F-35... destined for greatness?

Sibb Tigre

Spaceman
I've read through some of the stuff in this thread, I have to say it gave me a good laugh.

The F-35.. Multi-role, with different models. There is indeed a long range version, air superiority version etc. My only argument with it is that it relies heavily on new technologies which we havent had experience of before.. which could provide a unique tactical advantage or flaw. Being British, I'm really not bothered since my country is going to benefit from the F-35 and the Eurofighter, as well as our own creations.

The China question, and korean war: I agree with Tankgunner - it was a war. Whenever you get two or more armies engaged in combat it fulfills the definition of war, whether or not its declared. "Police Action" was a term used to make it seem legal without the declaration, but if you speak to anyone fighting, it was a war. In 1953, there was a ceasefire, though I'm not sure of its duration, I am sure that it has expired. Britain, France, USA, and a few others are, officially, still "engaged in police action", or in reality, "still at war with" China and North Korea.

These wonderful north Korean missiles: First you have to know how they operate. THe defenses in the Sea of Japan and Japan itself, if the missiles work, are rendered useless, as the missile should leave the atmosphere. The Alaskan defences, or any others, would be able to take down the missiles, yes, but the payload would matter a great deal. Yes, it may not match the USA's missile abilities, but it can still carry a several megaton nuclear warhead to your shores. You shoot that down, you'll still get a considerable EMP wave that might render your defenses useless or a second missile. I say might, because I dont know how much shielding, or how effective that shielding is, on your defenses.

Liklihood of war with other nations, as far as the USA is concerned; It would be Iran or N. Korea next considering tensions and fears. But, such talk only increases the liklihood of war, and so its not a good idea.

On a side note, if you are going to talk about Korea, please note, America's trading partner is South Korea not North Korea. When you talk about "Korea" it will automatically be assumed as S Korea, but it is worth making it clear which one you are talking about, since the USA "does not trade" with N Korea.
 

TankGunner

Rear Admiral
These wonderful north Korean missiles: First you have to know how they operate. THe defenses in the Sea of Japan and Japan itself, if the missiles work, are rendered useless, as the missile should leave the atmosphere. The Alaskan defences, or any others, would be able to take down the missiles, yes, but the payload would matter a great deal. Yes, it may not match the USA's missile abilities, but it can still carry a several megaton nuclear warhead to your shores. You shoot that down, you'll still get a considerable EMP wave that might render your defenses useless or a second missile. I say might, because I dont know how much shielding, or how effective that shielding is, on your defenses.
I think this paragraph is totally wrong. No, the US Navy SM-3 missile is designed to shoot the missile down in the boost phase, before it leaves the atmosphere. Thus, it must be relatively close.

The missile can't fly for 40 seconds, how can it carry a several megaton bomb, which N. Korea doesn't have the tech to possess? That is a big bomb, even by US standards. The missile's nominal range would only allow it to hit the western part of Alaska, that's it for the US. We discussed that already. You only get EMP when a nuclear weapon explodes, and they don't do that when hit by an interceptor missile. They just disintegrate.
 

Sibb Tigre

Spaceman
First off, yes, your initial attempts to shoot it down would have to be close. Second, that was a test missile ... what was that word.. "TEST"..? Yes, a failure, but dosent meant they wont get it right.

All nuclear warheads are measured in megatons, since thats the severity of the damge it an do compared to conventional weapons. Thus, I said several megaton nuclear warheads. France has 20 megaton.. and I thought USA was the top...?

All explosions release EMP. All radioactive materials release radiation. Even when the missile disnitegrates, that radiation has to go somewhere, and considering all the radiation that builds up IS Electro magnetic, its at least EM - electronic devices can be effected. Tell, when the missile disintigrates, what happens to the payload? does it stay intact? WIth nuclear warheads, there's shielding over the nuclear materials, that shielding disintegrates too. And what about the explosives that force the material together so it can reach cricital mass? There would be enough of an EMP, though of course no-where near as big as if the nuclear warhead was set off, but enough to disable some devices within a certain radius.

