ac788
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:57 am

F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:35 pm

I found this interesting article on Aviation Week reporting on the "shortcomings" of the F-35 in an air to air combat scenario:

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...0Skills%20Analyzed&channel=defense

Anyone have any thoughts/comments in response to this article?
 
dragon6172
Posts: 795
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:56 am

RE: F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:10 pm

Love how it quotes a bunch of simulations and "on paper' etc etc. Send the damn thing up their and let it tangle with some other planes and then talk about all this crap.
Phrogs Phorever
 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 10997
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:17 am

Well, I guess we bstter go back to buying the F-15, maybe a G & H model? This is not a good report. The F/A-18 sucks at air to air, and the F-16 is good at it.
 
Devilfish
Posts: 5181
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:52 am

RE: F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:56 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):
Well, I guess we bstter go back to buying the F-15, maybe a G & H model?

Unfortunately, the USAF wouldn't bite, however much Boeing peddled their ware.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...ile-boeing-f-15e+-super-eagle.html


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Tchavdar Kostov - BGspotters
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Kevin Scott


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Chad Thomas - Jetwash Images
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Yunjin Lee - Korea Aero Photos


With Japan's sights set on the JSF, a Super Eagle order for its F-X requirement might also be hard to come by.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...agle-stays-near-the-top-perch.html

Quote:
"A version of the F-15E has been proposed to satisfy Japan's F-X requirement. Japan already has 200 F-15C/Ds in service and Boeing believes that its F-15FX proposal is well-placed, promising to fulfil Japanese aspirations for local manufacturing with an open architecture avionics system that will allow the integration of indigenous equipment, and with an AESA radar based on that of the F-15SG."
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
Max Q
Posts: 5629
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

RE: F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:32 am

Doesn't sound good, stealth is irrelevant once you are spotted, then manoeuverability, weapons load and power are vital.


So once the F35 is seen it sounds pretty vulnerable, and it can only carry two Amraams, even four is not much.

Seems like a great strike aircraft but air to air ? I think i'd prefer to be in an F16..
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
UH60FtRucker
Posts: 3252
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 9:15 am

RE: F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:43 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):
Well, I guess we bstter go back to buying the F-15, maybe a G & H model? This is not a good report. The F/A-18 sucks at air to air, and the F-16 is good at it.

At the same time, it begs the question: how would ordering modern F-15s counter-act the growing threat of networked air defense systems?

The whole point is this: during the 1960 and 1970s, surface to air missile technology reached "parity" with modern western fighters. Soviet missiles seriously degraded our ability to control the skies over the battlefield, but the pendulum swung the opposite direction during the 1980s and 1990s - aircraft, weapon systems, and defensive measures were all able to swing the pendulum back towards the aviator's favor.

...Now we're witnessing the missile technology begin to gain ground, once held by now aging counter-measures, and even the ability of stealth. But there is a problem: modern western air forces cannot absorb the same losses withstand the same losses, seen in Viet Nam and Yom Kippur wars. If missile technology is truly gaining new ground, and we are unable to suffer high losses... then we are in even more of a predicament.

The point being: the focus needs to be on either dominance of the airspace, or ceding that right and fielding larger numbers of aircraft to provide us the ability to absorb high losses.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
ebj1248650
Posts: 1517
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:17 am

RE: F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Fri Mar 06, 2009 2:24 pm



Quoting Max Q (Reply 4):
Seems like a great strike aircraft but air to air ? I think i'd prefer to be in an F16..

The comparison with the SU-30 and Typhoon isn't realistic. Bear in mind that while Typhoon puts up a credible performance in the air-to-ground role, it IS optimized for air-to-air, as is the SU-30. Rafale doesn't perform as well in the air-to-air role either because it too is optimized for air-to-ground. The F-35 is supposed to be the "do everything" fighter but it's already been admitted here that it too is optimized for the air-to ground role, at least so far as its service with the Air Force and Marines are concerned, and there's a world of difference between fleet air defense and air superiority so I'd guess that Navy doesn't see it as an air superiority airplane either.
Dare to dream; dream big!
 
