Jump to content
fly_tornado

Can't turn, Can't climb, Can't run: F35 problems

Recommended Posts

https://medium.com/war-is-boring/test-pilot-admits-the-f-35-can-t-dogfight-cdb9d11a875

 

New stealth fighter is dead meat in an air battle

by DAVID AXE

 

A test pilot has some very, very bad news about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The pricey new stealth jet can’t turn or climb fast enough to hit an enemy plane during a dogfight or to dodge the enemy’s own gunfire, the pilot reported following a day of mock air battles back in January.

 

“The F-35 was at a distinct energy disadvantage,” the unnamed pilot wrote in a scathing five-page brief that War Is Boring has obtained. The brief is unclassified but is labeled “for official use only.”

  • Informative 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've said it before - instead of committing to buying some white elephant that costs a fortune, we should be buying a squadron of second hand SU-35's. Not to mention spending 50 bill on second rate submarines which will be rendered obsolete in a couple of years by underwater drone technology.

  • Like 3
  • Agree 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why buy them second hand? You can get 4 for the price of 1 F35. The Flanker is also much faster, flys much higher, is far more manoeuverable with a far greater weaponry payload and apart from that has been in production for years and was a development of the original SU27 Flanker so has a great pedigree. India has them & Indonesia is getting them. The F35 is just too late, too heavy, too expensive & isn't even in production yet with a total development cost so far much larger than the entire Australian economy.

  • Agree 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The days of the dog fight are over, so to argue the F35 is useless because it will lose a dog fight doesn't mean too much. It's all about designing an aircraft with a low radar profile and good electronic countermeasures and weapons systems so you can shoot down the enemy long before they are in visual range.

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That what the specification for the Phantom was but the other guy did not play by the book - this time they mayl be right about the dogfight at least for our F35's sake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The days of the dog fight are over, so to argue the F35 is useless because it will lose a dog fight doesn't mean too much. It's all about designing an aircraft with a low radar profile and good electronic countermeasures and weapons systems so you can shoot down the enemy long before they are in visual range.

 

knowing that the F35 can't defend itself in close combat alters the way the battle is fought, its about understanding the tactics you need to employ. Wasn't the F35 was supposed to replace the F16 and F15?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure someone will know. When was the last time one fighter jet shot down another jet with guns not missiles?

  • Informative 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having fighters on the battlefield alters the tactics.

 

Fighters are a prestige item, shoot down the tankers and they are ground targets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well if fighters can't fight, you may as well just arm the AWACS with long range missiles and forget about fighters altogether.

  • Agree 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well if fighters can't fight, you may as well just arm the AWACS with long range missiles and forget about fighters altogether.

Just imagine the money that would be saved if future fighters did not have to be designed to carry humans. No more expensive pilot training. No more calling off a mission as "too dangerous". It's coming soon, it's already happening. Today's fighter pilots may well be the last. Sad.

  • Informative 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

imagine the range if they didn't have to return to base. I think I just invented a new weapon system, I will call it the cruise missile because its a cruisy idea.

  • Funny 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imagine the range if they didn't have to return to base.

 

The Japanese did it already in WWII.

 

Just imagine the money that would be saved if future fighters did not have to be designed to carry humans. No more expensive pilot training. No more calling off a mission as "too dangerous". It's coming soon, it's already happening. Today's fighter pilots may well be the last. Sad.

 

I think that came up on another thread and someone had valid points as to why you can't remove the pilot from the fighter (can't remember what they are now, but I remember they impressed me at the time despite being counter to my own position).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the advantage with going for a drone versus fighter battle is once you destroy the tankers, the fighters are primarily restricted to defense. Drones can quickly overwhelm a defensive network.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Japanese did it already in WWII.

 

 

 

I think that came up on another thread and someone had valid points as to why you can't remove the pilot from the fighter (can't remember what they are now, but I remember they impressed me at the time despite being counter to my own position).

It is all about the thing that software & systems designers fear the most, HACKING. If you are able to get at the Drones systems you could turn it back on its owner. This has already happened I am led to believe. The important thing with all technological advancements is keeping at least 1 step (& preferably 3 steps) ahead of your adversary.

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

as opposed to hacking or disrupting the vulnerable air to air targeting link? modern fighters are more vulnerable to software breaches than a simple one way guided bomb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the advantage with going for a drone versus fighter battle is once you destroy the tankers, the fighters are primarily restricted to defense. Drones can quickly overwhelm a defensive network.

 

And are devoid of human frailties like fatigue, fear and of course judgement.

