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Why No Stovl For Navalized F-35?  
User currently offlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1618 posts, RR: 2
Posted (5 years 4 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 6946 times:

I was reading about the F-35 versions yesterday, and realized that the MC version is the only one with vertical lift capability. I was always under the impression that part of the deal with the F-35 was that the Navy could eliminate the myriad dangers of carrier landings but still maintain first-rate performance (the F-35 being the first STOVL a/c to truly have first-rate performance vis-a-vis traditional fixed wing a/c, IMHO). From the specs it seems like a standard "navalized" land-based version (larger control surfaces, beefier landing gear, etc.). Why wouldn't the USN want STOVL capability, since from my perspective being able to eliminate the "controlled crash" carrier landings would be a major boon? I say this because it doesn't look like the MC version really suffers that much of a performance hit for having to carry around the VTOL fan setup.

48 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (5 years 4 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 6931 times:



Quoting LHCVG (Thread starter):
I say this because it doesn't look like the MC version really suffers that much of a performance hit for having to carry around the VTOL fan setup.

The Marine Corp Short Takeoff Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35B has to give up range (fuel) and armament (internal stores) to make room for the ducted fan.


User currently offlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1618 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (5 years 4 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 6925 times:



Quoting 474218 (Reply 1):
The Marine Corp Short Takeoff Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35B has to give up range (fuel) and armament (internal stores) to make room for the ducted fan.

Right but it can still go supersonic and dogfight and carry top of the line armaments -- as in, naval a/c typically suffer in both payload and range vis-a-vis land-based a/c anyway, and STOVL would seem to be a great new capability.


User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2121 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (5 years 4 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 6915 times:



Quoting LHCVG (Reply 2):
vis-a-vis

I just had to say I've never read 'vis a vis' as much as I have today. 3 seperate posts all with that term... interesting.  Smile



Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7502 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (5 years 4 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6907 times:



Quoting LHCVG (Reply 2):
Right but it can still go supersonic and dogfight and carry top of the line armaments -- as in, naval a/c typically suffer in both payload and range vis-a-vis land-based a/c anyway, and STOVL would seem to be a great new capability.

You are taking the specs put out by the OEM, Air Force, Navy and Marines at face value, if they are all valid on the production a/c that will be a first. I would not be shcoked to see that other than speed the F-35Band AV-8B being the same in term of combat capability.

Also bear in mind that unlike the Air Force and to some degree the Navy, the Marines are more interested in CAS rather than dog fighting.


User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (5 years 4 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6904 times:

Quoting 474218 (Reply 1):
The Marine Corp Short Takeoff Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35B has to give up range (fuel) and armament (internal stores) to make room for the ducted fan.

Or in other words, it's the most expensive and least capable JSF variant being produced. Frankly, why the British are building brand new carriers with impotent ski jumps on them for F-35B's as opposed to just building flat decks and going with F-35C's is beyond me.

The facts of the mater are that the USMC has a very weak case for replacing anything other than AV-8's with F-35B's.

[Edited 2009-07-25 09:48:09]

User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (5 years 4 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6891 times:



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 5):
Or in other words, it's the most expensive and least capable JSF variant being produced.

It depends on what the purpose of the aircraft is. The F-35A and C's will operate from fixed bases and carriers will be used to provide tactical support. The F-35B will be used in forward bases and will be used for close ground troop support.


User currently offlineMCIGuy From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1936 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 4 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6887 times:



Quoting 474218 (Reply 1):
The Marine Corp Short Takeoff Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35B has to give up range (fuel) and armament (internal stores) to make room for the ducted fan.

Yeah, the Navy likes to hang as many bombs and missiles from a jet as it can handle. This is because of the first strike concept. A CVN may be the only US asset in a area of operations, especially early on. The USAF may not have basing rights in the region so the Navy packs as much punch per sortie as they can.

Quoting Par13del (Reply 4):
Also bear in mind that unlike the Air Force and to some degree the Navy, the Marines are more interested in CAS rather than dog fighting.