And as for whether N korea has the tech.. do we know for sure?
 

Death

gh0d (Administrator)
Sibb, you need to review your basic physics. The library is your friend in this regard. Not only do you not understand that there are more measurement prefixes than "mega", but you don't understand the nature of EMP, and arguably not radiation in general.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
The China question, and korean war: I agree with Tankgunner - it was a war. Whenever you get two or more armies engaged in combat it fulfills the definition of war, whether or not its declared. "Police Action" was a term used to make it seem legal without the declaration, but if you speak to anyone fighting, it was a war. In 1953, there was a ceasefire, though I'm not sure of its duration, I am sure that it has expired. Britain, France, USA, and a few others are, officially, still "engaged in police action", or in reality, "still at war with" China and North Korea.
I'm not sure you're clear on what a ceasefire is. It's simply an agreement to stop fighting; there's no inherent time limit or assumption that fighting will resume. A ceasefire is intended as a prelude to peace, not as a polite request to let everyone rearm. Treaties often follow ceasefires (or surrenders); they do not *always* do so.

Regardless of all this, the disagreement isn't over whether or not there was a war - it was simply noted in the first point to prove that attempting to stand on legal technicalities (in Tankgunner's case, the claim that the war was still going on) isn't valid. No one is trying to claim that the men engaged in that conflict were unimportant, no one need feign offense over such a thing (to wit, isn't the initial claim the exact same sort of supposed disservice? That the men who fought that war were somehow derelict and did not finish the job? Preposterous.)

Furthermore, the idea that it was a "police action" and not a war is *very* important to remember to this day, simply because of the huge effect such a thing had on shaping the President's war power... through to our current conflicts
(it's also important because it was a debate in 1951, not some later funny technicality decided upon by historians).

All nuclear warheads are measured in megatons, since thats the severity of the damge it an do compared to conventional weapons. Thus, I said several megaton nuclear warheads. France has 20 megaton.. and I thought USA was the top...?
Almost no modern nuclear warheads are measured in megatons - there's just no reason for such large bombs.

No one *wants* bombs that large -- the ones you hear about on the internet (which does pride itself on comparing weapons yields) are always unique situations from the cold war -- America's 15 Mt Castle Bravo (their largest) was the result of a miscalculation, the Soviet's 50 Mt Tsar Bomba was intended entirely as a propaganda effort.

Anyone who can make a hydrogen bomb can build a weapon with as high a yield as they want... but there's absolutely no reason to do so. The Soviets tended to have weapons that skewed larger during the Cold War because the guidance systems on their rockets were less accurate... but that's it. Nuclear weapons today are generally measured in kilotons -- France's largest serving weapon is a variable yield warhead that can be set to 300 kt.
 

Frosty

a full fledged GF
Sibb Tigre said:
The F-35.. Multi-role, with different models. There is indeed a long range version, air superiority version etc. My only argument with it is that it relies heavily on new technologies which we havent had experience of before.. which could provide a unique tactical advantage or flaw.
And these "new technologies" would be...
Being British, I'm really not bothered since my country is going to benefit from the F-35 and the Eurofighter, as well as our own creations.
I'm curious to know what purpose a Eurofighter Typhoon serves in an air force that also happens to have F-35s. Seriously.
Second, that was a test missile ... what was that word.. "TEST"..? Yes, a failure, but dosent meant they wont get it right.
We're still talking about North Korea, right?
All nuclear warheads are measured in megatons, since thats the severity of the damge it an do compared to conventional weapons. Thus, I said several megaton nuclear warheads. France has 20 megaton.. and I thought USA was the top...?
Wow.
And as for whether N korea has the tech.. do we know for sure?
Because there's no magical ICBM fairy to help them out, and they're not in a position to accomplish anything worthwhile by themselves, nor with the help of what few and equally pathetic friends they have.
 

