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Grevcon 10
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I haven't read this whole thread and I'm only halfway through my first cup of coffee so if this has been addressed, I apologize.



The F-35 criticisms on budget are fair. F-35 criticisms with emphasis on foreign distribution are fair. However, I feel that F-35 criticism as a plane itself are misguided.

Judging it as a fighter jet is a 1980's mentality. It is stuck in the epoch of Top Gun and stories from Vietnam aces. This is the world the F16 and F15 came to know their development and fame in.

However, it didn't take long into the 90's to turn our champion dogfighter and interceptor into ground strike aircraft. The F16 grew to have a wider array of CAS weapons than it ever did Air to Air, and the F15E Strike Eagle is, in my opinion, the most successful variant of the aircraft.

Hyper-focused roles are a thing of the past. Large fleets of aircraft are no longer tenable by budget, resources, or even tactical necessity. Advanced multi-role jets are the new meta. And that's what the F-35 aims to accomplish.

Can it provide CAS as well as the A10? No, but it will do it 80% as good. Can it dogfight like the F16? No, but it can do it 80% as good. It can be stretched across to accomplish more goals with less resources. I'm going to stop this argument here because it falls victim to my own criticism that judging it as an airframe is an old mentality.

The beauty of the F35 is in it's sensor suite and it's stealth capability. Trial runs have already been completed to allow an F35 to datalink to a Drone and use it's cameras, sensors, and munitions. They're running trials right now to allow Gen 4 airframes like the F16 to launch munitions that are guided by the F35. Or even crazier, the F16 to launch a round that the F35 is painting from a datalink from a drone. Whoa.

The F35 is dispersing the need for large AWACS sort of forces. In the way that WWII divisional army mentality won't work in Afghanistan's special forces heavy roles, the idea of multiple bomber and fighter wings supported by AWACS and refueling ships won't work today. The name of the game overall is detection and early warning. The main mission of the air force right now is SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defense). Namely, defeating SAM sites and their radars. This is not a mission for a dogfighting aircraft, or a fleet of jammers, or really anything we already have in our inventory.

However, if you can have one plane up that can operate stealthily at the edges of that SAM sighting range calling in precise strikes against those site from planes hovering well outside that sight range, then that's a huge win.

What used to be a large network of aircraft can now be completed by 3, maybe 4 jets. Think of the F35 as a mini AWACS that can defend itself and I think you'll be in a more proper perspective to understand the role and capabilities of the plane.


Oh, and visual range dogfights are won by the pilot, not the plane.
If the F35 turns on its radar and plays AWACS, it gets detected. Active sensors negate stealth.
 

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Grevcon 10
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True, but if it's using datalink from drones to paint targets then active sensors need not be used. It has a few different ways to skin a cat.
Then it's not actively painting anything. The drone is. And there's still active sensors being used to conduct AWACS, but with much less range.
 

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Wile E Coyote, Genius.
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I haven't read this whole thread and I'm only halfway through my first cup of coffee so if this has been addressed, I apologize.



The F-35 criticisms on budget are fair. F-35 criticisms with emphasis on foreign distribution are fair. However, I feel that F-35 criticism as a plane itself are misguided.

Judging it as a fighter jet is a 1980's mentality. It is stuck in the epoch of Top Gun and stories from Vietnam aces. This is the world the F16 and F15 came to know their development and fame in.

However, it didn't take long into the 90's to turn our champion dogfighter and interceptor into ground strike aircraft. The F16 grew to have a wider array of CAS weapons than it ever did Air to Air, and the F15E Strike Eagle is, in my opinion, the most successful variant of the aircraft.

Hyper-focused roles are a thing of the past. Large fleets of aircraft are no longer tenable by budget, resources, or even tactical necessity. Advanced multi-role jets are the new meta. And that's what the F-35 aims to accomplish.

Can it provide CAS as well as the A10? No, but it will do it 80% as good. Can it dogfight like the F16? No, but it can do it 80% as good. It can be stretched across to accomplish more goals with less resources. I'm going to stop this argument here because it falls victim to my own criticism that judging it as an airframe is an old mentality.

The beauty of the F35 is in it's sensor suite and it's stealth capability. Trial runs have already been completed to allow an F35 to datalink to a Drone and use it's cameras, sensors, and munitions. They're running trials right now to allow Gen 4 airframes like the F16 to launch munitions that are guided by the F35. Or even crazier, the F16 to launch a round that the F35 is painting from a datalink from a drone. Whoa.