That's pretty much their only mission. They're trained to dogfight but they'll only use the ability if they have to. They wouldn't be sent on missions where A2A is the main objective unless it's to protect the ground forces from air threats. The VSTOL capability also gives the Marines the ability to forward base their F-35Bs. They could fly off the carrier, get their feet dry and then stay in country to do the bidding of the grunts on the ground. The Navy has no need for such capability.



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User currently offlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1618 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (5 years 4 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 6875 times:



Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 7):
The VSTOL capability also gives the Marines the ability to forward base their F-35Bs. They could fly off the carrier, get their feet dry and then stay in country to do the bidding of the grunts on the ground. The Navy has no need for such capability.

That's a good point -- that perhaps the vertical capability does indeed sacrifice enough combat capability (range, payload, stealthiness(?)) that it is only good for the MC application where it is very much needed.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12173 posts, RR: 51
Reply 9, posted (5 years 4 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6754 times:



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 5):
Frankly, why the British are building brand new carriers with impotent ski jumps on them for F-35B's as opposed to just building flat decks and going with F-35C's is beyond me.

The Brits have no money to spend on to many new ships. There is a "slight" price difference between the RN's new 65,000 ton Queen Elizabeth-class CVFs and the USN's new 112,000 ton Gerald R. Ford class CVNs.

The two QE CVFs (HMS Queen Elizabeth {now building} and HMS Prince of Wales) will carry 40 aircraft, including 36 F-35Bs, plus 12 CH-47E helios.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15812 posts, RR: 27
Reply 10, posted (5 years 4 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6750 times:



Quoting LHCVG (Thread starter):
Why wouldn't the USN want STOVL capability,

They don't need it. American carriers are large enough that the catapult and arrestor wire system is sufficient.

Quoting 474218 (Reply 6):
The F-35B will be used in forward bases and will be used for close ground troop support.

I also think that they plan to base some on the amphibious assault ships.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1618 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (5 years 4 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6743 times:



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 10):
They don't need it. American carriers are large enough that the catapult and arrestor wire system is sufficient.

My (original) question was more along the lines of, if given the ability to have a STOVL platform that is not so performance limited as the "old" Harrier-type planes, why not avoid the danger and hassle of carrier landings?  flamed 


User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (5 years 4 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 6738 times:



Quoting LHCVG (Reply 11):
My (original) question was more along the lines of, if given the ability to have a STOVL platform that is not so performance limited as the "old" Harrier-type planes, why not avoid the danger and hassle of carrier landings?

As appears to have been indicated, you sacrifice lifting capability when you design a V/STOL airplane; giving up fuel or munitions ... or both to meet the takeoff and landing specifications. The F-35B wasn't designed to serve the US Navy. It was designed with the needs of the RAF and US Marines in mind; provide an airplane that can operate close to the front with minimum support functions to keep it going. In that regard, it appears it meets the specific need very well. F-35C is meant to offer longer range, greater load carrying capability and perhaps both at the same time (though I doubt it; you usually sacrifice some on one to get maximum of the other). It provides this by not having the extra weight associated with V/STOL related systems and equipment.



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User currently offlineTrex8 From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 4840 posts, RR: 14
Reply 13, posted (5 years 4 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 6736 times:
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Quoting AirRyan (Reply 5):
Or in other words, it's the most expensive and least capable JSF variant being produced. Frankly, why the British are building brand new carriers with impotent ski jumps on them for F-35B's as opposed to just building flat decks and going with F-35C's is beyond me.

there are actually no more naval British Harriers in service, they are all RAF attack versions left in their Joint Force Harrier. Maybe someone in the RAF wants to keep VSTOL capability and they are going to make the RN pay for it!


User currently offlineMrChips From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 937 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 4 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 6732 times:



Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 7):

Yeah, the Navy likes to hang as many bombs and missiles from a jet as it can handle.

Not only that, but they would like to bring them back aboard if they don't use them, so carryback capability is very important to the Navy. Another reason why they went for a larger wing.



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User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3425 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (5 years 4 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 6720 times:



Quoting LHCVG (Reply 11):
My (original) question was more along the lines of, if given the ability to have a STOVL platform that is not so performance limited as the "old" Harrier-type planes, why not avoid the danger and hassle of carrier landings?

