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#1 we badly need an updated fighter, this is the worst design they coulld build, everything including the kitchen sink's included, and not needed.
Far better to build a series of SPECIFIC fighters, Each are designed for a job, not the Pickup-Sports Car, Four wheel-and fancy crap added this is.
You want a plane designed for the job, not an aircraft carrier-ubmarine, speed corvette with Battleship Guns.
Knock it off.
Posted by Redneck Jim 2013-02-27 00:11||
#2 we have several missions that are supposed to be served, e.g. recon, air to air and air to ground and several take off and landing modes, e.g., vertical, short (aircraft carrier) and conventional and, of course, it is to be used by the Navy, AF and Marines
if all these could have really been done, the manufacturing could have really benefited from economy of scale
Posted by lord garth 2013-02-27 00:29||
#3 In the situation Farley invents for an F-18E would probably be run out of fuel by a land-based Su-30.
Personally, I think this is a lemon. We need to cancel it and start over.
Then in fifteen years we'll have a successful airplane rather like the F-35 is now, more or less, but it'll be portrayed as a failure, more or less like the F-35 is, and on the verge of production we can bitch and moan and cancel _it_ as well... disarmament by bureaucracy.
They're running the LRIP run like they're trying to run out the clock without producing anything.
Posted by Thing From Snowy Mountain 2013-02-27 00:50||
#4 (I meant that as sarcasm btw.)
Posted by Thing From Snowy Mountain 2013-02-27 00:50||
#5 The F-35 was originally supposed to be a stealthy version of the F-16/F-18 and to compliment the F-22. As in F-22 kills things high and the F-35 kills things low. As originally designed, it was a very good idea.
Mission creep, being designed by committee and multiple nations, too many engineers and not enough riveters, etc. have doomed this project. It will still get built, there are too many nations and too many political futures on the line here, but this has become the example of how NOT to build an fighter.
It will get the job done, but for a shorter time frame, not as expected capabilities and far more expensive price than planned.
The next stealth fighter will be unmanned and will be much, much, much, much better at its job and a hell of a lot cheaper.
Posted by DarthVader 2013-02-27 01:10||
#6 Admittedly, ships and airplanes are not my thing, but I'll wager A-10 Warthogs are much cheaper. I know they've killed a arss load of Taliban. Just say'n.
Posted by Besoeker 2013-02-27 06:23||
#7 The F35 was not designed to be a primary air superiority fighter. That's the F22's job. The F35 was stealthy in order to use limited munitions--because they were carried internally to reduce radar signature--to destroy the enemy's IADS. Once that had been accomplished and stealth was no longer necessary to spoof IADS, it could use larger, externally-carried munition loads to attack ground targets.
The last ground attack aircraft that could do both well was the P36, a P51 with airbrakes on the wings. Used as a dive bomber. But if necessary, it could dump its load and become...voila, a Mustang with all the P51's advantages. Or to put it another way, the last fighter that could do both well was the P51.
So the question is, I suppose, if the F35 has to duke it out with enemy fighters because something murphied and the F22 cover isn't around, are they reasonably survivable? IOW, are they stealthy enough to get away? Or at least present a threat the bad guy has to honor.
Keep in mind that, with the exception of Russia and China, our potential enemies can afford a pretty good IADS long before they can afford state-of-the-art air superiority fighters.
#8 The good news is that the Chinese have stolen all the plans and are building the J-35. It will bankrupt them.
Posted by Nimble Spemble 2013-02-27 08:02||
#9 ..ah, yes, a devious plan of those inscrutable yankees.
Posted by Procopius2k 2013-02-27 09:30||
#10 The design scope creep on the F35 is the same BS that made a hash of the F-111, trying to build a multi mission advanced supersonic fighter and they wound up with a very fast and expensive bomber (where most of the development money was spent trying to get the damned thing carrier landing capable...oh it still has the arresting gear hook but you can't get the thing to land on a carrier in one piece)
This BVR bull crap is the small technobabble that resulted in an entire generation of AF fighters that had nothing but missiles for armament. Funny you put a freaking PILOT in the damned things and they want to FREAKING CLOSE with the enemy. So they retrofitted everything with a GUN so when the missiles were gone and every one got inside the stupid assed BVR to dogfight they had something to fight with instead of having to throw a flashlight at a MIG.