TankGunner

Rear Admiral
I'm curious to know what purpose a Eurofighter Typhoon serves in an air force that also happens to have F-35s.
Frosty, The Typhoon is a air-superiority fighter, while the F-35 is a ground attack fighter, designed to be a stealthy counterpart to the F-22. Britain just uses the Typhoon in the role of the F-22


Tell, when the missile disintigrates, what happens to the payload? does it stay intact?
No, it disintegrates. Kinetic energy warheads function just like a tank's sabot round, and burn straight through. Since there is considerably more mass and speed, the entire interceptor missile and target are vaporized. Like Death said, you need to review nuclear weapons a little more.
 

Maj.Striker

Swabbie
Banned
TankGunner said:
Frosty, The Typhoon is a air-superiority fighter, while the F-35 is a ground attack fighter, designed to be a stealthy counterpart to the F-22. Britain just uses the Typhoon in the role of the F-22
I think his question is why the UK would obtain the F35...?
 

Frosty

a full fledged GF
TankGunner said:
Frosty, The Typhoon is a air-superiority fighter, while the F-35 is a ground attack fighter, designed to be a stealthy counterpart to the F-22. Britain just uses the Typhoon in the role of the F-22
The F-35 is a multirole fighter that can handle air-to-air combat as well. Its stealth and superior BVR offensive capability puts the Typhoon at a severe disadvantage. In an unlikely clash between the two, the probability of the Lightning acquiring and terminating the Typhoon before the latter even knew it was there is very high. At the very least, the F-35's stealth and networking give the pilot the option to disengage while the other guy is still totally oblivious to his presence.

The Typhoon's sole real advantage is payload. Lightnings (I think) don't carry as many air-to-air weapons and so aren't able to kill as many enemies in a single sortie. Seriously, though, if you need your boys to intercept and kill more than four aggressors before landing and re-loading, you have a major shortage of aircraft, and that's not the F-35's fault.
Maj.Striker said:
I think his question is why the UK would obtain the F35...?
That's a reasonable question, but it's not what I was driving at. They fill essentially the same role, one is geared slightly more toward intercepting ridiculous numbers of inferior aircraft without much warning, and might not actually be better at it than the other.
 

TankGunner

Rear Admiral
I think his question is why the UK would obtain the F35...?
Well, here's two ideas. The US military purchases all it's major end items from domestic manufacturers. Not only does this bolster the economy, it ensures that the US is self relient in producing defense items. Britain could be trying to secure its means to build planes by itself and with Europe, and not rely on the US. Even if the F-35 were built in Britain, Lockheed would not release the trade secrets behind the F-35, and would choose to produce some components (i.e.; the wings, engines) in the US.

The British Navy has never had a really good interceptor. Yes, they have the Harrier, but this fighter is old, very slow, and can't carry a large payload. If they built a new carrier, the typhoon could be a choice to fly from it. Even I think this is a little far-fetched though. The Royal Navy shows no inclination to build a new, larger carrier. As far as I know.

These are both SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) though.
 

Frosty

a full fledged GF
TankGunner said:
Britain could be trying to secure its means to build planes by itself and with Europe, and not rely on the US.
The UK is only 33% of Eurofighter and EF is headquartered in Germany.
Even if the F-35 were built in Britain, Lockheed would not release the trade secrets behind the F-35, and would choose to produce some components (i.e.; the wings, engines) in the US.
Large, critical components of the Lightning are designed and supplied by BAE Systems and Rolls Royce. This isn't a Skunk Works project.
If they built a new carrier, the typhoon could be a choice to fly from it.
The Typhoon doesn't appear to possess that capability. The Lightning has been designed to.
The Royal Navy shows no inclination to build a new, larger carrier. As far as I know.
Which is what makes the F-35's STOVL capabilities so attractive. Especially since the Typhoon's STOL capability was stripped from the plan early on as a cost-saving measure.
 

Tigerhawk

Captain
"Even if the F-35 were built in Britain, Lockheed would not release the trade secrets behind the F-35, and would choose to produce some components (i.e.; the wings, engines) in the US.

Large, critical components of the Lightning are designed and supplied by BAE Systems and Rolls Royce. This isn't a Skunk Works project."