Its more dangerous to do a vertical landing than a trap landing... Also requires more training


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15812 posts, RR: 27
Reply 16, posted (5 years 4 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6663 times:



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 15):
Its more dangerous to do a vertical landing than a trap landing... Also requires more training

Vertical landings are no picnic either. There are a lot of things that can go wrong, though the F-35 alleviates the hot gas ingestion issue. The Harrier's safety record isn't the best out there.

Plus, Top Gun would not have been nearly as cool if they took off and landed vertically.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1618 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (5 years 4 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6662 times:



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 15):

Its more dangerous to do a vertical landing than a trap landing... Also requires more training

In that case I stand corrected. I was just always under the impression that a trap landing was worse due to the much higher approach speed vs. what I would see as slow and gentle vertical landing just like a helo.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13241 posts, RR: 77
Reply 18, posted (5 years 4 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6641 times:



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 5):
Or in other words, it's the most expensive and least capable JSF variant being produced. Frankly, why the British are building brand new carriers with impotent ski jumps on them for F-35B's as opposed to just building flat decks and going with F-35C's is beyond me.

Considering they are about the only Navy with anything like modern combat experience against an enemy that could seriously threaten their fleet, i.e. not just dropping bombs on some 3rd world country, in an environment that did not have a vast fleet of land based aircraft in range either, I'd not write off that experience, even if it does cause some sort of Not Invented Here issues for some.

And the most recent example in history, of a potential carrier versus carrier action, the other side could not launch their catapult aircraft because of insufficient wind over deck.
Then the southern surface action element of their fleet was attacked and they ran for home, losing their probably best chance of inflicting a knock out blow.
But that action showed what the real capital ships of the RN were, nuclear subs.

The CVF carriers are not just naval assets, they are to be joint force ones.
This is an important thing to consider, since along with the dedicated RN F-35's, RAF examples will be routinely operating off CVF's, in a similar manner to the USMC off USN decks.

There are of course advantages with cat launch, F-35C with more range, fixed wing AEW.
But, buying and operating these is considerably more expensive, has a higher accident rate, a larger crew (a major cost for all professionally manned navies), plus bringing it back for the RN after a gap of nearly 40 years would be a major challenge too.
France, with roughly a similar sized fleet, GDP etc, has stuck with Cat launch, for good historical reasons for them, but they have just one carrier. With a second looking less and less likely.
I'd prefer two CVF's. Plus the existing dedicated Commando Carrier.
The best conventional carrier in the world is not much good if the only one you've got is stuck in a refit when you need it.

The RN is not attempting to try and replicate a USN carrier group, trying to would cause a major imbalance in the make up of the defence posture.
Even if the Treasury ever allowed it.
This is about fitting the projected needs when there are many other demands of new procurement as important, not about some 'willy waving' competition.

Driving the CVF size and design, is not size of air-group, but sortie rates. Where STOVL has an advantage for fairly obvious reasons.
In combat in the South Atlantic, despite it's limitations, despite being somewhat cranky in some areas of maintenance, despite being 8000 miles from base, despite being based on (in the case of HMS Invincible though less so for ex conventional carrier Hermes ), vessels not overloaded with space, despite the often poor weather, the Harriers in 1982 had a 99% availability rate.
Away from the aircraft, there was also no issue with catapult availability. Unlike the other side had.

But it's true that this was arrived at almost by accident.
Having determined that the best way to spend limited resources in the Cold War, in the case of the RN, was to build up more nuclear subs and more capable Frigates, to counter the threat from the Soviet sub fleet, the Sea Harriers were seen as a add on to provide an over the horizon defence against AV-MF aircraft such as TU-95, TU-16, TU-22, TU-22M, Il-38, which could provide over the horizon targeting of ship, air and sub launched anti ship missiles. This was their main way of striking at NATO surface vessels.