Funny the entire concept of the VTOL is intriguing. Having an aircraft that did not need a runway because the other side blasted your runway to smithereens is a good idea. Of course that adds a lot of weight to the airframe but it does mean you don't need a freaking nuke carrier to field a squadron of fighters, anything with a large enough flat surface would work...beats the old float plane concept.
Anyway, BVR is BS, we have had the stupid AMRAM missile for years...the F-14 was the first aircraft designed around a missile concept....and I seriously doubt if its 50-100 mile range has been used more than once.
To show how crazy our stuff is, the Israeli AF used F-14's as AWACs to vector their F-16's and other stuff to the target.
When are they going to talk to pilots instead of fighter wannabees with stripes and technogeeks playing video games on flight simulators.
BVR is an old idea and its been a pox on our fighter development since the 50's. You don't see Russian fighters with no guns and lots of gizmos...a Russian platform is designed to fight and KILL...I don't know what ours are designed for anymore.
Posted by Bill Clinton 2013-02-27 09:49||
#11 Capabilities metastasize? Experiental learning? Advanced peer competitor? China dictating ROE capability? He writes like an F-35.
Posted by KBK 2013-02-27 09:52||
#12 Dear Bill, thanks for saving me from researching and typing.
I'm old enough to remember the kefuffle about F4 Phantoms and their lack of a gun and all those problems. SSDD
Worked in an industry, IS, for 30+ years where scope creep (or gallup) was the rule and it was a rare management that actually beat it.
Posted by Alanc 2013-02-27 09:58||
#13 Corsair did well in air/ground, at least until the jets showed up.
Didn't they figure a way to rig F-14s for ground support?
I think we have already landed our unmanned stealth vehicle in Iran. And just joshing here, but if this turkey don't fly it is next unmanned stealth fighter ;)
What was wrong with the F-22 again, I forget? I seem to remember some oxygen system issues - you know, when it was up flying and winning spars against aces 1:5.
Posted by swksvolFF 2013-02-27 12:00||
#14 The Corsair was not a dive bomber with the dive bomber's accuracy. Still, if you have a couple of deckloads off shore and can turn them around fast, they'll do fine. The same is true of any fighter,they can use guns and rockets effectively, but bombing means flying at the target and, sometime after it disappears under the nose, you drop the bomb. Better than nothing.
But they are fighters jury-rigged to bomb. The P36 stands as the best dual role ever.
Problem with the F14's gun, and probably others, is that it is oriented to shoot above the direction of the aircraft to allow for bullet drop. The A10, which has a different role, has its gun oriented below the direction of flight so it can strafe without aiming itself at the ground.
There was an F14 driver in Iraq who got so target-involved that his dive was too sharp which it had to be because of the orientation of the gun. His pullout stressed the aircraft so that he had to land on a strip rather than a deck.
Mixing the two roles gives you flexibility, but it removes the capability to be absolutely fantastic at one thing--like the A10. Which could carry a Sidewinder, I suppose, and if necessary point itself at an air threat and let the missile tell him when to shoot. I heard, couldn't corroborate, that even C130s flying from the UK to the Falklands during the Falklands war had Sidewinders hung on. If you fire one off, the other guy might be in the missile's envelope, or at least he'll have do dodge, which might give you some time. Fighters flying over the South Atlantic couldn't afford to burn a lot of fuel not in the flight plan. Water's pretty damn' cold and the Argies couldn't count on refueling.
If the other side doesn't have much air-to-air capability, you can bomb up your fighters and keep going back until you get the target or the democrats decide to lose the war, whichever comes first.
#15 The F-22 still costs three times as much as the F-35 today; that's why we drew the line at building more of them.
As I understand it, the Air Force had a guiding principle from the early 70s on: they'd have one high priced plane to achieve air superiority and one modestly priced plane to do everything else. That combo was the F-15/F-16 and it worked. Even as the AF adapted each to different roles it was clear that the 15 would rule the skies and the 16 would do the grunt work.
Now for the new generation that was to be the same: we'd have some F-22s to clear the air (not as many as the AF would like but enough) and some F-35s to do everything else -- cheap (comparatively) and capable enough.