Oroka
Posts: 1071
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2006 4:37 am

RE: F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:48 am

And that is why there is the F-22. There is no need for 2 Air Dominance Fighters... the F-22 rules the air, and the F-35 rules the ground. If the F-22 wasn't around, there might be a problem... but it is. The F-35 will do well for what it was primarily meant to do, ground attack. It can hold its own in a fight, but that is not what it is meant to do.
 
cloudy
Posts: 1613
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2002 3:23 pm

RE: F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:58 am

Dogfights happen, and long range missile duels also happen. These battles get the most attention because they are the most exiting. But these are not representative of most air-to-air engagements. Since World War I, air combat has changed a lot. But one thing hasn't changed - about 80% of planes shot down never knew that the plane that shot them down was there. In the majority of air battles, one group of planes sees the other first and kills them. No furball, no fuss, nothing fancy. A sees B first and shoots B before B knows A even exists. Most air combat looks more like assasination than battle.

So it all comes down to finding the enemy before he finds you. That is all that matters, four times out of five. Everything else is secondary. That would seem to make stealth, sensors and processing capability more important than other factors. The F-35 seems to have been built with this in mind. Of course, the pilot and the rest of the system(AWACS, command, basing, etc) probably are more important overall than airframe choice - as long as we are not talking something extreme like F-15 vs P-51.
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 2466
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

RE: F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Sat Mar 07, 2009 4:09 am



Quoting Max Q (Reply 4):
So once the F35 is seen it sounds pretty vulnerable, and it can only carry two Amraams, even four is not much.

I think the issue for the F-35 is that although it has a very large internal weapons bay, the weapons racks are the primary reason why missile capacity is so low. With further development, 6 AIM-120's internally is possible.
 
Max Q
Posts: 5629
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

RE: F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:33 am

They were saying the same thing before the Vietnam war, how air combat would never happen and all kills would take place without seeing the enemy, they even left the gun off the F4.

Well, that didn't work either, dogfights will happen still so relying on stealth and cybernetic warfare will only get you so far.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
cloudy
Posts: 1613
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2002 3:23 pm

RE: F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Sun Mar 08, 2009 3:09 am



Quoting Max Q (Reply 10):
They were saying the same thing before the Vietnam war, how air combat would never happen and all kills would take place without seeing the enemy, they even left the gun off the F4.

That was because in that era it was impossible to separate friendlies from enemies reliably beyond visual range. Now there are technologies such as NCTR(Non-cooperative target recognition), and more advanced AWACS, that may make it possible. We will not know if it will work in a real war until we have a real air to air threat.

But consistently, most air to air combats have been neither missile duals nor dogfights. Whether death came through a stream of bullets cutting a biplane in two - or an AMRAM slamming into a Mig 29 - the majority of planes shot down never had a chance to fight back. They died before they knew the enemy was there. The whole dogfight vs. beyond visual range misses the point. It only really matters in about 1 out of 5 cases. Most of the time, it is all about finding the enemy before he finds you - and that is reflected in the F35 design priorities.
 
XT6Wagon
Posts: 2637
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:06 pm

RE: F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:07 am



Quoting Oroka (Reply 7):



And that is why there is the F-22. There is no need for 2 Air Dominance Fighters... the F-22 rules the air, and the F-35 rules the ground. If the F-22 wasn't around, there might be a problem... but it is. The F-35 will do well for what it was primarily meant to do, ground attack. It can hold its own in a fight, but that is not what it is meant to do.

Wrong, the "high/low" concept is built around having a high cost system at the peak of technology and Air to Air capiblity backed by a cheap "POS" that can do passible Air to Air.

The expensive plane is to break the high threat assets and cordination of the assualt/defense and the cheap planes are to deal with the huge numbers of suddenly weakened planes left.

The F16 wasn't bought cause it was all that great of a fighter. It was bought on the assumption that it could be bought in enough numbers to counter the massed fighters of the USSR once the cordination of the opponent was broken. The F15 alone would get swamped by large numbers and thus be ineffective without this backup. The F15 also would be incapible of being aquired in large enough numbers to put them everywhere the US needed a fighter.