Had the USSR had a carrier fleet then, maybe the decision making for the RN would have been different.
No doubt the Admiralty did also consider this new fleet of naval jets also provided a limited 'out of area' capability, though this was not a major consideration in planning back then.
Certainly not engaging in a war of attrition against a land based AF many times larger.
But from those 'impotent' ski jumps, the Sea Harriers on the first day of air to air combat, performed well enough to make the enemy decide that would be the last day of air to air as far as they were concerned. A strategic mistake for them considering their huge numerical advantage.

So what is planned now is basically an 'on steroids version of the current set up.
Since it is most likely that any combat action for the CVF's will be in support of an amphibious operation, the F-35B's limitations compared to F-35C, are not so stark.

In an ideal world the RN might well prefer a conventional carrier and F-35C, but no one lives in that world, if there is a lesson from the cancellation of the CVA-01 of the 1960's, it is when you go for gold plating, there is a danger you might end up with nothing.
This has not been forgotten, even if in the case of CVA-01 and the carriers it was to replace, changes in the nation's defence posture and economic reality, was to undermine the whole 'East Of Suez' role they mainly served anyway.


User currently offlineWvsuperhornet From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 517 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 4 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 6601 times:

The marine weren't the only ones wanting the F-35B I know under the bush administration the airforce was looking into a few of them also, not sure if they are still considering them or not but if the aircraft is going to replace the A-10 (which I am not a fan of it doing) then the F-35B would be the more logical choice.

User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (5 years 4 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 6587 times:



Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 19):
I know under the bush administration the airforce was looking into a few of them also, not sure if they are still considering them or not but if the aircraft is going to replace the A-10 (which I am not a fan of it doing) then the F-35B would be the more logical choice.

I don't know that the F-35B could replace the A-10A and I never have heard the Air Force was interested in the F-35B either. As best I can tell, the Air Force appropriations have been for the F-35A and they want a lot of them. I suspect the only replacement for the A-10 will be an airplane specifically designed to replace it. F-35 is too fast and not heavily enough gun armed.



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User currently offlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1618 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (5 years 4 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6559 times:



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 20):
I suspect the only replacement for the A-10 will be an airplane specifically designed to replace it. F-35 is too fast and not heavily enough gun armed.

Yeah I never understood the whole F-35 as A-10 replacement idea. To me, a dedicated CAS a/c is entirely the opposite of the F-35, just like the A-10 is --- Ugly, slow (but highly maneuverable at low altitude and airspeeds), bristling with armaments and defenses, with little need or use for stealth (considering that most of the time you could see it flying by since it doesn't operate at 30000 feet).


User currently offlineTREX8 From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 4840 posts, RR: 14
Reply 22, posted (5 years 4 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6553 times:
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Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 19):
The marine weren't the only ones wanting the F-35B I know under the bush administration the airforce was looking into a few of them also, not sure if they are still considering them or not but if the aircraft is going to replace the A-10 (which I am not a fan of it doing) then the F-35B would be the more logical choice.

Israel has an interest in the STOVL variant for later buys and so does Taiwan.


User currently offlineMCIGuy From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1936 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 4 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 6530 times:

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 21):
Yeah I never understood the whole F-35 as A-10 replacement idea. To me, a dedicated CAS a/c is entirely the opposite of the F-35, just like the A-10 is --- Ugly, slow (but highly maneuverable at low altitude and airspeeds), bristling with armaments and defenses, with little need or use for stealth (considering that most of the time you could see it flying by since it doesn't operate at 30000 feet).

The cheapest solution would probably be new-build A-10s. (    )
I have to think it would cheaper to design and build an "A-10D" than it would an entirely new platform. The A-10 cost:benefit is already off the hook and the "Super Hog" could pack in even more new tech without going to a more expenseive and unsuitable platform like the F-35. Maybe more powerful engines, better countermeasures, better radar, maybe even FBW. Then you would again have the unstoppable killing machine that the A-10A was when it made the scene.  

[Edited 2009-07-26 10:24:14]


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User currently offlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1618 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (5 years 4 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 6494 times:



Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 23):
The cheapest solution would probably be new-build A-10s. ( )
I have to think it would cheaper to design and build an "A-10D" than it would an entirely new platform. The A-10 cost:benefit is already off the hook and the "Super Hog" could pack in even more new tech without going to a more expenseive and unsuitable platform like the F-35. Maybe more powerful engines, better countermeasures, better radar, maybe even FBW. Then you would again have the unstoppable killing machine that the A-10A was when it made the scene.