The F35 is dispersing the need for large AWACS sort of forces. In the way that WWII divisional army mentality won't work in Afghanistan's special forces heavy roles, the idea of multiple bomber and fighter wings supported by AWACS and refueling ships won't work today. The name of the game overall is detection and early warning. The main mission of the air force right now is SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defense). Namely, defeating SAM sites and their radars. This is not a mission for a dogfighting aircraft, or a fleet of jammers, or really anything we already have in our inventory.

However, if you can have one plane up that can operate stealthily at the edges of that SAM sighting range calling in precise strikes against those site from planes hovering well outside that sight range, then that's a huge win.

What used to be a large network of aircraft can now be completed by 3, maybe 4 jets. Think of the F35 as a mini AWACS that can defend itself and I think you'll be in a more proper perspective to understand the role and capabilities of the plane.


Oh, and visual range dogfights are won by the pilot, not the plane.
So much wrong in this post.
Last sentence is complete bunk. Aircraft agility, and quality of the missiles plays a huge role. If your missile misses because of faults, then the best pilot in the world gets killed. If your plane can't maneuver properly, then your chances diminish rapidly.

If it was all about the pilot, instead of spending a trillion dollars on a gen 5 fighter, we would have a nationwide fighter pilot selection and training process. Recruiters would search for pilots with the zeal of NFL recruiters.
There would be huge testing and elimination programs to find guys with top .0001% capabilities in coordination, eyesight, balance, reflexes, fitness, intelligence, etc.

If the F-35 is only about a forward observer position that can call in munitions dispensed by others, and uses the radar only from drones, then it serves no purpose that could not be served completely by the drones.

And assuming our satellites have a cloud free day, all of that same info can be obtained from space.

The F-35 is supposed to be a fighter. It even has a little "F" in its name.
And it has a cannon. If it was only to be a beyond visual range platform, then why the gun??

Regarding close air support, this plane will never provide anything remotely resembling close air support. It is too expensive to risk in proximity to battle. And it can't carry enough munitions to provide much ground support. And it has very little loiter time, which is so necessary to providing timely ground support. The warthog is already prowling around on station and a quick radio call brings down devastating cannon fire. The F-35 at best would be sitting on a runway somewhere, need to fly to the front, then drop some tiny mini-bombs that fit in its pathetic excuse for a weapons bay. And that tiny bomb would be released from 30,000 ft , because nobody wants to lose an F-35 in exchange for bombing a few ground forces.

And it has a long sortee turnaround time, because of all the extra maintenance needed for stealth coverings. So when the call for ground support comes in, more than likely the plane will be hours from its next available takeoff, and that will already be committed to some higher priority.

And 80% as good as dog fighting as an F-16 means it will get shot down. So it will have to avoid visual range dogfights, and make kills before then.

And nothing will replace the AWACS yet that I am aware of.
 

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I think we have to accept that the general public will have to remain dissatisfied with the F-35. Its capabilities and tactical employment considerations are too secret to be shared for a long time. Unfortunately, those capabilities are what make it worth every penny we’ve spent. Without the F-35, we’d have no chance of winning WWIII.
 

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Wile E Coyote, Genius.
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I think they announced that Japan was going to start building F-22 airframes with F-35 computer/sensor equipment.

In my opinion, that would be the real game changer. A total domination fighter. 2 engines, the best maneuverability, better stealth, no stupid lift fan in the heart of the airframe.

Used for the Marines on their Wasp class carriers, the F-35 is a decent plane.

And as a stealthy lead element to take out radar and SAM sites, probably also a good plane.

For air to air, it is limited to all BVR engagements, and will likely need to direct missiles launched by other air assets if there are more than a couple of enemy fighters.

But if this plane comes toe to toe with a Russian super-maneuverable fighter, it will have to run for its life.

If it has secret capabilities, that would surprise me as this has been the most heavily documented plane I have ever seen.
 

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Live Secret, Live Happy
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I think they announced that Japan was going to start building F-22 airframes with F-35 computer/sensor equipment.

In my opinion, that would be the real game changer. A total domination fighter. 2 engines, the best maneuverability, better stealth, no stupid lift fan in the heart of the airframe.

Used for the Marines on their Wasp class carriers, the F-35 is a decent plane.

And as a stealthy lead element to take out radar and SAM sites, probably also a good plane.

For air to air, it is limited to all BVR engagements, and will likely need to direct missiles launched by other air assets if there are more than a couple of enemy fighters.