Now my problem with the F35 isn't its meh Air to Air, its the fact that it costs so much that it makes me doubt that its better not to find the maker in default and put all that money into the F22. The cost overruns make it simply too close to the cost of a F22 if you say dropped the same billions on more F22 frames bringing its unit costs down.
 
AirbusA370
Posts: 51
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:14 pm

RE: F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:10 am

What about buying some Eurofighters instead?  duck  That comes with a few free A400Ms, of course...
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 6669
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:23 pm



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 12):
The F16 wasn't bought cause it was all that great of a fighter.

Only problem with that is that the F-16 is and was a great fighter plane, for many years it set the standard by which manuverability was judged, it is a 9g capable a/c. The US Air Force used it for air to ground probably because they so badly wanted to get rid of the A-10. The strength the F-15 had over the F-16 was it radar and range, I may be wrong here, but do they not have the same basic engine?

If you put a longer range radar and equipped a F-16 with AMRAM's, how potent a platform would it be?
Big question facing the US military today is that the America industry are producing weapons system which are so expensive that it is becoming difficult for the country to afford them, and no one is making any cheaper alternatives, at least not new designs. How capable are the F-15X that Boeing is pushing, a mix of F-22's and new build F-15's may provide the numbers required, it certainely does not look as if the govt. is going to fund the F-22's in the numbers wanted, exporting the technology only means that it will loose its edge much sooner.
 
Devilfish
Posts: 5181
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:52 am

RE: F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:48 am



Quoting Par13del (Reply 14):
If you put a longer range radar and equipped a F-16 with AMRAM's, how potent a platform would it be?

About as much as this.....?

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/products/f16/f16in/index.html
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
XT6Wagon
Posts: 2637
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:06 pm

RE: F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:02 am



Quoting Par13del (Reply 14):


Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 12):
The F16 wasn't bought cause it was all that great of a fighter.

Only problem with that is that the F-16 is and was a great fighter plane, for many years it set the standard by which manuverability was judged, it is a 9g capable a/c. The US Air Force used it for air to ground probably because they so badly wanted to get rid of the A-10. The strength the F-15 had over the F-16 was it radar and range, I may be wrong here, but do they not have the same basic engine?

The F16 wasn't all that for most of its life. It was a hanger queen early in its life. Even now its combat radius with payload is horrible. Its manuverablity is good on paper compared to the big fighters, but the tradeoffs are definitely there. The F15 has payload, radar, range, speed, etc over the F16. In many respects the F5 would have made more sense than the F16 since it was a hell of alot cheaper... but try selling congress and the defense contractors on doing the cheap and simple way....

More to the point the F16 was sold as multi-role to the bosses, and with the USSR break up, they had to find ALOT of new jobs to keep thier buddies in the defense world happy with more F16 orders. Good news is that if you don't have to hang around looking for stuff the F16 makes a good ground attack plane.

The A-10 is a whole different issue, and one we shouldn't get into since I doubt they thought much at all about it when doing the F16 development and contracts.
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 6669
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:21 am



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 16):
The F16 wasn't all that for most of its life. It was a hanger queen early in its life.

As most new fighters are, remember the history of the F-15 early in its service life, but as with all good products, they mature and have very successful lives.
Agree that on a technical and economic basis the TigerShark upgrade from the F-5 (F-20)would have been a good a/c, the twin engines alone gave it more of an upgrade path, but as in all cases, politics plays a role and you end up having to make do.
Regarding the A-10, I did not mention it to take the thread off line, what I meant was that if the Air Force was committed to the a/c, they would not have placed so much emphasis on the F-16 being proficient in ground combat, the high lo mix of fighters would have been achieved.