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And are devoid of human frailties like fatigue, fear and of course judgement.

 

Judgement. That's it, I knew it was something important.

  • Funny 1
  • Caution 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Judgement. That's it, I knew it was something important.

Damn, somebody picked the irony! Of course if Leading Seaman Leroy Halfpinger from Detroit with his half baked edumacation on some mizzle cruizer in the Gulf is in charge we'll be right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always find it funny how armies and airforces decide how the enemy will fight them.

Most times the opposite of what they expect occurs.

Now enemy forces KNOW that to kill a F35 you need to get in close and dogfight it!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting into dogfight range is actually pretty easy even against a BVR missile armed fighter... Especially if the opponent is China (Current target of the "Pivot to the Pacific") with hordes of old J-7 and other MIG-21 based cheap legacy fighters they can afford to throw away.

 

All the data I have seen for the F-35 is max 8 internal missiles, normal carriage 6, 4 AMRAAM + 2 AIM-9, Air-2-Air predicated on the basis of clean exterior and internal missiles only to minimise radar reflection from untidy reflective outer attachments.

 

So all the Chinese have to do is throw 8 old scrap fighters with the most disposable just-out-of-flight-school pilots per J-35 at incoming flights as cannon fodder to soak up the defensive fire, backed up with a modicum of J-10 or J-17 modern higher performance dogfight capable fighters with a full load of cannon shells and heat seekers to actually make the kill.

 

China has the numbers to do it, and the ability to view pilots as expendable resources. Plus the non-stealth fighters don't sacrifice speed and streamlining to the curves and stealthy shapes needed for radar minimization, you can see them on radar from further away with shorter wavelengths, but they can catch up any F-35 trying to run away.

 

 

Stealth is not invisibility either, it is a lower return, not zero return. So while a legacy aircraft may be detected at 50 miles by radar of a certain power output and sensitivity, a "stealthy" fighter may only be detected at 15 miles. But that is only for certain wavelengths, I've read various scattered reports on different sources stating that Australias big ground based OTH radar has picked up B2's in flight between Guam and Diegos Garcia (sp). Even if a big array like that can only manage a 10 mile circular error of position, that's still enough to vector in a flight of mark 1 eyeball guided cannons to search.

 

For every military technological advance, somewhere someone is working on a way to negate that advantage.

  • Like 1
  • Agree 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The F-35 programme seems to be a bit similar to some other projects that seem a good idea at the time, eg: restoring an old car. By the time you realize that you probably shouldn't have gone down that road, you're already too committed to back out.

 

For the first time the West has put all their eggs in one basket, and the question is whether we're relinquishing our air superiority for the next twenty years. Supporters of the F-35 quote stealth, technology etc. as winning the day, but it does look a bit like the basic airframe and power plant might be a bit of a dud. Interesting to read a quote from one of the top U.S. military people involved with the programme ' never again will we build a fighter while we're still designing it'.

 

One problem with relying on stealth is that the opposition is currently ahead of us in that field and radar technology as well. Possibly by the time the F-35's are fully operational, the high tech aspects of it might be obselete, leaving us with a slow, poorly armed, un-maneurevable easy target.

 

Another question is - is dogfighting really obselete. Only the West seems to think so. The Russians for example have always subscribed to the theory that eventually it will always come down to a tangle. They still put a high emphasis on dogfight training to this very day, and in doing so, push their aircraft way beyond the limits that Western pilots are allowed to. There is still a possibility that, stealth or no stealth, everybody's run out of missiles and they've all missed their targets. In that case, the only option for our little blowflies would be to bug out. Only problem is that the Sukhois are faster and they still have guns as a reserve.

 

And Kiwi303 is right on the money - whether Russia, China, India or any other capable adversary, all they need to do is throw junk fighters at the F-35 to run it out of missiles, then send in the big guns.

 

Another possibility is that by the time the F-35 is fully, truly operational and combat capable, the T-50 will be being sold in an export version to countries in our region. We're not allowed to buy them, so it looks like we might be up s**t creek without a paddle for a long time. We'll just have to rely on everyone liking us.

 

But that's air to air combat. Another issue is that the West has fallen way behind in air defences. The opposition's surface to air superiority and jamming capabilities are another big concern, effectively neutralizing aircraft like the F-35 as a ground offensive weapons system. The F-35 would be a good capable aircraft against third world countries, but I doubt anyone would seriously think of putting them up against the real players. Not without a lot of fine tuning anyway.

 

Cheers, Willie.

  • Agree 1
  • Informative 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×