That would work, too, if only the AF was the only US customer. But then you add the demand for carrier landings, and the demand by the Marines for VTOL, and the demands of our various allies for whatever they want (mostly cheap, cheap and cheaper), and you can see how this happened.
So I continue to wonder if the right thing to do is this:
1) cancel the F-35
2) build a few more F-22s
3) the Air Force gets F-22s to rule and F-18E (next gen) to do the grunt work (alternately, new, upgraded F-16s), and keep the A-10s for moving mud
4) the Navy gets more Lawn Darts, like it or not, and they get cracking on the X-47 project for naval carrier combat UAVs
5) the Marines get leftovers; they've proven that they do really, really well with cast-off equipment (Harriers, F-16s, etc)
6) sell F-22Js to Japan and a few F-22Is to Israel
7) sell upgraded F-18E (next gen) to everyone else in NATO, Australia, etc
8) sell modest F-16s to allies of convenience like Egypt, etc
It just strikes me that the F-35 is the proverbial camel that was a horse designed by a committee.
Posted by Steve White 2013-02-27 13:39||
#16 swksvolFF, it wasn't a problem with the F-22's oxygen system, it was a problem with the O2 valve on the G-suit.
Posted by Deacon Blues 2013-02-27 14:26||
#17 Pretty much everything you are reading today about the F-35A is a repeat of what you read in the 80's about the F-18A.
Now the F-18E/F/G are the standard to be measured against.
All the "news" about the F-35 is par for the course of usual Pentagon budget infighting. "If this thing is cancelled think out much money would be available for our program."
Until the F-35 kills more of it users than the V-22 there is nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, to pay attention to in any of these stories.
Posted by rammer 2013-02-27 14:33||
#18 Spent 1000+ hours in the backseat of one of the earlier versions of the BVR fighters. Of course it had morphed into an all purpose, do everything adequately but nothing well, fighter-bomber. Loved boresighting the centerline 'add/on' gun by kicking it into alignment between missions. Iron bombing was great and gave us tons of flight time going back to hit the same (undamaged) target over and over again. When we got laser guided munitions, the 'add/on' laser illuminator was stuck on the right side of the rear cockpit. I figured if I ever ejected it would be assumed I would become a left hander. The naval surveillance option was fun holding a four pound Nikon with a 200mm lens while pulling a three g turn around the target. Still have some of those blurred shots at home. Oh, at least the nuclear option seemed realistic, the CEP was very forgiving.
The F-4 was a great plane to fly in, loud and powerful. Just an abused weapon system that reminds me of the F-35. When the first Lighting II pilot gets tapped by an aspiring enemy fighter jock, the fact that it was meant to be a 'standoff' weapons platform will be of little consolation to the pilot as he is coming down in his chute.
Posted by Total War 2013-02-27 15:20||
#19 Y'all beat me to a lot of the points; the F4 was supposed to be a fighter w/out guns. that didn't work out so well. The A36/P51 was a great bird that we almost didn't buy. The F-14 Bombcat was a pretty good air to ground bird, but only had room for 4 bombs, so utility was limited. A-7 was a good light attack bird, both for bombs and guns. F-16 pretty good light attack/fighter, Intruder great truck for taking bombs downtown in any wx, but they all lost out to the glitz of newer bigger one size fits most. A10 is probably the best friend a grunt ever had and the USAF parked them until the cry was too loud to ignore. Even a Spad would be good down low and slow.
(Spoiler alert for Dr. Steve) I 'd even take any of the Lawn Dart variants over the F-35.
Posted by USN,Ret. 2013-02-27 22:34||
#20 And, the manufacturing tolerances to get this thing together have driven costs out of sight; holes to 0.004", any deviation requires a full blown LM MRB review ( a bunch of engineers look around to see ifthe parts are useable) industry standard is 0.030, with line workers allowed to match drill skin panels to frames... not as JIT or Lean cool, but cheaper by a factor of 10, easily, ant the STOL lift fan is going to be a maintenance nightmare. can you imagine the FOD damage in the forward deployed arena, that big fan kicking up rocks and then sucking them in.... and don't forget about 6 months ago or so the tailhool was discovered to be too short on one end. makes you wonder just who is in charge.
at least they canceled the Dorito after spending ONLY 5 Billion dollars......
and nobody mentioned the AV-8, another CAS superstar...
Posted by USN,Ret. 2013-02-27 22:43||