Game, set, match. No need to reinvent the wheel when the current general design is perfect, just bring it up to modern tech standards a la 737NG or 748. Even if they factored in that the tooling and lines are no longer available, considering there is nothing really that exotic about the materials or techniques here I would agree that it shouldn't be TOO expensive, given the benefit provided. And then too, down the road they could turn them into UAVs.


25 Par13del : Numerous problems with such solutions. Program would not require 10+ years of design work Program would not require 5+ years of initial prototype pro
26 LHCVG : This is true-- we can't let Boeing or LM NOT make oodles of profits!
27 XT6Wagon : Unfortunately, not that easy. The newer engines of that family and size class are *twice* as heavy. So either you stick with the current underpowered
28 Wvsuperhornet : I don't think that it can either, but from my understanding the F-35 is replacing the F-16's,older F-18's (not the superhornet) and eventually the A-
29 EBJ1248650 : Would the F-35B be the tank killer the A-10 is? Yeah, you can kill tanks with missiles, but would the F-35's cannon knock out a tank?
30 BladeLWS : Well the gun is a 25mm which is less power than the A-10 (30mm) and more than the standard US fighter (20mm). So yes it will be able to engage tanks
31 EBJ1248650 : This amazes me. I would think we'd have learned our lesson from the Viet Nam war era that figters need an internal gun. Have we again begun to relyin
32 GDB : If as expected, the RAF/RN F-35B's are equipped with the Brimstone missile, they'll be fairly good AFV killers. I don't think anyone though is about t
33 BladeLWS : The B and C models will have the option for the external gun pod to save weight. The Harrier has the same feature.
34 Rwessel : Should a fighter have a gun? That’s a good question. And is the experience of Vietnam relevant today? Also a good question. In the sixties, the USA
35 LHCVG : I've always wondered - why have U.S. fighters always seemed to emphasize relatively smaller, higher rate of fire guns vs. slower-firing heavier ones?
36 MSNDC9 : It would take a CF34-3 to power it assmuing a sme changes in weight accross a re-dsigned airframe. They're not twice as heavy. It'd be about 500-lbs
37 XT6Wagon : I am going by GE's own published figures. The ones used on the A10 were 1/2 the wieght of the size just above them in the same family.
38 Rwessel : It's obviously a tradeoff. If you can fire more rounds, you have a better chance of hitting something. OTOH, just how much damage do you need to do?
39 MSNDC9 : The TF-34 in use today weighs 1458 lbs. The CF34-3 - the equivalent, is a 1600 lb engine.[Edited 2009-07-30 20:37:37]
40 BlackProjects : If the RN dose not get the engine it Needs for our F-35 fleet the RN/UK MOD could pull the Plug on te Project as the Engine required is the RR Engine
41 Post contains links LMP737 : I don't know about vertical landings requirung more training than conventional carrier landings. With a vertical landing your biggest worry is engine
42 GDB : Given the training, STOVL carrier ops are intrinsically safer than cat and trap. Of course that method needs plenty of training too, however compare t
43 Max Q : Excellent points GDB, and well written. Not sure if you mentioned this, but in the atrocious weather of the southern ocean around the Falklands there
44 GDB : Indeed Max Q, while no one pretended that the Harriers were a direct replacement for conventional carriers, many of the early crews had been conventio
45 N328KF : You do know that the Queen Elizabeth class are capable of being retrofitted to CTOL status, right? This is why the French want to use it as a basis f
46 BlackProjects : The Retro Fit would involve MAGLEV Launching Gear and Not Steam Powerd which is a lot less Bulky to install Aresstor Wires are Easy to install on such
47 GDB : Yes, the CVF's have provision (meaning space) for a future, as Black Projects stated, electro magnetic catapult. Had the CVF(F) gone ahead (it seems t
48 Spudh : As MaxQ indicated above, a significant advantage for V/STOL carrier aircraft that gets missed alot is the ability to launch/recover an aircraft when w
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