war with just one type of plane though. F-15s, F-18s, F-22s, F-35s, F-117s, AH-64s, CH-47s, V-22s, B-1s, B-2s and B-52s will all play a role in any substantial air offensive we engage in in the next decade.
 

Ijuin

Admiral
The only nation in the world that has air-to-air capability comparable to the United States and that is at all likely to go to war with the USA within the next 20 years is China, so the main threat to American fighters would be anti-air missiles (air or ground launched), not WWII/Korea style dogfights with machine guns and unguided rockets.
 

TankGunner

Rear Admiral
Chris is right, if there is a significant threat of enemy fighter activity, the F-35 would be escorted by F-15s or F-22s. The F-35 is also supposed to be able to hold it’s own in aerial combat, but that’s not it’s primary role.

It was developed to replace a whole slew of aircraft, among others, the AV-8 Harrier, F-16 Falcon, A-10 Thunderbolt II, British Tornado, F-18 Hornet, for ground attack role only, the F-18F Super Hornet will be the US Navy’s primary Interceptor when the F-14D is retired.

Plus VTOL would be a major advantage in urban combat, the ability to deliver JDAMs or rockets, then cover ground troops with cannon fire. I know the Harriers helped us a lot like that while we were in Iraq.
 

powell99

Aviation Junkie
Ijuin said:
The only nation in the world that has air-to-air capability comparable to the United States and that is at all likely to go to war with the USA within the next 20 years is China.
Yeah well thats not *that* likely. The Chinese US relations for the next twenty years would be more focused on economic issues instead of anything military related.
 

Lt.Death100

Spaceman
powell99 said:
Yeah well thats not *that* likely. The Chinese US relations for the next twenty years would be more focused on economic issues instead of anything military related.
Agreed, they make just about everything!:)
 

Ijuin

Admiral
True, but AFAIK only the Soviets, the Israelis, and the British have stronger air-to-air capability vs. the USA than China, and all three of those are even less likely to go to war with the USA. My point is that the strongest air forces out there are not the ones that we are going to be fighting any time soon, so protecting against enemy interceptors has become de-emphasized.
 

Tigerhawk

Captain
TankGunner said:
Chris is right, if there is a significant threat of enemy fighter activity, the F-35 would be escorted by F-15s or F-22s. The F-35 is also supposed to be able to hold it’s own in aerial combat, but that’s not it’s primary role.

It was developed to replace a whole slew of aircraft, among others, the AV-8 Harrier, F-16 Falcon, A-10 Thunderbolt II, British Tornado, F-18 Hornet, for ground attack role only, the F-18F Super Hornet will be the US Navy’s primary Interceptor when the F-14D is retired.

Plus VTOL would be a major advantage in urban combat, the ability to deliver JDAMs or rockets, then cover ground troops with cannon fire. I know the Harriers helped us a lot like that while we were in Iraq.

Actually, the F-14 has been officially retired. The last Tomcat squadron has officially decommissioned their Turkeys (the Other name for that fighter) and is transitioning to the Super Hornet. The F/A-18 is really the only aircraft on the deck right now that's capable of intercept, period, now that the Tomcats are gone. Everything else is of the Strike role. With the exception of the S-3, the E-2 and the SH-60, it's becoming the only other aircraft on the deck.

Maybe I'm a bit of a traditionalist, but I have a hard time believing that the JSF will replace the A-10 in effectiveness, as I don't see it as being nearly as effective in the tank-killing and CAP abilities, much less the survivability to the aircraft and the pilot.

I think Chris is right, China is about the only country with advanced enough fighter capacity to challenge the U.S. right now, and that includes being able to afford to train the pilots, put the planes in the air and maintain them on the ground. I think Russia still has the capacity to do so if they REALLY needed to, but that may also be a bit of a stretch.
 

Iceyl86

Spaceman
Ijuin said:
The only nation in the world that has air-to-air capability comparable to the United States and that is at all likely to go to war with the USA within the next 20 years is China, so the main threat to American fighters would be anti-air missiles (air or ground launched), not WWII/Korea style dogfights with machine guns and unguided rockets.
This has to be one of the dumbest things I've ever heard... why would they go to war with us? Because thier Government is KIND OF a communist one? Go back to the 1920s.