It should be noted that quantity has a quality of it own, in cases where the F-22 will be needed - Russia / China - the a/c would be vastly out-numbered, loads of obsolete a/c will be thrown up against it, she carries only so much missiles and gun shots, and neither of those two opponents will sit back and let the US cherry pick when and where to engage in combat. Not proposing a war, but in planning, you should plan for what you can do, what you want to do and what your opponent may do, therein lies the problem, getting a handle on what you think the opponent will do, it gets political as well as military.

On the F-35 being designed mainly for ground combat, I guess I will never totally accept in this modern age having a single engine a/c dedicated to ground combat, gotta believe its a political and economic issue, which military pilot really wants to do CAS work in a high tech single engine a/c, with the current weight issues the a/c has, how much armour plating do you think she will have?
 
Navion
Posts: 1052
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 1:52 am

RE: F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:35 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):
Well, I guess we bstter go back to buying the F-15, maybe a G & H model? This is not a good report. The F/A-18 sucks at air to air, and the F-16 is good at it.

Based upon the opinions of two separate U.S.A.F. fighter pilots I know this is a B.S. statement. The F-18 is a lot more potent in ACM than this statement would lead you to believe. I have two sources who have told me the F-18 will kick your ass if you aren't really careful. Their response was to my question about F15's & F16's beating up on F-18's and they each separately said that's a load of crap. These two pilots are 1) a former commander of the Fighter Weapons School at Nellis (and a former FWS instructor and Wing King of the 1st & 8th FW - yes, he's checked out in the F-22 also) and 2) former Thunderbirds Commander/Leader and a former instructor at the FWS etc. Just my $.02 FWIW.
 
ac788
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:57 am

RE: F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:02 am



Quoting Navion (Reply 18):

Well it's certainly hard to disagree with a post like that! Thanks for that, it's always a good change when you have direct sources to back up your info.
 Big grin


On a side note, the forum seems to have strayed from it's original article regarding the operational capabilities of the F-35. Although information on the F-16 and F/A-18 were both cited in the original article, it would be nice to hear more opinions/information on the F-35.

Navion, maybe you could ask those same credible individuals what their opinions are of the F-35 (if they have an opinion yet)? Cause I (and I'm sure many others) would love to hear what they think about this a/c.

Thanks everyone for their opinions and keep up with the posting!
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 6669
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:12 am

Unfortunately, until the F-35 get's deployed in any meaningful numbers and pilots get the chance to fly it in an "uncontrolled" manner, we will be stuck with the technical testing, economic and political numbers used to justify its existence. By uncontrolled I mean operating outside the bounds of excersize's being used to verify the a/c capabilities. Take the example of the F-18 comments above, the F-18 excels in slow speed combat, if you are in a more powerful a/c why exactly would you leave your strength to go to the opponents, the same applies to the F-15, F-22, F-16, and a/c of other countries. Training done today does not really throw two a/c against each other to see who wins, it is conducted to teach pilots of a/c the strengths and weakness's of the platforms they fly and those of potential adversaries, in this day and age with so much electronic monitoring, telling your wingman to have a go somewhere in the blue yonder is the fastest way to end your military service.
Once she is deployed, we will all get more info on the capabilities of the F-35, and since she will also be sold outside the US, the info will not be as closely guarded, we just have to wait.
Bummer  Smile
 
Navion
Posts: 1052
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 1:52 am

RE: F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:18 pm



Quoting AC788 (Reply 19):
Well it's certainly hard to disagree with a post like that! Thanks for that, it's always a good change when you have direct sources to back up your info.

After reading AC788's comment, I realized my response to KC135 Top Boom was too strong and could seem rude. I apologize. I didn't mean to come off so strongly and ironically, I really enjoy Top Boom's posts. I should have been more aware of how my post came off so I apologize to Top Boom and to all for being less civil than this forum deserves.

I'll see if I can find out anything on the F-35.
 
ac788
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:57 am

RE: F-35 Combat Skills: "Between F-16 And F/A-18"

Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:29 pm



Quoting Navion (Reply 21):

Hey Navion, don't worry I wasn't trying to pick anyone out, just wanted to make sure the forum stayed on track  Smile
Thanks for your comments.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], GST and 10 guests