But if this plane comes toe to toe with a Russian super-maneuverable fighter, it will have to run for its life.

If it has secret capabilities, that would surprise me as this has been the most heavily documented plane I have ever seen.
If true, please build a proper deep strike/interceptor stealth aircraft.
The requirement for the A12 is still more important than the need for the f35.
We need to upgrade the terminal phase manuverability of our BVR missiles as well.
 

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Grevcon 10
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I think they announced that Japan was going to start building F-22 airframes with F-35 computer/sensor equipment.

In my opinion, that would be the real game changer. A total domination fighter. 2 engines, the best maneuverability, better stealth, no stupid lift fan in the heart of the airframe.

Used for the Marines on their Wasp class carriers, the F-35 is a decent plane.

And as a stealthy lead element to take out radar and SAM sites, probably also a good plane.

For air to air, it is limited to all BVR engagements, and will likely need to direct missiles launched by other air assets if there are more than a couple of enemy fighters.

But if this plane comes toe to toe with a Russian super-maneuverable fighter, it will have to run for its life.

If it has secret capabilities, that would surprise me as this has been the most heavily documented plane I have ever seen.
From my understanding Japan has wanted to do that for a long time but the US isn't letting them. Japan never wanted the F35. It needs a medium/large air superiority fighter for its defense. Thus why they've always preferred the F-15 over the F-16. It doesn't have a lot of use for a light fighter. Japan's even offered to sweeten the deal for the US and give back all their development work and even help produce some for the US. As I understand it, it really just comes down to the problem that such a project would make the F35 program look bad and hurt its funding. If congress hears they can cut F35 funding and just put it into developing the F-22C, or whatever you want to call it, it's going to really upset people.
 

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Wile E Coyote, Genius.
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From my understanding Japan has wanted to do that for a long time but the US isn't letting them. Japan never wanted the F35. It needs a medium/large air superiority fighter for its defense. Thus why they've always preferred the F-15 over the F-16. It doesn't have a lot of use for a light fighter. Japan's even offered to sweeten the deal for the US and give back all their development work and even help produce some for the US. As I understand it, it really just comes down to the problem that such a project would make the F35 program look bad and hurt its funding. If congress hears they can cut F35 funding and just put it into developing the F-22C, or whatever you want to call it, it's going to really upset people.
Well, now that the F-35 has entered mass production, and Trump has leaned on them to cut costs, the price per copy is under $100M , so as an economy plane, it still has some appeal I suppose, as long as there are enough F-22s escorting it.

When this upcoming war with China comes on, we are going to wish Japan had hundreds of F-22s.
 

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Grevcon 10
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Well, now that the F-35 has entered mass production, and Trump hasleaned on them to cut costs, the price per copy is under $100M , so as an economy plane, it still has some appeal I suppose, as long as there are enough F-22s escorting it.
Indeed. I think the F-35 still works for some smaller airforces that just need a small number of anything stealth for recon, SEAD, and deep strike. The F-35B is still a completely solid aircraft and could find itself on every US allied light carrier, and I don't see why those allied forces wouldn't just standardize with the B.

Really we just need to be phasing the F-22C in as a direct replacement for the F-15 fighter wings. F-15s all get converted to Strike Eagles. F-35 can continue doing its thing leading the Strike Eagles and F-16s in attack while F-22s handle air superiority.
 

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Grevcon 10
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Honestly, though, I think 1,000 F-35s is more than enough. Right now we're planning to produce as many F-35s as the world produced F-16s (~3,000) which was supposed to be a discount cheap mass production fighter. That's a little nutty.

1,000 F-35 and 1,000 F-22 would be fine. Then you can bulk out the rest of the AF with planes that can carry a load.
 

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Live Secret, Live Happy
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Honestly, though, I think 1,000 F-35s is more than enough. Right now we're planning to produce as many F-35s as the world produced F-16s (~3,000) which was supposed to be a discount cheap mass production fighter. That's a little nutty.

1,000 F-35 and 1,000 F-22 would be fine. Then you can bulk out the rest of the AF with planes that can carry a load.
F35 production is scheduled to be split between 8 or 10 countries, and 3 branches of the US Military.
The bulk of the production will be F35A, most to the US Air Force. The F35B and C production will be smaller.
About ten countries have 30-50 planes on order, but most will go to the US and UK.
Frankly I am supprised the production target is that low.
They cost so damn much, most of the partner nations wont be able to afford to develop any other new planes.
 

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...