The fact is that we owe China enough money for them to bankrupt us 3 times over or more. But if they called in thier loans, they would be in no better shape... as over 90% of thier foriegn trade comes to the United States. As for the chinese... how can you say that they COULD defeat us in Air vs. Air? They still use MiG-21s, which though awesome, aren't powerful enough to take on the US.
 

Tigerhawk

Captain
Iceyl86 said:
This has to be one of the dumbest things I've ever heard... why would they go to war with us? Because thier Government is KIND OF a communist one? Go back to the 1920s.

I think that was more of a comparitive thing. Maybe it's just me, but I don't think it was said that we WOULD go to war with China, just more of a WhatIf kind of thing.
 

TankGunner

Rear Admiral
Maybe I'm a bit of a traditionalist, but I have a hard time believing that the JSF will replace the A-10 in effectiveness, as I don't see it as being nearly as effective in the tank-killing and CAP abilities, much less the survivability to the aircraft and the pilot.
Yes, I would miss the 30mm cannon, but on a modern battlefield, the SAM and AAA (anti-aircraft artillery) threat is too high for a slow, unmanouverable plane like the Thunderbolt. The missiles it carried were always a bigger threat than that cannon, and the JSF can carry those as well.

This has to be one of the dumbest things I've ever heard... why would they go to war with us? Because thier Government is KIND OF a communist one? Go back to the 1920s
.

They would fight us because we have promised to support the Republic of China (AKA Taiwan) in any conflict where the ROC declares their independence from the mainland. China has been involved in a huge military spending binge for the last 6 years. They have a zillion people but little resources, kind of like another Asian country 65 years ago.

China isn’t limited to the MIG-21, they build their own fighter too, and they’re getting better at it. Also they have purchased a significant number of SU-35 Flankers from Russia, who is selling all the military hardware it can for hard cash.
 

Tigerhawk

Captain
TankGunner said:
Yes, I would miss the 30mm cannon, but on a modern battlefield, the SAM and AAA (anti-aircraft artillery) threat is too high for a slow, unmanouverable plane like the Thunderbolt. The missiles it carried were always a bigger threat than that cannon, and the JSF can carry those as well.

.

They would fight us because we have promised to support the Republic of China (AKA Taiwan) in any conflict where the ROC declares their independence from the mainland. China has been involved in a huge military spending binge for the last 6 years. They have a zillion people but little resources, kind of like another Asian country 65 years ago.

China isn’t limited to the MIG-21, they build their own fighter too, and they’re getting better at it. Also they have purchased a significant number of SU-35 Flankers from Russia, who is selling all the military hardware it can for hard cash.

Well, didn't Fairchild restart production of the A-10 because it did so marvelous a job in both Iraq wars? There was certainly no shortage of Iraqi SAMs or AAA (at least, if the last 14 or so years of taking shots at air patrols over the No Fly Zones were any indication). But that's what electronic jamming and onboard ECM is for...to defeat this stuff. I guess I find it difficult to believe that, on most "modern" battlefields, the AAA and SAMs wouldn't have already been taken out by Wild Weasel missions, leaving the tanks to be chewed up by the A-10s in orderly, vulture-like fashion. Even during the Cold War, the A-10 squadrons had their strategies of pop-up, shoot off a Maverick at, normally, a ZSU, then dip down below the horizon again. And even then, it's not like A-10s would be entirely on their own while an antiair threat was on the ground.

Not so sure about "unmaneuverable"...the A-10 can turn tighter circles than F-16s. True, it can't break Mach, but with the speed of any missile, that's a moot point anyway.

Between all that, take the psychological advantage. How scared would you be after seeing one of those things tear through your fellow tankers like they were in nothing more than beer cans with tread? A missile can miss, and reactive armor has the potential to lessen the damage of one. But against an Avenger cannon, those advantages are all but negated.
 

t.c.cgi

Vice Admiral
Tigerhawk said:
Not so sure about "unmaneuverable"...the A-10 can turn tighter circles than F-16s. True, it can't break Mach, but with the speed of any missile, that's a moot point anyway.
No, it's not. Just because a SAM has a fast intercept time, it doesn't negate the cruise speed and top speed of an aircraft. If that were the case, we'd be going back to prop planes.