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The problem with this, now, is the Pentagon, at least last I'd read. It's a joint venture, has always been intended as a joint venture, but oh no, let's take everything else completely offline during the 11th hour and make it purely a "Made in the USA" plane. There's serious talk from the Pentagon of the Rolls Royce engine being completely scrapped from the project entirely, taking the Brits largely out of loop. Has anyone read/heard if this is actually becoming a reality?

As far as "having to know how the North Korean missile operate"...I'm sorry, but even if they could mount a nuclear warhead on top of their Taepodong series, if the thing's launched in earnest against any target, if I remember correctly, the warhead itself isn't going to arm until it's going into it's reentry/terminal dive phases...if nothing else, this ensures that, if the missile fails on launch, it doesn't end up nuking the pad/silo itself, much less risking any other kind of premature detonation until it gets near enough to its actual target.

Is it just me, or does "Sibb Tigre" sound an awful lot like Icey...?
 

TankGunner

Rear Admiral
Eh, it was just something to discuss. Hell, maybe they just want to be seen as good european partners or something.

What's the range on the F-35 compared to the Eurofighter? Obviously the F-35 could carry external tanks, but that gives up some stealth, as well as possibly a weapon slot.

Large, critical components of the Lightning are designed and supplied by BAE Systems and Rolls Royce. This isn't a Skunk Works project.
Yeah, but Lockheed will hold on to patented parts of it, to protect their edge in the market. Lots of manufacturers do this with stuff built in other countries.

The Typhoon doesn't appear to possess that capability. The Lightning has been designed to.
Yep, you're right, I looked up that the British are building two new carriers to replace the Invincible class. These two ships are expected to be named HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. They will be able to operate about 50 aircraft and will have a displacement of around 60,000 tonnes. The two ships are due to enter service in 2012 and 2015 respectively. Their primary aircraft complement will be made up of F-35 Lightning IIs, and their ship's company will number around 1000.
 

Tigerhawk

Captain
TankGunner said:
Yep, you're right, I looked up that the British are building two new carriers to replace the Invincible class. These two ships are expected to be named HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. They will be able to operate about 50 aircraft and will have a displacement of around 60,000 tonnes. The two ships are due to enter service in 2012 and 2015 respectively. Their primary aircraft complement will be made up of F-35 Lightning IIs, and their ship's company will number around 1000.
Reeeaaalllyyy...? Interesting, to be sure.

Damn, I really need to do up a subscription to Navy Times to try to get caught back up. I feel almost embarrassed that an Army guy knows more about Navy stuff than I do. :p ;)
 

Frosty

a full fledged GF
Tigerhawk said:
There's serious talk from the Pentagon of the Rolls Royce engine being completely scrapped from the project entirely, taking the Brits largely out of loop.
Well I don't think it's entirely up to them. I believe Congress gets to make that decision, and they seem to have been in favor of keeping both engines.

The Pratt & Whitney engine (F135, which is a cousin of the godlike F119) is probably greatly superior to the F136 anyway.

The primary Rolls Royce contribution to the F-35 is the lift fan in the STOVL variants that sits directly behind the cockpit. I believe that affects a far greater number of fighters than the F136 ever will or would have.
TankGunner said:
What's the range on the F-35 compared to the Eurofighter? Obviously the F-35 could carry external tanks, but that gives up some stealth, as well as possibly a weapon slot.
I believe the Lightning has a greater range than the Eurofighter.

The Typhoons are basically interceptors designed to fly relatively short distances and destroy five times their own number in Soviet MiGs when the big NATO/USSR battle for the planet goes down. Obviously, this is never happening.

The Lightning is just a bigger, badder F-16.
Yeah, but Lockheed will hold on to patented parts of it, to protect their edge in the market. Lots of manufacturers do this with stuff built in other countries.
This is hard to respond to because it doesn't make any kind of real sense.

First of all, nobody "holds on" to patented parts. That's why patents exist. Then when other people need to use that part, you can force them to license it from you or tell them to go to hell.

Companies who "protect their edge in the market" can only be considered responsible.

I'm not sure what you mean about lots of manufacturers doing that with stuff "built in other countries." Lots of manufacturers do it anyway.