The F-35 criticisms on budget are fair. F-35 criticisms with emphasis on foreign distribution are fair. However, I feel that F-35 criticism as a plane itself are misguided.

Judging it as a fighter jet is a 1980's mentality. It is stuck in the epoch of Top Gun and stories from Vietnam aces. This is the world the F16 and F15 came to know their development and fame in.

However, it didn't take long into the 90's to turn our champion dogfighter and interceptor into ground strike aircraft. The F16 grew to have a wider array of CAS weapons than it ever did Air to Air, and the F15E Strike Eagle is, in my opinion, the most successful variant of the aircraft.

Hyper-focused roles are a thing of the past. Large fleets of aircraft are no longer tenable by budget, resources, or even tactical necessity. Advanced multi-role jets are the new meta. And that's what the F-35 aims to accomplish.

Can it provide CAS as well as the A10? No, but it will do it 80% as good. Can it dogfight like the F16? No, but it can do it 80% as good. It can be stretched across to accomplish more goals with less resources. I'm going to stop this argument here because it falls victim to my own criticism that judging it as an airframe is an old mentality.

The beauty of the F35 is in it's sensor suite and it's stealth capability. Trial runs have already been completed to allow an F35 to datalink to a Drone and use it's cameras, sensors, and munitions. They're running trials right now to allow Gen 4 airframes like the F16 to launch munitions that are guided by the F35. Or even crazier, the F16 to launch a round that the F35 is painting from a datalink from a drone. Whoa.

The F35 is dispersing the need for large AWACS sort of forces. In the way that WWII divisional army mentality won't work in Afghanistan's special forces heavy roles, the idea of multiple bomber and fighter wings supported by AWACS and refueling ships won't work today. The name of the game overall is detection and early warning. The main mission of the air force right now is SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defense). Namely, defeating SAM sites and their radars. This is not a mission for a dogfighting aircraft, or a fleet of jammers, or really anything we already have in our inventory.

However, if you can have one plane up that can operate stealthily at the edges of that SAM sighting range calling in precise strikes against those site from planes hovering well outside that sight range, then that's a huge win.

What used to be a large network of aircraft can now be completed by 3, maybe 4 jets. Think of the F35 as a mini AWACS that can defend itself and I think you'll be in a more proper perspective to understand the role and capabilities of the plane.


Oh, and visual range dogfights are won by the pilot, not the plane.
Thus speaks the Commander of the Tibetan Submarine Command. Nothing in this would be logical or correct. But could come from the USAF of the late 50s. "Don't need none of them ole fashioned stinking guns, our high tech missiles will save the world."
 

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Militant Normal
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Oh, and visual range dogfights are won by the pilot, not the plane.
Korean War era - Chuck Yeager was detailed to evaluate combat capability of a Mig-15 delivered by a refugee pilot. Flying an F-86 vs. the MIG it was no contest. Put Yeager in the MIG's seat......again, no contest. If that's changed, why does the AF still teach combat maneuvering?

AFAIK the F-35B cannot do a VTO with a combat load. It is at best an STO fighter, but capable of vertical landing after fuel and munition weight is expended. Hence the acronym STOVL. So the lily-pad scenario doesn't work.
 

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Censor me not
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Korean War era - Chuck Yeager was detailed to evaluate combat capability of a Mig-15 delivered by a refugee pilot. Flying an F-86 vs. the MIG it was no contest. Put Yeager in the MIG's seat......again, no contest. If that's changed, why does the AF still teach combat maneuvering?

AFAIK the F-35B cannot do a VTO with a combat load. It is at best an STO fighter, but capable of vertical landing after fuel and munition weight is expended. Hence the acronym STOVL. So the lily-pad scenario doesn't work.
Yeager is the exception, but this whole "its all about the pilot" thing is a tad exaggerated. The Sabre and Fag are in the same ballpark at least. Chuck wouldn't of been taking down Corsair's & Mustang's in a Camel just because he was the Ted Williams of aerial combat
 

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Militant Normal
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Yeager is the exception, but this whole "its all about the pilot" thing is a tad exaggerated. The Sabre and Fag are in the same ballpark at least. Chuck wouldn't of been taking down Corsair's & Mustang's in a Camel just because he was the Ted Williams of aerial combat
A crying shame that Col. Boyd isn't alive to set you straight.
 

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If the F-35 is only about a forward observer position that can call in munitions dispensed by others, and uses the radar only from drones, then it serves no purpose that could not be served completely by the drones.
Drones can't make decisions and defend themselves
 
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