In terms of evasion, maneuverability and speed are married. If it can turn on a dime, that doesn't mean anything if you're only going 200 knots. Likewise, going Mach 2 doesn't help if you can't turn at more than a couple G's of force. The size of the turning radius is not what you look at when thinking "can this dodge a missile?" What you look at is the distance between your original heading 5 seconds out, and your new heading at that same time. That distance has to be corrected for by the missile's guidance. In essence you don't want to try to outrun any missile, but put so much distance between your respective courses that interception isn't possible. And as maneuverable as the A-10 is, it's getting a little behind the curve. It's compensation is it's "built tough" design, but even that doesn't save the plane from being written off by a missile impact.
 

TankGunner

Rear Admiral
In terms of evasion, maneuverability and speed are married. If it can turn on a dime, that doesn't mean anything if you're only going 200 knots. Likewise, going Mach 2 doesn't help if you can't turn at more than a couple G's of force. The size of the turning radius is not what you look at when thinking "can this dodge a missile?" What you look at is the distance between your original heading 5 seconds out, and your new heading at that same time. That distance has to be corrected for by the missile's guidance. In essence you don't want to try to outrun any missile, but put so much distance between your respective courses that interception isn't possible. And as maneuverable as the A-10 is, it's getting a little behind the curve. It's compensation is it's "built tough" design, but even that doesn't save the plane from being written off by a missile impact.
T. C. Cgi got it right, you have to turn faster than the missile so it overshoots and loses it's lock on you. AAA is all about speed, being able to go so fast the guns can't stay in front of you. The technique is to aim in front of the aircraft and let it fly into the bullets. It's called the "wall of steel". The A-10 is armored against 23mm fire, but only the engines and cockpit. Lots of other vulnerable area to hit left.

TigerHawk, I'm not disagreeing with you, I agree that the A-10 could still be an high anti-tank threat, but with modern armor, the A-10 must approach from the sides, rear or gain a significant top-attack angle. The days of it chewing the frontal armor up are gone, it still is only 30mm, and going only 1400 meters per second. Tank APFSDS (SABOT) round penetrators are anywhere from 35-55mm (depending on country) and two or three feet long, moving 1500 to 1700 mps. That's a big difference.

Between all that, take the psychological advantage. How scared would you be after seeing one of those things tear through your fellow tankers like they were in nothing more than beer cans with tread?
And, as a Tanker, I got a way of dealing with ground attack aircraft, they wouldn't get a second run at me.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
Appearantly there are some fighter plane experts here.

Something i have never been fully sure of, how does the JSF face off against the eurofighter pure from stats?
 

Primate

Spaceman
TankGunner said:
Sorry, I don't talk about specific capabilities or faults of my equipment. All I'll say is I can take a one down.
Bummer.
Can you say what kind of tanks you're in?
 

Tigerhawk

Captain
TankGunner said:
TigerHawk, I'm not disagreeing with you, I agree that the A-10 could still be an high anti-tank threat, but with modern armor, the A-10 must approach from the sides, rear or gain a significant top-attack angle. The days of it chewing the frontal armor up are gone, it still is only 30mm, and going only 1400 meters per second. Tank APFSDS (SABOT) round penetrators are anywhere from 35-55mm (depending on country) and two or three feet long, moving 1500 to 1700 mps. That's a big difference.

Oh, I don't doubt you a bit, seeing how that's your profession. But the question at that point becomes more of, "Whose frontal armor would it be chewing up? I'm doubting a tank from 20-30 years past whose armor hasn't been updated, and whose country is running the thing that might not have had the money to update, has much of a chance vice the chance that the updated armor would have that's got to be on an M-1.

Nothing's immune from a missile impact, and I'd have to take question that speed doesn't necessarily matter. It's certainly speed vs. maneuverability, and it's been a while since I've been in military circles and read/discussed such things, so my info is a little rusty...but even back from the '80s, doesn't an SA-11 do somewhere around Mach 5? True, having vectors in your favor to make the thing overshoot would be a good thing, but going at that rate of speed, and assuming a closure rate from other, high-performance fighters would be something around Mach 6 or 7, how much of a throw-off angle could one hope to gain before the SAM is on top of you?
 

TankGunner

Rear Admiral
Primate said:
Bummer.
Can you say what kind of tanks you're in?
Yeah... well I'm in the US Army, so that means it is the M-1 series. That is the only series of tanks used by the US Army. I've been on M-1A1s, M-1A1 HCs, and M-1A1 AIM tanks. Haven't been on A2 series since OSUT (Tanker's 4-month basic course)
 
Top