In the end, I don't see how any of this affects anything at all. Lockheed's parts are Lockheed's parts, and Rolls' are Rolls', no matter who buys the plane or where it's built. The fact remains that BAE and Rolls form a sizable chunk of the F-35 program.
 

TankGunner

Rear Admiral
This is hard to respond to because it doesn't make any kind of real sense
You're right, it didn't make sense, I was just repeating myself, let me clarify. Manufacturers will produce certain critical parts, like wings, whose technology give that company an edge. They won't tell the other country how to build that part them themselves. An example is the M-1 tank plant in Eygpt. To protect General Dynamics technology, and national defense secrets, GD imports the hulls and turrets, then has Eygpt finish building them, installing the gun, powerpack and such. Hopefully I'm not repeating myself again. Too much work, not enough sleep...

Tigerhawk, I got that info off that Wikipedia site. Not sure how reliable they are. Just typed in British aircraft carrier in yahoo. that was the first site. Perhaps take with a grain of salt.
 

Sibb Tigre

Spaceman
Tigerhawk said:
Is it just me, or does "Sibb Tigre" sound an awful lot like Icey...?
I find that insulting. I assure you, I am not someone who dosent have some knowledge of what he's talking about. And of course, feel free to check IP.

Tankgunner, and anyone else who said it: I know how nuclear warheads work.. the "payload" is kept in two (or more) halves, which on their own cannot reach critical mass. To reach critical mass, the two halves are forced together by a huge amount of high explosives. More recent varients are hydrogen enchanced, so they not only do the fisson process of the older warheads, but undergo an amount of fusion before the cricital mass is reached.

Yes, there is a arming mechanism to prevent mislaunches causing a detonation over the launch pad/silo. This mechanism triggers whether the explosive can detonate or not, and usually once armed, the explosive would be easily detonated.

For ANYONE who is nieve enough to think "North Korea cannot do it" I will remind you of the phrase "Do not underestimate your enemy." Such (I will use the word) stupidity will let the USA drop its guard, and IF N Korea does get those missiles working, I doubt you'll be able to tell me otherwise.

For everyone who's trying to figure out why Britain is getting both:

The Typhoon is superior to the F-35 in manuvearability (yes my spellings probably wrong.. it usually is), but such that it is likely to be the last manned air superiority fighter until we develop these wonderful inertial dampeners like you have in Star Trek etc. It does carry a larger payload, but dosent have the range of the F-35 or ability to take off Britain's pocket carriers. It is worth noting, there are plans to build a larger British carrier, but these are still in the early planning stages, and considering a lot of British politics, I'd be suprised if it didnt get massively delayed, way overbudget, and then cancelled in favour of buying second hand carriers from the USA.

The F-35 will be the naval fighter of Britain, while the Typhoon is used by the RAF.

For construction purposes of the F-35, I will admit I do not know how that is being done, though what Tankgunner has said is quite likely, the idea behind the F-35 was to be a joint Venture between the USA and Britain, Britain having helped Beoing's proposal with experience of the VTOL.

What I meant by the untried technologies: the F-35 will be the FIRST plane to use the fan instead of directional jets, and having looked into it, this fan does infact have some flaws to it, which I suggest you look into before you try telling me I'm wrong. The idea behind useing the fan over the tried and proven methods was that it was more cost effective (less fuel) and represents a leap forward in technology and faith. Also, there have been other systems, outside of Lockheed, that were designed and built fo this fighter, many of them having never undergone field testing.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Sibb Tigre said:
For ANYONE who is nieve enough to think "North Korea cannot do it" I will remind you of the phrase "Do not underestimate your enemy." Such (I will use the word) stupidity will let the USA drop its guard, and IF N Korea does get those missiles working, I doubt you'll be able to tell me otherwise.
That's crazy talk. It's one thing to not underestimate your enemy... and entirely another to think that everybody's out to get you. North Korea will never, ever launch nuclear missiles at the US, not even if they ever develop the capacity to do so. This isn't some mad race against time, trying to stop a crazy psychopath before he gets you... it's mere politics.
 
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